Episode 061

Episode 061 – Simple 3D Object

by Richard Querin

In this tutorial I create a semi-realistic 3D recycle bin using Inkscape 0.46. This screencast demonstrates how the use of very simple objects along with subtle gradients and blurs can achieve realistic looking objects.

I’ve been mulling over this one for quite a while thinking it was too simple and boring. But I thought, what the heck. It might be of interest to someone out there. 🙂

I’ve also been playing around with my new Flip Video camera and decided to try something for the 45 second intro at the beginning.

I hope you find this one useful.

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16 Responses to “Episode 061”

  1. screencasters.heathenx.org/blog » Blog Archive » Episode - 061 A Simple 3D Object Says:

    […] Episode 061 is now up. In this screencast I demonstrate how to create a pseudo-realistic looking recycle bin type object. It could be useful for someone wanting to create icons perhaps. It only took 7 or 8 objects to create and demonstrates how some subtle uses of gradients and blurs can help get the effect you want. […]

  2. Patrick Says:

    Hey Richard

    That was one of your best screencasts ever!, and you and heathenx have had some really good ones! This tutorial is very useful for my work. I was thinking about doing everything in grayscale first too but I was not sure how well it would go, this is just the encouragemnet I needed. I thought you would use gradients for the sides of the bin but I see now how the blur affect creates a much better plastic effect.

    Thanks again.

  3. Primfaktor Says:

    Thank you for this great tutorial!

    I have only one question: Where is the music from which you use in the beginning when you draw the bin on the sheet of paper?

  4. Richard Querin Says:

    @Patrick – Thanks man, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Doing it in grayscale just makes changing the colours later a whole lot easier, at least when the object is a single type of colour. It would be such a pain to change a blue box to a red box if you had to change the colour of all the objects separately.

    @Primfaktor – Glad you liked it. The music is a piece of a song called “Downtown Came Uptown” by David Wilcox. He’s a Canadian blues/rock musician. You can find his stuff on Amazon and YouTube, but there is also an American musician by the same name. He never made it big in the states but was a staple of Canadian rock music for high school and college kids when I was growing up.

  5. Grant Says:

    I totally agree with Patrick. This is a great one Richard. Lots of very useful techniques are used in this tut.

    I really like the ‘tinting’ part especially! 🙂

    You, HeathenX and Rolf from meet the gimp have really helped me and I’m sure many others learn to use these excellent open source programs.

    Thank You for your efforts. These are greatly appreciated!

    Oh forgot to add…..Wilcox is frickin awesome! Layin pipe brother!

  6. Richard Querin Says:


    Thanks for the compliments. We’re just glad that people find them useful.

    ps. Nice to see some other Wilcox fans out there. Where you from Grant?

  7. heathenx Says:

    Other than the intro, which I thought was pretty damn cool, I found Richard’s unique way of making a 3D box rather interesting. Great tutorial. 🙂

  8. Grant Says:

    Hi Richard. I’m from Prince George, BC Canada.

    Keep up the great work guys. I’m looking forward to the next video. I’ll be sure to drop a donation to the site as soon as I get a new paypal account set up at my bank 🙂

  9. mwuk Says:

    Hi guys!
    I just wanted to point out that if you duplicate Ctrl+D and union Ctrl++ you drag the nodes F2 and drag you can add a perspective shadow

  10. Bruno Says:

    Hi Richard,

    I’ve been catching up on the tutorials, which always teach something new (or different from what we do) and are very well explained.

    I noticed that you don’t drag the polygon lines when you need to round them (not symmetrically), is it on purpose? I find it to be more complex to add symmetry nodes and then convert them to corner nodes than just dragging the lines to the place we want them.

    Also, I see you going for the tool windows’s title bar to take them away, you can use Alt+Click in any place of the window to drag it, it is faster! 😉

    Keep up the good work, it is an inspiration to us. Thanks!

  11. Figeodilo Says:

    What windowtheme do you use in this screencast?
    Very nice screencast!
    greets from germany

  12. Richard Querin Says:

    @Figeodilo – man I’m sorry for such a late reply to your comment. The theme I was using at the time I did this screencast was an Emerald Theme called “71352-radial”. I think it came with the emerald theme package on Ubuntu Hardy. Hope that helps.

  13. Figeodilo Says:

    No Problem 🙂
    Okay, thankyou!

  14. dexteruk Says:

    Really like the work on here, its fantastic but could you tell me the application you use for displaying the key presses.

    Keep up the great work and i look forward to seeing more.

  15. heathenx Says:


    It’s called key-status monitor (http://www.programmer-art.org/projects/keystatus). Hopefully it will be returning in episode 084 after not working correctly for the majority of the Ubuntu Intrepid release. 😉

  16. Xbody Says:

    Nice tutorial! Very useful…