Episode 094

Episode 094 – Inkscape, Blender, and Gimp Merry-Go-Round

by heathenx

In this screencast I will demonstrate how to pull Inkscape, Blender and Gimp together in order to produce some artwork. I will be using Inkscape 0.46, Blender 2.49a, and Gimp 2.6.6.

I have been wanting to screencast Blender along with Inkscape for quite sometime now. I tried to keep this tutorial rather simple for the sake of the screencast but I’m pretty sure the real artist in you can take the fundamentals and expand on it.  I have to say that combining Inkscape and Blender artwork is rather fun and once you get the hang of Blender then you might find yourself in it all of the time. Here’s an example of a Blender bottle that I modeled from an Inkscape sketch. The bottle was rendered out of Blender and brought into Inkscape where I had added a 2D label. Spic and span. 🙂

I would like to thank Christian from Chrisdesign for giving me the inspiration.

If you want to examine the files that I used for this screencast then grab the archive from here.

Update: Sorry everyone. I forgot to attach the Stereofidelic font that I used. It can be found here.

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45 Responses to “Episode 094”

  1. screencasters.heathenx.org/blog » Blog Archive » Episode 094 – Inkscape, Blender and Gimp Merry-Go-Round Says:

    […] Episode 094 is up for the taking. I used Inkscape, Blender and Gimp to pull some artwork together. Enjoy. […]

  2. stephen murdoch Says:

    hey guys,

    not watched this one yet, but i will soon.

    are you going to be doing more blender stuff in the future? i hope so!

    keep fighting the good fight!

  3. James G Sack (jim) Says:

    One of your best ones yet!

  4. Antonio Says:

    I too would like to see more tutorials where you can manipulate vector paths in Blender

  5. Jesper Dehli Says:

    Hi Heathenx.
    I think it is a great idea to combined Inkscape with other programs like Blend and Gimp.
    When i opened Blender the first time, i was lost, and the i thought, i don’t have time for this.
    Now i can see the benefits in using Blender.
    So just continue the good work.
    I have learned a lot from your tutorials, thanks !

    // Jesper Dehli

  6. heathenx Says:

    @stephen murdoch
    “are you going to be doing more blender stuff in the future? i hope so!”

    Yes. 😉

  7. isegrim Says:

    You made me love Inkscape. Thank you.
    I am corious for the Blender stuff.

  8. Chrisdesign Says:

    Hey Heathenx. I like it much to give you some ideas for your great screencasts !
    The combination of these OS Software is very powerful. Please more from it ! 🙂

  9. JimR Says:

    Thanks again, this is a brilliant episode (too)!

    I have looked at Blender a couple of times and failed to get started because of the huge interface knocking me over! I’m doing a lot of 3D CAD at work (Pro Engineer) and I can make almost any 3D shape in Pro/E. It would be cool to be able to render in Blender so I would like to learn it. One more vote for Blender videos or links to good tutorials on getting started, applying materials, cameras, lights and rendering 🙂


  10. heathenx Says:


    Ah, I’m a former Pro/E user myself. I feel the same as you. I can model damn near anything in CAD (Autodesk Inventor for me) but when it comes to surface modeling in Blender things come to a screeching halt. Completely different mindset. I can do simple shapes and revolves but nothing on the level of product design. Have to keep telling myself that Blender is not CAD and never will be. Still, I know Blender is capable of producing just about any model so it comes down to the guy sitting behind the keyboard.

    There are billions of Blender tutorials and screencasts online. Perhaps you should try the Blender Underground series. http://blenderunderground.com/2007/11/21/welcome-main

  11. JimR Says:

    Thanks, I will check them out


  12. Vidiot Says:

    I´m also from the cad department – working with Catia most of the time (makes pretty good SVG that opens perfect in Inkscape!!! I can color my draings if I like to!. I used this for documentation a lot).

    I like the workflow principle here.
    I use another 3d tool which is also free and open source: Art of Illusion.
    It´s not comparable with Blender, but also around for about 10 years and the raytracer is quite powerful and it´s easier to learn than Blender (D.N. Adams would said “It turns out that it´s easier than Blender!”).

    In this case Blender does the better job in exporting the curves – though sometimes it does fall flat on it´s nose. The extruding and bevel function is just perfect. I ask for those bevels in AoI, too. 😉

  13. Zlatko Nikolic Says:

    This is maybe the best demonstration of open source power and combination of 3D,bitmap and vectror graphics. I will like more Blender tutorials but there is a lot tutorials on net for Blender and Gimp, but for Inkscape SCREENCASTERS are the best place. I work very well in Blender but I will like to see some tutorial for simultanius use of Inkscape and Scribus( in my country Serbia there are commercial news papers they are made with Scribus as DTP tool). Maybe some tutorial with Inkscape,Scribus and Open Office? The latest tutorial is great job, thanks screencasters.

  14. Darth_Gimp Says:

    I’m on staff at blenderunderground but I tell ya, the basics series is one of the best I have seen! Heathen, if I can help with some blender stuff, please let me know.

  15. Antonio Says:

    I had a few ideas for importing Inkscape paths into Blender, modifying them, saving it as a .obj file and then importing that file back into Inkscape using the 3D polyhedron extension. Currently it works but I need to find a way to reduce the amount of faces in Blender. Currently, after converting a ellipse to a mesh it is made up of about 40 triangular faces. Any ideas on how to do something the equivalent of Ctrl+L but in Blender?

  16. heathenx Says:

    Go to the modifiers tab and select decimate. Bump the ratio down but beware…this will make your mesh model jagged.

  17. Antonio Says:

    Thanks! I don’t mind that it’ll be a bit jagged. It means that when I take it back into inkscape it wont be made up of 10000 objects thus slowing the program to a complete standstill.

  18. Fox Says:

    Hey Heathenx i Love your screencasts! But i have a problem on that Screencast,when I wish to save the 3d-Text my Blender only saves the .jpeg format can you help me?

    Sorry for my bad english im from Germany 😀

  19. heathenx Says:


    There are several ways of exporting to PNG. In the screencast, I chose the simplest. I rendered first with F12 (or use the Render button…same thing) and then closed my image window with the rendered output. F3 saves what was rendered last allowing one to save to PNG. This should ONLY save as a PNG no matter what one puts in for the extension.

    I suppose a second way would be to go to your Format tab (in the Scene settings…F10) and change to PNG (where it might have Jpeg by default) then change your environment from Model mode to Sequence mode. From there change the End frame to 1. Now you can go back to Model mode and click the Animate button and it will save the first rendered frame out to a PNG file where you have designated it in your Output tab. That sounds complicated but it’s like a 5 second setup.

  20. Fox Says:

    ok thank you! 🙂

  21. Zlatko Nikolic Says:

    What about Inkscape and Scribus together in DTP, or some other personal or professional project, for exsample to made some user manual.

  22. Cb2k Says:

    Absolute Barnstormer of a screencast – hats off to HeathenX

    The only problem now is me wasting an absurd amount of time on blender and producing nothing…

  23. Make Smarter – OSCON, OpenGeo, Graphics, and More « Fuzzy Tolerance Says:

    […] talked about the great screencasts over at Screencasters.Heathenx.org before, but Episode 94 is especially good. While most of their tutorials use Inkscape, this one combines Inkscape, […]

  24. Denilson Says:

    You have an “auto-shrink” button when using the Gimp’s crop tool, you know that, right?

  25. Denilson Says:

    Also… What program is that one that show the mouse clicks and keypresses? I will want to use it if I ever do a screencast!

  26. heathenx Says:

    Yeah, I suppose I could use Auto-Shrink but old habits…as long as I get an image cropped, I’m good.

    Richard and I use the key-status monitor written by Danial Taylor. http://www.programmer-art.org/projects/key-status-monitor. Of course I just modified mine recently to get it smaller. See this blog post: http://screencasters.heathenx.org/blog/2009/04/06/smaller-key-status-monitor/

  27. Confuzzled Says:

    What’s the best way to get to the Flash videos from Firefox 3.5? So far, every attempt to play ogg video using the new FF3.5 is jerky enough to make Max Headroom barf. (Computer’s not too old, either – 3 y.o. 3 GHz model, w 2 GB RAM and XP, although there are a few dozen tabs open…)

    As far as I can tell, the FF ogg support isn’t really ready for prime-time yet – PLEASE give us the option to use Flash so something works! (I’m all in favor of killing off Flash, eventually, but FF & ogg aren’t working well now, while Flash is….)

  28. heathenx Says:

    We’re doing our best to be all things to all people. Still, I can understand where you’re coming from. The fact of the matter is that flash files play better than theora files at the moment. The best thing that you can do is let the theora files cache for a bit before starting to play them. Give it a minute or two. I have a machine with similar specs and I’m satisfied with ogv playback. If you want flash playback then use ANY browser that is not FF3.5. You also have the option of just downloading the video and watching. Playback will be much better.

    At this time I’m not sure how to tell FF3.5 NOT to play ogv and default to flv instead (by allowing the viewer to decide which they want). Perhaps it’s in the about:config somewhere. If it’s a simple fix on our part then we will try to incorporate it for you.

  29. Mark Says:

    Thanx for all the great tutorials on this site. I’m new to vector graphics and find your tutorials a great help. I was wondering whether you could do an in depth tute on how to use the bezier tool. I’ve tried it in a few different programs and it seems that these programs have their own version of the bezier tool that behaves in it’s own particular way.


  30. heathenx Says:


    We’re always open to screencast topics but what is it about the bezier tool that is giving you trouble? Maybe we can give you some tips. Have you checked out Tav’s section on the bezier tool?


  31. Mark Says:

    How to go from curving one way to curving another on the fly. I can trace out a rough outline and drag the curves to fit the shape i want but i thought there might be a more efficient way of doing it.

  32. Mark Says:

    That link helped a lot thanx.

  33. George Says:


    With your camera deleted you were able to zoom around and get up close to the text, are the cameras only for rendering?

    I can see my text but I can not get in close (zoom in and out). How do I get in close?

    Just before you extruded the text is where I let off.

    All I can do is move the plane around. If I hit the + key the object disappears.

    Thank You.

  34. heathenx Says:

    To zoom in Blender roll your mouse wheel. You can pan by holding the shift key down and middle mouse button/wheel down.

    Use keypad 0, 1, 3, 5, 7 to hotkey into different views. If you get lost somewhere in your environment, hit your home key.

  35. George Says:


    Thanks for the rely, I am using Dell Inspiron 5100 no mouse. I actually tried a nice trackball, but I am too use to the pad on the Dell.

    I have found out through trial and error how to get everything to work without having to use a separate mouse.
    I can Pan, Zoom, and Rotate with no problem.

    Thanks Again,
    GOD Bless,

  36. Johnny Says:


    this screencast is AWESOME. I’ve been looking for a good tutorial on how to make 3D text with inkscape and I’m never able to find a good one. Then I came across this screencast and got super excited about blender!

    When I imported the svg into blender, not all of the text was there and it looked really weird. I’m wondering if there are certain types of fonts that should be used for this. Or it could be possible that my download of blender isn’t that great. I have a macbook pro and there wasn’t an installer when I downloaded the file. I could just open up the program. So I’m not sure if I need to place files in certain places.

    any ideas?

  37. heathenx Says:


    I notice that from time to time too. In Inkscape scale up your text maybe 2-3 times and convert it to a path. See if that works for you. Sometimes I have even needed to add more nodes to the text after it’s a path. Blender is a bit finicky sometimes but it usually just amounts to tweaking things in Inkscape first.

  38. Luxman Says:

    I have the same problem Johnny reported; I tried with different fonts, adding more nodes and scaling up but with no succeed. I solved by editing text directly on Blender.
    Anyway than you for sharing your excellent idea!

  39. foniz Says:

    Thank you for showing me. ^_^

    It’s many times to complete that work.


  40. Xbody Says:

    Best tutorial ever. 🙂

  41. 3D text in blender, gimp and inkscape « Serenblip's Blog Says:

    […] in Inkscape I was dying to try out Blender but other tutorials were a steep learning curve. HeathenX came up with the goods and, as usual, I found his tutorial easy to […]

  42. Resonance Says:

    If anyone else gets lost at figuring out where or how extrusion is applied in Blender 2.5 then I recommend watching this youtube tutorial:


  43. Vlad S Says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. 3 years ago I tried to learn Blender with “blender underground” tutorials. But leave that because I didn’t need it in my work. Now, after this screencast I’m sure that I back to study Blender.

  44. Nagura Says:

    It is a very good tutorial.
    Thank you.

  45. Nagura Says:

    I’m sorry if my English is wrong.