Episode 097

Episode 097 – Retro Style Curves

by heathenx

In this screencast I will demonstrate how to pattern along a path to make retro style curves in Inkscape 0.46.

I apologize for the piss-poor quality of this screencast. I rushed it because I was being rushed. Unfortunately, I’m not going to have a lot of time to screencast in the next week or two so it was either today or not at all. Good enough will have to do. 😉

Tags: , ,

44 Responses to “Episode 097”

  1. screencasters.heathenx.org/blog » Blog Archive » Episode 097 – Retro Style Curves Says:

    […] Episode 097 is up. Go do your thing. […]

  2. Alberto Says:

    This is just impressive!!!

    Congratulations for showing a perfect way to use Path along pattern.

    This is just GREAT.

  3. Tony Says:

    Easy – but a really genius effect.
    I like the idea of giving it a crunchy texture.

    Greetings from Germany

  4. Zombiebrainz Says:

    Good job – like the use of layers as well…

  5. heathenx Says:

    I was just helping someone with this tut just a minute ago. I think I might of failed to mention that in order for this effect to work (patter along path) the color squares all need to be converted to paths first.

  6. tomh Says:

    Yeh, you do need to convert the rectangles to paths first (path->object to path). I was having a great time before I worked that one out with some “interesting” results.

    Just to say that there are other methods of creating this effect without resorting to pattern along path which are less resource intensive.

    The method I used is to get a circle like the one you used for a shadow and leave it as a pie segment, then duplicate it a couple of times and enter the widths manually (eg 50,100,150,200,250px) then use align and distribute to get them to line up correctly. duplicate the rectangle and stretch and rotate it as needed. much less RAM intensive 😉 You have to be quite careful when lining things up though so you don’t get stray pixel borders or steps. The 0.47 snap bar makes that easier.

  7. heathenx Says:


    You bet. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. Thanks for leaving us your tips. 😉

  8. JimR Says:

    On each screencast I have a point where I can’t help but smile of the nice effect you’re getting. This time it was when the grunge texture made that cool dirty-it-up-a-bit effect, sooo nice!


  9. Jim Says:

    If you get something like this http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2593/wtfsc97.jpg you should read what heathnx wrote above.

  10. Zlatko Nikolic Says:

    Very good idea for tutorial, cool video and many new tricks for me.

  11. Sadnem Says:

    Hi heathenx thank you for this tutorial, i have recently started with inkscape (used to GIMP) and i loved this effect but could you give me the color palette that you are using?
    Thank you.
    Regards, Sadnem.

  12. heathenx Says:


    Here you go…http://bit.ly/YYhv9

  13. Sadnem Says:

    PS: I loved your microsodes idea, its perfect por people who’s starting like me 😀

  14. dendi Says:

    thank you for this great tutorial..

  15. Aurelian Design Says:

    Excellent as always – thanks!

    Does the video end early? Seems to end abruptly at around 28 minutes before the grunge effect is combined with the main drawing.

  16. zjk Says:

    Hello… I really like your site. Just getting to understand Inkscape and your tuts are very useful… Just one comment on this one. Right before you start explaining how to make the curve, the video goes all blurry and looks all corrupted… can’t see anything except a massive colored pixel storm moving around everywhere… sound is good but the video track seems to be all messed up. If I click on the nav bar, it suddenly shows me part of the video, in a speeded up version and then goes back to the corrupted pixels.
    Hope you can fix it, I would like to view this one.

  17. Richard Querin Says:

    I’m not sure what the problem might be. Are you downloading the video and watching it locally or are you watching the streaming version right in your browser?

  18. zjk Says:

    Hi again…

    I’m streaming it directly on latest Chrome on Ubuntu 9.10 (up to date). Other videos show fine. This was the first one that seemed to be corrupted. I restarted chrome, reloaded the page, went back and fwd with navbar, and nothing. It happens at minute 3:25. As I said, before, moving the cursor to another point on the nav bar (tried 22 min), suddenly I have a speeded up video that doesn’t match the audio and then after a few seconds it goes back to the pixelation.
    Just watched ep99 to double check and it worked fine.


  19. zjk Says:

    Hi again…

    I just downloaded both ep097.flv and .ogv from your repository and both show fine on VLC. The .ogv file seems to have some issues, because when moving between different times, it takes it a second or two to refresh the image and you get this ghost image effect remaining while the new point in the video is starting to repaint the screen. After that though, it works fine.

    I guess I’ll just watch this one locally.

    Thanks for the great videos!

  20. heathenx Says:

    I would try another browser just to see what happens. Chrome uses its own internal video player (I think…someone set me straight if I’m wrong) and doesn’t use our flash video player. I don’t think I have ever noticed an issue with that but perhaps it’s the problem.

    Advancing streaming video on our web site has never been as good as something like YouTube. I have come to terms with it. I suppose I could try to fix that but it’s after I clean under the stove and the refrigerator…if you know what I mean. 😉

    Regarding VLC, it doesn’t scrub video very well and never has. A lot of media players don’t scrub well. It’s better to pause the video, advance the video and then play again. Still, one might get a little pixelation as the video comes back. Just the nature of the beast.

    Update: Incidentally, this video plays great for me in Firefox. I know that doesn’t fix the problem but thought you should know.

  21. zjk Says:

    You’re quite right… just checked with Firefox and it works fine… I just found it odd that it was only this episode that didn’t work in Chrome. Well, it’s not like I’ve seen all of them yet… 🙂 but I’ve seen about 15 or so and wanted to make a note of it.

    And I totally agree that cleaning the fridge, although annoying as hell, takes precedence!! 😀

    Thanks for the replies… it’s nice to see that the admins/owners actually read these!

  22. Richard Querin Says:

    Seen 15 of them? You are a glutton for punishment! 🙂

    We basically fly around in our private jet and read the post comments when we’re not doing that. 😉

    Seriously. Glad you get something out of them.

  23. heathenx Says:

    Honestly, before we went to OGV things were pretty consistent regarding our video production. However, since going to OGV it’s sometimes a crapshoot. I mean, we have a pretty standard process but it’s less so then what we were accustomed to. We sometimes have to tweak a little more to get good results. Some videos are better than others. That’s most likely luck. We do what we can to fix what is broken but we don’t do anymore than that. Just don’t call us “professionals” or you might offend us. 🙂

    PS. We always read the comments…even the bad ones. 😉

  24. llogg Says:

    Just curious if there is a mathematical reason not to use a rectangle with curved corners rather than an ellipse + straight paths.

  25. heathenx Says:

    Not that I’m aware of.

  26. ank Says:

    i didn’t realize there are blending options for layers. that’s fantastic!
    thanks for the great tutorial!

  27. Xbody Says:

    Nice one, but my computer has some real problems to rotate this thing. 😉

  28. Vergil Says:

    Hi heathenx, I’ve tried to follow all the steps on this tutorial video. But somehow the image that I get does not match with yours. Here is the picture : http://i52.tinypic.com/vqi06u.jpg
    I use Inkscape 0.48, hope you can give me some clue.

  29. heathenx Says:


    All of your colored squares must be converted to paths first so the squares will bend and morph around the radius. I forgot to mention that step in the tutorial.

  30. Vergil Says:

    Thanks for your reply heathenx, finally I get the shape I want …
    I think I’ll ask you again if there is something I don’t understand 🙂
    A fortune for me to know people like you LOL 😀

  31. Andrew Says:

    I could be missing something that’s really obvious to everyone else, but when I try and do your path effect method in version 0.48, it doesn’t work at all the way it’s supposed to. Instead of getting the curves of colour stacked on top of each other, I just get a bunch of boxes repeated along the skeleton path.
    I have no idea what I might be doing wrong…
    (it looks like this http://i54.tinypic.com/122p9nr.jpg )

  32. heathenx Says:


    I just followed this tutorial expecting that something would break since I used v0.46 originally and now I’m using v0.48-1. Nothing is broken. It worked like a charm. I didn’t mention in the screencast that the 50x50px squares needed to be converted to paths. Perhaps you hadn’t done that.

    Here’s a file that I just created this morning for you to review. Download it.


  33. Andrew Says:

    Well, that’s odd then. I did convert the coloured squares to paths, as I had read that in a previous comment. So I’m not sure what I might be doing wrong. I appreciate your fast reply on an old topic though 🙂

  34. heathenx Says:


    LOL! Wow! I could have saved myself some time had I looked at your jpeg first. I obviously overlooked the link.

    The problem is that you are using the live path effect for the operation. I did not use that in the tutorial. I used the Extensions>Generate From Path>Pattern Along Path feature.

  35. Andrew Says:

    aaahhh. Thank you 🙂 now it works.

  36. thinsmek Says:

    This is an invaluable tutorial to me! Thanks heathenx!

  37. Resonance Says:

    How strange that this 02.10 font crashes Inkscape in Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot as soon as I try to type or change already typed text.

    The exact error message:
    “Inkscape encountered an internal error and will close now.
    Automatic backups of unsaved documents were done to the following locations:

    I got the font files from here:

  38. heathenx Says:

    Hmm…interesting. I haven’t used that font since the tutorial. I’m running Mint 11 at the moment. I’ll have to give it a try.

  39. Graham Ardner Says:

    Hey is there any way you could tell the RGB or Hex key values of the five stripe colors and two purple background colors you used? Or is that “trade secret?” 😀


    Graham Ardner

  40. heathenx Says:

    @Graham, here you go…http://is.gd/zM6Ydv

  41. Graham Ardner Says:


  42. gaurab Says:

    may i know what linux you are using?

  43. heathenx Says:


    I’m not sure what version of Linux I was using in this tutorial. Probably Ubuntu but I switched over to Linux Mint a few years ago. Still use it, still love it. Mint 16 was just released a few days ago. I use the MATE version.

  44. stream 2014 Says:

    Hiya very cool web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your website
    and take the feeds also? I’m glad to search out so many
    helpful info right here within the put up, we want work out more strategies in this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .