Inkscape - Free Open Source Replacement for Illustrator

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..art is no luxury..

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Thanks to an article on digg.com I found this list of top 10 freeware apps for Windows. Most of these have versions for Mac OS and Linux as well though (in case we have some of you folks on baord here).

In any case, in that list I also found a program called Inkscape. You can check it out at www.inkscape.org, and the best part is that it's both open source and free. What is it you might ask? It's a scalable vector graphics editor. Here's a little snippet from the site about Inkscape...

Quote: Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Supported SVG features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, and grouping. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, and more. It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.

Inkscape's main goal is to create a powerful and convenient drawing tool fully compliant with XML, SVG, and CSS standards. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development process, and by making sure Inkcape is easy to learn, to use, and to extend.

So for those of you who don't feel like (or in my case are not able) to plunk down hundreds of dollars for Illustrator (not to say anything of using other means of acquiring the software) then you can give Inkscape a try and see if it fits the bill. Hope this will be useful to some :D.

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It's still too new for me to care.

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..art is no luxury..

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Seems to me that it has a very good group on DeviantArt. And it looks like it's a powerful tool, also when combined with GIMP.

I think it's a good alternative, and it doesn't seem all that new to me. But I guess you must be right, cause nobody else seems to care enough to even post about it here...

merged: 12-11-2005 ~ 10:32pm
I'm just curious if there's anyone on MT that has tried this program? Anybody?

embershadow

embershadow

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I just downloaded it, but have yet to actually use it.

I only have Photoshop Elements, and because of Elements' lack of the Pen Tool, I can't vector, so I was looking for a free program I could use to try my hand at vectoring, and this might be it...

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Well, I am very glad that there is someone besides me who thinks this is a worthwhile piece of software. I am sure that if you need help, the Inkscape group over at DA would be willing to assist :D.

eonir

eonir

Spreading Fire

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Inkscape, together with GIMP, have one, great disadvantage in common.
Setting aside the absence of layer styles, these apps are based on a horrible UI. Plus, instead of regular filters we have some freaky scripts like "one-click-car-from-picture-generator". Not literally :)

Of course, these progs are freeware, and that's the essence of their functionality :D
Too bad that GIMP has a 10 year long history of development, and still the changes are barely visible, if we compare it with commercial applications like Paint Shop or CS2. I heard that gimp has support for Photoshop plugins... I wonder how does it work :/

Lately I was searching for a replacement for Illustrator, and found Inkscape and Sodipodi(a buggy Russian copy of Inkscape, interesting).

Let's count on the opensource community. They have more and more successes, maybe they'll develop something really impressive ]:->
I think this faith is worth waiting, since such projects are becoming more popular in the past few years. Firefox, Ubuntu, Audacity, OpenOffice, Wikipedia are only the beginning :D

Some folks are wise, and some otherwise.
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  • Jan 01, 2007

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..art is no luxury..

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I agree. If there's an alternative that's open source I'm all for it. Have you looked at the Inkscape DA group? They seem to be putting out some pretty impressive work I think...

Have you been using Inkscape for long? What is your take on it (other than your objections above...)?

I personally thought GIMP had the majority of PS functionality. I understand your complaint about the UI, but it's not actually bad. Just different. From what I understand, it comes from a somewhat different UI tradition that PS. While Photoshop grew out of a Mac/Windows oriented generation of UI apps (like MS Office and a lot of Adobe products), GIMP supposedly harkens back to the days of Dreamweaver and Linux.

So I think it's pretty much just a matter of getting used to it. In any case, it's great to see such a good alternative to PS I think, especially with it being free.

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The Photoshop UI is pretty rubbish as it is, so I don't see how GIMP could really be that bad as opposed to just different.

  • Jan 04, 2007

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..art is no luxury..

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Well I don't know if I'd go so far as to say it's rubbish, but as any more advanced piece of software it has a learning curve.

That being said, I don't know of anything else we can use as a frame of reference for this. Is there truly any piece of software that is powerful and still retains an excellent UI? I can't say I know of one...

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