Monday, February 27, 2012

DIY: make your own designs

This is really truly all thanks to Idle Husband who encouraged me to download Inkscape and follow along with some tutorials on how to make game characters. If it wasn't for him, I would never have realized I could make exactly what I wanted to make just by using simple squares and circles.

Case in point: Remember that sriracha card I found? Well, after a lot of thought and a lot of lost time, I realized that it was really the most perfect card for Idle Husband on Valentine's day. By that time, it was obviously the day before Valentine's day, so buying it through Etsy or even trying to find one in town was impossible. Naturally, that's when I wondered if I could do it myself and I remembered about Inkscape and decided to give it a try. Besides, I like recreating things I've spotted in a store. It's terribly rewarding when it comes out pretty near close to the original when I've made it myself plus I get to pat myself on the back for having spent zero dollars and almost no time at all to make something someone else is selling. It's terrible, but I'm cheap and crafty, so there you have it.

So while my sriracha bottle probably could have used a bit more tinkering, I was extremely happy with the results and promptly added my cutesy saying and formatted it into a little postcard (those are my favourite types of cards, in case you were wondering. A picture, a place to write, no envelope required = perfection).

I pondered doing my own tutorial on how to make the bottle, but since I originally used these tutorials from Gamasutra, part one and part two, to learn the very basics of using Inkscape, I think they're probably the better tutorials to follow. You can then apply what you've learned to whatever it is you want to create.

To make the sriracha bottle, all I did was combine a few differently sized rectangles. I adjusted the angles and corners with a little free-form distortion to make curves where necessary, and then I just stuck them all together.

The words and the heart were added in Photoshop Elements. I matched the words more to the actual sriracha font found on the bottle rather than the original card and they were applied using the warped text button. The heart was drawn with the shape tool set on heart (couldn't be more simple, right?). I also adjusted the colour in Photoshop as Inkscape didn't have the orange-y red I wanted (it probably does, but I couldn't figure out how to get it so this was easier for me).

I thought I'd share this program with you and give you an idea of what it's capable of. And despite the Gamasutra tutorials being for game character creation (say, if you're developing an app), you can really apply it to so many other ideas. If you're artistic (and even if you're not), Inkscape might be worth downloading (for free!) so you, too, can make cards or characters or anything your little brain can think up. It's actually quite a lot of fun once you get the hang of it!


Martina said...

I am in love InkScape; I was trained with the Adobe Illustrator programs, but they are so SO costly. While InkScape is a few features shy of what Illustrator offers, for everyday consumers (not professionals) the difference is really minimal and the price for InkScape(free) cannot be beat.

I'm a sriracha sauce addict, so your design made me inexplicably happy. :)

ARK said...

Totally need to check this out!! I think I'll be hooked! thanks for the link...pinning!

GALaxy said...

Martina: I need to do some more tutorials with Inkscape, but I really love how easy it is to work with. It's good to know that it's such a popular program!

Allenaim photography and Design: No problem!