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Friday, November 7, 2014

2) Another way to Draw Chains

In my last post, I talked about how to draw rings, chains, and picots using the circle and pencil tools in Inkscape. I briefly mentioned that Inkscape is a tricky program to use. Let me add that there are multiple ways to reach the same outcome. Case in point: drawing chains.

Today, I will talk about another method to draw chains. Here is the result:

To draw the chain pictured above, we will need to use the Bezier tool and nodes to transform a straight line into a curve.

The Bezier tool can be found just underneath the pencil icon on the side bar:

After selecting the Bezier tool, choose the option to "Create regular Bezier path," found at the top of the screen:

(Please Note: If you have selected "Create Spiro path" the following instructions will NOT work)

With the Bezier tool, we can form a line by clicking on two points on the screen. Below, I've chosen a point where I would like my chain to begin and end:

After you have clicked on a starting and ending point, it is important to press Enter on your keyboard, otherwise, the Bezier tool will continue to create new lines. When you are finished, you will notice the green line turns into a solid black line:

Now it's time to turn this line into a curve. To do so, select the Node tool:

With the node tool, click and drag any portion of the line to create a curve. I've chosen to drag from the center of the line:
To get a more rounded look, we will have to add more nodes. With the Node Tool, select your chain and click on the Add Node icon at the top of the screen.

Now you can click on the spot where you'd like to add another node. I've chosen a spot closer one of the rings, which has placed two new nodes (one on either side):

Now I can use the Node Tool to reshape the chain again.

Here's how it looks after it's done:


muskaan said...

Ah, yes, this is the tool I used, rather 'misused' ;-/
I will have to return again coz all images are not visible (erratic server). Will try this out....

Margarets designer cards said...

I will try this as I need to do some diagrams for the tatting lessons I am doing thanks for the information and help

Robin Perfetti said...

This is actually a new technique for me, but it looks very promising. I think it will be much easier than creating chains with the circle tool.

Robin Perfetti said...

You're welcome. Stay tuned, as this series will be somewhere between 15 and 20 parts when it's finished. Hopefully the next few posts will provide enough information to get you going with all the basics.

muskaan said...

Hello Robin :-). What I'd been "missing" earlier was the "Enter" command - so the chains worked sometimes but not always ;-P
So I just tried it again using your instructions & worked out Great !!!

Just like to add/stress a small point, especially for beginners : One can go back & modify the drawings (any and all elements) even at a later stage !
eg. I can use this tool to draw 4-5 lines at one go. Then I can click on the node tool to shape each line into a curve. This will save some time (unless one is going to copy-paste each little element). Does this make sense, Robin?

Robin Perfetti said...

Yes, that makes perfect sense. What I've found is that there are lots of tricks to make diagramming easier. I've learned a few new tricks myself, just from creating these posts :)

When drawing rings and chains, I only place enough to form one repeat. Then I use Group, Duplicate, and Rotate to form a cohesive image. Rings are all copy/pasted from a Template document so that I don't have to redraw them when creating a new diagram. Will be covering this in upcoming posts.