InkScape

Inkscape is a free, open source, full featured program you can use to create complex vector graphics.

What are vector graphics? Well, whether in print or on a screen, photographs and the image outputs of rendering engines (like LuxRender), paint programs (like GIMP) and the like are all raster based (i.e. made up of lines of very small dots).That’s why, if you magnify a printed image or a computer image, it becomes increasingly fuzzy and eventually seems to disintegrate.

Vector graphics, on the other hand, are defined by mathematical formulas. They aren’t actually images at all. As a result, when you zoom in on a vector graphic in a computer program, it recomputes the screen image based on the image formula, and redraws it with no deterioration, regardless of the amount of magnification.

With print, while the ultimate physical image will deteriorate when viewed under a microscope, during the composition of a document, the original vector graphic can be blown up or scaled down until it fits into the page as desired, and still will be sharp at that size. So, a logo only has to be created once, for example, and the same vector graphic formula will print out in high quality a quarter inch across, three feet across, or a quarter mile across for that matter.

I intend to list free and low-cost training resources for each software package. This will come eventually, but if I wait until everything is complete, I’ll never go live with this blog.

In the meantime, please include your favorite training resources in your comments.

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