Inkscape Experiments: Creating Beta Flashes


Using Pattern Along Path to Create a More Pointed Circular Beta Flash

Now we’re going to create a more useful beta flash.

1.) Start by creating a basic circle using your Ellipse tool. (Use the Control key to keep it undistorted.) Leave it filled and with no stroke. That can be adjusted within the Stroke and Fill pallet.

2.) With the Rectangle Tool, create a new rectangle that runs up and down. Convert your rectangle into a path by selecting the Path menu, and click Object to Path. Select the bottom two nodes with the Node Tool, and merge the nodes by clicking the Join Selected Nodes button in the tool bar, right below the menu bar. Select the newly created triangle with the Selector Tool and copy the shape. (Control C)

Setting up circular pointed beta burst

3.) Select the circle and bring up the Path Effect Editor pallet click the Path menu, and select Path Effect Editor… (Or use keystroke Shift+Control+7)  Select Pattern Along Path within the drop-down menu inside the Path Effect Editor pallet, and click the Add button. Inside the Pattern Along Path settings click the Paste Path button, clipboard icon, and set Pattern Copies to Repeat.

To give my points some room, I gave my pattern 15.8 in the Spacing setting. Play around with Spacing to get the look you want.

radial bursts after Spacing adjustment

4.) I made the false assumption that I can layer on the same path effects. When I added another Pattern Along Path path effect, I got some wacky fractal-looking pattern.

whacky fractal pattern

What I chose to do instead was to copy the circle we’re working with, and Paste In Place(Control+Alt+V). Then delete the path effect being used by clicking the minus button under the Effect List. The reason for this was that the path effect, once created, can be linked to multiple object. Even copied objects, when you edit their path effect, will affect objects using the same effect. What needs to be done is to create a new path effect so we are able to make the adjustments we want.

5.) Click the Add button inside the Path Effect Editor to create a new Pattern Along Path effect from scratch. Once again, click the Paste Path button to use the same path as last time. What’s going to happen next is that the next pattern will have shorter spikes. This can be accomplished by using a shorter width. I also adjusted the spacing and the Normal Offset to get the right look. Here are the settings that I’m using:

Settings for my second pattern Beta Effect using both patterns

You can also adjust the second pattern by double-clicking on it with the Selector Tool and adjusting the rotation handles to get the look you want.


Next, we’ll create a more pointed rectangular beta flash.