Inkscape Experiments: Creating Beta Flashes

Share

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.

 

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

Now we’ll create a more rectangular beta flash in Inkscape.

1.) Create a new square/rectangle with the Rectangle Tool. This will be used as our base path.

rectacular beta flash steps 1 and 2

 

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 Joint Selected Nodes button in your tool bar, right below the menu bar. Select the newly created triangle with the Selector Tool and copy the shape. (Control+C)  This shape will be used in our pattern.

Creating a spike in inkscape

3.) Select the rectangle 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 Pattern Along Path settings click the Paste Path button (the clipboard icon) and set Pattern Copies to Repeat.

Pointed rectangular beta flash steps 1 and 2

4.) So far our beta flash looks pretty good, except for that top-left corner. To the right of the start/stop node, double-click to create a new node using the Node tool. Drag the Star/stop node down until it’s at the half-way point of your rectangle’s left-hand side.

5.) The new node gets dragged to the left until it becomes your new corner.

rect-beta-flash-steps-5-and-6

6.) You’ll notice how the left side of the rectangle bloats around the start/end node. Create two new points, one above and below the start/stop node. Drag all three nodes leftward until the inside left edge evens out.

7.) Now there’s a gap where the start/stop node is located. To fill in that space, enter a number around -10 in the Tangential Offset setting. For the clipping path, use the Rectangle tool to create a new rectangle over your beta flash. Select both the new rectangle and your pattern, and then set the clipping path by clicking the Object menu > Clip > Set. 

rect-beta-flash-steps-7-and-8

If this isn’t a satisfactory result, you can always covert the beta flash into a path by clicking in the Path menu > Object to Path. Use the Node tool to select the half of the beta flash you don’t like. Delete it. Then copy the half you do like, and paste it. The duplicate can either be rotated or flipped horizontally.

Then copy the half you do like, and paste it. The duplicate can either be rotate or flipped horizontally.

 

Next time, I’ll show how to rotate paths via the Create Tiled Clones pallet. If you want a sneak-peek, read the tutorial it’ll be based on.