Inkscape Experiments: Rotate with Create Tiled Clones Window

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Inkscape Experiments logo This is the third in a series of articles covering Inkscape’s Create Tiled Clones Window. This is the mysterious window that we will continue to dissect. The tab we will learn today will be the Rotation tab.

An Overview of the Rotation Tab

Now I realize that a lot of you, if not most of you are not being kept awake at night wondering what the Rotation tab might do. In fact, most of you likely use the built-in rotation handles that are available whenever you double-click on an object with the Selector tool. If you have even a little experience playing with the Create Tiled Clones window, you shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring it out. But what would an Inkscape Experiments post be if I didn’t break something down to the smallest detail.

A screen shot of the Create Tiled clones window with the Rotation tab in the forefront.

To bring this up, go to your menu bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones… Then click on the Rotation tab.

1.) Angle Per Row: When entering a number within the number field under the Per Row header, it will rotate your object by the degree you entered. For example, let’s say you entered 10 for the degree of rotation. For every clone that you generate vertically, each clone will be rotated by 10 degrees.

2.) Angle Per Column: When entering a number or within the number field under the Per Column header, it will rotate your object by the degree you entered. For example, let’s say you entered 25 for the degree of rotation. For every clone that you generate horizontally, each clone will be rotated by 25 degrees.

3.) Randomized Percentage: Entering a number here will rotate your clone, regardless as to whether they run vertically or horizontally, randomly by whatever percentage you have entered. You don’t need to get into the gory details, just understand that the Randomized Percentage will rotate your clones randomly.

4.) Alternate: Checking either one of these boxes will alternate the rotation of your clones by whatever degree you enter. For example, let’s say you have 7 clones running horizontally. You enter 20 degrees in your Per Column number field. You also check the Alternate box under Per Column. What will happen when you click the Create button is that Inkscape will generate clones that alternate back and forth from 0 to 20 degrees.

5.) Cumulate: The Cumulate check boxes behave much like their counterparts within the Scale tab, Checking either one of these boxes will exaggerate the rotation of your clones. Visually speaking, it will look as if Inkscape is rotating successive clones at random.

6.) Rows, columns: Kind of an odd name, but it is as advertised. The left number field creates clones vertically, and the right number field generates clones horizontally.

7.) Remove: This button clears the clones you generate. Remember, when you close the Create Tiled Clones window,  you will only be able to clear clones from this window again if your original object is selected. Often times your original object will be indistinguishable from your clones due to the fact that Inkscape generates a clone directly on top of your original object. So it seems like you can’t do anything until you either remove, move, or drop the clone behind the original vector object.

8.) Create: The Create button simply generates your clones. The nice thing about this button is that the programmers granted it the ability to replace previously generated clones with clones using your modified settings.

The Rotation Tab in Action

Now we’re going to take the Rotation tab for a spin. The point of this next series of section is to further breakdown the Rotate tab and to provide you with visual examples of what each function is capable of.

Angle Per Row:

As we learned earlier, entering a number under the Per Row number field causes clones that run vertically to rotate. Let’s walk through the process in Inkscape. First, create an object. (it can be any type of vector shape just as long as you can tell that it’s being rotated. For example a circle would be a bad idea.) With the object selected, go into Inkscape’s Menu Bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones… Then click on the Rotation tab. Within the number field directly under Per Row, enter an angle of 10 degrees. (I chose 10 degrees because it’s just enough to demonstrate that your object is being rotated.) Screen Shot of 10 degrees is entered in the Per Row number field. Within Rows, columns enter a number of 4 inside the number field on the left-hand side for the number of rows of clones you wish to generate. Entering a number greater than 1 within the right number field, which represents the number of columns you wish to generate, is completely optional. (For the sake of this post, I entered a number of 5.) When you click the Create button, you should see this: Squares rotated by 10 degrees Per Row via the Create tiled clones window.

Angle Per Column:

Now we’ll go in reverse. Instead of rotating our objects by row, we’ll rotate them by columns. Select or create an object to clone and rotate. With that object selected, go into Inkscape’s Menu Bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones… Then click on the Rotation tab. Within the number field directly under Per Column, enter an angle of 10 degrees. (I chose 10 degrees because it’s just enough to demonstrate that your object is being rotated.) Screen Shot of Rotation tab with 10 degrees enter under Per Column number field. Within Rows, columns enter a number of 5 inside the number field on the right-hand side for the number of columns of clones you wish to generate. Entering a number greater than 1 within the left number field, which represents the number of rows you wish to generate, is completely optional. (For the sake of this post, I entered a number of 4.) When you click the Create button, you should see this: Squares rotated with the Create Tiled Clones window using 10 degree turn per column

Randomize:

As mentioned earlier, Randomize will randomly rotate generate clones based on the percentage you enter within the Randomize number field. Select your object to clone. Inside the Rotation tab of the Create Tiled Clones window, enter a number of 10 percent(Or whatever floats your boat.) A screen shot of the Rotate tab with a number of 10 entered inside the Randomize number field. Within the number fields for the Rows, columns enter any numbers greater than 1. (I used 3 x 5 for this example.) Randomize will rotate clones both vertically and horizontally. Click the Create button: Squares rotated in inkscape via the Create Tile Clones window using the Randomize option Keep in mind, that the Randomize feature will not reproduce the same results twice. But it’s fun to play with.

 

Alternate:

Per Row

Now we’ll play with the Alternate check box. With your original object selected, open up the Create Tiled Clones window. (Go into Inkscape’s Menu Bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones…) Under Per Row, enter 15 in the number field and check the Alternate box. A screen shot of rotation tab with alternate under the Per Row tab check. 15 degrees iso entered under Per Row. For this example, in the Rows, columns number boxes I entered 4 x 5. Click the Create button and… Objects rotated by using 15 degrees Per Row and checking the alternate box. Tah-dah! As you can see the squares rotated back and forth vertically by 15 degrees. Next we’ll see what happens when we use Alternate under Per Column.

Per Column

With your original object selected, open up the Create Tiled Clones window. (Go into Inkscape’s Menu Bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones…Under Per Column, enter 15 in the number field and check the Alternate box. A screen shot of Rotate tab with alternate box checked under the per column header. For this example, in the Rows, columns the number of clones I entered was 3 x 5. Click the Create button and… Squares rotated by 15 degrees per column, with alternate checked.

Cumulate:

Per Row

Next up, we’ll see a demonstration of the Cumulate  check box. With your original object selected, open up the Create Tiled Clones window. (Go into Inkscape’s Menu Bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones…) Under Per Row, enter 10 in the number field and check the Cumulate box. Click the Create button and… A screen shot of the Rotate tab within the Create Tiled Clones window. The Cumulate check box under Per Row is selected. For this example, I created a side-by-side comparison of rotating with and without cumulate. As shown above, I used a 10 degree rotation in both sides. As you can tell (on the left-hand side below), the more rows of clones you generate, the more extreme the rotation is. The rotation on the right-hand side is more gradual without Cumulate checked.To the left, a demonstration of using Cumulate with a 10 degree rotation per row, and  to the right, rotating objects without cumulate selected.

Per Column

With your original object selected, open up the Create Tiled Clones window. (Go into Inkscape’s Menu Bar and select Edit > Clone > Create Tiles Clones…Under Per Column, enter 15 in the number field and check the Alternate box. A screen shot of the Rotation tab with 10 degree per column rotation and Cumulate checked. For this example below, I created another side-by-side comparison of rotating with and without cumulate. As shown above, I used a 10 degree rotation, per column. The top set of squares demonstrate how Cumulate creates more extreme rotations with each successive clone. The bottom set of squares, created without Cumulate checked, have more gradual rotations in comparison. A square rotated using a 10 degree rotation per column with and without Cumulate check off.

 

“And Now You Know…”

Sorry I couldn’t come up with a more clever header. But at this point, you should be able to competently spin clones in Inkscape using the Rotation tab. Any mystery should finally vanished. You won’t just be able to rotate and spin squares, you’ll also be able to spin grouped objects. This is much like when we learned to spin paths. The possibilities are as endless as you imagination.