Sunday, March 25, 2012

GIMP + Inkscape combo is awsome tools in graphic designing

For more than 3-4 years I was almost idle in graphic designing. Being a passionate art lover, I had done many personal stuff print based graphic designing. Occasionally I worked for some friends also. Those days I was an ardent fan of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker etc. before getting into the GNU circle of thoughts. When turned into Free and Open Source (FOSS) tools, I gave up such proprietary software for my personal use. Its a painful feeling when giving up something which you liked most, after you realize there was an evil associated with it. Just like you realize that your lover has a wrong relation with someone you hate. It will take a long time to cop up with the situation.
So was I. I did nothing for 3-4 years. I could not even think on working with GIMP / Inkscape / Scribus etc. Finally in the last days of 2011, I decided to do something and started my self-training with Inkscape. The very first project was a family calendar. Since 2006 onwards, I used to design our family calendar with marked up birthdays and wedding anniversaries of my family members. All were designed with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. On 2009 when I stopped using proprietary software, the calendar project also discontinued. And after a long time, now I am doing the same thing with Free and Open Source alternative software. Started the project in the mid December 2011, I had only few days left to print the final output before the new year.
The maximum paper size my printer supports is 308x446 mm (A3 Express). That's why I chose the calendar size 151x146 mm. So that I will get twelve months in both sides of an A3 express sheet. With this size I can easily get 6x8 mm space for the cutting marks.
Fortunately Inkscape has a default script for making the base calendar. In the top menu you can choose it from Extensions > Render > Calendar. So easy, so simple - Thus the main part of the project was done in the first 5 minutes. The next thing is cropping photographs and other images and files. I had already shot some photographs of my little daughter Maria with my Cannon Powershot A3100 IS digital camera. All the images were taken in Black and White mode, because I really like the preset B&W tone in this camera. The photos were cropped in 15.1x5.013. The time-consuming part was marking the birthdays and anniversaries. All of the ingredients ready, I started cooking.
Just before Christmas, I got the final prints and it was so cute. The prints were taken in 300 GSM normal paper with no lamination and then bound with loop wire binding. I took 12 copies. The cost was just Rs. 76/- ($1.5 aprox.) per calendar.
Post script: You may don't believe, within two days I mastered the software - Inkscape. Truly nice and intuitive graphic software I have ever experienced. GIMP also was far more easy than I expected. The entire design experience was so thrilling. It energized me to stay tuned with Free Software. Just watch some of the png files I have done with these GPL licensed free software, and if you are interested, upon request, I am happy to share the editable svg files too.

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : Flap

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : January

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : February

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : March

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : April
I shot the image of Maria which I placed in April calendar, only with a candle light; there were no other ambient light sources. I woke up her in the midnight from the sleep and took the photo. (My mom scolded me enough to do this midnight madness :-) waking up a little kid and shoot her photo in a candle light). Just notice how I removed the candle light from the center area of the image. If you are photoshop user, you would say "Its easy guy", so do I tell you, "in GIMP also its too easy dude"

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : May

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : June

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : July

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : August

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : September

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : October

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : November

Calendar designed with Inkscape and GIMP : December


Shaji T.U said...

Liked it very much! :) You provoked all the Adobians with this post!!

hackingtom said...

Thanks Shaji. Let them be provoked. We, the FOSS fraternity welcome all those adobians including you :-) Welcome to the Free World.

suresh.balasubra said...

Superb Thomas!

hackingtom said...

Thank you Suresh. I am happy that you liked it very much. Because you are one of the earliest persons who inspired me in migrating to Free Software. Thanks a lot.

manu said...


manu said...


hackingtom said...

Thanks Manu, Thanks everybody. I request everybody, to use those nice tools. Its so easy and intuitive.