Friday, 15 March 2013

inkscape snowflake tutorial

A few months ago I created a snowflake design for a contest on spoonflower. I had lots of fun making the snowflakes with inkscape. Here's a tutorial for how to do it. Three important shortcuts: Ctrl+L simplifies the path, Ctrl+D duplicates a selected object, Ctrl+G groups selected objects.

1. draw a six-sided polygon with the "create stars and polygons" tool.
2. draw three lines and group them, this will be a guide for making the snowflake. (you can delete the polygon now if you want)
3. with the pencil tool draw a shape, any shape works! experiment with the effect of different shapes.

4. the shape will be quite rough, so clean up the lines by clicking Ctrl+L a number of times until the line is smooth.
5. duplicate (Ctrl+D) and mirror the object (V and H for vertical and horizontal mirroring), using the lines as a guide.
6. group (Ctrl+G) the two objects.

7. duplicate this object, mirror again,
8. and place it opposite, again using the lines as a guide.
9. now fill the shape with colour and delete the black outline. Group again

10. now comes the fun bit: duplicate and rotate (it should rotate around the centre, so no need to move it). Do this twice, using the lines as a guide. Delete the guide lines and your snowflake is done!
11. you can play around with opacity to get different effects.

You can use the same shape starting out in a different position to make another snowflake, or draw another shape. Try different levels of opacity and different sizes and colours. This is what I came up with, a repeating pattern for printing on cloth:

ps. here's a similar tutorial that inspired me by Byteweiser

Update: This pattern is now available for sale on gift wrap, wallpaper and fabric in my shop!

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