Inkscape Video Tutorial 4

Inkscape Path EffectsIn this part of my Inkscape Video Tutorial I cover most everything about the Bezier tool, Node tool and Inkscape Path Effects. I also cover how to fix the common lxml wrapper for libxml2 is required OS X error.

I cover the different types of nodes and paths and how to work with them. I cover every Inkscape Path Effect : Pattern Along Path, Stitch Sub Paths, Bend, Construct grid, Gears, Hatches, Interpolate Sub Paths, Knot, Ruler, Sketch, Spiro Spline, VonKoch and provide examples for each.

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Transcript of the Video

g. Combine : Ctrl + K

h. Break Apart : Shift + Ctrl + K

i. Simplify : Ctrl + l : Eliminates nodes on a path, smooths the curves and eliminates points (Mainly used for artistic rather then technical drawings)

I. If you press Ctrl + l quickly the force used to simplify will increase.

II. You can also set how strong simplify is in Inkscape Preferences -> Misc. A setting above .01 will almost definitely be to high.

j. Inset : Ctrl + 9 : Shrinks the path (Create Duplicates to test )

k. Outset : Ctrl + 0 : Enlarges the path

44. The Node Tool

a. The node tool is used to edit points and the curves of paths

b. Clicking selects one object

c. Shift Clicking : Adds to the already selected objects

d. Alt Clicking : Selects the next object down

e. Clicking on a node selects it

f. Clicking between 2 nodes selects both of them

g. Tab : cycles through the nodes of the selected object

h. Ctrl + a : Selects all nodes in the selected path

i. ! : Selects the opposite nodes from what is selected

j. Delete a node with Delete (Delete Node Icon)

k. Add a node by double clicking (Add Node Icon)

l. You can also select two nodes and (Add Node Icon)

m. Shift + J : Moves 2 selected nodes into one

n. (Join Nodes with Line Segment Icon) : Draws a line segment between selected nodes

o. (Shift + B) There are buttons for breaking apart at nodes as well

p. Chart

q. Sometimes it is easiest to move a curve by grabbing the curve itself instead of nodes.


I. Ctrl + Handle : Rotates in 15 degree increments

II. Shift + Handle : Handles rotate at the same angle

III. Option + Handle : Lock length of handle

IV. [ & ] : Rotate the node

V. < & > : Shrink the length of the handles

VI. Ctrl + Click Handle : To retract it

VII. Shift + Drag From Node : To drag out a handle

VIII. Ctrl + Drag node : Restricts dragging vertically and horizontally

IX. NO Shift + Dragging Node : Duplicates the path

X. Selected Nodes can be aligned with Align and Distribute Node Section

XI. Create Text : Path -> Object to Path : Drag Nodes + Alt : Node Sculpting smoothly bends the nodes

XII. Create Line : Select nodes : Hit Add Nodes : Option + Drag to make bell shape

XIII. h : Flips the line horizontally

XIV. v : Flips the line vertically

XV. [ & ] : Rotate all selected nodes

XVI. < & > : Scale all selected nodes

XVII. Drag a copy by dragging and hitting SPACE to drop a copy


a. Path effects don’t apply to text, clones or bitmaps. Work with paths & shapes

b. Path -> Path Effect Editor

c. The Effect List lists all the effects applied

d. To copy a path effect to another object, select the object to copy from Ctrl + C select the target and Ctrl + 7

e. To remove a Path Effect use Remove Path Effect in Path Menu

f. Fix the lxml wrapper for libxml2 error on Mac :


i. Takes a path or pattern and stretches it across another path

ii. Draw the path to place the pattern on

iii. Draw the pattern to paste and Path -> Object to Path

iv. Select the path to past on

v. In Path Effect Editor select Pattern Along Path and Add

vi. Click Paste Path

vii. You can change Pattern Copies to create many different designs


i. This effect draws stroke paths between 2 paths

ii. Draw to paths -> Ctrl + K (Combine)

iii. Paste on other paths after adding the Stitch Sub Path effect

iv. Draw a Hexagon -> Path -> Object to Path

v. Select each node and Break Path at Selected Node

vi. Apply Stitch Sub Paths

vii. Do the same with a circle


i. Takes a path and allows you to bend it along a control path

ii. Draw a long ellipse -> Path -> Object to Path

iii. Path Effect Editor -> Bend

iv. Click Edit on Canvas button

v. Add points to the control path and bend the control path


i. Draw a path with 3 points

ii. Path Effect Editor -> Construct Grid


i. Take the grid I created and deform it


i. Draws a series of gears across a path


i. Fills a path with a squiggly line

ii. The nodes inside the hatches make it easy to manipulate the look


i. Creates additional paths between 2 other paths

ii. Draw 2 paths -> Ctrl – K

iii. interpolate Sub Paths


i. Tries to make it look like 1 path is on top of another where they cross

ii. This effect crashes Inkscape for me all of the time.


i. Turns a path into a ruler

ii. You define the Unit, Distance between ticks, Length between major and minor ticks and more


i. Simulates sketching across a path

ii. Strokes follow the curve of the path

iii. Construction lines are tangent to the path

iv. By increasing Tremble you can distort the lines


i. Smooths out a path (Use Pencil Tool)


i. Generates fractals

4 Responses to “Inkscape Video Tutorial 4”

  1. Brody F. says:

    Derek, Thanks for all of the wonderful tutorials. I love them. Your pacing is excellent. I’ve been waiting for and looking forward to this one in particular. I do have one question though. When distributing a pattern along a path, is there a way to simply make duplicates of an object that are not in any way deformed and to choose the number and spacing of those objects?

    • Derek Banas says:

      Hi Brody, You are very welcome 🙂 I’m glad you are finding them useful.

      You can get the effect you want, but not with Pattern Along Path.

      1. Draw your bezier path
      2. Draw the shape you want on the path and convert to path
      3. Select both
      4. Extensions -> Generate From Path -> Scatter

      I hope that helps. I’ll cover it in the next tutorial.

      • Brody F. says:

        That works beautifully. Thanks again!

        p.s. I made your leek soup for my family last week and it was a big hit. I even use it as baby food.

        • Derek Banas says:

          I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the leek soup. We are probably the only people in the world eating it. I got my baby through a constipation issue with it once. There is a healthy cure for everything 🙂

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