InkScribe is one of the tools of the new DrawScribe plugin and is designed for fast, accurate, and smart creating and editing of Bezier curves on which the entire vector graphics is based. For the past 25 years, the Pen Tool was used for creating these objects, and you would not believe that for all this time it was not essentially modified at all. I think it’s time to introduce a new tool that is able to work more flexibly and quickly. Today we begin a series of articles that will introduce you to new tools of the DrawScribe plugin and their functions.
After downloading and installing the DrawScribe plugin, the icons corresponding to its tools will appear in the toolbox, below the group of VectorScribe tools if previously installed. To open the associated InkScribe panel, go to .
Let’s hand-trace a pencil sketch that was kindly provided by my friend Valentin Sant.
Reduce the opacity of the sketch and proceed to work.
In the InkScribe panel, choose to create a curved segment (“Draw a curved segment”) and smooth for the type of points (“Smooth Point”) as highlighted below. Place the first point — by simply single-clicking or click-dragging if you also wish to control the direction of the first handles — and move the cursor along the outline to the approximate place of the next point.
We can see annotations next to the last created point of the outline. This provides additional close-to-hand control and also informs us about which of the existing drawing modes is now active. Annotations may contain some or all of the functional buttons of the InkScribe panel. Having a nearby control point enables us to save time, as we have not to drag the cursor to, or search for the panel. You can also enable or disable Annotations in the panel of the tool. It is also possible to move the annotations in the process of work and further fine-tune it, but we’ll discuss this a little bit later in other parts of this series.
By moving the cursor, we can see a trajectory that the path will have after the creation of the next point. This function is called “Rubberband” and can be toggled on/off via the InkScribe panel.
After creating a new point, you can control its handles and positioning without using other tools such as the Direct Selection Tool (A) or Convert Anchor Point Tool. In other words InkScribe Tool combines these tools. To edit the path simply move the cursor to the desired location and pull in the right direction.
The InkScribe Tool can edit any point of the created path in the process of its creation.
To create a straight segment, simply choose the “Draw a straight segment” mode and create a straight line.
If, by single-clicking to specify a new curved point, the initial trajectory of the InkScribe path does not suit, then during the creation of a new point simply pull its handles in the right direction and to the desired length. Alternatively, as previously mentioned, you can click-drag to create a new point and drag out its handles in one operation (similar to the Pen Tool).
You can control the curvature of the segment (straight or curved) by dragging it.
Convert a point from corner to smooth — or vice versa — is all achieve by using just one tool.
Quickly being able to create corner points and control them without using keyboard shortcuts is another remarkable feature of the InkScribe Tool. As I said above, to convert the points you can use the corresponding buttons in the panel or annotations. You can get the same result by double-clicking on a point or handle. Having converted a smooth point to corner, it’s possible to pull out a handle in the desired direction independently.
InkScribe Tool combines not only several standard tools for creating and editing the paths, making your job easy and intuitively smart, but also has a number of other very useful features that you will find out about in the following articles of this series.
About the author
My name is Iaroslav Lazunov, I am a graphic designer from Zhytomyr, Ukraine. I am glad that I finally found the job in my life that I can share my knowledge and experiments with you in my tutorials.