Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Vector Sunburst [Inkscape]

In this tutorial i will show you how to create a sunburst in Inkscape version 0.91.
This effect also goes by the name of sunrays, radial rays or rising sun.

You can click on all images or open them in a new tab, to see in full size.

Im using the default Din-A-4 page size, but in landscape mode (you can change that in the 'Document Properties' (Shift + Ctrl + D).

Before we start, make sure the right snapping modes are enabled.
Go to the 'Snap Bar' at the right side of your Inkscape window and turn the following options on.

We start by creating guides in the middle of our canvas.
For that im creating a rectangle, that exactly fills the page.
Getting the correct size should be easy because snapping to page borders is enabled.

Hit the Space bar to select the rectangle.

Add '/2' to the values in both entry boxes for width and height.

Inkscape does the math for you and you will end with a quarter of your original rectangle.

Next go to 'Object' → 'Object to Guides'.

Now that the canvas is ready, we need to create a triangle.

Create a rectangle: Width 20px and Height ~ 700px and convert it into a path (Shift + Ctrl + C).
Select both nodes at the bottom and add a node.

Delete both outer nodes in your row of three, then select all remaining three nodes and make them lines.

To summarise:

Select your triangle and put the bottom tip on the crossing of both guides. The node should snap to the guides.

With the triangle selected, click the object a second time, so that it enters rotation mode.
Grab the little cross in the middle and drag it to the guides intersection.
It should snap, because 'snap an item's rotation center' is enabled.

With the triangle still selected, go to Edit → Clone → Create Tiled Clones.
(Make sure to reset the tiled clones dialogue before you start typing in values.)

Because our object is vertical, we have only 1 Row, but we want many Columns.
72 seems like a good value and its easy to calculate, too, because 360 degrees (of a circle) divided by 72 (triangles) is 5°.

We want the triangle to rotate around the guide intersection (where we placed the rotation center), thats why we need to exclude the tile in the Shift tab. Make sure these boxes are ticked.

Now if you hit 'Create', and you get this, its an old bug that has been fixed in newer versions.

But in case you wanna know what to do, here is an easy fix for it:
Go to 'Layer' and 'Layers...'
Create a new layer on top and with the triangle selected, move it one layer up by hitting Shift + Page Up.

If we now hit Create, it does exactly what we wanted !

Before this tutorial ends, i want you to show the beauty of tiled clones.

If you select the triangle on top, you can actually see in the status bar, that its a clone and not a path.
But trust me, the path is still there: its under the clone.
Thats why you can delete it (the clone, not the original !!).

With the original triangle selected, switch to the Node Tool, so the nodes appear.
Select the two top nodes, press Shift and hit the 'Greater than' key (its the key next to Shift on my keyboard).
This will make the nodes expand in opposite directions and every clone will follow, so that you can make your sunburst exactly how you want it.