Shlomi Fish’s Art - Back to my Homepage - Inkscape Version

Back to my homepage

About this image

This is a logo not unlike the one used for the film Back to the Future (See the Film’s poster for example, or search Google) - only saying “Back to my Homepage” instead. I also decided to use the cyan-to-blue gradient, instead of the yellow-to-red one, which is used in the original logo, because I felt it was nicer to the eye in this context.

Why the new version?

The previous version of the image which had been created in CorelDRAW version 4 worked well for a while, but later on it was reported that the exported GIF had quite a few artefacts. I ran into problems opening the original .CDR file in a version of CorelDRAW Essentials 1 that I got (and was told it cannot handle .CDRs as old as CorelDRAW 4), and could no longer open it in CorelDRAW 4, which reported a missing font.

Since this was yet another case of why non-open-source software cannot really be trusted and depended on, I eventually decided that it may be easier (and better in the long run) to try to redo my efforts using open source graphics programs such as Inkscape (which is a vector editor) or GIMP (which is a raster editor).

Eventually, most of the new logo was done using Inkscape, while using some scripts and Inkscape extensions to facilitate and automate the job. They can be found in a git repository.

The Design Process

The design followed that of the previous incarnation, only this time done using Inkscape and some scripts and extensions. I would also like to describe the false leads.

Step 1: Creating the Wireframe Base Image

Similar to the old Corel-Draw-based version, I picked up a font that looked the most suitable, in my case the “Impact” font from the Microsoft corefonts, converted the “K” letter to curves and created the arrow based on the “K”. (See back-to-my-homepage.svg).

It looks something like that:

Base wireframe image in Inkscape

Step 2: Bézier Envelope

Shortly after that I needed to apply a Bézier envelope. I found out that the built-in Inkscape envelope effect yielded a deformed effect:

Deformed Inkscape Envelope Effect

So I sought a different approach. I considered my own ad-hoc effect by doing mathematical calculations using a curve and a deformation, but then was referred to Bézier Envelope extension for Inkscape which I was sent by E-mail and placed on my GitHub account, which worked nicely and yielded a good effect.

Step 3: Perspective

After the envelope was done, I wanted to apply a perspective effect. It turned out Inkscape already had an effect for doing that in the core distribution. One thing I discovered was that the points for the envelope had to be specified done in a particular order. Furthermore, this order is incompatible with the default order of the points in a standard drawn rectangle in Inkscape. So the lines of the perspective had to be drawn using the segmented-straight-lines tool with the help of the grid.

Step 4: Automating Using a Script

I decided that I wanted to keep as much of the process as automated as possible, so I can later reproduce the results, or tweak them gradually without the need to run several error-prone commands each time. As a result, I wrapped everything in an Inkscape script written in Python, which produced several intermediate SVG files, while running subsequent scripts on them to produce other files (and doing some other SVG manipulation).