Winner of Juried Arts Competition! ‘Rock-2′ wins award at Norfolk Arts Centre in Simcoe

Hi everyone,
I just thought I would re-blog Laurie-Lynn’s latest blog post as I feel that this event was a very important break-through in her career as an artist. I have always felt that her work would eventually make some “waves” in the art community. Congratulations on your perseverance Laurie-Lynn. The award is further recognition of your amazing talent. Hopefully this will provide the extra inspiration to continue on a path that would leave the art world a little empty if you didn’t share your passion and vision with the world.
I will always support you in your endeavors.

Creative Explorations into the Past

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from left to right: Adam Veri (Barber & Veri Inc.), Deirdre Chisholm (Director/Curator Norfolk Arts Centre) & Artist Laurie-Lynn McGlynn- photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

Friday June 29, 2012 marked the long anticipated reception and grand opening of the Arts Country Juried Exhibition. This show represents the work of artists from 5 counties in Southwestern Ontario, and is held at the Norfolk Arts Centre in Simcoe Ontario. Click here for a map of the gallery:

http://goo.gl/maps/KCVr

The exhibition runs from June 29-August 30, 2012. Along with offering an official welcome to the public, last Friday’s reception provided the forum from which the winners of the juried art competition were officially announced. Three winners were chosen from a talented pool of artists from Brant, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk and Oxford Counties. I am happy to announce that my painting ‘Rock 2’ was selected for an award and cash prize which…

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Emergency Stop on Dundas Street!

Wow, what a final class we had last Wednesday afternoon when everyone from the class presented their final projects. It was very clear that many of the projects were unfinished and as Bill Turkel promised us at the beginning of term, “you will fail and that’s ok. Its part of the learning process.” He was right and the sooner that we came to terms with this idea the quicker the learning experience became one of discovery, imagination and investigative learning and not one of frustration and self-condemnation. The philosophy of not actually achieving a final completed project is over shadowed by the quantity and quality of learning new stuff while on the road to what in the end turned out to be not failure but a sense of accomplishment especially when your class mates tell you how cool your project is!!

Before I get into the finality of cycling through Dundas Street in 1926, I would like to point you in the direction of my classmates so you can take the justified amount of time to view their progress on their projects. This sounds like a cop-out from me but I don’t think I could give their projects the time or description eloquently enough to really convey the true genius behind their ideas. Below therefore is a list of each of my classmates blogs and a brief description of their project. Just a note, Matt Ogglesby’s blog has a collection of pictures that he took of all the projects and as he helped me in my quest of taming Google Earth with an XBOX 360 controller I’ll start with him!

Matt Ogglesby and Dave Sikkema created an interactive time-line based on The HMS Glatton by combining a Kinect receiver and a Simile Timeline in Google maps.

Mohammed and Antonio de-constructed a cute white plastic duck and recreated a flapping, quacking, possessed duck with red eyes that responds to certain commands from Twitter. Do not leave this switched on at night!!

Adriana and Lindsay went back to Alberta and created a travelling suitcase that uses RFID tags placed in passports to show and explain some of the immigrant groups to Alberta. At least they made the connection to Scotland with the tartan surround!!

Sushima and Laura stayed close to my childhood with a Lego “History Squares” where you answered historical questions on the computer and if you answered correctly you place a Lego figure in a game of noughts and crosses. Their prototype was based on Henry VIII.

Shaun and Catherine built a very good model of the White House that was linked to a “Democratic Donkey” (you have to see the photos to get this one!) which when depressed gave you a tour of the rooms in the White House. Good seeing you in the pub this past weekend!!

Cynthia built a spectacular “peepshow” based on the opening of the Crystal Palace at the “height” of the British Empire”. Her interactive display coincided with a sound byte that narrated some of the opening speeches and focuses on the printing press.

Adrian introduced us to the history of Prime Ministers of Canada by scanning Canadian paper money over a light sensor. Once initiated the computer produces a slide show on the relevant Prime Minister on the note. Funny how politics and money go together!!

My GIS classmate Heather introduced us to the magic of a baseball home run with her “homerun helmet”. A movement sensor is attached to the front of the helmet which sends a signal to an Arduino at the back. After hitting a home run the computer plays one of four audio tracks based on a “historic” home run.

Hilary produced a very imaginative and funny comic book sketch where a plagiarizing octopus was stealing all the knowledge from the library. In trying to protect citations a Ninja defeats the octopus with footnotes!! Undergrads beware!!

Ok, we are nearly there. Javier and Roberto were ingenious with their algorithmic based interactive pressure sensitive paintings that recognized facial features by touching their screen. What was interesting about this was that the images that they used to create facial features were based on icons.

Sarah completed a couple of projects which included a penguin that vibrates when it points South…. and a reconstruction on a Van Gogh painting with blinking lights. Unfortunately due to the location of our class room, her GPS project was proving difficult  maintaining a satellite connection.

Well enough said of my classmates projects and I am pretty sure you have given them all the justice they deserve. I only wish I had remembered to bring in my camera so that I could have posted some cool photos. Ah well, I’m getting old and forgetful!! So, what was I saying?

Ah yes, my last blog detailed the difficulty I was having in deciding which medium to use to convey my project. I finally decided on SketchUp, my trusty 3-D program, to make a video of what I was trying to achieve. Luckily I had the images from the archives of London for the relative time period. However I forgot how clunky SketchUp can be at producing high quality graphics for a large walk through. Ah well pixel count isn’t everything. I must admit that finally admitting defeat at 11pm on Tuesday night was a welcome relief. I drew out a couple of scenarios for each image and even found an arduino in the model files. Wow.

Having set up a wall for each photo I wanted to look at it, and then placing each photo to the right scale on the screen, I created a series of camera setup spots with which to take the images. After three films in .avi and lots of jiggery pockery I managed to finish the video below which you can view on YouTube. So now from the safety of your home you can travel down Dundas Street in 1926 without getting run over by a tram, horse, car or worrying about an emergency stop for a pedestrian. All from the comfort of home……. I hope you enjoy. What a great class!! Google eat your heart out!!

 

The problem with biting off more than you can chew.

So here we are, it is Monday night and I have no idea what I am going to present to the class on Wednesday afternoon for my interactive exhibit design. Although I had a migraine last week that held on for three days, my project was officially doomed on Friday morning when I had my GIS class meeting with Heather and Don. As this term has been fraught with interruptions and events that were beyond everyones control, especially with this class, we had to change the layout of our expectations as far as finalizing London in 1926 through Google Earth was just not going to happen. There is just not enough time to learn how to use  Google KML language and Citybuilder within the Google landscape and geo-rectifying those photographs is something that needed to be completed over a month ago. But such is life in the academic world.

In saying that we are going to be doing something that is still going to be really cool and will still be presented to the internet world. Instead of re-creating a 3-D street view based on 1926 Dundas Street, we are going to use GIS online to present our findings and create a website that allows you to toggle back and forth between London today and London in 1926. This is still going to be a cool project as all of the work that we are putting into our spreadsheets will finally pay off with multiple information tags and photos on various buildings on Dundas Street providing a complete analysis of the changes from then to now. The change will also be emphasized through Fire Insurance Plans of London which will help to solidify the information that we have collated. Below is one of the plans we will be using:

However, it does not help my Interactive Exhibit design as probably the most important part of the idea here was to be able to cycle through Google Earth in 1926 down Dundas Street!! Now that this is unobtainable I am at a loss for how to finish things off. The other major player here is manipulating and hacking these bloomin’ game controllers so that they work in Google Earth. Now this is something that can be achieved before Wednesday, but it seems like such a small part of the project! Being able to connect an arduino and a motor to the rear wheel of my bike and then use processing to transmit the information regarding speed to Google Earth is also a non starter as there is no historical street to cycle through. However it may be possible to program it to cycle through Google Earth today!! There may yet be a small silver lining to biting off more than you can chew!!

I have been inspired by Google’s Project Glass however and I may have a way of throwing some sort of presentation together that would give an idea of what could be achieved rather than what was completed. At least my 3-D cannon was finally finished!! It’s a shame that I didn’t think of creating something with that for my digital exhibit, but shooting things out of a cannon is just a bit…. …… silly!! So, stay posted and I’ll see what silver lining I can produce from all of that imagination I tried to swallow!!

1812 six pound cannon in 3-D circa 2012….

I hope everyone managed to have a good Easter weekend and managed to consume some chocolate on this most holy of Christian weekends. Now  to the reason behind this blog as promised in my continuation of model building in SketchUp. I have completed the six-pounder as used by the British forces in the War of 1812. Finally, something that has worked for me and that I have finished this term!! In my last blog on SketchUp I outlined the process I had gone through so far to create the various components of a six pound field gun. They were far from complete but at least the basics were there. I was one image short in working out the correct distance between wheels and the sizes of the various plates surrounding the axle at the junction to the wheels. I also had part of one wheel created with one spoke, so lets start there. You may have to use your imagination from here on in as the model is created and I was silly enough to keep working on it without documenting the changes…., however the process is the same as before in most cases and the result as you will see is one I am certainly proud of.

Creating the rest of the spokes was relatively easy. Having made a component of one I copied and pasted it into the model, rotating the spoke each time until I had half of the wheel created. I then made a group of the seven spokes, copied this and then pasted it and rotated it in the model, and hey presto a wheel. The depth was as simple as using the push-pull tool to create a two-inch thick wheel. After adding a touch of colour, and extending the central hub out another inch:

I then imported in the following image:which gave me the correct width and style of axle, hubs and connection wheels between the axle and wheel. I traced around the outer hub, inner hub and spindle and then used the follow me tool around a circle to create the axle components. I then moved and rotated the axle that I had already drawn and linked it to the hubs. It took a bit of maneuvering but it was finally in place. I then brought over the gun supports and joined them to the axle. The two wheels came next making sure that everything was grouped together to prevent any warping and dragging of other components. I then finished off the two cannon supports with a couple of circles and laid the cannon on top of the supports to get the following:

As you can see I added materials and texture to the entire model. But it would be too easy and boring to just leave the model sitting like this. I had to place it in some kind of context. So I made a base to sit the cannon on, imported some trees from the SketchUp website and even found a model of a British Redcoat!!! Once I had played around with the positioning of the trees and soldier, I needed a background. SketchUp has this great tool through Google Earth that you can use to take a picture of a background and use that as your setting. You can also place your model in Google Earth to locate it in the world. However finding a setting that reflects the River Thames as it looked in 1812 is impossible, so I had to improvise. After manipulating an image of the Thames close to where the Battle of the Thames occurred in 1812, I was ready for the final image. I have 10 jpegs for you to look through, I think the effect turned out rather nice!

All I have to do now is check with Bill Turkel and see if it is possible to print this in 3-D and work out what I am going to do for Wednesday afternoon’s presentation. The reason for this dilemma you will read about next.

SketchUp, the 3-D program that sucks you in, and changes your perception of 3-D design.

Ok, so I know the title of this blog may be slightly off-putting, but those of you out there who have played around with SketchUp and its many capabilities will understand (I hope) the meaning behind the title. I am fortunate enough to have discovered SketchUp in its early days before being purchased by Google, and although there have been many additions (mostly positive) to the software platform that have been built around Google Earth accessibility, the basics and fundamentals of the original program have remained intact (thankfully). The reason for this blog is to provide a small escape from my trials and tribulations of my digital exhibit which is proving more and more to be the bain of my existence………not due to the course that I am taking but to the complexity of the project that I know is possible but as yet I know will be unattainable at this moment in time. Such is life!!

The reason for this blog is that I have been working on a little project that pertains somewhat to the War of 1812, and one that I had hoped would be completed today!! The reason for the urgency is that I would have liked to have used the MakerBot that some of the class built during the term to print my model. I did have a small hand in the building of this 3-D printer called the “Thing-O-Matic”. I can only take a little credit for this as all I contributed was a little soldering action on the emergency stop board. Credit for the majority of the build must go to others in my class, such as Adriana, Dave, Lindsay, Sushima, Sarah S, Matt, Devon, to name a few.

The “Thing-O-Matic” 3-D Printer…

So, what is the model of I hear you ask. Well I have tried to replicate a 6-pounder field gun as close as possible to the one that General Procter dragged with him on his retreat up the River Thames during the War of 1812. Initially I thought that this would be a great idea. I know SketchUp pretty well, although have not used it for a couple of years, and there has to be documentation and drawings with dimensions for a 6-pounder field gun. After all it was one of the most popular artillery weapons of the day!! Well funnily enough, the drawings that I expected to find were non-existent, or you were required to send $20 for a re-worked set that someone had photographed from the Smithsonian, I ask you !!

Fortunately Google SketchUp allows you to import images and scale then up or down depending on what you are trying to model. So I found the following images:

By inserting just two of images and knowing the bore length and diameter of the bore I was able to scale the images to what appeared to be the right size.

The image above provides a good example of how the 6-pounder changed over time and in fact the final column shows how long the 6-pounder in its last form survived and was used extensively in the American Civil War. This explains the reason why it was so hard to find images of an English 6-pounder from 1812 as there are many replica sites for reproductions of the more modern post 1841 American Civil War filed gun. After importing the images that I wanted to use and scaled them to the correct size I had the following in SketchUp:

Having lined the drawings up, I then proceeded to trace around one half of the cannon using the straight line and arc tools in combination. I then selected all of the lines and made a component of them. I then arranged the model so that I was looking at the front of the cannon and drew a circle that was 3.7″ in diameter, the correct size of the bore with which the shot travelled out when fired. By using the “follow me” tool I selected the component that I had created of one half of the cannon and then extruded that around the circle of the bore hole creating the following:

I then turned my attention to the wheels. Again setting a circle on the outer rim of the wooden wheel and then offsetting it the desired amount through the measuring tool and then arraying lines that represented the spokes I roughed up an initial idea of what the wheel looked like. I then extruded a circle around one of the lines to form a spoke, like so:

After making a component of the wheel I could move it out of the way and start on the carriage of the gun. Again, by tracing over the original drawing I could fairly easily make the arms of the carriage and its flanking mounts that held the actual cannon itself. I also drew out the main axle that connected the wheels and ended up with the following:

So now I have all of my pieces laid out. The next stage is to finish the spokes on the wheel. Copy that as a component and then “stand” up the wheels. As the English 6-pounder only had one connecting spar to pull the gun, all that I have to do there is know the depth of wood used and pull the drawing up to the correct height. The same principle applies to the axle. By creating individual components I can freely move each one around without fear of dragging other elements around. I will need to import the following image to know how wide the axle was:

So, that is the plan. Currently in 3-D the 6-pounder looks like this:

The question still remains as to whether I will be able to print this with the MakerBot or not. Unfortunately my progress was slowed somewhat today as I have come down with a virus that gave me one hell of a migraine that got progressively worse as the day went on and forced me to rest with extra strength Advil. That was at 2pm this afternoon and now 10 hours later and four more extra strength Advil I am still suffering. So hopefully I can finish this tomorrow and export it to the programming language of MakerBot. If not then at least I managed to finish something this term!!

Project Glass…… Google points to virtual reality glasses…..WHAT???? Virtual Reality glasses….where have I read that before????

Yes, you did read the title correctly. Damn, I knew I should have called Google at the start of term!!! Yes, you have read this correctly, Google have brought out a project that involves virtual reality glasses or as they have been touted “augmented reality glasses”. Google has called this new idea Project Glass…. sound familiar!!! According to BBC news the glasses will allow you to get access to your social network on Google +, take pictures, view google maps, video chat, voice”text”, play music, and the list goes on. It seems to combine a small video display with the lenses of the glasses that will not obscure your vision! They even have a small video on YouTube, of course:

When you sit and really think about how close to reality this is, it makes you wonder just how long a computer is going to exist as the major function of our lives. If through development these glasses will allow you to dictate an email, documents, piece together slide shows and then upload them to a server, then you have a world that can be seamlessly documented and accessed no matter where you are or what you are doing. In the world of heritage designation, architecture, landscape design, interior design and tourism the possibilities are endless. All they need now is to allow Google SketchUp to draw through voice commands allowing urban planners and architects the ability to sketch new ideas, buildings, street scapes whatever and then visualize them in situ through Google street-scape, allowing the client a real world experience before the building is even completed.

As for built heritage, well, being able to see how a street looked in the past, and will look in the future when the building has changed, been demolished, renovated or allowed to deteriorate could create a better understanding of the regeneration or rejuvenation of the city and urban sphere and how society could re-act to those changes. It could also allow historic tours on the fly if the information is built within a historic street-scape on Google Earth. Imagine walking or cycling down the street and being able to view how that street looked in say 1926……. interesting idea…… and one I feel I have heard before, somewhere!!

I wonder if they will work out that producing historic street-scapes in Google Earth is also a great idea to complement their traditional street view. Hmmm, sounds like a proposition should be made here to Google, if only I could finish off Dundas Street in 1926, then I may just have that chance……oh, sorry, I was drifting off into dream world there!!! Or a “Reality” world….

Cycling through the sludge of technology

Ok so in my last post, my daughter Hannah and I had managed to get an X BOX 360 game controller to work in the PC world and we had some success in accessing Google Earth and flying over the mountains of the Alps. It is now March 28th and a couple of things have changed.

Hannah, Laurie-Lynn and Rhiannon before the fateful day!!

Having had the pleasure of my youngest daughter (Rhiannon) here for two weeks of March Break which completed our little family unit of four here in London, Laurie-Lynn and I are back to the two of us.

Yes, they are spinning around in the middle of a road next to two small lakes!!

Yes both Hannah and Rhiannon have returned to Kaslo and the house has fallen into a rather eerie silence. Even Seamus the Border Collie is going through withdrawal symptoms!!

“What do you mean they have gone!”

To make matters worse, while I try to take my mind off the lack of children’s voices and the rumble of a skateboard outside, when I plugged in my HP Notebook to the big screen and then expected the game controller to work, IT DIDN’T !!! How frustrating…. What was I doing wrong. I had re-run JoyToKey, but after programming it and finally having access to the entire window and options, nothing happened. OK, so I un-installed everything, did a registry cleanup, re-installed the program, and still nothing. Maybe I dreamed the success from the week before!!

The Microsoft driver website

OK, Microsoft must have a driver for one of these controllers. Sure enough there it was. Downloaded, restarted, re-plugged  in the game controller, ran JoyToKey, nothing. OK, what about the game controllers drivers, they must have something. NYKO, nope. MadCatz, nope. OK, internet. MotionInJoy, was one program that received a consistently good review. Downloaded, installed, plugged in the game controller, opened program, no recognition of game controller. OK, back to the internet. You Tube. There must be something there. Well, there was, but there are also some strange people posting videos on You Tube that have to do with using your X BOX game controller in Windows!! The consensus was a program called XPadder, where you can use the picture of your game controller to work out how to program the various buttons, joysticks and triggers.

It says it can do all of this!!

Now I’m getting somewhere, and so was the day!! I had just spent four hours working out which controller program to use!! Hopefully in my next post, I’ll have some good news and travelling through Google Earth in street view will be a bit easier!! Just on a note to end this little shpiel…. isn’t it funny how sometimes the music that you are listening to, although having no bearing on your project or what you are doing, can relate to the very thing you are doing!! For example in going through these issues with my computer and wondering about the relationship between human and machine, I was listening to a song by Kid Canaveral (from Scotland) about a relationship between two people breaking down and going and getting drunk in the pub………….. I think I need a drink!!!!!

One byte gear forward, one gigabyte gear backwards !

It has become blatantly apparent that our imaginations always help us to think of great things, to push our concepts of the reality to the limits and to promote a sense of greatness in our conquest of the often unattainable. That is why I love my imagination, I can achieve great things every time, without reality and technology getting in the way. Take my project for Digital History for example. I had these great visions of cycling through a street scape in 3-D looking at London in 1926!! I could even envisage turning the peddles of my bike, checking out the Victorian Home For Incurables before it became the Palace Theater in 1929. I could see my laptop connected to a projector showing this street on a large screen while a motor measured my speed while I cycled through Google Earth. No virtual reality glasses required!!

I am not saying here that this is an impossibility, and quite frankly, I do believe that it would be a great way of keeping fit at the same time as learning about a city that you may never visit, but could still travel through during a certain time period, visiting the highlights and low lights of the evolving city and its people. However I do not have the time available to me before the end of the course in which to complete this, and I have to face this fact sooner rather than later.

But to the first part of how to initiate the functionality of my idea. How to make an X BOX game controller work in Google Earth without any functionality issues. This may seem like a simple project to achieve, especially as Google Earth has a joystick capability function in its menu. But programming the game controller to act as a keyboard is somewhat another proposition all together. Having searched the internet, there are many YouTube videos that explain how easy this is…….or so I thought.

On Wednesday March 21st, Hannah, my eldest daughter came to class with me.

Hannah wearing her Doc Martins and carrying a very big stick!!

She has lived with Laurie-Lynn (my wifie) and I for about two years now, but has decided to return to Kaslo in BC to spend the rest of her school term with her mum and her sister.

Rhiannon trying not to laugh at her sister carrying a very big stick!!

So this was the last chance she will have of attending one of my classes. Fortunately, Bill Turkel was open to the idea and so when we arrived in class we got straight to the task at hand.

So being the keen student that I am I rushed out to Best Buy and purchased two, yes two, game controllers. Well you have to be prepared in case one just refuses to work!! After unpacking everything in class we got to work setting everything up. To our surprise, when we plugged in the NYKO controller, we had success. However when we plugged in the MadCatz controller we had nothing, so we went back to the NYKO!

The NYKO controller on the left and MadCatz controller on the right

We could manipulate the mouse on the screen through the joysticks but had no other options. Fortunately Matt Ogglesby pointed us in the direction of a program called JoyToKey, which effectively allows you to program the keys and buttons on the controller. We also opened up Google Earth and in the preferences menu changed the operations over to joystick. There was also a cool flight simulator in Google Earth that we played around with to get used to the controls. But would it work in “street view”. Much to our dismay, it did not. The problem was allocating the correct keys from the keyboard to the game controller that would allow us to double click, right click, zoom in and out and access the street view. We tried to change things over in JoyToKey but my HP Notepad, much to my annoyance, lost the upper and lower sections of the window that we needed to adjust the settings due to screen resolution.

That was going to be easy to fix, I thought to myself, as we have a large flatscreen at home and I can simply plug in my Notebook and have the full screen right there. The main objective this week was to get the game controller to work….. so far so good as adapting the buttons later would be a piece of cake!!

Lost in the midst of time technology

To return to the micro-technology stratosphere of blogging about my interactive exhibit, I believe that a few updates are required on this project!! A few I hear you say, how about …. where are you in this??? Well you are about to find out. However, just to set the record straight, I have indeed been working on this project but as it is combined with other course work and due to family commitments and a strange aversion to sitting at my computer, the information download has not been clear.

So, just as a re-introduction to the project, my previous blog “Cycling through history…” lays the foundations for what the project entails in a perfect world with, lots of funding, a great programming suite and the ability to work with virtual reality glasses. Yes, I know, everyone thought that being a student at UWO and having the possibility to take a course like this one, would allow me to get access to unlimited funds and virtual reality. But I’m sorry to burst your bubble and although some students at UWO would have access to these capabilities, I on the other hand am struggling to make a PS3 game controller work with Windows XP!!! But that is another story!!

So the idea was to take my bike:

A Bike Stand:

A PS3 game controller:

A computer:

An Arduino and a motor:

Google Earth:

and a GIS course in which I created a historical street scape of Dundas Street, London Ontario ( I have to be specific here) from 1926 with Heather.

So the basic idea was to throw all of these things up in the air and they would all land together in perfect working order to produce the following:

The ability to cycle through a historic street scape in Google Earth without ever leaving your home. I had also wondered about supplying the option to access specific building information through a special button on the game controller so that you could read up on who lived and worked there, who designed the building, who built it(if possible) and how important was that building to the development of the street. This option seemed perfectly feasible as I have that specific information for my GIS course. This all seems relatively straightforward and you may think quite an easy project to achieve. Well you would not be wrong in thinking that, just as I was….. but I may have bitten off a huge chunk of something that is bigger than I can bite and certainly will have problems chewing and digesting. I apologise for the food analogy but I am getting hungry…… So how to tackle this exhibit and where to start? I am beginning to feel a bit like I’m in a Calvin and Hobbes math problem:

Inkscape or “wow, did I really draw that?”

In the words of Monty Python, ” and now for something completely different”. The next stage of our learning curve in programming in interactive exhibit design took a slightly different route. This involved a program called Inkscape. On first glance, this program looks very similar to some of the drawing programs that I have come across during my architectural career, only better. Instead of looking at a raster image where pixels are static, Inkscape uses Scalable Vector Graphics that allow you to manipulate, move, shade and rotate images that you have drawn. Due to the mathematical component of vector graphics, images do not take on the typical characteristics of pixel size restrictions as in raster images, and so do not lose quality or definition when enlarged or reduced in size. This also creates a smaller file size, which we all know is far easier to control. What I find most intriguing about this program is that it is a thinned down, 2-D version of SketchUp combined with Adobe Photoshop.

Once again, Inkscape is only as limited as your imagination, and your understanding of the many “tools” at your disposal. I have used Adobe Photoshop on a regular basis and the similarities between the various effects that can be created is more than apparent. Drawing with Inkscape is as simple as choosing a shape and then placing it where you want it to be. You can overlap, cut, move, colour, layer and stretch any shape you produce. There is one tool however that takes a bit of getting used to and that is the bezier tool. This crafty little piece of drawing technology helps you too make any curve, curved shape or combination of those two. But in order to understand just how to use this in inkscape does take a little more practice than you would expect.

There are many tutorials on the inkscape website to follow which do give a great step by step account of just what to do and how to achieve the effects you want. I followed the coffee cup tutorial and tweaked it slightly as I prefer a slightly larger cup of coffee than the one depicted. Here is the result:

Time to move onto the next little project in SketchUp. A program that I am familiar with and have already used to create my historical timeline. Stay posted!!