Orbital Graphics Fun With Inkscape

orbital_blueI like Orbital. I like their graphics. I like playing around with graphics. I like the FOSS vector graphics editor Inkscape. I did a lot of the graphics for The Coiled Spring with it.

I was doodling around with one of the tools in Inkscape, called the Tweak Tool. It has various functions, one of which is Move Jitter. This moves the objects under the brush around by a random amount. Another function of the tool is Duplicate. I realised this could be used to kind-of-but-not-really recreate the cover of Orbital’s 2003 unofficially titled Blue Album.

  1. Set the background color to a near-enough blue.
  2. Set the ink color to a near-enough cyan, and the pen width to about 3px.
  3. Draw an ellipse.
  4. Rotate it to about 130°.
  5. Using the Tweak Tool set to Duplicate, paint over the ellipse. You won’t see it, but the shape will be duplicated, with the duplicates laid on top of the original.
  6. Switch the Tweak Tool to Move Jitter. Paint over the ellipse, and see the duplicates get moved around.
  7. If you need to remove some ellipses, you can select them individually, or switch the Tweak Tool back to Duplicate, hold down shift, and paint to randomly remove ellipses.
  8. Copy the group of jittered ellipses, and paste it nearby.
  9. Select the new group, and rotate it to the next angle you want.
  10. Maybe do some more jittering, duplication or deletion to make this group look different.
  11. Copy the group again, paste it, rotate it to the third angle, and do more tweaking.
  12. Finished.

The results are above. It only took about five minutes, and just shows what you can do when you know what all the tools in your software do. I will be exploring further.