Bitmap editing in Inkscape

bitmap, edited using Inkscape

This is an attempt of mine to use Inkscape 0.46 for bitmap editing. I got the idea for this sometime last year, and I already posted a few attempts of mine on Flickr. The reason for all of this is, that the handling of the bézier curves in Inkscape is so amazingly intuitive that the idea for using this for bitmap editing came kind of automatically, after I had imported a few bitmaps into Inkscape and tried out different things. (I actually cannot exactly recall when it occured to me that Inkscape has possibilities for bitmap editing, but I guess it was when I trie d to to edit a few of my own photographs and had to realize that the possibilities of the Gimp where somewhat limited for the things I wanted to do.

Here’s just one example of a task that is a bit challenging when trying to use the Gimp:

The problem is that the clone brush doesn’t work so well because the transition between the different brush strokes is not as smooth as it should be. In Inkscape, though, I found a feasible solution for this by using gradients. By superimposing several circular gradients over one another & then fine-tuning the result in Gimp (read: adding some noise and using the clone brush a bit here and there) I was able to get satisfactory results. (At first—before I decided to use Inkscape—I even gave CinePaint a try, but although the brushes in CinePaint are of far better quality than in Gimp, the look of the edited areas was not as smooth as I wanted it to be.)

After trying some basic bitmap editing, I went one step further & used Inkscape for things like additional eyelashes, eye shadow, and lip gloss.

Then, still one step futher, I painted some floral vector pattern on top of the respective bitmap & exported the result as a PNG.

Yesterday I made a new discovery: that it is possible (and comparably easy) to use Inkscape as a vector paint app, similar to the—as to my knowledge discontinued—paint* by discreet; only that the strokes in Inkscape cannot be animated that easily. (Basically it is feasible, though, to animate SVGs by using a language such as JavaScript.)

Image of the Week

Editing: Gimp 2.6.7, Inkscape 0.46. You can find more of those photographs on my Flickr page.

Image of the Week

This is one of my favorites from my own “shop windows” series. I find the facial expression very poetic. Editing: Inkscape 0.46 and Gimp 2.6.7.

“shop windows” no. 15

I edited this one today in Gimp 2.6.

Using Inkscape

photo from my shop windows series w/ vector shapes

This one is actually a premiere, where I included some vector shapes & a kind of floral pattern. Much to my surprise, I really love this and would like to do some more along this line. Vector shapes: Inkscape 0.46; bitmap editing: Gimp 2.6.


Mannequin inside the window of a shop selling expensive designer clothes. I shot this one last Saturday evening in downtown Stuttgart.

“shop windows” no. 09

This is an improved version of one of the photographs from my last series. This one was edited extensively, using Gimp, as usual.