Installed Inkscape 1.2.2 - And Its A Keeper!

April 2, 2023


#inkscape #drawing #upgrade #1.2.2 #learningcurve #review #firstuse #firstexperience

Drew this Inkscape beanie wearing drawing chef in Inkscape 1.2.2 today. The new Inkscape is a perfectly solid freehand drawing machine with a Wacom Intuos Pro! 

I've tried the new 1.0+ versions before and had trouble with them. What I did differently today, was completely uninstall the previous version, and also after some research, found where to get rid of all the registery files and appdata files and other things that were screwing with the operation of the new versions. 

After doing that, and restarting, and clean installing I fired up the program, with the understanding that there would be a learning curve, and that I would have to expect to spend time fine tuning the new program to the way I like.

Right away, it drew smoothly, and accurately. I immediately was able to configure a few differences to help the drawing experience:

1.) Calligraphy tool: Wiggle by default calligraphy tool was way too high. The thinning was for whatever reason WAY too low. It started acting like a real brush pen after I fixed those. In this version you can set the units of the line width to mm, px, and several others. By default, previous versions were using px I remembered, so I set it to px to be more inline with what I was used to. I also have to get used to the fact that the mass is set very different in this version. I barely need it above 3 to draw, where in previous versions I used it around 5/6 to sketch and anywhere from 8 to 16 to ink. 

2.) Layers and Objects: My main concern with upgrading to the new version, was the removal of the layers panel 'opacity' ability. For what I do, I need to be able to drop layer opacity back for masks, for light sketches to ink over, etc. I just learned today, after some experimenting, I can grab the layer that all the objects are organized onto, which will control the opacity for all the objects on that layer together. So that will work great. There is a difference in then drawing on that layer, that I will have to get used to. If i set a layer to 38%, then continue drawing on it, it will also set the brush to 38%. Which will draw on the layer at 38% of the 38% ... so yeah I need to figure that out.

3.) Canvas: It took a little doing, but I got a new 'infinite canvas' setup, which I was worried I wouldn't be able to do in the new Inkscape. But am very thrilled still exists. Its one of my favorite things about drawing in Inkscape. I do want to eventually figure out a keyboard shortcut for rotating, just as easy as it zooms and pans. I also want to figure out how to set it to draw with the brush same size no matter how far in our out I am zoomed, if its still an option anywhere. The rulers are reversed from the older version I am used to. So that took a second to notice. The 0 used to start at bottom left, now its at top left. Not a huge deal, but just a difference to get used to. 

4.) Pen Tool: The pen tool is snappy and fluid and works relaly good. My only complain is the handles seem too big, and its way more sensitive than the previous one I'm used to. This might be a wacom pen 'click' setting or tap setting. And the handles can probably be changed somewhere in the preferences.

5.) Crashing: My only complaint when I took the new 1.2.2 for a spin this time, was that it crashed when I was shading it. Not sure exactly what I did, perhaps messing with nodes on pentool shapes I had just made. BUT I have to say... I continue to love Inkscapes auto save/ recovery feature. When it crashes it saves a backup that you can pick up and keep going from. It autosaves as you go as well. Priceless. One of the top 5 reasons I love drawing in Inkscape. 

Conclusion: So... nothing but smiles here finally after several failed attempts to get into the new version over the last year or two. The key was getting rid of fragments of previous versions and also going in with expectations of learning curves and things working differently thatn I might expect. But its not that bad. I'm going to keep it, and keep learning and fine tuning. I will be making some 'shop' videos for my YouTube throughout my experience using it talking about tricks and hacks and settings I found to be helpful and improve the use. But I'm excited for the potential. 

Inkscape is a liberating drawing experience, from its light weight vector platform, to its infinite canvas and many other enjoyable qualities. And I havent even touched on using it for actual vector graphic design. 

Stay tuned for updates on my learning experience with the latest Inkscape, and future versions to come!

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