I’ve been making some vector icons for a client and one of them involved a slide carousel… not exactly something easy to draw in SVG! However, I took a quick shortcut through 3D which I’m now going to share with you. Take a look:
- I started by modeling a simple slide carousel in Blender, which took only a few minutes. I only needed the shapes, not the lighting, so I rendered it with some shadeless materials, thusly:
- I then used Illustrator’s auto-tracing function to get the shapes from the render. Since the source image was very high-contrast, the tracer did a great job for once. At this stage I also drew in many of the simpler shapes, primarily circles.
- Finally, I imported the Illustrator file into Inkscape to apply gradient fills, because Illustrator’s gradient tools are a leading cause of brain cancer in graphic designers. (It’s true!) The slide dividers benefit nicely from some clever banded circular gradients, to give this final result:
Not bad! Had I tried to draw this from scratch in Illustrator, I’d probably still be working… instead it took less than half an hour, and is about as photoreal as vector graphics can be.
I just set up something really convenient for myself and I have to share it, though it’s somewhat outside of the normal scope of this blog. I use a laptop that’s normally connected to a full-size monitor, so I often have to switch between two different monitor configurations–kind of a hassle. But not anymore, because now I can switch using hotkeys. Here’s how it’s done:
- Get the monitor config tool “ArandR” ($ sudo apt-get install arandr)
- Use it to create and save two monitor configurations, one for the laptop and one for the main screen. These configuration files are actually shell scripts.
- Run gconf-editor and navigate to apps/metacity/keybinding_commands. Set the values of two commands to the paths to your shell scripts. (i.e., /path/to/script.sh)
- In apps/metacity/global_keybindings, set the hotkey combination for the commands you just set.
- Enjoy easy monitor configuration!
Thanks to this tutorial for showing how to set the hotkeys. Note that this uses Metacity, so it will not work if running other window managers, such as Compiz.