Inkscape 0.46 Released !

The sources were already available at SourceForge.net for two weeks but now it is official: version 0.46 of Inkscape has been released.

Although the version “jump” from 0.45 to 0.46 might suggest a minor update, it is in fact a leap forward. There are way too many new features to mention here. To wet your appetite I just name native PDF support and colour management.

Check out the release notes to see a comprehensive list.

EDIT BY ROLF: I copied the following comment from Serge below in the thread to here.

This is not an exhaustive account but rather a personal summary of the highlights of Inkscape 0.46.

- Editing of gradients has become much user friendlier now. They can be edited on canvas and by simply dragging and dropping a colour on or between its nodes you can now very easily define a gradient.
- Inkscape has now implemented a bunch of SVG filters, e.g. displacement mapping or specular lighting. Using them is not straight forward at first instance but it provides a powerful way of concatenating basic filters to define a new filter. It reminds in a way of Blender’s node editor. As one may expect, all these filters are non-destructive.
- Inkscape offers the possibility to use paths as a deforming object: the child object will be deformed according to this path. Here I encountered buggy behaviour when editing the paths: the handles of nodes move easily in random and extreme ways.
- You can use colour profiles and do soft proofing. There is no working space however which seems odd to me. Maybe I missed something.
- You can import PDF files now and then edit them as usual objects in Inkscape. This means that text, shapes, etc can be modified. This is not as strange as it looks: PDF is essentially also a vector format.
- Last but not least and for me a big surprise: the tweak tool. This is like the sculpt tool in Blender or ZBrush. You use the mouse as a modeling tool: you can push and pull paths, smooth or roughen them, change colour just by painting over objects with the mouse. You have not the feeling anymore that you are using a vector drawing application. If you have not done this before, it will require some getting used to, but after some time you cannot live without it.

As I said, there are many, many more changes, new features and enhancements. I can recommend to spend some hours reading and experimenting with 0.46. It will convince you that 0.46 is not just a minor upgrade. Of course there are some flaws, missing features (e.g. an improved way of handling layers) and you will probably encounter a bug. I am pretty sure by the way that those will be ironed out in a bug fixes release 0.46.1.

If you are curious to know more about Inkscape, heathenx and Richard Querin provide excellent screencasts in which they show how to use Inkscape. Highly recommended: http://screencasters.heathenx.org/

11 thoughts on “Inkscape 0.46 Released !

  1. What is inkscape used for? Is it more for someone doing a lot of animation graphics or more for the photographer to help in editing? Thank you.

  2. Inkscape is a vector based graphics program. It doesn’t work with pixels but with shapes. So you can scale an image without problems. It’s a fully different world from photography.

  3. You can use photographs in inkscape, but you use them as bitmaps that fill a rectangle. They use inkscape for having a good outline editor, not for the uses it was built for. Everything in the tutorial would have been possible in GIMP too, but a lot of the stuff possible in inkscape is possible in GIMP.

    See http://screencasters.heathenx.org/wp-content/videos/ep054/ep054.html for an example of stuff done with a photo that wouldn’t be possible with GIMP.

  4. I generally don’t like to talk about Inkscape because it is still in beta and had quite a few bugs last I checked, but is .46 really that much better than .45?

  5. I do not use Inkscape often but I did not experience bugs in 0.45. In fact 0.45 was the first release which I quite liked. There were, however, issues on usability and functionality (defining gradients or the handling of layers for example).

    I will see through the release notes of 0.46 and play around with Inkscape this weekend. I will post my impression here.

  6. Sadly, 0.46 version isn’t available for windows, yet. which they should have AT LEAST mentioned, hmmm…

    Anyway, the 0.46pre4 has some annoying bugs (the most prominent of these is the problem with ‘minimize’ button), but apart from that, it works really nice (and the import/export PDF options are working there, too!)

  7. @Andrew A. Gill

    Beta? Inkscape is only officially not 1.0, but it is great for real work for ages. 0.46 is a major improvement functionality wise over 0.45, plus perfomance was slightly improved. I tend to recommend it to everyone who doesn’t plan to use SVG Filters extensively or try exporting to CMYK PDF right from the application.

  8. As promised.

    This is not an exhaustive account but rather a personal summary of the highlights of Inkscape 0.46.

    - Editing of gradients has become much user friendlier now. They can be edited on canvas and by simply dragging and dropping a colour on or between its nodes you can now very easily define a gradient.
    - Inkscape has now implemented a bunch of SVG filters, e.g. displacement mapping or specular lighting. Using them is not straight forward at first instance but it provides a powerful way of concatenating basic filters to define a new filter. It reminds in a way of Blender’s node editor. As one may expect, all these filters are non-destructive.
    - Inkscape offers the possibility to use paths as a deforming object: the child object will be deformed according to this path. Here I encountered buggy behaviour when editing the paths: the handles of nodes move easily in random and extreme ways.
    - You can use colour profiles and do soft proofing. There is no working space however which seems odd to me. Maybe I missed something.
    - You can import PDF files now and then edit them as usual objects in Inkscape. This means that text, shapes, etc can be modified. This is not as strange as it looks: PDF is essentially also a vector format.
    - Last but not least and for me a big surprise: the tweak tool. This is like the sculpt tool in Blender or ZBrush. You use the mouse as a modeling tool: you can push and pull paths, smooth or roughen them, change colour just by painting over objects with the mouse. You have not the feeling anymore that you are using a vector drawing application. If you have not done this before, it will require some getting used to, but after some time you cannot live without it.

    As I said, there are many, many more changes, new features and enhancements. I can recommend to spend some hours reading and experimenting with 0.46. It will convince you that 0.46 is not just a minor upgrade. Of course there are some flaws, missing features (e.g. an improved way of handling layers) and you will probably encounter a bug. I am pretty sure by the way that those will be ironed out in a bug fixes release 0.46.1.

    If you are curious to know more about Inkscape, heathenx and Richard Querin provide excellent screencasts in which they show how to use Inkscape. Highly recommended: http://screencasters.heathenx.org/

Anything to add from your side of the computer?