05 February 2008

Pac-Man baddies with Inkscape: clipart, tutorial, screencast and challenge

My not so secret Pac-Man project is finished, the clipart images are available on my collection as well as on openclipart.org, the tutorial is on the tutorials page, a screencast too, so now is the time to talk about them.

Ladies and gentelmen, here are some Pac-Man bad buys and bad girls:

[pacman baddies]

[fedora games]The idea started months ago, when I made a silly cartoon about Fedora Games and I quickly realized the potential: is easy and fun (at least I think so), anybody can create such graphics and a tutorial is obvious and quick enough to be covered also by a screencast.
It got stuck in my head for a long time, screaming to get out waiting for me to get in the right mood for that. And in the end I gave up.

I started by doing a screencast (as I said, is based on a concept I was already familiar with), sorry for the Flash abuse, it is made with Istanbul in Ogg Theora and I have the original, but until fedoratv gets usable, its temporary home will be on YouTube.

[pacman]Then I made in Inkscape the base shape, taking at each step screenshots for a future tutorial.

When done the next step was to create various derivatives, changing either the texture or the shape, there are many of them I like, for example the ninja-pirate duo (who would win in a fight?):

or the textured stripes and camouflage:

The original plan was to create 9 distinct images but the ideas came over and over so I jumped first at 16 and ended with 25 images (and still have a lot of ideas, but enough is enough).

Then I uploaded the images: both in a pacman gallery of my clipart collection and to the Open Clip Art Library (check the arcade tag).

After that, crop the screenshots, combine them, put together in a HTML, add some English text and the Pac-Man baddies Inkscape tutorial is made. Translate everything into Romanian language (yup, I write in English first), put everything online, including the screencast and I am almost done.

The last step is this: blog about them and throw a challenge: look at the gallery and find one baddie representing you. If you can't find one, read the tutorial and draw one yourself. Enjoy it. Show it to the entire world. Maybe upload it to the Open Clip Art Library.

And with that, enough for me with clipart for a while...


  1. I found this through Mugshot just this week! Might want to try uploading the screencast there. I'd be interested to see what you think of the site.

  2. Hi Russel,

    And I learned about your blog from Planet Fedora :p

    I saw a link to Theora Sea a couple of days ago, but didn't have enough time to have a serious look at it, only briefly. And the first impression was that it crashes my browser (but I have a weird combination: Fedora 8 with Firefox 3 beta from Rawhide, it works better in a stable SeaMonkey).

    Also my understanding is that Theora Sea does not offer hosting for videos, only sharing. If I have to host myself the [large] videos, why use such a website in the first place? I can use Cortado and stream directly from my own server.

  3. once again, awesome work nicu!

    i have already posted this one on the inkscape tutorials blog for you...



  4. FWIW, blip.tv hosts Ogg Theora videos, a couple of my new feature screencasts have Ogg Theora versions... (like this one: http://blip.tv/file/316576?filename=Ryanlerch-InkscapeTouchSelection112.ogg )

  5. This freakin' rocks. I love the ninja ghost.

  6. [h]ello
    It's great tutorial! Your outcomes are wonderfull!
    I will do mine as well :P
    Thank you for sharing and have a nice day!

  7. Hi Nicu. I read your tutorial and it' great.
    I'm not very familiar with graphics software and I'm new to inkscape.
    But I needed some graphics for a pacman game.
    So I have a question for you.
    I want to make the ghost to look in the opposite direction, but I want the direction of the light to remain the same.
    I tried to use that flip horizontal tool but it flips the ghost and the gradient too, so the direction of the light is changed.
    Do you know how to change the position of the ghost but those gradient lines to remain in the same position?

  8. @Adi: you will need to do some editing... like flip the ghost horizontally and then move the center of the circular gradient.

    Or don't flip but move the eyes horizontally (drag & drop, with Ctrl pressed to restrict the move to horizontal).

  9. Update: Adi, see also this movie (OGG Theora format, view with something like vlc): http://howto.nicubunu.ro/draft/pacman_flip.ogg, it illustrate both ways to properly "flip" a simple ghost.

  10. these are cool nicu,
    I am sad to say I am having a problem learning gradients. I still can not figure how to get the gradient that you used in the base ghost.

    I keep searching the web but haven't found a tutorial that explains in depth how to edit gradients. If you have time will you explain the steps for this one?

    Thanks and may God bless you,

  11. OK, so start with the blue base ghost. Duplicate it and make the copy black.
    Then go to the gradient tool, select "create radial gradient" from the upper toolbar and then drag over the black object.
    After that press the "edit" button to change the gradient: the first stop is opaque black and the other is transparent black. Change their transparency to have the first as transparent black and the second as partly transparent black.

  12. That was good!
    I liked it!
    I learn to use Inkscape!
    Pretty Cool!
    You should do more characters!

  13. err, were can i download that program? and what is it called?

  14. Wow, really great insight into using Inkscape.
    I have only played with GIMP but my curiosity is growing
    thanks to great contributions like this. More power to you! :-D

  15. Russian translation http://scapeart.org/node/33

  16. This is the first project I've done with Inkscape and it was FUN! Have to admit, the gradient thing was a pain in the behind though. I finally gave up and Googled gradients in Inkscape and it showed me how to click on the circles and change the gradient for that line.

    Other than that, it all worked out perfectly. Thanks!

    PS: Got to love the Ninja!

  17. @Acharabelle: sorry for the gradient thing... as this is part of a series of tutorials I went fast over the details like that to not bore the people who read the other pieces

  18. Thanks for all this great tutorials. I realy like them!
    One question: If you have two object of the same shape and size at the same place (like the body and the gradient on top), how do you select the underlaying object? To change the collor of baddie for example.
    The best way I found so far is selecting the upper object, moving it bellow the object i want to select, select the target and move it back down.

    1. you can also press the Tab key to cycle trough the objects in your drawing

    2. Thant a more easy way. Thanks!

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Free software is nothing without tutorials like this. The great problem of Gimp or Inkscape is that there is not formal education for open source software (University only teachs Illustrator or Photoshop), then you are filling a great gap and you are contributing to the expansion of these wonderful tools.

    1. You welcome! However, the principles should be the same, if you know the Photoshop basics you should have no big problems with GIMP and if you know the Corel Draw basics, you should have no big problems with Inkscape. While the menus and function names are not identical, you will find them around.

  20. This blog rocks! The pacman baddies are amazing. Thanks for sharing with us....