Graduating Graphics 101

I have been a software developer for 15 years for companies big and small. But, in all that time, graphics for applications I built was SEP (Someone Else’s Problem). Now, for kid’s games, its my problem. Initially, I dreaded building the graphics.

I gradually started learning to build what I need using Inkscape (a vector graphics editor). An SVG (scalable vector graphics) editor is different from a pixel editor. In a pixel editor, like GIMP, you tell the program to adjust the pixels to make it look like you want. In an SVG editor, you tell the program to apply a function such as gradient, filter etc. to modify your image. It’s closer to programming. Also, inkscape produces images that can be scaled without loss of resolution. The program re-applies the functions for a different resolution.

My first attempt was a simple 3-D looking ball. That formed the basis of Kindergarten Math.  I just finished writing a game for kindergarteners to separate 10s and 1s in a number such as 52 (five tens and two ones). I decided to use coins instead of balls for this project. To create the coins I used instructions from a tutorial. I also added a metallic paint filter to get the shiny metal effect. You can see how it looks in the upgraded Kindergarten Math.

Going from balls to coins, I have unofficially graduated graphics 101. Now, I am starting to enjoy creating graphics. Graphics 201, 301, 401… TODO.

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