When I first made this website last year, I wanted to create an eye-catching banner image for it. In doing so, I encountered two obstacles: 1) I was so busy with other projects I didn’t really have time to come up with something I was totally happy with, and 2) I couldn’t create the effects that I wanted with the program that I was using.
The result was something that was a bit rushed and not up to my standards but it had to do for that time so I could move on to other projects.
The computer program that I use the most for creating graphics is Corel Draw. It was what I was using when I first started doing vector graphics ten years ago and since I’m the most comfortable with it I’ve stuck with it. One problem with using Corel Draw is that it’s not the “industry standard” for vector graphics, that’s Adobe Illustrator. Who came to this conclusion? Nobody consulted me when this decision was being made.
I’ve never used Illustrator because it’s a lot more expensive than Corel Draw and since I’m not familiar with it, I would need to learn how to use it, which would take time.
About a year ago, I heard about a free vector graphic program called Inkscape and I decided to give it a try. At first I couldn’t get the hang of it, but I’ve kept trying and I’ve slowly gotten used to the program. I also discovered that it has some great effects that I can apply to my vectors that Corel Draw doesn’t have.
A few days ago I decided to use Inkscape to re-work my banner and make it more to my liking. The problem was that my computer is older and it slows down quite a bit when I add filters to mulitple objects. So much so that I had to wait a minute or more anytime I clicked on anything, this was very counterproductive and was not going to help me at all.
So I decided to log into Xubuntu, which I installed on another hard drive on my computer a couple of weeks ago. Xubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu, a free computer operating system based on Linux, and I’ve been exploring different Linux variations for the past few years. I’ve gotten a little fed up with Windows and I will never switch to Mac, so I decided to go the Linux route.
While using Inkscape on Xubuntu, I find that the multiple filters still slow the program down, but not as much as it does in Windows. I was able to work a lot quicker and I made some changes to my header image. I thought I was finished, but after looking at it again a day or two later I decided to tweak it a little more, so I logged back into Xubuntu. I made a few more alterations and now my banner is looking exactly like I want it to.
I’m going to work on another project right now then switch back to Windows. I’ve had fun playing around with different Linux variations but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to switch over full time and completely abandon Windows. It’s a nice temporary alternative for when I just want to use something different. It also helped me a lot with this particular project, it’s nice to know it’s there and I can switch back to what I’m most comfortable with whenever I want.