Active guide proposals

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Some proposals for active guides

Moreso than with raster programs, guides are a major asset in illustration programs as line precision for technical drawing and other fields.

This page discusses possible future guide features. I name these active guides, because they do more than serve as snapping references. The exact GUIs still need to be discussed.

Symmetry guides

Proposal for active symmetry guides

Note: Shouldn't symmetry be a sub-case of tiling? Although this is technically true, the uses tend to be very different. Symmetries are everywhere, so users would benefit from being able to access them easily. Also, it is more important for symmetry to be visualised in real-time (though real-time preview could be available for basic tilings).

Convergence points

Proposal for convergence points

Note: Instead of convergence points, why didn't I just come up with a perspective guide? This is related to how objects are drawn in perspective:

  • Although all parallel objects have lines converging to the same vanishing points, non-parallel objects will have lines converging to Other vanishing points on the same horizon line.
  • Objects who aren't parallel to the ground will even have their own horizon lines.

So, for more complex perspective drawings, the user can make his reference horizon line(s), add all necessary vanishing points, and toggle them on and off as needed.

This does not exclude the possibility of actual perspective guides. A perspective grid for example would be useful for buildings (evenly spaced windows). Their vanishing points could then be snapped to existing convergence points. When using the 3D box tool, or any other future 3D shapes, the user can similarly snap their vanishing points to existing convergence points.

Kinematic templates

Proposal for kinematic templates in Inkscape

For more information on kinematic templates, see:

GUI discussion

As the examples above have shown, there are many useful possibilities for guides.

More discussion is needed on how these features could be accessed. Possibilities include:

  • Separate tools? This is the case for tiling, for example, and is justified by the complicated mechanisms behind it. This could also be the case for kinematic templates, who need some value inputs.
  • Separate guide types? Obviously, passive composition guides such as Rule of Thirds will be their own guide type. Some features could be tacked onto existing guides types however. Should features like perspective grids, though, be a sub-option of a general grid guide, or a separate guide?
  • Options to existing guide types? Users could take an existing guideline, and activate a "symmetry" feature for example, or "snap line directions to parallel", or "snap line directions to orthogonal." Where would such functions be located?