Screencasters Episode 072: Glass Panels

Posted in Graphics on October 03, 2008

Screencasters Episode 072: Glass Panels

In this screencast I demonstrate one way of creating a glass panel using Inkscape v0.46.

I got the idea for this screencast from this image on Flickr.

Also, I recorded this one in a single take with no do-overs. And while I think it’s an ok screencast, I twice mentioned a potential problem with the method I was using and how I was going to discuss it “later”. Well of course “later” never came and I completely forgot about it. So in the interest of lazyness I thought I’d just put the explanation here ;). Here goes:

This method uses the Object->Clip function to “fake” the transparency of the glass. The reason I do this is because it is impossible (somebody prove me wrong - please!) to create that drop shadow under the edges of the glass AND maintain transparency through the glass. In Inkscape I cannot find a way to create a fringe blur so that for instance, there is blur around the outside of a rectangle, but the inside of the rectangle is transparent. You could show only the outline or border of a shape and blur that, but the blur goes inward and outward - not what you want here.

There are workarounds. Such as going to the GIMP and creating the fringe blur at exactly the right size and importing that (as long as the interior of the fringe is transparent). If you can think of other workarounds, by all means post them in the comments.

Why is this a limitation of this method for creating the glass panel. Well, primarily it is because once you create the glass panel, you can’t move it around the image easily. You would have to do the Object->Clip whenever you move it. Not ideal. It means you have to pick your spot and dimensions of the panel pretty much at the beginning. A niggly detail, but annoying to me nonetheless.

So apologies for not explaining it in the screencast. It is an important thing to note when creating these things. And I implore you once again to post any solutions or workarounds you might have for this problem. I have been known to be slow catching on.

Just ask heathenx. :)

ps. The music in the intro was a song called “Should Be” by Arthur Yoria off of his Handshake Smiles album. You can find his stuff (which is great) over at (which is great too!)

by Richard Querin

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Tags: Design, Screencasters, Inkscape, Glass