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Secrets of Eighteyed, such as they are

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These leaves are very pretty, congrat to Saskya. And your thinking about svg problem is clever, too.


Thank you and thank you!


I am hoping that more tips and tricks will be shared for other people to benefit from also.

Anyone? C'mon, let's keep Eighteyes' thread alive with amazing know-how!


You folks are amazing! I'm just beginning with vector graphics and this is all very humbling. Thank you for sharing your tips! ♥


I also have a question for the template geniuses! How do you make transparent shapes in Inkscape to import into Seamless Studio? Every time I've tried to import a seemingly transparent shape into SS, it just shows up as a gray square (although Seamless doesn't run very well on my computer for some reason). I'm probably missing a step, but any advice on this would be majorly helpful and awesome!


moldypetunia, we were just discussing the WYSIWYG (represesntation of what you see on the screen versus what will actually import onto the site) problem with Seamless. Are you sure that your gray square isn't actually a transparent object? You will not be able to tell from within Seamless. It will appear solid. You will have to upload your template onto Colourlovers (you don't have to save it once it's there) to look and see what you really have. It could be that you made a correct attempt, and you should check first.


Architela wrote:
You folks are amazing! I'm just beginning with vector graphics and this is all very humbling. Thank you for sharing your tips! ♥

So glad you are enjoying the thread, Architela! I wish so far the questions were concerning things I knew more about, but fortunately Array of Lilly and Liebling have chimed in. I think I'm going to have to offer up some examples to get back to my territory ^_^


Those who are far wiser than I can explain how it's done, the settings for it, and which program does what in terms of transparent, but lemme see if i can answer the question.

Basically, in Inkscape, you use the EXTENTION > OBJECT FROM PATH > INTERPOLATE between two separate object shapes you've made. Muck with the steps, etc in the interpolate options window. It's not as 'smooth' as AI, but it still gives the basic effect. Any other effect, even if it appears gradient/transparent in inkscape will not import into SS with that effect -- as you know, it'll be just a plain block/circle/whatever.

moldypetunia wrote:
I also have a question for the template geniuses! How do you make transparent shapes in Inkscape to import into Seamless Studio? Every time I've tried to import a seemingly transparent shape into SS, it just shows up as a gray square (although Seamless doesn't run very well on my computer for some reason). I'm probably missing a step, but any advice on this would be majorly helpful and awesome!


I have a couple tips - two I've always used, and another I just discovered, to my utmost delight. :)

1 - Selecting Folders

You know how when you make a really complicated template, and you need to select an entire folder, so you click on it and it takes forever, in a is-this working-or-have-I-crashed-SS-again kind of way?

Don't click the folder. ...Click the arrow next to it to open the folder, select any file inside it, and then shift-click the folder.

I don't know why it works, but it does. :)

2 - Overprinting

If you like to assemble outlined shapes like I do, before you export the 'fill' layers that sit underneath the outline, add a stroke to your shape and flatten it. Find a weight that makes it easy to fill an outline from underneath without overlap. It makes reassembly so much easier.

3- Fixing the Size of Multi-Layered Elements - 'The 100px Trick'

One of the things I have always really struggled with in importing shapes is this:

- The CL style template is 200 pixels on a side.
- Any imported shape automatically sizes on use to 100px in it's largest dimension.

This leads to a fair amount of frustration, because it means that every imported piece needs to be jiggled with extreme precision in order to reassemble your original design. First you size, than you align, than you resize.... rinse and repeat ad nauseum, and all to recreate something that was already properly scaled in Inkscape or Illustrator. It's even more frustrating because as you know, SS is not exactly precise when it comes to those microadjustments.

Stress no more!

(This information is for Illustrator, but you can probably do something similar in Inkscape.)

- Take your assembled, layered vector image and group it.
- Make a copy of the group.
- On that copy, use 'convert to shape' (rectangle) Keep the 18px bump.
- Then 'expand appearance' on that layer to clean it up
- Remove the fill and add a .001 stroke. (lock the layer so you can't mess it up later!)
- Export all the parts of the original layer to individual .svgs, as you would, keeping that locked stroke layer

The invisibly small stroke from your square ensures that all pieces load in exactly the right proportion to the others - you don't have to resize anything individually- just align the parts!

The really great part comes when you need to align them. You actually get to exploit a flaw in SS - the what-you-see-is-not-quite-what you-get-phenomenon.

Because SS can't display really fine lines; it always 'rounds them up'. So your shape comes with a crisp, single pixel line that makes it incredibly easy to see when your parts are in the exact right place - but that line doesn't 'print' in the final design.

Your templates will look a little weird, but no one but you will ever know (unless you're printing a mural, but then you can clean it up in Illustrator; you already have the repeat from SS.)

Here's the result, with the pieces deliberately misaligned so that you can see them. :)

It sounds complicated, but it's not. It just took all the pointless busywork out of making templates for me, and I hope it does for you, too. :)


To further illustrate:

This template:

Actually looks like this in SS:

But you'd never know.


Further illustration:

I would *never* have had the patience to reassemble this template before the box trick.


...Would people be more interested in Seamless Lite tips?
I'm trying to bring this thread back from the neverwhere, but maybe I'm the only one interested?


Oh, I'm definitely interested... I just haven't had enough spare time lately to cobble together some tutorials.


I think there are a ton of seriously valuable tips in this thread...especially advanced tips. For myself, I'm going to concentrate on those who only have access to Seamless Pro, or Seamless Lite on the site, and who don't know how to use the basic features. Or who don't have a sense yet of what they can do with the basic features, following mirrors of symmetry, or letting duplication and reduction work for them.


In Progress Tutorial coming as I write it, add onto it, add pictures from photobucket.

Our Friend, the Wave Tool.
I use this tool all the time, it's very handy, and I want to show you beginners some tricks with it.

It's great to use in several versions, as it looks quite different when you distort it, yet the different versions combine as design elements quite agreeably, because they are based on the same shape.

Here's one that I duplicated exactly, then flipped, and attatched. Below, I flipped the two of them, and made a diamond. I duplicated the four shapes making the diamond, and rotated them 90 degrees to make the shape. Then I rotated the whole shape to make another version, which looks quite different in attitude.

Here's the beginnings of a template (which I didn't save) made with only this design, mostly at the same size. I did reduce one and rotate it to overlay over two adjoining boxes.

Here are some other shapes from my library which I have often used in templates, made in this manner.

Here are typical templates which rely very heavily on these kinds of ornament, please ask any specifics of how I made them:


eighteyed wrote:
I think there are a ton of seriously valuable tips in this thread...especially advanced tips. For myself, I'm going to concentrate on those who only have access to Seamless Pro, or Seamless Lite on the site, and who don't know how to use the basic features.

Thanks, Edith. Okay; makes sense. Here's one that fits the bill. :)

Both SS and SL are very touchy about precision movement of parts. It's too 'fidgety'.

As other people have mentioned, the shift key has a number of great applications--
I like to use it for moving elements. (If you are new to the software, try an action, and then try the same action while holding shift - you get a number of new 'secret' tools that way.)

If I have something that isn't quite properly aligned, I shift-arrow(x2) it away from where I want the piece to go.

arrow key = 1 step
shift-arrow key= 5 steps

Then I click on the piece with my cursor, and hold shift down again. Right-angle guidelines will appear around your shape. Now, holding shift, you can drag your piece back where you want it to be, and it will slide only along a single plane. This means that you can drag it by increments of steps, and that you only have to worry about a single plane at a time.

Once it's in place, shift-arrow the selected piece in a direction perpendicular to your first step, and then shift-slide it back.

(The reason you shift-arrow away before you shift-slide is so that your piece doesn't try to glitch away along the perpendicular axis. If you try it, you'll see what I mean.)


I agree with that. On the other hand, Seamless behaves pretty well, once you have disabled the snapping feature, which is under the View menu. I often use the snapping feature early in the design (it makes stuff line up in regular increments), then I turn it off when I want to be more precise.


LOVE your shape tutorial above. Looks great! :)


The Glowy Thing.
There are several kinds of Glowy Things, and they are very easy to misuse/ overuse, be careful with them. In my opinion, they are best used in the background, to enhance other features. I first noticed the use of the glowy thing in the work of Topbear, but mine are different. I think she imported hers from another program. She also made hers from lines. At the time, I wasn't getting along with the line tool at all, so I used another Seamless Shape, the 4 pointed star. I liked it better, also, because it tapered to a point. First I distorted it until it was as tall and skinny as I could get, but still had some kind of usable width:
How I made mine:

That it has this funny fugly shape in the middle totally doesn't matter, because it's going to be round.
Then I duplicated the pointed shape, and free rotated it with the handle just a tiny bit.

I selected the two rays, duplicated and free-rotated them just a tiny bit more:

And again:

I made them as big as possible in the 200px square, to take maximum advantage of reducing the size when using them as a stored shape. Also, I'm not as precision oriented as Prax, I eyeball a lot of stuff rather than measuring exactly, that comes from having worked in ceramics for a long time prior.
You can see where I'm going with this:

Ta-daaa, the completed glowy thing. Select the whole thing and add it to your shapes library. You can see it doubled up a bit on a couple of rays because of imperfect placement, but I think it's more visually interesting in that way.

What to do with your completed Glowy thing. Well usually, I select them, use the drop down menu to change the color, close the group, then send it behind an object. It is sort of like a vector equivalent of an airbrush puff, and the point to me is to aid with not having a monotone background. And to add sparkle.
I have made several special effects glowy things.
Here are several of mine.
The crooked-on-purpose glowy thing. The stepped down spiky glowy thing. The regular groups of four glowy thing. A glowy thing that is actually made from the wave tool instead. And, I distorted and recolored one to show they don't have to be round, but can emphasize elipses, too.

Some templates which rely on the glowy thing:
This one has another kind of glowy thing overlaid on top, will talk about that later.

Anyway. Glowy Things are useful, but Too Much Bling is Real.

More fun with glowy things! ^_^


Oh, I'm watching and reading all of your words. :-)

praxicalidocious wrote:
...Would people be more interested in Seamless Lite tips?
I'm trying to bring this thread back from the neverwhere, but maybe I'm the only one interested?


as a person who wishes she had seamless studio but is too poor to buy it, seamless lite tips might inspire me. wouldn't mind seeing some of that myself
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