Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Four Weeks of High Contrast Icons

These are most of the images I've been working on. The last two lines are icons that still need a lot of work....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last week I spent way too long trying to install SparkleShare. I think I installed and uninstalled and re-installed four versions. I couldn't get any of them to work (some versions were old, and some I must have built incorrectly), and so I wasted a couple of days. Luckily, Lapo Calamandrei asked a friend of his to make a ppa, and then he and Andreas Nilsson walked me through the installation process (Thanks, Lapo and Andreas!). All went well, and now you can look at the icons I'm working on. These are all drafts, so please feel free to suggest changes. I have close to thirty in process right now, and I am hoping to add at least ten more by the end of the week.

Last night I read a lot about reducing file size...Now I have a fairly complete (I hope!) method for reducing it:
  1. Remove unnecessary gradients
  2. Look at icon in outline mode to check for forgotten objects
  3. Set alpha layers on fills to zero when possible (This sometimes makes a difference, and sometimes it doesn't. I also may be imagining that it does.)
  4. Vacuum defs in the terminal using "inkscape -f file_name.svg --vacuum-defs (Lapo mentioned that this method is less buggy than vacuuming defs via the drop-down menu)
  5. Delete unnecessary nodes
  6. Save as plain svg (Vish recommended this)
In general, this method is reducing file sizes by about 1/2, sometimes more, which is good, because my file sizes were much too large.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I spent last week getting things organized - downloading tarballs, collating the icon sets, making metaphor lists, and flagging for accessibility issues.

Yesterday I was able to start drawing. I am basing most of the High Contrast images on 16x16 icons from Gnome Icon Themes 3.0. These drawings are pretty fantastic - I'm learning a lot by looking at the way the designs from the 48x48 icons are simplified and adjusted. I still need to make adjustments (other than making them black and white) to simplify the 16x16 images, but often very few changes are necessary.

It's kind of odd to be drawing in all black and white...I think the last time I did it was in Design 1 back in college. After a few hours, I start thinking in black and white. So I find myself getting confused when I toggle between windows and go from this:

to this:

Wait, which one is the icon...?....