Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More Flag Vectorizing

Since my last post on the subject I've vectorized some more flags, and thought I'd share some more of the interesting ones. They make for great Inkscape practice—kind of like an artist's quick sketches.

Hsenwi is a small nation in the Burma region with this cool script on their flag. I was able to copy it using almost entirely circles and circle arcs.

Inca are, well, the Inca; or Tawantinsuyu as they called the empire (literally, “The Four Regions”). I mentioned it in my first post, but it bears repeating that these flags are primarily for identification of different nations in Europa Universalis IV, as the very concept of a nation-state and a national flag were only really formulated and developed in the time period the game covers. The Inca, for instance, most likely never actually had a national flag.

Khorchin is a Mongolian nation north of Ming China in 1444, with cool script on their flag. This one took a long time to copy due to the varying widths of all those lines. I figured out a much better and faster way to copy them about half-way through, but it still took a while.

Theodoro is a tiny nation in the Crimean peninsula, the only one with Gothic culture still left in 1444. This flag involved a lot of work tweaking Bezier curves on the right side, then copying and flipping it to make the left side.

Tlapanec is a small nation in Mesoamerica, in modern-day Mexico. This flag involved a lot of playing about with color gradients on outlines (or ‘strokes’ in Inkscape parlance). Each of those toes has a separately-positioned gradient for both the stroke and fill (Inkscape-speak for the interior), for instance, plus another two for the foot and a few more for those shiny effects around the edges of the various circles. There's also some blur effects to create the fuzzy highlights.

Verden is Prince-Bishopric in the north-western part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1444, now part of Germany. I don't have much else to say about it, but those keys were fun to trace.

Vijayanagar, for a change, is a moderately large nation in 1444 in southern India, which historically lasted for around 300 years from the 14th to the 17th centuries. In EU IV it's in a prime position to go on to form an ahistorical early united India and dominate the trade between China and Europe. It's also the first nation I played where I felt I really had a grip on most of EU IV's mechanics and went on to actually do well and expand, leading to the giant green nation in and around India in the screenshot below (and a special place in my heart):

The name is anachronistic now, as Hindu nations now form “Bharat” rather than “Hindustan” as of a few patches ago.

Finally, I also have something completely new for this blog! While vectorizing some of these flags, I had an idea: why not record the screen and my thought process and post it here? I've never tried something like this before, so it's a bit rough around the edges. The flag I vectorized is the one below, for the tiny nation of Khodynt in eastern Siberia. (Calling them a state is a bit of a stretch, as they were more of a migratory tribe than an organized state.)

The video goes through the process of making a vector copy of a flag, accompanied by my rambling and semi-distracted commentary. I don't know how useful it is as a guide to Inkscape (which was part of my intent for it), but if you ever wanted to know what goes into making one of these vector copies it's a decent illustration of the process. I apologize in advance for talking half under my breath half the time. For fun, you can also count how many times I refer to ‘flags’ as ‘maps’ for some reason.

I'm interested to hear what people think of this experiment, and if you'd like to see more content like this. I'll probably make some more videos in the future, as it turned out to be a lot of fun. I'd like to try doing a sort of timelapse video where it shows the whole process of vectorizing a flag at an accelerated speed. Just let me know in the comments! A hui hou!

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