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I would like to add some graphics to a Latex presentation using a wacom graphics tablet. I would like to use vector graphics, so the pdf output will stay small and look good in every resolution (if I print it or if the screen size varies). Of course, there should be the option for pngs/jpgs. I probably don't need it now, but maybe I want to include another graphic or a photo. I tested several programs but was not satisfied yet.

In short, Inkscape is buggy, and a little bit complicated. Krita only supports some operations and the pdf of old Kira versions is not a vector output, newer versions don't support pdf. Open Toonz might be close, but I don't know how to export pdf, old Adobe Flash does not export.

  • Inkscape 1.1.1 does not support recognizing the pen. I can draw with the eraser and was not able to fix that, and the angle of the pen seems to have no effect. Sometimes the stroke width resets on every stroke. The version number seems important because there is a different bug in every version, I tried (OK, I tried only two today, but I always had some problems). However, exporting vector pdf works, and I think it should handle jpgs and pngs decently. It just lacks the brush options gimp would have.
  • Krita seems to work like gimp + vector options. However, it can only export the vector layers. Technically, I could export the vector layers as svg and the rest as svg and align them in latex, but that is not a workflow I would want to do more than once.
  • Open Toonz Export seems to be a little tricky. SVG seems to work, but converting it to pdf by Inkscape seems to break everything. At least the strokes seem to be missing according to this youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk3u9RN3ouI
  • A random ancient Flash CS version It is easy to handle. I do not know how to check if it recognizes the angle of the brush, but everything else works fine and is intuitive. However, I can only export adobe flash formats or bitmaps. fla, xfl or fxg are not helfpul, I think.

Is there no good solution but maybe Adobe Illustrator, which would be a too high price as long I only draw a hobby picture every few month or even years? Do I underestimate Inkskape?

P.S.: I apprechiate, if someone has a better idea to tag this question. On stack overflow I was told to delete my question and move to computergraphics, and found out about this community later. However, technically pdf, vectorgraphics and bitmap-grapics are the three main topics I would like to see combined in a single program. Like inkscape but with less weird situations, which result in watching many youtube videos just to change the stroke width. Or is there just Inkscape and Illustrator, if I want to export vectorgraphics, which have embedded bitmaps, as pdf or svg (although svg is not necessary)? Is Illustrator the only program, which supports the pressure of the pen in a vector graphic?

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    Inkscape does work with Wacom tablets. I use mine often. Pressure sensitivity is definitely supported in Inkscape 1.1 (on Windows 10). Perhaps check your Wacom driver is up to date - check on the Wacom website and download from there. Also, there's no brushes in Inkscape. So, it doesn't really work like that. There is a Calligraphy tool which supports pressure sensitivity, and it does apparently also support tilt sensitivity, but I can't test that since my Wacom doesn't have the tilt feature. Also the Pencil tool supports pressure sensitivity.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 23 at 18:10
  • There isn't really a question here, just a series of observations. What are you actually looking for, a 'fix' to your existing issue with the mentioned software, or a recommendation for other software? The first might be a better fit for superuser.com the second softwarerecs.stackexchange.com - as this stack does not deal with technical support issues or software recommendations.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 23 at 18:55
  • There are a number fo smaller shareware or inexpensive vector apps which will save/expo PDFs... Sketch, Draw... I can't speak to their support for a tablet though. Illustrator does work well, but I can understand the cost factor for hobbyists. Illustrator supports the tilt, and all Wacom dynamics. Although I really rarely utilize the tilt.
    – Scott
    Jan 23 at 19:46

1 Answer 1

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Shouldn't advertise here, but get the trial of Affinity Designer.

Affinity Designer Help confirms that Wacom pen tablets are supported also in vector mode (A.D is intended for mixing vectors and bitmaps). Pressure can adjust vector stroke width. There's no tilt nor rotation sensitivity.

Vectors obviously are internally SVGs because copying and pasting shapes between Inkscape and A.D. happens. Complex compositions do not move between A.D. and Inkscape, A.D. doesn't understand Inkscape's effects. A.D. knows CMYK and color profiles.

You cannot go much wrong (except waste some time), because the trial costs nothing and it's fully functional.

A good thing to know: There's no advanced vector tools like in Illustrator (=tracing, envelope distort, blending, 3D effects, shape builder etc,etc...). A.D is very simple. It's designed to be used in parallel with Affinity Photo where quite rich set of bitmap image tools help to create more tricky parts. A.D's own bitmap image tools are much more limited.

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