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Import to Blender .svg file created by Inkscape 1.22 for Macintosh Ventura OS -> Blender says it’s empty.

I've followed all the guidance given so far, namely, within Inkscape drag the .png source file into a blank Inkscape window, followed by:

Path -> Trace Bitmap

Then, Save As which produces a .svg file on my desktop

Then, switch to Blender and import this new .svg file and it shows up in Blender’s Outliner with the "file box" icons, and not the required Curves. In short, Blender says it is empty.

Hopefully, you can point out what I am doing wrong.

Here's the original PNG

enter image description here

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  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. This question would probably be better suited to Blender Stack Exchange. However, here are some things to check. Make sure you delete the PNG image after you trace it. Inkscape doesn't delete images automatically after they have been traced. Make sure you set the file type to "Plain SVG" when saving from Inkscape. Other software can get confused by native Inkscape SVGs since they contain Inkscape specific XML,. I just tried creating a Plain SVG from a trace, and imported into Blender, and it seems to work just fine, so I can't reproduce the problem you are having.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 21, 2023 at 10:04
  • Also note when you import an SVG into Blender, it can be very small. You will probably have to zoom in to find it, and scale it up.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 21, 2023 at 10:19
  • Thanks loads Billy. I will let you know how it goes
    – anon
    May 21, 2023 at 20:17
  • Did not work unfortunately. Outliner showed the name of the imported .svg file. But the hierarchical triangle did not show indicating the imported .svg file was empty. I am definitely more sorry than you are
    – anon
    May 21, 2023 at 21:13
  • BTW, I just used Inkscape to draw some arbitrary shape, e.g., a 3D box and saved it as a Plain .svg and it worked great. Therefore, there must be something wrong with my file somehow or another. In its defense, however, I had previously used one of those free online png -> svg converters and my file appeared just great in Blender
    – anon
    May 21, 2023 at 21:36

1 Answer 1

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The image is too complex for a good auto trace in Inkscape. The blurs and gradients won't trace well. If you try to do a colour scan, then it will also probably end up too complex for Blender, which I suspect might be the source of the problem (although this is just a guess).

So with that in mind, what I would do is try to create the SVG so that it's as simple as possible. What follows isn't a tutorial, it's just the basic steps.

  1. Do a Trace Bitmap with a Single Scan and Brightness Cut-Off to get the black outlines in Inkscape. You'll have to tweak the threshold to get a good result. You may also have to clean up some of the curves manually after applying the trace.

enter image description here

  1. Use the Fill Bounded Areas tool (aka Bucket Fill tool) to make the areas of colour. Forget trying to apply blurs or gradients, just keep the colours as simple flat fills.

  2. Manually redraw any lines/pieces of the design that got missed in the trace process, and convert all strokes into paths.

  3. Ungroup everything repeatedly so that there are no groups left.

  4. Save as file type: Plain SVG

I tested this workflow. An SVG created this way can be imported into Blender as you can see. Note that I scaled up the SVG because it was tiny when first imported into Blender.

enter image description here

Note that while this may work, the construction via an auto trace and bucket filled pieces might still be more complex than desirable. It really depends what you are going to do with it once you get it into Blender. It might be better all round to redraw the SVG manually, recreating all the shapes with proper strokes and fills. This would make it even simpler, and probably easier to deal with in Blender.

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  • Billy, you are spot on. However, this defies all logic. Many spend years developing Photoshop skills. So why can’t Blender import Photoshop images with color, with gradients etc.
    – anon
    May 28, 2023 at 14:20
  • @John - SVGs aren't Photoshop images. They are vector graphics - a vector file is not actually an image, but a set of instructions/code which must be interpreted by the software to display it. I don't know for sure why Blender doesn't support it as I'm not a Blender expert. However SVG standards change frequently, and not all software supports all the current features or standards, some only have basic support. It's something you just have to get used to and work with unfortunately. If only all software were perfect!
    – Billy Kerr
    May 28, 2023 at 14:30
  • @John - try opening an SVG in a text editor. You will see the code. It's a type of XML, essentially a markup language, similar in some ways to html.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 28, 2023 at 14:33
  • Billy .. are you available for hire to do this or do you know someone who is?
    – anon
    Jun 7, 2023 at 14:33
  • @John I'm sorry but that isn't allowed here.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 7, 2023 at 17:11

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