I am a beginner in Inkscape. I want to create an image similar to Yury's diagram:

enter image description here

This is what I tried so far:

I created a circle, selected it and went to Edit > Clone > Create tiled clones.

I searched under "symmetry" but didn't find a rotation of 22.5 degrees (which is the rotation required to create the above image) - only 60 degrees.

I went to "Rotation" and set the "per row" rotation to 22.5 degrees, but only got a grid of 5-by-5 circles (probably each circle was rotated in place).

What should I do now?

  • Is there a way to change the pivot point in Inkscape? I've never used the software, but that's what you'd do in Illustrator - use the rotation tool to set the pivot point and the degree and then Ctrl+D to repeat the pattern until it was complete. – OghmaOsiris Jan 27 '14 at 8:42

The fastest way to obtain such an image is to translate the rotation center of the initial object and then proceed manually by duplicating and applying a transformation (rotation in this case) to the last duplicate.

For example, you can start with two circles, grouping them (Ctrl-G) and translating the rotation center (by selecting the group, clicking a second time and dragging the cross representing the rotation center - see here for further informations). In the example the big circumference is shown as reference:

Starting pattern and rotation center

Now, you can duplicate the group (Ctrl-D) and apply a rotation (22.5 ° in the example) using the Transform dialog:

Rotate the group

Repeat the operation: duplicate the last group with the left hand (it's already selected!) and click on "apply" with the mouse (the pointer is in the same position):

Repeat the operation

Repeat until it's done. A bit boring, but very fast:

End of the work

Alternatives are possible using symmetry (see Radial placement with Tile Clones tutorial), but you need to tweak a little to obtain this image.

Further examples are here and here.

  • 1
    I wish I could add more +1s. Thanks for the very useful and detailed answer. – Deanna Jan 23 '15 at 13:13

I like Paolo's answer. A variation and what I've done in the past:

Draw one circle. Duplicate it and move it so that you have two circles set to the diameter you are looking for.

Now group these.

Now you can clone this group and rotate around it's own grouped center point.

So, for the orange circle, I'd to this:

  • create circle at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. Group them. (group 'a')
  • Clone and rotate clone 90 degrees. Now group this clone with the original. (group 'b')
  • Clone this new group and rotate 45 degrees. Group this. (group 'c')
  • clone group c and rotate 17.5 degrees.
  • clone group c again and rotate -17.5 degrees.
  • 1
    Yes, it is another alternative, with the advantage of not requiring the translation of the center. – Paolo Gibellini Jan 27 '14 at 20:59

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