About vpype and this extension

vpype is a command processor working with SVG files. It can do a lot of productive steps to optimize files for different purposes like pen plotting, laser cutting or the generation of creative artwork. vpype is really powerful and helps to extend Inkscape feature capability. vpype contains a lot of functionality which is included natively within Inkscape. The extension "vpype for Inkscape" does not deal with all features but with a set of important commands like linemerge, linesort, linesimplify, occult, etc. We can use it to shorten tool path lengths, remove hidden lines and so on.

vpype converts all elements into simple SVG elements like svg:line, svg:polyline and svg:polygon. They can be displayed properly in Inkscape, but they have no knot handles to edit (see https://alpha.inkscape.org/vectors/www.inkscapeforum.com/viewtopicb51d.html?f=16&t=32562). We need to convert those elements to svg:path using key combination CTRL + SHIFT + C ("object to path"; do not use "stroke to path" because it will duplicate your outline with inset and outset contours). Our extension allows to do this conversion automatically.

Caveats of vpype

  • requires to simplify bezier curves to polylines (reduces quality)
  • does not honor the individual line styles (like width, color, miter, ...) - the output lines all will have the same style. We can work with vpype layerwise to distinguish between different styles
  • output is done in svg:line, svg:polyline and svg:polygon. Converting them back in Inkscape (we need paths) is really slow. Native svg:path output would be great

(info) Source code → https://github.com/abey79/vpype

Preparations (Installation of vpype)

At first we need to install vpype and occult extension. It was tested successfully...

  • with Python 3.8.5 on Ubuntu 20 LTS (Python 3.9 failed to install vpype and occult)
  • with Python 3.9 on Windows 10

We use vpype 1.7 (2021-06-10)

vpype Changelog: https://vpype.readthedocs.io/en/stable/CHANGELOG.html

Linux / Windows Python modules

pip install vpype
#pip install git+https://github.com/abey79/vpype.git
pip install git+https://github.com/LoicGoulefert/occult.git#egg=occult
pip install git+https://github.com/LoicGoulefert/deduplicate.git#egg=deduplicate

Special inclusions and similarities to existing Inkscape extensions

Overview by docs

Feature exclusions

As mentioned vpype has a lot of features, but we do not need all of them. We decided to exclude or handle the following functions more strictly because a lot of stuff is integrated in Inkscape natively. You can try to use vpype Free Mode to use these.

categorycommands
Primitives
arc, circle, ellipse, line, rect
Block control
begin, end
Operation
crop         # we use trim feature instead 
layout       #Inkscape:  CTRL + SHIFT + D 
pagesize     #Inkscape:  CTRL + SHIFT + D
reverse      #Inkscape:  Path > Reverse
Generators
frame  #see "Bounding Box" extension
random

See Bounding Box

Block processors
grid, repeat

Native functions inside Inkscape

Layers
lcopy, ldelete, lmove

This is too generic to make use inside Inkscape

Input
script

This is too generic to make use inside Inkscape

Transforms
rotate, scale, scaleto, skew, translate

See  Scale To Path Length, Scale To Real, Scale To Size (Replaced by default transform scale) and native functions like path effects and transformations

Filters
squiggles
Text

Troubleshooting

Problem:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\tomate\AppData\Roaming\inkscape\extensions\mightyscape-1.X\extensions\fablabchemnitz\vpypetools\vpypetools.py", line 17, in <module>
    import vpype_viewer
  File "C:\Users\tomate\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39\lib\site-packages\vpype_viewer\__init__.py", line 6, in <module>
    from .engine import *
  File "C:\Users\tomate\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39\lib\site-packages\vpype_viewer\engine.py", line 13, in <module>
    from ._painters import (
  File "C:\Users\tomate\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39\lib\site-packages\vpype_viewer\_painters.py", line 9, in <module>
    from ._utils import ColorType, load_program, load_texture_array
  File "C:\Users\tomate\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39\lib\site-packages\vpype_viewer\_utils.py", line 9, in <module>
    from PIL import Image
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'PIL'

Solution:

pip3 uninstall PIL
pip3 install --force-reinstall Pillow --no-cache-dir
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