Making Inkie Super Vector Mask Tutorial

by Lindsay in Vector Tutorials

This is a simple tutorial to show the fun you can have using the mask tool in Inkpad. Taking any photograph, and a bit of patience you can combine an element from a photograph and add it to another photograph or a vector drawing you have created. I will be taking our cat Inkie and sending her into space in this video (no cats were harmed in the making of this film).


Using the mask tool in Inkpad, you can isolate an element of a photograph and combine it with another photograph or vector drawing you have created.

First I’m going to open the picture I want to use. I’m using this image of our cat, Inkie, in one of her usual dramatic poses, but you can use whatever photographs you would like. Once my image is imported into Inkpad, I’m going to resize it using the Resize tool. Zooming in will help you see the detail of the element you wish to isolate.

That looks about right, so now I’m going to open the Layers menu. Locking the photograph layer will stop me accidentally dragging it, and I’m going to add a new layer to work in. You can rename your layers if you want, but I’m going to leave them for now.

In the empty layer, draw a rough shape around the element to be masked. I’m going to use a Freehand tool and I prefer the Blob tool as it closes the path when you have finished drawing. With the outline selected, check you have no stroke and add a nice semitransparent fill. It doesn’t matter what color or transparency level you choose, as long as it is easy to distinguish from your photograph. Now I’m going to add some extra anchor points to my shape, by tapping the Path menu and selecting ‘Add Anchor Points’. This will give me more points to adjust, I can always add and remove them, with the Add Anchor tool, as I adjust the outline. With the selection tool I’m going to work my way around adjusting my shape to fit Inkie’s outline.

Things are looking good, so I can unlock my photograph layer, and use ‘Select All’ from the Edit menu. Then I can apply a Mask from the Path menu, to see how things look. If yours isn’t quite right you can tap undo, to return to your image, or edit your mask live. I’m going to work directly on my masked object, just to tidy it up.

Right, I’m happy with my final mask, so I’m going to spin Inkie around, using the rotate tool, because I want her to be flying, then I’m going to give her a cape! Selecting the empty layer created by the mask, and with the freehand tool I’m going to draw a red flowing cape. Because I’m using a layer beneath Inkie, the cape will be drawn behind her.

Once I’m happy with Inkie’s cape, I want to make sure all layers are unlocked and from the Edit menu, select all my objects, then with them still selected copy my flying Inkie.

Now I’m going to go back to my gallery where I just happen to have a vector space background for Inkie to fly across. I have an empty layer selected for Inkie, so I can paste her in from the Edit menu.

Okay, she’s a little large so I need to resize her, with the Resize tool. Inkie is still fully editable and I can adjust her cape and rotation if I want to. Finally I’m going to give her a faint white glow, using the drop shadow options and hey presto, ‘Cats in Space’.