Tutorial: Import .svg
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), a W3C standard, is a XML file format that defines two dimensional vector graphics. Wikipedia and Wikimedia commons contain a vast amount of images, much of which is available in SVG format without copyright restrictions. For example, this map of the USA. Although SWiSH Max cannot import this format directly, a free application, Inkscape, can be used to open these images and re-export as .emf files which Max can import.
Why Vector Graphics?
Vector graphics provide a number of advantages when compared to bitmap formats such as bmp, png, jpeg and gif. The advantages include:
- Scaleability. As the representation consists of line drawing commands, the graphic can be scaled without individual pixels becoming visible.
- The different objects that make up the graphic are normally accessible and editable as individual objects. For example, in the case of the USA map, each state is represented as a separate object.
Example: Import USA svg map into Max4
Step 1 – Download the .svg file
Before proceeding check that the item is copyright free. See the licensing information section associated with the item if you are downloading it from wikipedia or wikimedia commons. If the item is not copyright free, please respect the displayed licensing conditions.
Visit this wikimedia.org webpage. Right click on the Full Resolution link and use Save Link As to save the .svg file to your local computer.
Step 2 – Install Inkscape
Download and install Inkscape from the Inkscape website.
Step 3 – Open in Inkscape
Open Inkscape then open the svg file using File | Open
Step 4 – Resave as .emf
Use File | Save As to resave the file in .emf format.
Change the Save as type: from *.svg to Enhanced Metafile (*.emf)
If asked to convert texts to paths, reset the checkbox. This simplifies editing in Max.
Step 5 – Import into Max
Depending on your exact needs, you can clean up the item by deleting elements that are not required. For example, the numbers and the colored borders. The colored borders can be identified by selecting the item in the Outline panel then viewing the properties in the Properties panel. The borders will either be a line or a shape with empty fill.
Border colors if needed, can then be added by setting a line color for each of the state shapes.
It is possible to set all items to have the same line and fill properties by selecting all of the items in the Outline panel then adjusting the fill and line properties in the Properties panel.
If using one of the copyright free images from wikipedia has saved you some time, please consider making a donation to wikipedia. It is a great resource, but it can only continue to operate if people support it.
In a similar way, if you find Inkscape useful, please consider donating to that community effort.