How could I improve the shading on this chain link illustration?

I’m trying to make a stylized chain (the hardware kind, not a bike chain or jewellery) in Inkscape. Initially I gave it a flat effect, and this was easy to achieve. For the O-shaped links, I used rectangles with the corner radius set to half the width (on the right in the image below), and for the ones you see side-on, just a single stroke with rounded caps, the same length as the rectangle.

But after trying out this design, I’ve found the chain links need a bit of depth to show their shape. The side-on ones are easy to do with a linear gradient, lighter at the top and darker at the bottom, and you can see below I’ve done one this way. The O-shaped ones are more of a problem, because a single gradient isn’t enough. There needs to be a gradient on the two long edges similar to the one I already have, but there also needs to be a radial gradient going around the bends, so that the top edges of the bend are lighter and the underneath edges are darker. I can’t work out how to fit all those requirements together and get a smooth result.

screenshot of what I have so far

How can I achieve this effect in Inkscape? I’m not expecting it to be photorealistic, but I’d prefer a smooth gradient (to match the style of the rest of the image) rather than two-tone or something similar.


It is possible to apply a radial filter in “reflective” mode to have a peripheral shade:

  • Radial Fill – Reflective

    enter image description here

But alas we can see that the results are far from acceptable.

Better results can be obtained using a built-in SVG-specific filter effect. All filters have a basic preset but these can be customized using the Filter Editor. See below for some filters which may be suitable for shading chains:

  • ABCs: Specular Light

    enter image description here

  • Bevels: Deep Colors Plastic

    enter image description here

  • Bevels: Combined Lighting

    enter image description here

  • Bevels: Glowing Metal

    enter image description here

  • Bevels: Bright Metal

    enter image description here

Source : Link , Question Author : Dan Hulme , Answer Author : Community

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