Lightning strikes

I had a request for an electricity effect/ lightning strike and think I found a rather quick and simple way to do it in Inkscape. 

With a some additions it turns into a night lightning strike.

If you want to animate these I suggest doing the lines first and altering a copy of the line shape in a new layer [see the animation tutorial for this]. Animate the shape roughly and not too similar. After creating a few variations of the lightning strike start with the conversion to paths.

It's a lot easier to adjust a few nodes on a line than twice that many or more in a shape. 

I hope this quick tutorial is helpful to some.

Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for
USD 3.00


Chris Hildenbrand

2D game artist, pixelpusher, vector bender, face turner for over thirty years. I worked on more games than I can remember... The most recent release is "Super Crossbar Challenge" for iOS (Android coming soon) with Shattered Box, Fredbear Games and PlayPlayFun.


  1. These tutorials are phenomenal! Thank you for doing these.

    Sometime, I would love to see how you do explosions. I can honestly say they are the single most frustrating thing for me to make, I can't really figure out how to get them right.

  2. Thank you for the tutorials, they are very helpfull.

    I always wonder one thing, how do you come up with the color schemes? What is the theory behind this?

  3. Excellent tutorials, but the image links are broken.

  4. My server went down... ;\ .... I am changing the images to Picasa at the moment... They should be up and running again in no time...

  5. u should consider writing a book , im sure ill buy it ..and art has always been a problem for programmers ....ur tuts are really simple and awsome )D

    and i much appreaciate ur choice of tools

    GIMP and INKSCAPE ..instead of ps and il :D

  6. Thanks Kamalesh... I am seriously thinking about it... It;'s a lot of work but should be good fun as well...

  7. thanks Kamalesh. your blog is fantastic!!!!!

  8. Hi,
    First of all, your tutorials are excellent! I like how I build up my knowledge of Inkscape while making all sorts of interesting things. Making graphics for my game is going to be much easier thanks to you. :)

    I have one question about this tutorial, though. How do I make the sharp ends of the lines? All I found was I could move them around or make them square/round.
    Is it mentioned in some tutorial I accidentally skipped?
    Also, when I tried to do a union of the objects (after converting to path) it created straight lines from their start to their end. I have no idea what happened there, so I grouped them instead.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Nevermind, the tank tutorial answered my question about the pointy ends and the union worked this time (I have no idea why). :D