Tuesday, June 18, 2013

UI Design Tutorial - Mana Orb - Inkscape

How to create a mana orb in 17 simple steps

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb

In the first Inkscape tutorial we made a simple yet great looking glass button.
If you missed it, you can read it here : UI Design Tutorial - Glossy Button
It is not required but I recommend to read it first before starting with this tutorial.

So today I will show you how to create a mana orb.
You can use it for many different kinds of interfaces and games, I just call it mana orb because I had action RPGs like the Diablo games in mind when creating it.
It can be used as a visual health or resource display or
 as a bowl, a bowling ball or something completely different, it is up to your imagination.

If you haven't got it yet, download Inkscape!
Click the picture to view the tutorial at full size.
Have fun!

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb 1

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb 2

free inkscape tutorial - mana orb 3

Artist's advice:
When working with color gradients, go for natural colors and use different hues in the same gradient.
If you want a strong glowing red, use a fiery orange tone for the highlight, just like I used an aquablue in this tutorial that instantly reminds us of the caribbean sea.
A small shift in hues can breathe life into your assets.

You can experiment with Inkscape's filters to get nice textures for your orbs.
"Liquid" and "Shaken Liquid" are the ones I prefer here, but it is up to you.
The textures are locked to the canvas, so you can move your objects until you are satisfied with the texture.

An example of use
A screenshot of an Action-RPG game prototype

An Action-RPG with Mana Orbs, Glossy Buttons and InDee Toons

Free resources
You can download the Inkscape source file with the game ready mana orb and health globe in blue and in red for free here: 

Now we are just one more step away from an impressive role playing game user interface.

Come back soon or just subscribe to the blog to get informed when the next update is posted!

If you have questions on UI design or requests for future tutorials, please post a comment!


  1. Nice tutorial. I use inkscape a lot for more character and UI gen and have never thought of using the liquid texture like you did. Well done!

    Keep up the work, I have marked your page to keep checking back for updates.


  2. Thank you for the nice feedback.
    There will be more tutorials soon :)

  3. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

  4. Thank you for the tutorials, Dee. I'm about to get a position at a software development company and I find your posts very useful for me. Can you also post some tutorials on UX design in the future?

  5. Thank you for this tutorial.

    I used it with a liquid texture, added some bubbles and liked the outcome very much.
    You could find my orb here: http://mondspeer.deviantart.com/art/The-mana-orb-a-tribute-to-Diablo-I-475815560

    1. Wow, that's very impressive, your orb looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I just happened across your tutorial today and was intrigued by the liquid bit. Downloaded inkscape (and quartz) and it contains no liquid textures. (shake either). I notice this was written a couple years back. Did they remove these?

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