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Artlandia SymmetryShop

Artlandia SymmetryShop is an automatic pattern creator.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint





Introduction

Creating patterns in Adobe Photoshop is not as inspiring a task as we would have liked it to be. You need to use the Edit | Define Pattern option and that merely gives you a copy of the defined area. Photoshop by itself has few options to create repeating symmetrical patterns, and those options can be time-consuming as well. Artlandia SymmetryShop aims to fulfill that void, and once you understand how it works, it's everything you could have wanted in an automatic pattern creator.

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About Symmetry Shop

SymmetryShop is a Adobe Photoshop plug-in from Artlandia that works from within Photoshop's Automate submenu. Artlandia, an Illinois, USA based company creates graphic design software to create patterns. They also sell patterns.

Other than SymmetryShop, Artlandia also creates SymmetryWorks, a similar add-in that works from within Adobe Illustrator. You can learn more about Artlandia at their site.

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Download and Installation

You can download the plug-in file for SymmetryShop from the Artlandia website. It's a ZIP file that you need to unarchive and place in Photoshop's plug-in folder. Make sure that you quit Photoshop before copying the plug-in. The plug-in will be available inside Photoshop's File | Automate submenu the next time you run Photoshop.

The steps detailed work identically for both the Windows or Mac versions of SymmetryShop. For this tutorial, we are using the Windows version.

By default, the plug-in runs in a demo mode that limits which configuration options you can change and apply. The full, registered version has no such limitations. Registration provides you with an Artlandia online account and an unlock key. The unlock key is tied to your Photoshop serial number so if you upgrade or change your version of Photoshop, you'll have to get in touch with Artlandia's support department.

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How To Use

Here's how you can create symmetrical patterns using this Photoshop plug-in.

  1. Open a new document in Photoshop and create a shape on it, and apply a solid color or gradient, For this tutorial, we are using a gradient overlay, as shown in Figure 1, below. Alternatively, just open any image. The SymmetryShop plug-in folder also includes some sample images.
  2. A sample image to start with
    Figure 1: A sample image to start with
  3. Now, choose the File | Automate | Artlandia SymmetryShop option, as shown in Figure 2, below.
  4. The Artlandia SymmetryShop menu option
    Figure 2: The Artlandia SymmetryShop menu option
  5. SymmetryShop works only with raster images. Since, a vector shape have been created in the layer, SymmetryShop shows a warning message that asks you to rasterize the shape layer, accept this option by clicking the OK button.
  6. Selection or Workpath

  7. Patterns in SymmetryShop are created based on a found selection or workpath. If SymmetryShop is not able to find a selection or the workpath, it will select it on its own and proceed to create a pattern out of it.
  8. You will now see the SymmetryShop interface, as shown in Figure 3, below.
  9. The SymmetryShop interface
    Figure 3: The SymmetryShop interface
  10. The interface is divided into six parts. These are quite easy to use, and are explained below, as marked in Figure 3, above:
  11. A. Symmetry Control

  12. Symmetry Control has all the different default pattern algorithms. For example mirror, kaleidoscope, etc., which can be applied by choosing any of them.
  13. B. Layouts

  14. Layouts are presets that let you create some of the most commonly used types of patterns with a single click. Examples include brick, diamond, gradation, etc.
  15. C. Clip at Control Path

  16. Clip at Control Path allows you to change the required gap parameter between the repeating patterns by using the Overlap slider, and can make softer edges by using the Feather slider.
  17. D. Tiling

  18. Use this option to create number of repetition on the X and Y axes. This is only really useful if you are applying the pattern to the existing image. For all practical reasons, it's so much more easier to create a reusable pattern in Photoshop. Show is for previewing the path or the selection found to create pattern.
  19. E. Preferences

  20. Preferences opens a new dialog box, as shown in Figure 4, below and Undo is to revert to the previous state.
  21. Preferences
    Figure 4: Preferences
  22. F. Control Path

  23. Control Path allows you to choose an area of the image from where the the path or the selection for the pattern is procured. I feel this is not as intuitive as it should have been. Entering pixel coordinates can be a process of trial and error and there should have been arrow keys that allowed you to nudge the selection. SymmetryShop also allows to scale, skew, and rotate the selection.
  24. Preview Check Box

  25. Let the Preview check box be activated to see the changes being applied to the shape and ensuing pattern.
  26. After making the changes click OK to apply the pattern to active Photoshop document or choose Export to add the created pattern into your current Photoshop patterns, so that it can be used in the future as well.

Figure 5, below, shows a shape and the sample pattern created from a shape using SymmetryShop in Adobe Photoshop. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

A shape and a pattern   Pattern created with Artlandia SymmetryShop
Figure 5: A shape and a pattern

SymmetryShop really shines when you select something in the artwork rather than letting the plug-in to select a simple geometric region for you as we did in this review for reasons of simplicity. Then, you can create patterns like what you can see in Figure 6, below.

  • A more intricate pattern
    Figure 6: A more intricate pattern

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    Specifications

    Photoshop Versions: PhotoShop 6.0 or higher versions
    Platforms: Windows, Mac
    Site: Artlandia
    Price: $291.00 (CD-ROM with printed user guide) $265.00 (download only)
    Trial Version: Available

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    You get 8 shape types plus lines as part of this Organic Shapes collection. Each of these 8 shape types have 10 variants. So you end up with 80 hand-drawn shape options! Again each of these 80 shapes have 12 brush stroke styles! Plus you get the lines and arrows in 12 brush stroke styles too. Combine all variations to end up with more than 3000 possibilities.

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    This is the original page. An AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version of this page is also available for those on mobile platforms, at Artlandia SymmetryShop.


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