Planet Photoshop

SymmetryShop

My background is in textile design and repeat pattern construction so I was really excited to try SymmetryShop, Artlandia’s new powerful plug-in for Photoshop. Some of the patterns are awesome and would take me a long time to create by hand; however, SymmetryShop isn’t particularly friendly or easy to use.I feel that some unfortunate choices were made in the design of the plug-in, which may cause a novice to be puzzled when a pattern tile won’t repeat seamlessly.

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To do Artlandia justice, if the user takes the time to read the 82-page manual and the tutorials that come with the program, the mystery of broken patterns will be solved-but not necessarily fixed. None of the plug-in’s controls (on the File>Automate menu) allow you to interactively drag an element in the image to identify the pattern seed. So, if you need to move the pattern-generating area down by several pixels, you must use the Control Path slider’s X and Y controls. To alter the size of the pattern-generating area, you likewise need to change both the height and width and then re-center the Control Path-with multiple iterations to get it right.

If you can deal with these annoyances, the output is excellent and you may lose a few hours just trying the various effects. In addition to the standard 17 symmetries, there’s a variety of other traditional repeat systems, such as the brick, half-drop, and spot repeats. You can re-edit the pattern as often as you wish and SymmetryShop remembers how it created the current version. You can also export pattern tiles directly to the Photoshop Pattern Preset library.

If you do a lot of pattern design, this is a good addition to your toolbox.

Money Sign291 (download $265) PlatformMac/Windows

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