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Using Arlandia SymmetryWorks Filter with Photoshop Styles

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Annoucement! Artlandia Symmetry Works has released version 3, the best version ever! Now you can use bitmaps in your symmetries and you can use text without converting to outlines! Check out all of the new features and download a Demo at Artlandia SymmetryWorks web site!

Artlandia SymmetryWorks is an incredible tiling filter from Artlandia for Adobe illustrator. You can download a trial at Artlandia's website. In the trial version, you can use one symmetry at a time without closing and reopening Illustrator. In the full version of course there are no restrictions. The filter is available for Mac or Windows. Version 3 is just around the corner and promises to be the best one yet!

The filter is very easy to use. Here is a quick rundown:

draw a shapeDraw a shape: use the pencil tool, pen tool, or shape tools. You can add a brush stroke if you wish. Keep it selected.

symmetryworksAccess SymmetryWorks from the SymmetryWorks palette (Window > SymmetryWorks). You can also use the command Object > SymmetryWorks > Make if you want to use the last used symmetry without setting any options.

Choose a layout, and the number of tiles: 2 X 2 is a good place to start to give a good idea of how the symmetry will look, and you can come back at any time and change the settings.

In the tiling preset window, pick a preset and click the Make button. You can keep choosing different presets and clicking their preview and the tile will change dynamically on the page. You can also try different layouts and the symmetry changes.

If you want to release the shape from the symmetry, click the release button.

When you have something you want to try the styles on, you're ready to take the shape to Photoshop.


Follow the directions from Part 1 to place or copy the Illustrator files into Photoshop or Elements, and apply your styles. 

After: add a new layer, drag it under the pattern layer and fill with solid color

Some will be suitable for patterns in Photoshop. With the new image selected, go to Edit > Define pattern.

In the toolbox, choose the Paint Bucket tool and change the fill type to Pattern in the options bar, and scroll to the bottom of the pattern list to use your new pattern.


Click the thumbnail to see the pattern in a larger image:

CLick to see larger version     CLick to see larger version


After: plain emboss style applied, and left with a transparent background


Because the background is left transparent, the emboss takes on whatever color you use for a background. Define it as a pattern with the transparent background and apply over any background. Click the thumbnails to see a larger tiled version.

CLick to see larger version     CLick to see larger version


Using Type with SymmetryWorks

You can use type with SymmetryWorks too. This is a simple capital V in a non-serif font (Myriad at 72 pt). SymmetryWorks 2 can't use the type if you leave it as type, so it must be converted to paths first. if you are using SymmetryWorks 3, skip the create outlines step, and go straight for the symmetry.

For SymmetryWorks 2, select the type with the selection tool, and go to Type > Create Outlines. Now make the symmetry as before. Place it in Photoshop and add styles as before. Try serif and non-serif fonts. The letters S and C are often good ones for this technique.

Before: Myriad V at 72 pt
After : click to see larger version
pattern 5
CLick to see larger version


Dingbats make interesting symmetries as well. Follow the same rule and convert to outlines before using SymmetryWorks.

Before: CaslonOrnaments Regular at 72 pt
After : click to see larger version
Click to see larger version


Some will be suitable for designs, for use as part of collages, or logos. You will also find you get different results if you import from Illustrator with or without a fill. The sky's the limit!

Before & After
snail before
Imported filled with white
Imported with no fill


Making Illustrator Brushes with Artlandia SymmetryWorks

If you would like more ideas what to do with Artlandia SymmetryWorks filter, I have these tutorials as well:

Download the patterns used in this tutorial here. Unzip the file and save the .pat file to your presets/patterns folder in Elements 2 or Photoshop 7 or CS.

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