Video support in SymmetryMill is coming your way. We’ll highlight the new features in future posts, but you can start your video patterns exploration right now by downloading the beta version of SymmetryMill 3. Make patterns from video files in the .WebM (an open web media) format or directly from your camera. Save your pattern stream to a video file, taking your source from a static image or another video stream.
As luck would have it, while researching materials for this post, we’ve gotten reacquainted with Jaeson Caulley, a long-time Artlandia user, who is also a designer, an expert in secure printing, and Vice President of DSS Plastics Group, a leader in manufacturing secure plastic cards.
According to Jaeson, over the past ten years, the market in building secure plastic cards has shifted from standard guilloché patterns to fine-line patterns, as the look is fresher and friendlier to photos, names, addresses, and all other kinds of variable data on the card.
For the new polycarbonate ID cards (“unbreakable glass”), which have laser-engraved variable data, fine-line patterns are also a must because the material simply won’t bond if large swaths of fill colors are used, whereas thin lines off the edge of the card allow the material to adhere to the next layer.
Patterns add flavor to your webpage, making it unique and unforgettable. As a pattern designer, you will probably want to make your patterns yourself, and all the Artlandia tools, SymmetryWorks, SymmetryShop, and SymmetryMill, will let you do that. But if you are in hurry, there’s a wealth of patterns on Pattern Central that you can deploy right away, either as is or tweaked to suit your needs.
For instance, to re-create the first pattern from a shared set, like “SymmetryMill Blending Modes,” get its tile image and upload it to your website or link directly to the tile. For a pattern to run through the body of a page, you can add this class to the body tag (the background-size property is optional and needed only if you want to scale the pattern):
Artlandia’s Pattern Central just made it easier to use shared patterns in your projects. You could always load a shared pattern set in SymmetryMill and export a pattern tile for the pattern that you like. Now you may be able to skip a couple of steps, because the first tile in each shared set is available directly from Pattern Central. The tile image will seamlessly repeat if stacked both vertically and horizontally in many applications.
You often want to make the repeat size of your patterns exactly to spec, which is now easy, thanks to SymmetryMill 2 displaying the repeat size when you edit the control path. You can also turn on the repeat size display by simply hovering your mouse over the control path. In either case, the repeat size shows up in the top section of the Source Image window.
Wouldn’t you want to sit back and relax while somebody makes all kinds of patterns for you? With SymmetryMill 2, you can! Just start the Pattern Explorer and let it run. Stop any time you see something interesting. But don’t worry about missing a beat. All the intermediate steps are recorded and you can replay them, like a movie, or browse frame by frame and select the best.
When it comes to making seamless patterns, there can’t be too many tricks up your sleeve. SymmetryMill 2 adds dozens of new blend modes to your arsenal and lets you customize boundaries between neighboring units in your patterns exactly to your liking.
You can choose among many blend modes, such as Normal, Enhanced Average, Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Inverse Color Dodge, Lighten, Screen, Overlay, Soft, Hard, Vivid Light, Glow, Freeze, Heat, Difference, and Composite.
When you share your patterns, SymmetryMill 2 will do a better job of promoting your brand. You don’t have to do anything differently on your end. Simply click the Share button in the SymmetryMill toolbar, fill in whatever details you wish to include in the dialog, and your patterns will be off to Pattern Central to be seen by everyone.
SymmetryMill 2 is almost here, and it comes with a new automatic pattern generator, advanced blend modes, a bevy of new filters, numerous improvements, and, importantly, a modern technology behind the familiar user interface.
This is going to be a short post. From time to time, companies ask us to help them find people who are proficient with our pattern design tools and may be available for a freelance assignment. To get your name into circulation, please leave a comment and outline your area of expertise. Or email us privately with the same information. Also consider publicizing some samples of your work in the SymmetryWorks user gallery and Pattern Central… Good luck!
Pattern applications are endless, but there are never too many ideas when it comes to brainstorming new uses for your patterns. Here, inspired in part by a wonderful collection of 1000 dresses by Fitzgerald and Taylor, we ran through a few of such ideas.
Most of the source patterns are taken straight from the Artlandia Glossary and are included in a free bonus pack (in a vector format, of course) available with a purchase of SymmetryWorks. We did make minor alterations, though. Couldn’t resist a temptation to tweak patterns on mockups when it’s so easy to do with SymmetryWorks LP. We can make the modified patterns available too. If you wish to get exactly these versions, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do.
Call it whatever you like, but this is a fascinating subject. The terms “positive-negative patterns,”“patterns with figure-ground reversal,” and “counterchange patterns” are often synonymous, but they can also shed light on the same pattern at different angles and go to the heart of what makes patterns with color reversals so interesting and attractive.
Before we start, let’s be clear on one thing. Traditionally, counterchange patterns are introduced with the help of black and white pictures, which is certainly proper because nothing conveys the gist of color inversion better; or the concept of yin and yang; or positive and negative. We’ll follow the tradition and give only a few examples in full color, mainly to drive home the fact that color reversals work splendidly with any number of colors so your counterchange color palette can be as elaborate as you wish.
Back to the subject, “counterchange” usually refers to color reversals in the most generic sense. For instance, we could say that the number of standard pattern types grows dramatically from 17 to 46 if one permits color reversals, alongside rotations, reflections, and other symmetry operations, when generating a pattern from a motif. In that context the neutral term “counterchange patterns” is ideal. And, yes, starting from version 6, SymmetryWorks creates both the standard 17 pattern types and the 46 counterchange pattern types at a click.
As a pattern junkie, you may know how to capture the structure of a repeating pattern in a diagram; that is, determine to which of the seventeen symmetry types a pattern belongs. Yes, we are talking about surface patterns, or wallpaper patterns, whose type is determined by what mathematicians call the plane (2D) symmetry groups. Turns out all pattern schematics are not made equal and, surprisingly, the most simple diagram, which is also the most useful for the non-mathematically inclined, is also the least known or, we might even be tempted to say, a well-kept secret.
Traditionally, because you are dealing with symmetries, your pattern schematics would show symmetry operations, probably combined with boundaries of repeating units (“unit cells” or “fundamental domains”), and often made more intelligible by superimposing actual patterns produced by a simple asymmetric bit (a line, a comma, or a letter of an alphabet). Here are a few examples of the standard approach, which we show mostly to help you fully appreciate a simpler one that’s coming up next:
You’ve created your first pattern designs. It was fun and they look gorgeous. Now comes the tricky bit: making the world aware of your creations. You are a budding pattern designer and you don’t have your marketing channels—yet. Putting together your cleverly organized website, and adding profiles on all social media sites you could think of, ate up a good chunk of time, but no small army of followers eagerly awaits your new artworks. Cold calling perspective clients, studios, and reps is a part of your daily routine, but no one is returning your calls yet. So what now? How do you start building up your brand and jump start that success you’ve always known would come? Sorry, we won’t give you a ready-made recipe, but there are avenues that may improve your chances of being discovered. Which way to go is up to you and you will most definitely pursue more than one path.