Software for Making Escher-Style Tessellation Art
Tessellations can be produced using any drawing package, even quite simple ones. In our 'Do it yourself' section we show how this can be done fairly easily. This is often more satisfying than using purpose built software and the results can be worth it and sometimes unexpected 8-)
However, there are several programs available that can help in the process and most can produce tessellations using all 17 wallpaper types and more. Some are easier to use than others but, if you have a pre-conceived idea of a subject you want, it is much more difficult.
The easiest way to produce tessellations using these programs is to let the software 'suggest' a subject. All of them will produce a mesh outline, or lattice, according to the symmetry rules you set. You then have to push and pull the lines, add and remove corners and points, etc, until you have shapes you recognise. You still have to interpret the results.
Types There are few dedicated stand alone programs. A favourite of mine is 'Tesselmaniac'. Other packages 'plug in' to a main graphics program and use it to produce the actual artwork. A few are covered here - see below. The disadvantage of these is that you need to own the main program - and this can be expensive. Yet another way is by using a specially designed Java applet and producing tessellations directly on line. If you want to use the result, it has to be 'grabbed' off the screen.
Details of some programs follow together with some example tessellations and screenshots from each. The examples include their symmetry types so you can replicate them if you have the program.