symmetryworks window
SymmetryWorks' simple looking interface belies a powerful program

SymmetryWorks™ is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator 8.0 or later. (The package recommends Illustrator versions 10 to CS2). It will work on Windows 98 onwards and Mac OS 8.0 or up.

SymmetryWorks is primarily a pattern producing program using any of the 17 wallpaper patterns. It can produce pattern tessellations without effort but it is not easy to edit them into representational objects or animals. The program is more complicated than the others listed here and more difficult to learn, possibly due to the numerous facilities it provides.

In use, one draws a shape, or shapes, and then chooses a symmetry from the example buttons. Press the 'Make' button and it will replicate the shape according to the symmetry rules chosen and the setting of the 'Tiling' buttons. At this stage you will probably have to edit the original 'seed' to get the desired effect. Overlapping will be acceptable for many patterns and add to the effect but, of course by definition, it is not acceptable for most tessellations, epecially representational ones of people, animals, etc. This seed editing is done in real time while the replications are displayed. Editing the seed changes all the other instances at the same time and so it is possible to remove overlaps and fill in blank spaces.

Extra graphics can be added to the seed by using a special 'paste inside' command. These will then appear in the other replications as well.

The program comes with a comprehensive manual in pdf format

How do we rate this program? Excellent for making symmetrical patterns but requires dedication and experience before you will be able to make it do what YOU want and produce patterns, and especially tessellations, that you design from an original concept. Cons - very expensive and needs expensive Illustrator package too. Manual sometimes difficult to follow.

Further details from Artlandia here. Current price $215 downloaded

[Note - Artlandia also produce SymmetryShop as a plug-in for Photoshop. Although this is similar in many respects to SymmetryWorks, we cannot recommend it for making tessellations. The main drawback is that editing the control paths does not take place in real time.

By clicking on each of the 5 numbers at the end of this line, you can see examples of tessellation art produced using SymmetryWorks: > 1, 2, 3, 4 5 <