Artlandia Symmetry Works is a plugin for Illustrator to help you to create nice vectore patterns. The plugin enables an option for creating patterns live from existing shapes that you are creating. This is super cool if you have any interest in creating custom patterns. I was interested in this plugin because I build and design websites. I have often wanted to quickly and easily create a custom pattern for a background and this seemed like the tool to do it.
When I first installed the plugin, I had no idea how to enable it. I found that there is an option under "Windows" to enable the Symmetry Works window. When you enable the window, you will see your dashboard for pattern making.
The second problem that I had was I didn't know how to get started. Eventually I realized that there was a little question mark icon amongst the pre-exisitng patterns that gives you a quick step-by-step guide for getting started.
Once I was started, the plugin was a lot of fun. I love the fact that the pattern changes live as you work with your graphic. This allows you to line up your shapes just perfectly to get the desired effect.
There are a lot of features and some quite technical settings that will require some experimentation, so I would definitely recommend starting with a basic shape, selecting the layout style that you want to test, and then clicking the "Make" button to begin the live pattern making. This will allow you to test out all the different settings and find something that works the way you are expecting it to work. Many of the layouts can be confusing until you start getting used to how it reflects your initial graphic.
I feel like this plugin got me half-way to what I was looking for. I gave this 4 stars out of 5 because of the learning and understanding that is required to get comfortable in making patterns. I definitely think that this is the most robust pattern maker I have found so far, and having it work in Adobe Illustrator is a definite comfort since I am very familiar with that program already.
So, great product, just requires a bit of time to get used to.