Free SymmetryMill Plugin Brings Textures to Google SketchUp

The plugin works with both the free and paid versions of both SymmetryMill and SketchUp.

SymmetryWorks and SymmetryShop are Artlandia Illustrator and Photoshop plugins that allow professional designers to generate a wide variety of repeating patterns, with the latter being the prize in the March Graphics.com Sweepstakes on Facebook. In September of last year Artlandia brought its pattern-creation expertise to a wider audience by making this functionality available to anyone with a browser, via its cloud-based SymmetryMill service.

Users begin by loading in one of their own images or starting with one from Artlandia's Pattern Central repository, where patterns can be browsed by such categories as date, popularity or via tags. Then it's a matter of using the onscreen controls to select what part of the image to use, as well as which of the seventeen symmetry types to apply. Additional controls make it possible to do such things as create a stream of patterns by dragging the selection area over the image; create brick and drop repeats; change the background color; rotate the source image; drag sliders to change the hue, saturation, brightness, contrast and transparency of the source image; adjust sharpen and blur filters; and tweak the blending algorithms for generating smooth seamless patterns. Patterns can be saved or shared in the Pattern Central repository, for either public or private viewing and sharing.

Artlandia has now released a SymmetryMill plugin that makes its design editing functionality available within SketchUp. The plugin extends SketchUp's built-in texture library and lets the designer interactively create and refine custom patterns and textures for specific models or products, such as apparel, furnishings, interiors and exteriors of buildings and vehicles. SymmetryMill's repeating patterns instantly become SketchUp's materials, with editing the pattern automatically updating the linked SketchUp model. SymmetryMill pattern textures behave as normal SketchUp materials, which can be applied with SketchUp's Paint Bucket tool, repositioned, distorted and painted on complex SketchUp models.

The plugin is available at no charge for both the free and the Pro versions of SketchUp 8 on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux; it can also be installed in SketchUp 7. A subscription to the full version of SymmetryMill itself is priced at $69 per year ($5.75/month) or $99 ($4.12/month) for two years. More information is available on the Artlandia site.