Artlandia has released Version 2 of SymmetryShop, its Photoshop plug-in for building complex patterns and borders from scanned art, raster images and photographs. The update adds support for Photoshop smart objects, text layers, and layer and vector masks. It also includes a nested-pattern feature that allows the use of one pattern as the source for other patterns, and an autorun feature that lets you work on a pattern in one window while viewing the updated pattern in a second window.
Patterns created with SymmetryShop can be used as fills, brushes and stamps easily from within Photoshop itself.
SymmetryShop 2 is priced at $295, and works with all Creative Suite versions of Photoshop, although the autorun feature requires CS3. Upgrades are $75.
While I haven’t had a chance to play with SymmetryShop with any depth, I have used SymmetryWorks, Arlandia’s similar plug-in for Adobe Illustrator, for a long time—it’s a great tool for creating complicated vector patterns, to reproduce things like fabric, wallpaper and other repetitive designs. It takes a while to master, but if you need realistic repeating patterns or borders, it’s hard to beat.