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PatterNodes is intended to create repetitive graphics, such as patterns, gradients and illustrations. The application follows an approach to creating patterns that is quite different from those used by other tools, which is why, even though it has a straightforward interface, PatterNodes has a steep learning curve at the beginning. Luckily, you can get a lot of help in the form of a welcoming tutorial, sample files, a user guide and even video lessons.
A basic concept to understand what this application is about is that of the node. In this respect, the intended pattern is described as a network of interconnected nodes. Some nodes are meant to store elements, such as basic shapes, text and imported images. Other nodes rule the way the elements are shown. It is worth pointing out that some shapes can be created using mathematical expressions.
For instance, you can create an Element node containing an ellipse. Then, you can link it to a Repeat node so that the ellipse is repeated in a grid. Next, you can connect the Repeat node to a Change node, which will allow you to transform the ellipse by, let us say, rotating it. Finally, you can create a bond between the Change node and one of the three layers (bottom, middle and upper) available from an Output node. If you now feel more confused than you were at the beginning, you should try to do it on PatterNodes, perhaps you will understand it better that way. At least, it worked for me.
The changes you make are automatically reflected on the bottom preview panel. Thus, you have the opportunity to configure different parameters, such as color, scaling, rotation and number of repetitions, until you get the result you were expecting. Finally, the pattern can be exported to vector (SVG, EPS, PDF) and raster graphic formats (JPEG, PNG, TIFF). Besides, animations can be exported to GIF, SVG, QuickTime MOV and MPEG4.
Although this tool deserves my five stars, just as a wish, I would like this app to come with a basic painting tool, which would avoid importing images created with a third-party application.
All in all, once you climb the initial learning curve, creating patterns with PatterNodes will surely become much easier than with any other illustration application. This is thanks to the possibility of automating repetition with the help of nodes. The product is free to try, so do not miss this opportunity to create backgrounds, textures, gradients and illustrations.
- An original method to automate the creation of repetitive graphics
- Supports multiple output formats
- Creates animated patterns
- Plenty of help material
- Immediate feedback
- No built-in basic painting tool