Auto-Rotation of Successive Image Brush Tiles

Someone recently asked about how to program the paint synthesizer to build a tiling pattern based on an image brush where the image brush rotates 180 degrees for each successive application of an image brush paint nib (like the tiling pattern seen above).


The paint synthesizer has a temporal generator modulator (TG1) located in the Miscellaneous control panel. You can use the TG1 modulator to modulate the brush orientation in the Brush Modulation control panel. The setting below will use the TG1 modulator to modulate the brush orientation to be either 0 or 180 degrees.

Since we want the brush to change orientation by 180 degrees with every paint nib, we want a square wave modulator with a cycle time of 2. We're using a max path length of 1 for this preset, so each paint stroke paints in a single image brush paint nib. So, we want the temporal generator to advance based on the stroke count (as opposed to the current frame or path length).

The paint preset i used to generate the tiled image above is available for download below.


One thing to be aware of with tiling presets is that they may generate an extra tile at the far right or bottom edges of the canvas. So if your canvas size is an exact multiple of the image tile size, you get a duplicate tile nib drawn at the right most border tiles. Normally this would not be a problem, but for this particular preset it messes up the successive tile flipping. The solution is to make the canvas slightly bigger in the horizontal dimension. You can then crop the final painted canvas to get rid of the extra partial tile spacing at the right boundary for the finished output image.


Another way to approach this problem is to use an image background texture. Image background textures have built in horizontal and vertical symmetry modulation options. So they can directly do symmetry tiling patterning. I'll try to post some more information here on this alternative approach.

You need to be a member of Studio Artist to add comments!

Join Studio Artist

Email me when people reply –


  • Thank you John for taking time and explaining this during weekend
  • This example shows off an alternative approach to generating rotational symmetry patterning when tiling with an image. The source brush is set to be a computational source brush, that generates a solid black rectangle for the source brush. The image tiling is generated by using an image background texture.

    2472632901?profile=originalThe image background texture is setup so that the horizontal and vertical symmetry of the tiled image flip for even tiling indexes.

    2472633184?profile=originalThe paint preset i used to generate the above alternative tiling example is available below.

  • Here's the image used in the 2imageBrT2 paint preset posted above.


This reply was deleted.