1. Home
  2. Tools
  3. How to use Symmetry

How to use Symmetry

Do you want to draw one side of something and have SketchBook mirror it and draw the other or create flowers, mandalas, or other symmetrical circular objects? Use the Symmetry tools to do just that!

With these tools, you can draw part of something and have SketchBook either mirror it or rotate it, as you draw. Symmetry is especially helpful when drawing something head on, like a portrait.

Once you’ve chosen a type of symmetry, use the other tools to set whether strokes can cross over lines of symmetry and to lock the manipulators in place. Also, before you start drawing, since the line of symmetry appears at the center of the canvas, it might need to be moved to a different location. However, let’s start with selecting the type of symmetry you need. The version of SketchBook you are using determines the available toolset.

The types of symmetry

Here are the different types SketchBook offers:

horizontal symmetry Horizontal
Use SketchBook's Horizontal Symmetry icon to draw one side of an object or scene and have it mirrored to the other side of the line of symmetry (Y-axis). Remember, since the axis always appears at the center of the canvas, you may need to move it.

Example of Horizontal symmetry in the mobile version of SketchBook

vertical symmetry Vertical
Use SketchBook's Vertical Symmetry icon to draw part of an image and have it reflected either above or below the line of symmetry (X-axis). Remember, since the axis always appears at the center of the canvas, you may need to move it.

Example of Vertical symmetry in the mobile version of SketchBook

Vertical symmetry icon in the mobile version of SketchBook horizontal symmetry Vertical and Horizontal
Did you know you could combine the Vertical and Horizontal tools? Use this to create something that is symmetrical not only horizontally, but vertically. This means you can create something symmetrical and have it reflected. Think of the Taj Mahal reflected in the pool in front of it. Tap Vertical symmetry icon in the mobile version of SketchBook and horizontal symmetry. They will both be blue, indicating they are both active.

Radial symmetry Radial
Use Radial symmetry, with up to 16 sectors, to create things like mandalas, complex patterns, wheels, and whatever else you can dream up.

To set the number of radial segments, either tap-drag the slider or enter a numeric value in the option box in the symmetry toolbar. Remember, since the axis always appears at the center of the canvas, you may need to move it and/or rotate the axis. Check out the next section for more information.  

How to move the line of symmetry

In many cases, when creating something symmetrical, you will not want that thing to be in the center of your canvas. This is where repositioning the line of symmetry comes in handy.

Tap-drag the Move line of symmetry icon in the Win 10 version of Autodesk SketchBook manipulator in the center to drag and reposition the center point and line of symmetry. Double-tap it to reset it to the center of the canvas.

How to rotate the axis of symmetry (Radial only)

Are you planning to draw something, but the symmetrical sections aren’t oriented as you’d like? Use the Rotate axis icon in the Win 10 version of Autodesk SketchBook manipulator to rotate the axis to your liking.

Tap-drag the Rotate axis icon in the Win 10 version of Autodesk SketchBook manipulator and drag it to rotate the axis.

Using symmetry in SketchBook for Desktop

There are four types in this version: horizontal, vertical, horizontal/vertical, and radial.

In the toolbar, tap Horizontal symmetry icon (one of the Symmtry tools) in the mobile version of SketchBook to access the Symmetry toolbar.

Symmetry tools

Example of horizontal symmetryTo draw on one side of the axis and have it mirrored to the other, select one of the following:

For horizontal, tap
horizontal symmetry or press Y.

The axis appears at the center of the screen, but can be moved. Check out the section above for more information.

Example of vertical symmetryFor vertical, tap vertical symmetry or press X.

To draw one side of an object or scene and have it mirrored over more lines of symmetry, select one of the following:

Symmetry tool with no symmetry linesFor horizontal and vertical, tap horizontal symmetry and vertical symmetry.

For radial, with up to 16 sectors, tap Radial symmetry. Use it to create things like mandalas, complex patterns, wheels, and whatever else you can dream up.

Check out Kyle’s Custom Wheels. This article deals with radial symmetry and provides a free set of custom brushes!

Using symmetry in SketchBook for Mobile

The version of SketchBook you’re running determines the the available toolset.

Selecting a type of symmetry

Follow the instructions for the version of SketchBook for Mobile you’re running:

  • If you are using an iPad with SketchBook v.4.0 or above, in the toolbar, tap Horizontal symmetry icon (one of the Symmtry tools) in the mobile version of SketchBook, then select from horizontal symmetryVertical symmetry icon in the mobile version of SketchBookVertical symmetry icon in the mobile version of SketchBook and horizontal symmetry, or Radial symmetry.
  • If you are using SketchBook v.3.7.4 or below, in the toolbar, tap Tools icon in the mobile version of SketchBook, then Horizontal symmetry icon (one of the Symmtry tools) in the mobile version of SketchBook, and select from horizontal symmetryVertical symmetry icon in the mobile version of SketchBook, or combine them.

Using symmetry in SketchBook for Windows 10

There are four types in this version: horizontalverticalhorizontal/vertical, and radial.

In the toolbar, tap Horizontal symmetry icon (one of the Symmtry tools) in the mobile version of SketchBook to access the Symmetry toolbar.

Symmetry toolbar in the Windows 10 version of Autodesk SketchBook

Example of horizontal symmetryTo draw on one side of the axis and have it mirrored to the other, select one of the following:

For horizontal, tap
horizontal symmetry.

The axis appears at the center of the screen, but can be moved.

Example of vertical symmetryFor vertical, tap vertical symmetry.

To draw one side of an object or scene and have it mirrored over more lines of symmetry, select one of the following:

Symmetry tool with no symmetry linesFor horizontal and vertical, tap horizontal symmetry and vertical symmetry.

For radial, with up to 16 sectors, tap Radial symmetry. Use it to create things like mandalas, complex patterns, wheels, and whatever else you can dream up.

Updated on May 2, 2018

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Translate »