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SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the Symmetry X tool


From:

SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training

with David Lee

Video: Using the Symmetry X tool

In this lesson, I will show you how to use SketchBook Pro's Symmetry X tool. Drawing in symmetry allows you to create mirror images by only drawing one side along an embedded axis. First let's use our Move and Zoom tool sd zoom out so we can see most of canvas. So I am going to go ahead and take my cursor and go to the interface lagoon, toolbox, Move and Zoom, and by zooming out on our canvas, it'll allow us to see the centerline of the axis as we draw. Let's go ahead and move our cursor up to Image on the main menu bar. Press down.

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SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training
2h 28m Beginner Jun 14, 2010

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In SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training, David Lee shows how to use SketchBook Pro's powerful tools and unique marking menu interface to make digital drawing and painting a natural experience. This course covers setting application preferences, selecting brushes, picking colors, choosing the right drawing tools for each project, and working with pen tablet and pen display devices. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the user interface lagoon
  • Customizing brush settings
  • Creating a texture brush
  • Refining a sketch with blur, smear and sharpen tools
  • Creating illustrations with layers
  • Using the Symmetry tool to mirror drawings across the X or Y axis
  • Using the ruler tool to draw and position precise straight lines
  • Using the Ellipse tool to draw and position precise circles, ellipses, and curves.
  • Saving projects
Subject:
Design
Software:
SketchBook Pro Wacom
Author:
David Lee

Using the Symmetry X tool

In this lesson, I will show you how to use SketchBook Pro's Symmetry X tool. Drawing in symmetry allows you to create mirror images by only drawing one side along an embedded axis. First let's use our Move and Zoom tool sd zoom out so we can see most of canvas. So I am going to go ahead and take my cursor and go to the interface lagoon, toolbox, Move and Zoom, and by zooming out on our canvas, it'll allow us to see the centerline of the axis as we draw. Let's go ahead and move our cursor up to Image on the main menu bar. Press down.

Let's go ahead and drag all the way down to the bottom where you see both the Symmetry X and Y tools. Let's go ahead and select our Symmetry X tool. Go ahead and lift up and you'll see the centerline going through the middle of your canvas. What we're going to do is we're going to draw a fish and what we'd like to do is to only draw above a symmetry line. So what we're first going to do is select the Drawing tool. Let's go ahead and click on our toolbox. Select the Pencil. Let's go ahead and double tap on tha. A2B Pencil, Size 3 looks pretty good.

Let's move that over to the side. Maybe we can turn of our Resize Brush tool. And let's go ahead and start on the left-hand side of the page. And let's mark right above the line, and we're going to go ahead and draw a curved line. Now you can see what's happening. See there is like a symmetrical mirrored image what we're drawing. And then we're going to decelerate down, make a stop. And then what we're going to do now is we're going to go ahead and freehand the tail.

And don't worry about it meeting because it will meet automatically. The next thing we're going to do is while we're still in symmetrical mode, we're going to go ahead and draw the gill and we can lengthen that later. Just go ahead and draw some scales. Now you can draw the scales both ways. You can start from the middle or you can start out. Now, I'll go ahead and draw two more sets. And you can start to see that the outline of fish and you start to see some details.

Now, what we're going to do is we're going to go ahead and locate the mouth. And then what we're going to do is draw some details or some texture along the back of the tail. I will go ahead and draw these lines so they converge. Next what I'd like to do is to go ahead and deselect our Symmetry tool by going back to the main menu bar, and you see where it's checked. Go ahead and click on that once and that'll allow us to move out of Symmetry mode which will now give us a freehand to draw some of the unsymmetrical details such as the fin and the flippers.

I am going to add one more on the back to give him a little more depth and then what we're going to do is draw an eye. And we'll lengthen his gill. The next what we'll do is go ahead and take our Hard Eraser and erase out some of the lines that we don't want. Go ahead and reselect our Pencil. Add some texture to his flippers and also to the fin.

Now notice what I'm doing with the lines. They're not just lines but lines of character, and what I do is I try to have some sort of dynamic that's going on to give it some texture and to give it some excitement. And I'll go ahead and erase out mouth and give him some lips. Now, the last thing that we want to do of the sketch is when we go ahead and make the drawing pop off the page. So what I'd like to do is go ahead and select the bolder drawing tools. So we're going to go back to our toolbox and select the Marker. Okay, let's go ahead and double- click on that to take a look at our Brush Properties, and it looks like a good sized marker. It's Size 8.

It's got 90 degree slant. So it's going to slant up and down for us. Let's go ahead and save that. Now, that I'm still in the non- symmetrical mode, let's go ahead and heavy up the outline around the fin, around the flipper, and it looks like everything else is fairly symmetrical. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to back to our main menu, click down. Let's go ahead and reactivate Symmetry X. We'll start from the lips, follow our outline, and see how that Symmetry tool works? Then what I'll do is I'll go ahead and deactivate it because I don't want to draw this line and have it appear here because that's not an object line.

So let's go ahead and go back to the main menu. Click Symmetry X off. Let's go ahead and complete the belly and we'll color in the eye. Oh, let's go ahead and give his gill a little bit of depth here. And there you have it. A beautiful fish that was done using the Symmetry X tool. In some cases where we wanted to have asymmetrical details, we deactivated it and sketched freehand. In closing, the Symmetry X tool helps us draw objects with precision and efficiency while allowing the ability to add freehand sketch details.

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Q: The grid files the author uses in the course aren't included in the exercise files. Where can I find them?
A: The grid files are background template files that are provided with an Autodesk subscription, which comes with purchase of any Autodesk product, including Sketchbook Pro. To sign up for a subscription, visit http://subscription.autodesk.com and click Create an Account. You'll be prompted to enter your software license number, so make sure to have that handy.
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