Pattern Design Tools Comparison Guide

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Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator
None
PS
AI
AI
AI
-
Host application
 
One-click creation of patterns
 
All symmetry types
 
 
Built-in library of popular repeats
 
*
Interactive changes of the symmetry type, repeat size, drop amount, and other parameters
 
 
 
Counterchange symmetry operations
 
 
 
Fully customizable color reversals in cells, tiles, and arbitrarily transformed motifs
 
 
Interlocking design elements
 
 
One-click clipping of repeating units
 
Easily blended units
¹
Supports raster (bitmap) images
²
 
Supports vector (resolution-independent) elements
²
 
A pattern can include images with different resolutions
 
The pattern rebuilds automatically when you edit seed elements
 
 
 
 
Supports pixel-based selection
 
 
Arbitrarily scattered design elements
 
 
Freehand drawing into the pattern
 
 
 
Live editing of pattern swatches
 
 
 
Live editing of symbols
 
 
 
 
Live updates of pattern fills for all symmetry types
 
 
 
 
A pattern can contain a mix of different symmetries
 
 
 
 
Interactive editing of symbols inside patterns
 
 
 
 
Nested patterns (pattern in pattern)
 
 
 
 
Private and public snapshots
 
 
 
 
Community sharing
 
 
 
 
Loading of patterns from the web
SymmetryShop Summary
Best for Creating patterns from large raster images, scanned art, and photographs
$
SymmetryWorks Summary
Best for Creating patterns from vector elements or a combination of vector and raster images
$
LivePresets Summary
Best for Interactive editing of symbols and simple pattern swatches
$
SymmetryWorks LP Summary
Best for Interactive editing of patterns of any complexity, with live updates
$
SymmetryMill Summary
Best for Creating simpler patterns from images, without editing the source image
1-year subscription $
Summary

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* Support limited to half-drop and half-brick.
Built-in algorithms for natural blending.
¹ Faster processing, smaller files.
² Yes, in a smart object.