- Arts and Design
Making Images with Silicon Mirror Software
An Original Image...
...from which I will make a variety of images using the Silicon Mirror software.
This image was a grouping I put together for Valentine's Day of 2010 when my little sister and I tried to do a whole year of daily images to share with each other. (I didn't quite make it for the whole year though.) There are some really good colors to use for making tiled images (tessellations), so I will use this as a base and show you all the different varieties you can create using this fun and inexpensive software.
Silicon Mirror, found at http://www.torpor.com is the software that got me started in making tiled designs to use for backgrounds. Sometimes, I just open up the software and upload a picture, and it stops on a perfect image. Sometimes, I must move it around and/or change how many mirrors I am using to get an image I really want. But, no matter what image I start with, it seems I am always able to create something I like and something that gets a lot of visits (and often favorites) in my Flickr photo stream. By the way, if you visit my Flickr page, you can find this and all the images in their original sizes.
Continue below to see the great variety of images I was able to make from just this one starter image. And I can make even more by allowing the starter image to be mirrored in the original window and hovering over an edge of either side of of a corner. Oh the fun!
Large Tessellation Using a 12-Point Mirror - from the adjustable settings in the Silicon Mirror software...
This amount of mirrors allows me to hover over an area of the original image and pick up something like a layered set of lattice work. I love the pink fill in the background along with the little hints of pink that show up within the lattice crisscross areas. The green accenting is, of course, from the leaves of the flower stems.
The choices available in the changeable settings in the Silicon Mirror software include...
- 12 sided--makes detailed six-point star-like images
- 8 sided plus--makes a more detailed 4 point image
- 8 sided--makes a pretty, but less detailed, 4 point image
- 6 sided--makes tiles with a lot of triangles in them
- 4 sided--makes sort of a stretched image from which you can create strips that make great edges and frames
With the 12, 8 plus, and 8-sided mirror selections, you can also choose which fold to hover your selection window on. That means, you can put your selection window in any of the four corners of the view window to create an image.
With the 6-sided mirror, there are only two folds to choose--top and bottom.
With the 4-sided mirror, it has only the available fold.
Also, with any of the selections, you have a choices from very small to quite large as to what kind of chunk of the original image is captured before it is mirrored. Making your selection window large will keep more of the original image unchanged before duplicating it. Making it tiny will only capture a small portion, so it makes a finely detailed final image. I generally use something more in the middle.
Finally, the default image size of the finished design will be based on the image settings on your computer. My laptop resolution is 1600 x 900, so that's what my images come out before I edit or cut them in any way. Once you create a tile, however, you can use any type of image editing program to make a panorama from your tile so you can make it whatever size you like best.
I highly recommend the 15-day trial of this software to play with all these settings yourself. If you're like me, it will only take a couple of days for you to decide you want to pay the extremely reasonable $12 for your permanent copy. And, no, I am not associated with the software designer to receive any compensation for referrals or purchases. I don't even know if he offers that. I do know that I love the software and have purchased it as a gift more than once.
Using an 8-mirror plus setting.
This 8-sided mirror image actually has one of its eight sides divided again for a special effect. I love how this one just bursts with contrast. I cut it down to a square image, so the details will shine through better as viewed in the smaller size of the lens. In addition, the way I cut it along the lines, it is a seamless tile so it can be used to create seamless backgrounds. I have used these types of tiles for backgrounds in places like my Twitter and my YouTube pages.
Some other places I've used these tessellations include my Shoutlife page (I removed the link because Shoutlife has been acting up lately and I'm concerned it created the problem that got this lens locked) and my Google search page. When you visit my Flickr page, if you see a tessellation you like, just write to me and ask if you need it made into a tile you can use for your own backgrounds. They make very good them backgrounds for browsers as well, but with the change in Firefox Personas, I also deleted the link I once had here for that. It seems that anytime a site changes the use of something, the older links can contain too many ads. If you still use personas and want a link, just search for that on my Flickr page and you should find the ones I created.
Tessellations and M.C. Escher - Books and fun stuff available at Amazon
More than likely, you have seen the works of M.C. Escher and not even known it. He is the artist who made many tessellations and optical illusions popular. You've likely seen his image of two hands drawing each other, or of staircases that seemingly go in multiple directions. While you're viewing some of his works, be sure to visit the M.C. Escher homepage for history and a large collection of his works. In the meantime, in my Amazon links below, you can find some books, coloring books, and other fun stuff involving tessellations and symmetry.
For anyone who likes to play with designs, this book of activities should be exactly what you need for keeping your eyes and hands busy. Amazon's book description says it this way...
A Kaliedocycle is a three-dimensional ring made from a chain of solid figures enclosed or bonded by four triangles. These kaleidocycles are adaptations of Escher's two-dimensional images of fish, angels, flowers, people, etc., transformed into uniform, interlocking, three-dimensional objects whose patters wrap endlessly. Kaleidocycles contains a 48-page book with over 80 reproductions and diagrams, assembly instructions, and a fascinating discussion of the geometric principles and artistic challenges underlying Escher's designs and their transformation to three-dimensional models; and seventeen die-cut, scored, three-dimensional models (11 kaleidocycles and 6 geometric solids) Cigar box-style packaging, size: 9 1/2 x 12 1/4 x 1 1/2.
Paragraph 2 from Amazon's book description:
Like the first edition of the book, this new volume includes many of Escher's masterworks, as well as hundreds of lesser-known examples of his work. It also features an illustrated epilogue by the author that reveals new information about Escher's inspiration and shows how his ideas of symmetry have influenced mathematicians, computer scientists, and contemporary artists. Visions of Symmetry is a trip into the mind of a creator who continues to captivate the world.
24 pages of Escher's symmetrical drawings left colorless so you can create your own works of art.
1000 piece black and white puzzle to challenge and delight those who love to work with jigsaw creations.
From Amazon's description:
Specially created pop-ups explore the marriage of art and mathematics in Escher's popular work.
The mesmerizing work of Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher has fascinated viewers for more than seventy years. His illustrations constantly play with our perceptions of reality by layering multiple conflicting perspectives.
Another Tessellated Image
This time with a straight 8-sided mirror.
In this image, I have used what the Silicon Mirror calls "stacking" where it allows you to repeat the same image in the design window. What this creates is the opportunity to add some neat geographic elements where I can hover over a right and left side of an image repeated next to itself. Or, I can use the top and bottom of the image. Or, I can even hover over the corner to get 4 sides of the image at one time.
For the one I'm using here, I stacked the original, which has a frame, so it gave me some very interesting lines by hovering over the area where four images (four copies of the same image actually) came together.
Also, I made this image a seamless tile, so it can be copied and tiled for a larger desktop or website background.
How many words can you make from this one word?
Here are some to get you started...
tell, tells, let, lets,
tee, tees, tea, teas,
eat, eats, less, lest,
tease, teases, last,
lease, leases, late,
tale, sale, stale, ate
using a larger portion of the original image
On this image (which I squared to give a larger view) if you look closely, you can see a single rose blossom multiplied six times. This is because I chose a larger portion of the original image before allowing the software to begin folding the image into mirrored pieces. This is not a seamless tile, but if anyone wants me to make them a seamless tile from this image, I will do so by request.
This one uses the 4 mirror option and can be used to make interesting frames. I hovered this partly over the roses and partly over the fan. With the four mirror options, it's a little easier to see the original picture in the new image.
Which type of tiles from the Silicon Mirror do you like best?
Look at the descriptions on all the images I've placed on this lens. They should all tell if they use the mirrored option times four, six, eight, or twelve. Which of these do you think makes the best repeating image?
How many mirrored reflections do you think makes the best tiled image?
More Tessellations from the Fan and Flowers - Hovering in different areas and with different sized capture points.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Do You Like Mirrored & Tiled Images?
Would you call repeating-type images your type of art, or do you prefer images that are less abstract? Choose your favorite type of creative media and then tell me why if you would like to share more.
What is your favorite type of visual art?
Do you think you want to try the Silicon Mirror? If you do try it, please come back to tell me about your own creations.
Did you come up with some words from the word "tessellation"? How many?