July 12, 2013

Symmetrical drawing in Photoshop

Alex Dukal shows a clever hack using Smart Objects to enable symmetrical, if not quite real-time drawing & painting in Photoshop. Check it out, including the how-to part that starts around the 2-minute mark. I followed his steps to create a simple PSD that’s set up as described.

[Via reader Marcel]

Posted by John Nack at 9:17 AM on July 12, 2013


  • Michael Ninness — 9:37 AM on July 12, 2013

    Very clever. In the video, it looks like the “master document” is getting updated as he’s painting in the “left.psb” file. Is he just manually pressing Cmd+S every once in a while to get that to happen?

  • Alex Dukal — 10:14 AM on July 12, 2013

    What a surprise! It was weird to view this in my feeds reader :-) Thank you John and Marcel!
    As Michael asked, yes I do Ctrl+S (CMD+S) while painting or drawing, it’s the only way I found to get the main doc updated.

  • John Stevenson — 1:07 PM on July 12, 2013

    Wonderful (and innovative) work – thanks for sharing and posting.

  • Stéphane Baril — 10:00 AM on July 14, 2013

    Hi John,

    A really nice technic which inspire me an other one:

    And thanks to Alex Dukal for sharing his technic, but also for his Photoshop CS6 Panel, brushes…


  • polyxo — 2:37 AM on July 15, 2013

    What puzzles me is how the evolution of software genres differs. Editing in symmetry, on any combination of axis, radially and in 3D has been available since the stone age of 3D modelling – every Freebie comes with this feature. The realtime mirror action takes place on arbitrary 3D meshes which impose far more complex boundary conditions than silly pixels which can get blended at will. For me it’s hard to understand that Photoshop hasn’t got that feature built in since its first release.

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