If you plan to draw an object with a repeating design, like a flower, tile pattern, mandala, or others, then you must draw it symmetrically.
Of course, since you’re drawing in Krita with a drawing tablet, it’s hard to do it manually. This is why we need to use one of the Krita tools to help you draw symmetrical objects quickly.
In this article, I will show you how to create a symmetrical object using Krita’s Mirror and multibrush tools.
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Where is the Symmetry Tool in Krita
In Krita, unlike Photoshop and Procreate, which have specific symmetry tools, you can create symmetrical objects or drawings using two primary methods. Firstly, you can use the mirror tool, and secondly, the multibrush tool.
I will thoroughly explain how to do it for each method, and you can choose which one suits you best.
Method 1: Using Mirror Tool in Krita
The mirror tool is the most versatile way to create symmetrical objects in Krita.
Krita has two mirror tools: Horizontal Mirror Tool and Vertical Mirror Tool.
Horizontal Mirror Tool: Useful for mirroring the top and bottom of a design. For instance, if you’re drawing a landscape with a reflecting lake, you can draw the trees above and have them perfectly mirrored below.
Vertical Mirror Tool: Perfect for side-to-side symmetry. Think of drawing an eye. With the vertical mirror tool, you can draw the right half of the eye, and Krita will automatically create the left half for you, ensuring both sides are identical.
Both tools can be used at once for designs needing symmetry in all directions.
Follow these steps to use the mirror tool:
Step 1: Open Krita and create a new document.
Step 2: Navigate to the toolbar menu and click on the mirror tool. For this example, I’ll choose the Horizontal mirror tool.
Step 3: Adjust the mirror line by left-clicking and dragging it to the desired point on the canvas. Tip: To create a symmetrical object, ensure the mirror line is in the center.
Step 4: Now, you can draw using the freehand brush. The mirror tool automatically copies your brush stroke to the other side.
Tips: Don’t forget to enable stabilization in Krita to help you create a smooth line when using the mirror tool
Alternative Method: Using the Selection Tool with the Mirror Tool
If you want to mirror part of the canvas without flipping the entire image, you need to create a selection before using the mirror tool. It’s not easy to mirror a selection part of the canvas.
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Open the Krita application.
Step 2: Open the chosen document that you want to apply the selected mirroring.
Step 3: Create a selection from a part of the image using one of the selection tools (rectangular, polygonal, elliptical, freehand, or bezier curve selection tools). For this example, I’ll use the rectangular selection tool.
Step 4: Activate the tool and create a selection by clicking on the image and dragging it across the desired area.
Step 5: Activate the Transform tool by clicking its icon in the left toolbar or pressing Control + T on Windows or Command ⌘ + T on MacOS.
You will see a vertical line running down the middle of the transform box. Around the selection’s edges, you’ll see rectangular and square handles for resizing or transforming. A crosshair-like marker is located near the center, serving as a reference point.
Step 6: Go to the Tool options, scroll down and click the mirror tool. I chose the horizontal mirror tool to flip the transformed section horizontally.
Method 2: Using Multibrush Brush with Symmetry Model
The multibrush tool allows you to use multiple freehand brushes at once.
Unlike the Mirror Tools that work with various stroke-tracing tools like the Straight Line and the Bezier Curve Tool, the Multibrush Tool specifically traces brush strokes, similar to the Freehand Brush Tool
Follow these steps:
Step 1: Open the Krita application and create a new document.
Step 2: Navigate to the top menu. Select Settings and then choose the “Configure Toolbars…” option.
Step 3: Search for “Multibrush Tool” in the list that appears. Once found, click the switch to the right icon (represented by the “>” icon) to move the tool to the active section.
Step 4: Click OK to save your changes.
Step 5: Now, select the multibrush tool on your toolbar and experiment with it. For demonstration, I used it to create a tile pattern.
Step 6: The multibrush tool offers various settings to play around with. To access and modify these, head to the Tool Options section.
Step 7: Click the Type dropdown menu and choose which model you want to choose
Here are the differences for each type of model:
- Reflects the brush evenly around an axis.
- You can adjust the number of replicated brush strokes by adjusting the brush slider.
- You can adjust the rotation degree.
- It will reflect the brush across the X, Y axis, or both.
- The translate model will paint a predetermined number of brush instances around the cursor, set by the radius distance.
- It functions like mirrored symmetry but is slightly slower than symmetry with the toolbar mirror mode.
- Set the position of replicated brush strokes relative to your cursor.
- To use, first click the Add button. Then, left-click on the canvas to place the copies in the multibrush origin. Finally, click the Add button again to draw using the copy-translate model.