Live Repeat Pattern Preview Template - Symbols

Live Repeat Pattern Preview Template - Symbols
In this Design a Digital Planner in Affinity Suite tutorial, we will continue to work on our live repeat pattern preview template, using the Symbols feature in Affinity Designer to drive the live preview. You will learn the following.

  • Create a Symbol in the Symbols panel
  • Create instances of a Symbol
  • Organize layers in the Layers panel
  • Complete the Live Repeat Pattern Preview template
  • Save your project in both the default .afpub format and the .aftemplate template format

In the last tutorial, we set up the project file and two Artboards that are the foundation for this live pattern preview template. Now we will convert the Pattern Tile (Artboard) to a Symbol and duplicate that Symbol across the Canvas of the Live Preview.

  1. Open your Live Repeat Pattern Preview .afdesign file.

  2. To open the Symbols panel, click View - Studio - Symbols (see screenshot).

  3. In the Layers panel, open the Pattern Tile (Artboard) layer and select the Motifs (Rectangle) layer. Click the Create button in the Symbols panel (see screenshot).

  4. You will see the Motifs (Rectangle) layer become a sublayer of the new Motifs (Symbol) layer (see screenshot).

  5. From the Symbols panel, drag the Motifs thumbnail on to the Canvas of the Live Preview (see screenshot).

  6. In the Transform panel, select the top left corner of the Anchor Point Selector. The Width and Height should be 264 pixels. Set the X and Y values to Zero (see screenshot).

  7. In the Layers panel, you will see a new Motifs (Symbol) layer with the Motifs (Rectangle) sublayer added to the Live Preview (Artboard) (see screenshot).

  8. Still in the Live Preview (Artboard) layers, right-click on the Motifs (Symbol) group layer and choose Duplicate from the pop-up menu, to make a duplicate of the Motifs (Symbol) group layer (see screenshot). Select the bottom duplicate layer.

  9. To move the new Symbol to the right of the first, go to the Layers panel and select this new Motifs (Symbol) layer and set the X value to 264 and the Y value to Zero in the Transform panel (see screenshot).

  10. Repeat the previous steps to fill the entire row with duplicates of the Motifs (Symbol) group layer, always selecting the bottom duplicate group layer, increasing the X value by 264 for each new Symbol and keeping the Y value at Zero. Use the following X values in the Transform panel. The eighth Symbol in the row will extend 8 pixels beyond the right edge of the Canvas.

  11. Symbol 1: Zero
    Symbol 2: 264
    Symbol 3: 528
    Symbol 4: 792
    Symbol 5: 1056
    Symbol 6: 1320
    Symbol 7: 1584
    Symbol 8: 1848

    In the Layers panel, we will duplicate these eight Symbol layers and drag the duplicates to the bottom of the list.

  12. Select all eight Motifs (Symbol) group layers, right-click and choose Duplicate. Drag the duplicate group layers (blue highlighted) to the bottom of the list in the Layers panel.

  13. At this point, on the Live Preview Canvas, the eight duplicate Symbols are under the original eight Symbols. Let's move them below the first row of Symbols.

  14. With all eight Motifs (Symbol) group layers (blue highlighted) still selected, set the Y value is 264 for all of them in the Transform Panel.

  15. Repeat the previous steps to fill the entire Canvas. You will have eleven rows. Use the Y values below in the Transform panel.

  16. Row 1: Zero
    Row 2: 264
    Row 3: 528
    Row 4: 792
    Row 5: 1056
    Row 6: 1320
    Row 7: 1584
    Row 8: 1848
    Row 9: 2112
    Row 10: 2376
    Row 11: 2640

    This next step is optional. At this point our pattern is aligned to the left edge (see screenshot) and the right edge extends beyond the Artboard by 8 pixels. You may wish to center the pattern instead. To do this, we need to move all of the Symbols on the Canvas 4 pixels to the left.

  17. To center the Symbols over the Canvas, select all of the Motifs (Symbols) group layers for the Live Preview (Artboard) in the Layers panel. In the Transform panel, set the X value to -4 pixels (see screenshot).

  18. That completes our template. Let's save our Live Repeat Pattern Preview working file.

  19. Click File - Save to save the working document in the default .afdesign format.

  20. Now, we will save the file as an Affinity Template in the .aftemplate format. If you haven't saved any templates yet, you first need to create a folder for storing the template files.

  21. From the Menu Bar, click File - New to open the New Document dialog. Click Templates on the left (see screenshot).

  22. Click the Add Folder button to open the file browser window and give your new templates folder a name and location. Click Create to close the window.

  23. Now, we can save our template.

  24. Back in the Designer workspace, click File - Export as Template (see screenshot). Designer will open your new template folder. Let's keep the same name for our template as our working file, Live Repeat Pattern Preview. Click Save and the template will be stored in our template folder with the special template file extension .aftemplate.

  25. Note: To open your template for a new project, just click File - New and go to the Templates window in the New Document dialog. Just select the template thumbnail and click Create. Designer will open the template as a new untitled document (see screenshot).


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Screenshots used by permission of Serif (Europe) Ltd. This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.

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