Creating & Using Quick Patterns

Patterns are a tool that allows the user to control the type of designs Lathe Magic automatically creates. You can make your own or use those made by others. There are two types of patterns: quick patterns (so named because they are fast to make) and standard patterns (which have more flexibility). This tutorial addresses quick patterns. Creating and Using Standard Patterns addresses the more advanced type.

Start with a Design

First start with a design you like, either one you've just made or one opened with menu item File-Open Design.

Make it Into a Template

Select menu item Template-Make Template from Design. The existing design will be duplicated as a template. Because the design and template are identical, you will not see the template at this point. See Creating & Using Templates to learn more.

Modify the design

Move the design dots to change the shape. In this case, the bottom 5 blocks were left untouched and only the top two blocks were changed.

The pattern works by randomly picking designs that fit in between the shape of the design and the shape of the template, which is seen here as the area between the orange lines and the black lines. The bigger the difference, the more variety in the generated designs.

Make Quick Pattern

Select menu item Pattern-Make Quick Pattern. The pattern is now in control of the designs. Every time you click on the New button or choose menu item File-New, a new design will be based off the pattern, not off the built-in design equations.

Be sure there is a difference between design and template. If they were accidentally left identical and you make a pattern, it will look like the New button is not working as every new design will be identical to the old.


Designs from this Quick Pattern

The 1st image is the design contained in the template. The second image is the active design. The eight designs that follow are a random blend of the two.

Restore the Pattern's Design and Template

Once you've created the pattern, each time you click new you get a new random design. If you want to see the basis for those designs, you can restore the active template and design by selecting menu item Pattern-Design and Template from Pattern.

Save the Pattern

Once a pattern has been created you can save a copy for future use or to share with other by selecting menu item Pattern-Save Pattern.


Close the Pattern

Once a pattern is created or opened, it is control of the auto generation of new designs. To go back to the default design equations, close the pattern by choosing menu item Pattern-Close Pattern. Be sure to save the pattern first if you want to keep a copy.

Open Patterns

To use an existing pattern you've previously saved or that has been shared with you, select menu item Pattern-Open Pattern. A standard Windows file dialog will open and an existing pattern can be selected. Note that the other other choices maybe grayed out ; that means they are not available for use yet. They become available after a template or pattern is created.


Same Number of Blocks

The easiest way to create a quick pattern is to make a template from the active design, move the design dots, then make a quick pattern. You can also use two unrelated designs as long as they have the same number of blocks. Choose menu item Preferences-Number of Blocks. Set the desired number of blocks and click on the Exactly radio button. Now all designs created with New will have the same number of blocks and can be used together to make patterns.

Example 2

In this example, a bowl is the base design. The hollow will be the same in all designs with a varying wall thickness. You can hand adjust wall thickness once you see a design you like.


Lathe Magic Products are designed by Rich Schafermeyer
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