A quick guide to the ScopeWorks/ Kaleidoscope Grid application from WareTo + tutorials
The ScopeWorks application is small and well defined software tool for creating a vast range of designs from any number of imported images as well as capture from a web-cam / camera etc.
The ScopeWorks tool has a number of different Kaleidoscope / grid effects such as Polygon fan, hex grid, 8 way etc.
You can use them with an image and re-position the input triangle (changing the size and angle etc) as well as the speed of rotation and movement if you use it with the animation feature.
The animation feature is as a way of running through possible / potential positions / variants based on the current imported image, so there appears to be no way to export the animation other than a video capture using a tool such as screen replay.
Usefully, the ScopeWorks application does come with a few controls such as full screen (press F) and escape key to escape the full screen as well as up and down controls to control the speed of rotation and also pressing the space-bar to stop and start the animation of the ScopeWorks video.
You can then just start the process and capture it and save the results to a MOV file etc and then open the results in Photoshop etc (and add effects). Would love to see a proper animation feature where the results can be saved as a MP4 file or at least a trigger for a set of images so the rotation and movement can be saved (to the same size of 4000 x 4000 etc) for each change in the image. The example on the left shows the polygon fan being positioned manually.
Have to say that this is a little quirky as it is close to the bottom of the file menu and is referenced as load (surely it should be import or place to keep with the normal conventions).
There does seem to be a bug where if you save an image and then go back to the load document, a message says that there is an error in the file - this doesn't happen on the second attempt (perhaps this is just my machine and perhaps will never happen for other users of the software).
Sadly there is no recent files list either which is a pity as I often go back and select the same image and re-work another ScopeWorks image.
There does seem to be an issue with the load images as it goes to the same folder (documents) for the images in many cases, sometimes this does not happen but it would be great if the app used the pictures folder or at least the last used for the save of a JPG or TIFF etc (perhaps it is just me on that one)
Save image as command is in the file menu. I find this slightly confusing as there is already a save (that saves the ScopeWorks format file) but I would love to see that marked as export. The export is really quite good as you can set a size / type (JPG or TIFF) etc and so you can save the work as a 10000 x 10000 etc file which is pretty decent (there is no size setting available in the application, purely just at the save stage).
Once you have saved the file, you can then re-open it in Photoshop and Painter and manipulate the results further or even re-input it into ScopeWorks
You can repeat this multiple times to create ever more complex and stunning scopework images, such as the re-loaded image on the right.
8 Way square, 8 way tiles, polygon fan, hex grid, 8-way square with reflection, 8-way tiles with reflection, polygon fan with reflection and hex grid with reflection. A nice range of types. I would have preferred the reflection to be a check-box instead of multiple entries (especially as the reflection bit is cutoff in the dropdown combo box).
I really hope they add more in subsequent versions as well as perhaps a number of features to perhaps include scaling, rotation, perspective etc to the results and perhaps additional color options and repeats as well as perhaps a layer feature so multiple layers of kaleidoscopes can be combined with different types (as well as opacity and blending modes).
You can set the background to a color to black or green etc. You can also set the background color opacity to 0% (or something other than 100%) and then export the result.
The transparency does depend on the type as well as the fan setting. You also have to export the result using TIFF format instead of JPG. You can then bring the result into Photoshop and add layer effects as well as make multiple layers with the artworks and duplicate and rotate and transform them or turn them into smart objects etc
You can move the source triangle as well as scale and rotate it. To move it, simply select the triangle and move (within the confines of the image).
To rotate, move outside of the triangle and perform a rotate motion.
If available, you can set the rotation center as well by selecting the little circle with a rotate cursor beside it. You can also click the triangle corners and re-size the triangle and the larger the triangle, the more intense the detail and the smaller the triangle, the blurrier the end result (depending on the source image, I guess). You can also animate the rotation and movement using the start and stop animation buttons and that is useful for scanning through 1000s of possible kaleidoscopes without the need to manually move and rotate.
With some of the types, you can also set the number of petals from 3 to 50 though I would love to see this extended to a great setting. You can also flip the triangle and the polygons which can provide useful variants of the designs.
You can use any kind of image as a source (though you have to use an accepted format such as JPG). You can use text images as input or perhaps images of streets or pencil sketches or perhaps tiles from ScopeWorks etc.
All will result in different kaleidoscope designs and will be useful in different projects.
The results can be used as a great source for patterns, textures, frames, displacements, overlays, glass effects, bump maps, 3D etc. The results can be edited in any number of apps such as Photoshop to add oil effects or camera raw effects etc.
ScopeWorks does an excellent job and is very easy to use and can be a useful part of any graphics toolkit.
You can find many additional tutorials on the site such as how to use snapshots in Affinity Photo and how to enhance spiral designs in Illustrator tutorial as well as a review of tools such as Mirrorme plugin from Astute Graphics and Analog Efex Pro 2 Plugin and application tutorial
You can see most of our ScopeWorks related videos via our playlist on Youtube.com