Symmetry and Mirrors

Symmetry and Mirrors

We're tinkering with creative code and patterns! This page about tinkering with symmetry and mirrors is part of a larger collection of OctoStudio + Patterns explorations. To join in, start by downloading OctoStudio on a mobile device. Then, explore symmetrical patterns as programmed shapes move across the OctoStudio stage. Experiment by arranging mirrors directly on the screen to craft your own unique kaleidoscope patterns.

Materials and Prep

Get thin, mini acrylic mirror(s) at a craft store or online and cut them to any size that matches your device screen. We recommend these mirrors because they can be easily cut with a cutter.

The key to creating hinged mirrors is to leave a gap between the mirrors; without this gap, they won't open and close properly.

Explore

Start with one mirror, then move onto the hinged mirrors. Change the angle of the mirrors and explore the symmetry and reflection! Then get started coding basic motion in your OctoStudio projects to bring your ideas to life.

Try it! Basic Motion

Get started adding motion to your project. The videos below show tips for playing with scale, turning your sprite in different directions, and adding random motion.

Take It Further

From drawing your own designs to bringing photos of yourself into a project, below are some tips and ideas for deepening explorations of symmetry and patterns in OctoStudio.

Draw Your Own Design

Use the paint editor in OctoStudio to create your own patterns and designs.

Send Code to Multiple Sprites

You can send the same set of code to multiple sprites by pressing on a chunk of code and selecting "Copy script to...

Line up Repeating Shapes

Line up identical shapes in a straight line and add some motion. Then, place one mirror. What do you see with just one mirror? How does it change with two mirrors? And what happens when you change the angle of the mirror? Experiment with the mirror's angle and see the delightful transformations unfold.

Layer Sprites with Adjustable Transparency

Did you know that you can change the transparency of sprites? By changing the number in the Show block (from 1 to 100%), you can change the opacity of a sprite. This allows you to see through the parts where sprites overlap, creating a layered effect. Give it a try and see for yourself!

Bring Yourself into the Kaleidoscope

Expand your pattern explorations to include more than just objects and shapes! Take a selfie and import it into OctoStudio. Use the lasso tool to cut it out and turn it into a sprite. Then, with a mirror, create kaleidoscopic animations from your selfie.

Change Rotational Points

Shifting the rotation can significantly change the way a sprite rotates.

Rotation and Circular Patterns

Use OctoStudio to create fascinating selfie animation! Take a selfie, then duplicate and rotate it as sprites. Explore, experiment, and see how slight changes can transform your design into a captivating visual experience.

Community Gallery

Have you been exploring OctoStudio + patterns? We love seeing how makers, learners, educators, and tinkerers of all ages try out these ideas and make them your own -- including works in progress, ideas for next steps, and failures. We invite you to show us what you're working on and see your work featured in this gallery:

1. Click on the plus sign  in the bottom right hand corner of the gallery.

2. Upload a photo or video of your project. Include your name, where you're from, and anything else you'd like to share.

3. We review content to make sure it's aligned before posting it, so check back soon to see your post in our gallery. Thanks for sharing!