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I'd like to have several external images organized in a circular shape, with TikZ drawing on top of it. I tried the scope option in TikZ with \includegraphics command, the whole thing being included in a \foreach command, but \includegraphics doesn't take the scope command in consideration.

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If the answer below doesn't suit your needs, perhaps you can elaborate more on your use of scope. I don't know whether your problem is with \includegraphics or with scope. – Werner Jul 31 '11 at 14:48
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I'm not sure what you would use the scope definition for in your image. However, this is how I would arrange (external) images in a circular shape in TikZ - with nodes:


  \foreach \i in {1,...,8}
    \node at (\i*45:2) {\includegraphics[width=2cm]{texsx}};


Circular spaced nodes in tikz picture

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thanks a lot, node is the trick indeed !! I wanted to use scope because I've been using it a lot and thought it was the good solution. – ben paillard Jul 31 '11 at 19:07
any chance you could describe what (\i*45:2) does? I want a similar solution but elliptical and only half a circle/elipse. I'm guess the :2 means for both x and y – puk Feb 9 '12 at 6:04
@puk: No, (a:b) refers to polar coordinates at angle a & radix b rather than (x,y) (or Cartesian coordinates). Note the difference in notation - : vs. ,. Therefore, \i*45 over \i in {1,...,8} refers to integer multiples of 45 degrees, starting with 45, 90, 135, 180, 225, 270, 315, 360. 2 defaults to 2cm if no unit is specified. If you want an ellipse, use \pgfmathsetmacro{\x}{3*cos(\i*45)}\pgfmathsetmacro{\y}{2*sin(\i*45)}\node at (\x,\y) {...};. This will give you a long (horizontal) axis of 6cm (from 3*cos) and short (vertical) axis of 4cm (from 2*sin). – Werner Feb 9 '12 at 6:21
How do you get around the obvious fact that the images/nodes are not evenly distributed? You can see it in your picture where they are clustered near the top and bottom but not the middle? – puk Feb 9 '12 at 7:16
@puk: This stems from the image shape (a rectangle in my example). If the object was circular, the distribution would "seem" more even, although it is exactly the same. It should be possible to test whether an overlap would occur and place objects accordingly, thereby minimizing the "clustering" look. pstricks allows for placing text along a path would might also be of interest. – Werner Feb 9 '12 at 15:09

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