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Patterns - it's very simple!


ReMake
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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it.

Introduction

 

This tutorial will focus on seamless patterns. A seamless pattern is a kind of pattern consisting of geometric shapes and usually repeating like a wallpaper pattern. Patterns are used to create textures or fill in the background.

 

To understand what a seamless pattern is, let's do a little experiment. Create a new image (FileNew.png) with a size of 30x30 pixels and draw two straight lines on it.

 

1.png

Copy this image (here and further in the text, the expression 'copy' image implies its complete selection (Ctrl+A) and copying (Ctrl+C)). Create a new image with a size of 90x60 pixels and paste (Ctrl+V) the previously copied image into it.

 

2.png

Re-paste (Ctrl+V) the image and use the Move Selected Pixels (Move-Selected-Pixels-Tool.png) tool to move it to the right until the horizontal lines match inextricably. Repeat this action again to fill the top row. Similarly, fill in the bottom row.

 

3.png

Tiresome, isn't it? To make this work easier, @BoltBait created the Fill From Clipboard effect (in addition to this effect, we will need other additional effects, so first learn How to install plugins).

 

Go back to your pattern (now we can safely call an image with two straight lines a pattern) and 'copy' it. Create a new image with a size of 600x450 pixels and apply the Fill From Clipboard effect to it (Effect -> Fill -> From Clipboard). Select Tiling - No Mirroring from the drop-down list and click OK.

 

4.png    5.png

Easy and simple.

 

Some photo editors (like Photoshop) have built-in tools for creating patterns, and the Paint Bucket Tool uses these patterns as presets. We will use the Fill From Clipboard effect as such a tool. Let's agree that further in the text the expression 'fill' the canvas will imply the application of the Fill From Clipboard effect. If you save your presets as images, I recommend that you install another useful @BoltBait's effect - Fill From File.

 

6.png

You can create a lot of such simple patterns as described above. But what if you need patterns that create the texture of grass, stones or ancient brickwork? In this case, the method of 'cutting' the image into four parts is used. This method is well described in the @BoltBait's Seamless Texture Helper Plugin topic, so first of all read this material. There are several effects that allow you to 'cut' the image:

Move Seams by @mccreery

Paneling by @MadJik

Seamless Move by @davidf

Seamless Helper by @BoltBait

 

Decide for yourself which of these effects to use. Let's agree that further in the text the expression 'cut' the image will imply the applying of one of these effects.


So let's get started.

 

Patterns creating

 

Shapes

Spoiler

These are probably the simplest patterns. It all depends on your imagination.

 

Create a new image (FileNew.png) with a size of 200x200 pixels. Using the Paintbrush (Paint-Brush-Tool.png) tool with a size from 25 to 60 pixels, apply several dots of different colors to the canvas so that the contours of the dots recede from the canvas borders by 10-15 pixels.

 

7.png

'Cut' the image.

 

8.png

Using the Paintbrush tool of various sizes and colors again, fill in the empty spaces so that the dots do not cross the borders of the canvas.

 

9.png

'Copy' the pattern and 'fill' a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px canvas with it.

 

10.png

Using the same technique and the Shapes (Shapes-Tool.png) tool, create a new pattern

 

11.png

and 'fill' a new canvas with it.

 

12.png

 

Sand
 

Spoiler

If the sand in your Source Image has a uniform structure,

 

s1.jpg

then most likely you will not have to apply any 'manipulations' when creating the pattern. Simply, using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, select a rectangle of the appropriate size on the image (remember that the dimensions of the sides of the rectangle must be an even number)

 

s2.jpg

and crop (CropIcon.png) to selection (Image -> Crop to Selection or Ctrl+Shift+X).

 

s3.jpg

'Copy' the pattern and 'fill' a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px canvas with it.

 

s4.jpg

If the sand in your image has a non-uniform structure or relief elements, then you will have to apply some techniques.

 

Source Image

 

s5.jpg

1. Open (File-Open-Icon.png) the image. Using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, select a rectangle of any size (in this case 162x189 px).

 

s6.jpg

2. Crop (CropIcon.png) to selection (Image -> Crop to Selection or Ctrl+Shift+X). Change (Canvas-Size-Icon.png) the canvas size (Image -> Canvas Size or Ctrl+Shift+R) to 162x188 px and 'cut' the image (enlarged image).

 

s8.jpg

3. Using the Clone Stamp (Clone-Stamp.png) tool with a size of 12-55 px, select the appropriate area (1) of the image and close the 'defective' place (2) with it.

 

s9.jpg

Repeat this procedure several times until you achieve the desired result.

 

s10.jpg

4. 'Copy' the resulting pattern and 'fill' in a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px image with it.

 

s11.jpg

Not a bad result, isn't it?

 

Grass

 

Spoiler

Plugin required: Content Aware Fill by @null54

 

Source Image

 

g1.jpg

1. Open (File-Open-Icon.png) the image. Using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, select a rectangle larger than 200x200 px.

 

g2.jpg

2. Crop (CropIcon.png) to selection (Image -> Crop to Selection or Ctrl+Shift+X). Change (Canvas-Size-Icon.png) the canvas size (Image -> Canvas Size or Ctrl+Shift+R) to 200x200 px using an Anchor acceptable to you.

 

g3.jpg

3. 'Cut' the image. Using the Lasso (Lasso-Select-Tool.png) tool, select an area of the image relative to the cut lines, as shown below (enlarged image).

 

g4.jpg

4. Apply the Content Aware Fill effect (Effects -> Selection -> Content Aware Fill), varying the effect settings

 

g5.png

and you will get a seamless pattern.

 

g6.jpg

5. 'Copy' the pattern and 'fill' a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px canvas with it.

 

g7.png

 

Moss

 

Spoiler

Plugin required: Content Aware Fill by @null54

 

Source Image

 

m1.jpg

1. Open (File-Open-Icon.png) the image. Using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, select a rectangle larger than 200x200 px.

 

m2.png

2. Crop (CropIcon.png) to selection (Image -> Crop to Selection or Ctrl+Shift+X). Change (Canvas-Size-Icon.png) the canvas size (Image -> Canvas Size or Ctrl+Shift+R) to 200x200 px using an Anchor acceptable to you.

 

m3.png

3. 'Cut' the image. Using the Lasso (Lasso-Select-Tool.png) tool, select an area of the image relative to the cut lines, as shown below (enlarged image).

 

m5.png

4. Apply the Content Aware Fill effect (Effects -> Selection -> Content Aware Fill), varying the effect settings

 

m6.png   

and you will get a seamless pattern.

 

m7.png

5. 'Copy' the resulting pattern and 'fill' in a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px image with it. Pay attention to the repeating elements outlined in red lines - they clearly do not contribute to the visual perception of the image.

 

m8.png

To eliminate this drawback, go back to your pattern.

 

6. Using the Clone Stamp (Clone-Stamp.png) tool with a size of 25-35 px, select the appropriate area (1) of the image and cover the light spot (2) with it.

 

m9.png

Do the same with the second disadvantage.

 

7. 'Copy' the pattern again and 'fill' in the canvas created earlier with it.

 

m10.png

Now the result looks better.

 

Bricks
 

Spoiler

Source Image

 

b1.jpg

If your original image is similar to the image above, then creating a pattern will not be difficult for you. It is enough to select (RectangleSelectTool.png) two rows and two columns of bricks in the image and crop to selection (CropIcon.png) as shown below.

 

b2.jpg

'Copy' the pattern and 'fill' in a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px image with it. You will immediately notice the flaw outlined in red.

 

b3.jpg

To fix this defect, go back to your pattern and select (RectangleSelectTool.png) the top left brick, copy the selection (Ctrl+C) and paste it (Ctrl+V).  Using the Move Selected Pixels (Move-Selected-Pixels-Tool.png) tool, move your selection down and to the left (red arrows) until it coincides with the outline of the brick that needs to be masked.

 

b4.jpg

Paste your selection again (Ctrl+V) and mask the lower right brick (blue arrows). 'Copy' the pattern again and 'fill' in the 800x600 pixel image with it.

 

b5.jpg

This is much better.

 

Well, and if you need a pattern of ancient brickwork similar to the image below (source image).

 

b6.jpg

It's not that hard.

 

1. Open (File-Open-Icon.png) the image. Using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, select the appropriate rectangle. Add a new layer (Add-New-Layer.png), invert the selection (Ctrl+I) and fill (Paint-Bucket.png) the selection with black. Reduce (Properties.png) the opacity of the layer to 120-130.

 

b8.jpg

Deselect (Ctrl+D). The light window in this layer will be a reference point for us for the boundaries of the future pattern.

 

2. Add a new layer between Layer 2 and Background layers.

 

3. Go to the Background layer. Select the brick using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, copy the selection (Ctrl+C). Go to Layer 3, paste the selection (Ctrl+V) and, using the Move Selected Pixels (Move-Selected-Pixels-Tool.png) tool, move the brick to the right so that its contours overlap the contours of the light yellow brick.

 

b9.jpg

4. Disable the visibility (Layer-Visibility.png) of the Background layer and, using the Eraser (Eraser-Tool-Icon.png) tool with Brush width 2-6, clean the edges near the contour of the brick. Enable the visibility of the Background.

 

b10.jpg

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the second

 

b11.jpg

and third rows of bricks.

 

b12.jpg

6. Go to Layer 2 and use the Magic Wand (Magic-Wand-Tool.png) tool to select a light rectangle. Crop to Selection (CropIcon.png). Delete (Delete-Layer.png) Layer 2 and merge (Merge-Layer-Down.png) Layer 3 and Background.

 

b13.jpg

7. 'Copy' this pattern and 'fill' in a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px image with it.

 

b14.jpg

Simple enough.

 

Sea Pebbles

 

Spoiler

Plugins required:

AA's_Assistant by @dpy

Align Object by @moc426

Paneling by @MadJik

 

Source Image (reduced image  below)

 

s1.jpg

1. Open (File-Open-Icon.png) the image. Using the Rectangle Select (RectangleSelectTool.png) tool, select a rectangle larger than 200x200 px.

 

s2.jpg

2. Crop (CropIcon.png) to selection (Image -> Crop to Selection or Ctrl+Shift+X). Change (Canvas-Size-Icon.png) the canvas size (Image -> Canvas Size or Ctrl+Shift+R) to 200x200 px using an Anchor acceptable to you.

 

s3.jpg

Duplicate (Duplicate-Layer.png) the Background layer  and disable the visibility (Layer-Visibility.png) of the lower layer.

 

3. Apply to the top layer the Paneling effect (Effects -> Distort -> Paneling) by selecting values Move Vertical and Move Horizontal so that the pebbles marked with red arrows are fully visible.

 

s4.png     s5.jpg

4. Using the Lasso (Lasso-Select-Tool.png) tool, select a yellow pebble and copy the selection.

 

s6.jpg

5. Disable the visibility (Layer-Visibility.png) of the top Background layer, add a new (Add-New-Layer.png) layer and paste (Ctrl+V) a selection into it. Deselect (Ctrl+D). Using the Eraser (Eraser-Tool-Icon.png) tool, clean the edges of the pebble. Apply the AA's_Assistant effect (Effects -> Object -> AA's_Assistant) with the default settings to the layer, then apply the Align Object (Effects -> Align Object) effect with Middle Center.

 

s7.png

6. Enable the visibility (Layer-Visibility.png) of the top Background layer. Apply the Paneling effect with Move Vertical 0 and Move Horizontal 100 to the upper layer with the yellow pebble so that the cut pebble overlaps the horizontal cut line of the pattern.

 

s8.jpg

7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second (gray) pebble with the Move Vertical 100 and Move Horizontal 8-10 for the Paneling effect.

 

s9.jpg

Merge (Merge-Layer-Down.png) both top layers (Layer 4 and Layer 3).

 

8. Go to the upper Background layer. Using the Lasso tool, select the image area so that the selection lines are as close as possible to the contours of the pebbles that are located at the outer borders of the pattern.

 

s10.jpg

9. Cut out the selection (Ctrl+X) and apply to the layer the AA's_Assistant effect with the default settings twice.

 

s11.jpg

10. Enable the visibility of the lower Background layer and merge all layers.

 

s12.jpg

11. 'Copy' the resulting pattern and 'fill' in a new (FileNew.png) 800x600 px image with it.

 

s13.jpg

It looks realistic.

 

Conclusion

 

This tutorial does not pretend to describe all possible techniques and methods for creating seamless patterns. It shows several basic techniques that allow you to make an image with acceptable quality.

 

Perhaps you will find or come up with some of your own original techniques and methods for creating patterns. In this case, I will be happy to supplement the tutorial with your help.

 

Good luck!

 

Edited by ReMake
Added a link to the PDF file.
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Great tut! :star:

 

Love the result of the beach sand tiling!

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