Sunday, February 14, 2010

Creating Repeating Patterns in Photoshop Tutorial

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! 

Want one of those perfect repeating background tiles you’ve seen on someone’s Twitter
or MySpace? Or, in my case, the knowhow to make a continuous repeat for a textile
pattern to upload to Spoonflower so your design doesn’t look like a block print?
Let me reveal the mystery!

First choose a picture you want to repeat. I chose “Minty Leafy.”

Next, make note of how big your image is. Go into Image>image size.
Divide those numbers in half. If you’re like me--not a numberish person--
write them down.


Now, go into Filter>other>offset. Put the two new numbers into those
boxes. Make surethat ‘wrap around’ is checked off.


Your picture will now look like this with the four end corners
turned inward. Manipulate it so that it joins up on the ends.
Move some stuff around, cut and paste, use your patch
tool--whatever you need to do.


When you are satisfied with your alterations. Hit ‘Ctrl F’ to turn
your picture right sides out again.
You always want to do this because there may be something
you’ve missed. Right here I see that I’ve missed a bump on the edge that
would make a flaw in my repeat.


Okay! It’s good

I bet you’re dying to see what it looks like. I used to cut and paste over and over
and do the repeat myself which resulted in flaws and took a looong time.
There is an easier way!
Select your whole image with the marquee tool. Select Edit>define pattern. It’ll
pop up and ask you what you want to name your new pattern. I let PS choose a name
for me...
Sometimes ‘define pattern’ will be grey and unchoosable in the menu.
Just crop the image to the edges. You can do this by choosing Image>crop.

Some other reasons the ‘define pattern’ option is unavailable:
There are too many patterns in the menu. Choose pattern>reset patterns.
Your image is too big. Resize by hitting ‘Ctrl T’ and using the bounding box.

*Update:  I've discovered that having too many patterns in your patterns palette will considerably show down Photoshop and even your computer.  After you are done with a project reset the patterns to declutter your PS.


Now open a new document that is larger than your image. Choose the bucket tool,
check off ‘pattern’ and click. You now will see your design repeated. Look it over
to see if there are any flaws you may have missed--but if you’ve caught
everything--it should look like this!

And there you have it. Let me know if you found this tutorial useful.
Thanks for reading!

***UPDATE  Want to save all your new patterns together in a set that you can reuse when you need it?  Here's how in my new tutorial!

10 comments:

For Keeps Sake said...

yes it was thanks!

SewCalGal said...

Wonderful tutorial. Definitely goes into my list of favorite tutorials. Thank you!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Andy Mathis said...

Yay!
Great tutorial. Really helps to see images as examples.

Eye Candey said...

Great tut! Thanks for posting a nice easy way to seamlessly repeat a pattern!

kelly said...

already knew about the 'offset' trick - but the 'define pattern' thing was new to me - thanks so much - it will save me a lot of time!

Susan Rundle-Hughes said...

Excellent tutorial. Thanks :)

Shivali Misra said...

hey thanks for this lovely tutorial could you please tell me how to save this pattern forever once you have made it. all my patters vanished after 2 days from the pattern dialogue box. Im a designer and wd like to get these prints transfered on fabrics. Ill really appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.

Shivali Misra said...

hey thanks for this lovely tutorial could you please tell me how to save this pattern forever once you have made it. all my patters vanished after 2 days from the pattern dialogue box. Im a designer and wd like to get these prints transfered on fabrics. Ill really appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.

Periwinkle Paisley said...

@Shivali --
There are 2 ways, you can just save the file as a jpeg and keep it in a design folder. Everytime you want to use it you'll have to open with PS and then Edit>define pattern. The second way I am going to post as an update on this tutorial.

Lesley said...

Finally I understand how this works. Very clear tutorial, thank you!

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