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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
As promised at the outset of this chapter, this final movie is a break from Illustrator. I'm going to show you how to create a seamlessly repeating wood grain pattern inside of Photoshop. So if you're interested, great; if not, go ahead and skip to the next chapter. So here is the wood grain file on screen. I'm going to be creating it for you from scratch, so you don't even need a sample file, and every single time you do it, you'll get different results, because it's a random effect. All right! So the first thing to do is to go up to the File menu and choose the New command, or press Ctrl+N or Cmd+N on the Mac, and I stress I'm working inside Photoshop, I just want to make that clear.
You want to set the Width and Height values to multiples of 128; I know that sounds weird, but it's essential that you do that for this trick to work. So 512 works great. You could double the number of pixels to 1024 if you want to, but you have to have something that's a multiple of 128 pixels. The resolution doesn't matter. We might as well work in the RGB mode, and I'm setting my Background Contents to Transparent. All right! Now click OK in order to create that new file, and I'm going to go ahead and rename this one transparent layer here inside the Layers panel, Tile.
Next what you want to do is click on the flyout menu icon in the upper right corner of the Layers panel and choose Convert to Smart Object, and that way you can apply a nondestructive filter to it. So go ahead and tap the D key in order to establish the default colors, black and white, and then go up to the Filter menu, choose Render, and choose Clouds, and that will fill the image with the clouds pattern. And this clouds patter--because this image is set to 512 pixels--will repeat seamlessly as it is.
So that's the thing about clouds, it always repeats seamlessly at multiples of 128 pixels as I've said. So now what we want to do is convert this image to a pattern, and you do that by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Define Pattern. And this is my third time around here, so I'll call this guy Clouds 3 and click OK. All right! Now go ahead and turn that Tile layer off. Drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Click on it, and choose Pattern, and you want to select that last pattern you just got done creating; in my case, Clouds 3, and then click OK.
Now, it's going to look exactly the same as the Tile layer we were seeing a moment ago, but now we're going to turn it into a repeating pattern by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Canvas Size command. And you want to switch from Pixels or Inches or Centimeters or whatever it says over here to Percent. And then make sure the Relative checkbox is turned off, and change the Height value to 300%. Go ahead and leave the center box selected and click OK. And now zoom out from your image and you'll see that it repeats seamlessly.
But we need that height in order to pull off the next step. So what I'm going to do is double-click on the name of this layer and change it to Clouds. And then I need to convert it to a smart object by clicking on the flyout menu in the upper right corner of the Layers panel and choosing Convert to Smart Object. So we're going to have to do this a few times in order to pull this effect off. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Motion Blur, which is very important in order to get a wood grain effect.
So go ahead and choose that command and I want you to set the Angle value to 90 degrees. Again, essential, it has to be 90 degrees given the way we're setting up this project, so that we're blurring this 3 tile tall image into itself. And then set the Distance to half of the size of your file. So in my case, the file size was 512 pixels by 512 pixels, so I set the distance to half of that, 256 pixels. Now click OK. All right, now what you want to do is reduce the number of colors using a Posterized Adjustment Layer. And you create one of those by clicking on the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choosing Posterize.
And then increase that Levels value to 24 in order to produce this effect here. And go ahead and hide the Properties panel. All right! Now what you want to do is go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command and we're going to restore our image to its previous height. So make sure the Relative checkbox is turned off once again and the center square is selected. Switch to Pixels if you're not already working in pixels and change the Height value to 512, and then click on the OK button. And Photoshop is going to tell you that you're going to clip stuff, as in permanently cropping away pixels.
That's not actually even sort of true, so just go ahead and click on the Proceed button in order to reduce the canvas size of the image without reducing the information. All right! Now what we want to do is Shift+Click on the clouds layers, so both Posterize and Clouds are selected, and I'm going to rename this Posterize layer Wood actually, because in just a moment, Photoshop is going to use that name. So after changing its name, I'll Shift+ Click on the Clouds layer to select it as well, then I will once again return to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object, and that will be the final time we do that, by the way. All right! Now go up to the Filter menu, choose Other, and choose the High Pass command, and you want to enter a value of around 5 pixels in order to achieve an effect like mine.
Now, if you went with a higher number of pixels inside your image, such as 1024 instead of 512, then you'd want to double this value to 10. But anyway, I'm going to enter 5 and click OK. And now let's colorize the wood by clicking on the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choosing Color Overlay. And you can dial in really any old color you want to that's in the Orange spectrum, but I'm going to change my Hue value to 35 and then change the Saturation value to 85, and take the Brightness value to 50%, and then click OK.
That ends up just coloring the whole image brown, which is why you need to change the Blend mode to one that should be familiar from the previous chapter, which is Color. And that goes ahead and produces this effect here. All right! We need to increase the Contrast, so drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the panel and choose the Levels command, and then increase the Black point value to 100 and take the White point value down to 170, so that is to say, this first value needs to be 100, this third value needs to be 170.
Leave the middle value and these bottom values alone. And then go ahead and press the Enter key in order to accept that change. Now, that creates an extremely intensely saturated effect; in fact, it's kind of stinging my eyes. So we need to reduce the Saturation of the image by clicking on the Black/White icon and choosing Hue/Saturation this time around, and I'll reduce the Saturation value to -50. And then I'll Shift+Tab to the Hue value and take it up to +5, just to compensate for things, so that the wood looks nice and orange.
Now, of course you can change that if you want to. You can make it darker; you can make it less saturated; you can adjust the Hue value to taste, but that is essentially what's going on. And now, just to check that this wood texture repeats seamlessly, go up to the Edit menu and choose the Define Pattern command once again, and go ahead and call this guy Wood or something along those lines. Click OK. And finally, return to the File menu and choose the New command, and I'm going to dial in a value that's equal to three times 512, which is 1536, for both the Width and Height values, and then I'll click OK.
And next, I'll drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and I'll choose Pattern and I'll select my wood pattern from the list in order to apply this pattern right here. And then I'll click OK, and as you can see here, this results in a seamlessly repeating pattern, which is even more evident if I press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode. And that, friends, is how you create a seamlessly repeating wood grain texture that's different every time you do it, here inside Photoshop.
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