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047 Creating Seamless Patterns

From: InDesign FX

Video: 047 Creating Seamless Patterns

With InDesign you can create swatches of solid colors and of gradients, but you can't create a swatch that will allow you to fill an object with a repeating pattern. But with some precisely arranged objects and the Paste Into command, you can make an object that functions like a pattern swatch, then you can use the Step and Repeat command to fill an area with the pattern. You can also transform a single object into many and then fuse them all together with the Pathfinder command. Let's see how it's done. So here I have a scene of some cows in a field and there's just one problem.

047 Creating Seamless Patterns

With InDesign you can create swatches of solid colors and of gradients, but you can't create a swatch that will allow you to fill an object with a repeating pattern. But with some precisely arranged objects and the Paste Into command, you can make an object that functions like a pattern swatch, then you can use the Step and Repeat command to fill an area with the pattern. You can also transform a single object into many and then fuse them all together with the Pathfinder command. Let's see how it's done. So here I have a scene of some cows in a field and there's just one problem.

These cows aren't contained. They are going to roam around free and all get lost, and I want to contain them with a fence. So I am going to create a pattern that looks like a fence and overlay it on top of the photo. I will press the F key on my keyboard to get my Rectangle Frames tool and click in the document. I am going to create a square of 100 pixels tall and wide. I'll go to my Swatches panel. I will target the fill and fill it with black, then I will press the V key on my keyboard to switch to my Selection tool and zoom in. And in CS5 and later, I have this yellow square on frames.

I can click on that to go into Live Corners mode and apply corner effects dynamically. You can see the yellow diamonds that appear around the four corners of the square. I will click and drag on one of them to apply a Corner effect. Now the first one that comes up is rounded and that's not going to help me make my fence pattern, but I can hold down the Option or Alt key and cycle through all the different Corner effects. Click on this diamond and I'll go to fancy, to beveled, and then to inset, and this is what want to create my fence pattern.

Now I will click and drag on that diamond to increase the amount of inset until it looks like about right what I want from my fence pattern. And that looks good, that little cross shape. I will zoom out. Place it in the top left corner of my document and then choose Edit > Step and Repeat. Now I am going to create a grid. I have the Vertical and Horizontal Offset matching the size of my square and I can just create as many rows and columns as I need to fill out my fence pattern and cover the document. There we go.

I will click OK. While they're all still selected, I will go to the Pathfinder panel and click on Add and what InDesign will do is now fuse all these individual fence segments together into one object and I can apply one effect to the entire object. So with that still selected, I will go the Effects panel, double-click on Object, and I will apply some Bevel and Emboss to give it a little dimension to my fence. I will increase the Altitude to make it a little shinier. I will make it say 70 degrees. That's a good setting for making things shiny and click OK and there's my fence pattern.

My cows aren't going anywhere now. Let's make another pattern. This time I want to create a tiled pattern. So I will press the F key on my keyboard and click in the document again and I'll keep the same values of 100 pixels wide and high. I will go to my Swatches panel and fill it with black. Now I like to rotate this to 45 degrees so it seems more like a diamond than a square. So I will press the V key on my keyboard to get the Selection tool. I will hold down the Shift key and hover over one of these corners and drag it 45 degrees.

Now I will place it in the top left corner and again choose Edit > Step and Repeat. Now this is left over from my fence pattern, so I want to change this. I will just decrease the rows and columns to 2x2 right now and what I need to do is to increase the vertical and horizontal offsets, so my diamonds just touch each other like they would in a tile pattern. So I will increase both of these settings to 140 pixels. Now my diamonds just touch. Now it's a matter of again creating as many rows and columns as I need to fill up the page.

There we go. I will click OK. Now I don't want to fuse these altogether like I did with the fence pattern, but I also don't want them falling out of alignment. So while I still have them all selected, I am going to group them. Now I'm going to apply an effect. I will choose Effects, target the Group level, double-click, and I will apply our friend Bevel and Emboss. Again, I like that shiny setting, so I am going to increase the Altitude from 30 degrees to 70 degrees and I would also like highlights on both the top edges of my tiles, so I am going to decrease the Angle and make the light source come from straight above.

So change it to 90 degrees and click OK. Now I have half the tiles I want. I want to fill in these gaps in between with another tile that's also beveled. So I can use the Selection tool for that. I will double-click to bring up the Move dialog box and I'll move them half the distance that I used in the Step and Repeat dialog box. So now it's 70 pixels in the Horizontal and Vertical directions, and because I want an extra set of tiles I will click on Copy. There we go. Now I can just go to the Swatches panel and change the Tint from 100 down to say 10% black, and there I have my tile pattern.

Let's make some wallpaper. I will press the F key on my keyboard and click in the document and I am going to create a rectangle that will function as the base for my pattern swatch. I will make it 160 pixels wide by 100 pixels high and click on OK. In my Swatches panel, I will give it a fill of this nice Victorian Blue. And now I want to create some elements that are going to repeat throughout the pattern. So I will borrow a glyph from the Adobe Woodtype Ornaments font. I will click and drag with my Text tool, and I am going to choose Type > Glyphs, and I've recently applied the glyph that I want so it appears in my Recently Used Glyphs menu.

I will double-click to put into the document, close the Glyphs panel, and I will increase the type size to 100 pixels. I will switch to my Selection tool and I'd like to actually convert this to outlines. It's not strictly necessary to do that, but I just find it easier to use if I've converted this glyph to outline, rather than leaving it as live text. So I will press Command+Shift+O or Ctrl+Shift+O on the PC. Now I have an outlined glyph that I can use in my pattern. I will zoom in and what I want to do is place this precisely at the center of this glyph at the four corners of my pattern swatch.

So when I create extra pattern swatches, they all line up perfectly. So I will click from about the middle of the glyph and use my Smart Guides to help me know exactly when the center of this glyph is aligned in the top corner of my pattern swatch. There it is. Now I want to make a copy, so I will hold down Option or Alt and I want to constraint it, so I will hold down Shift and drag down to make my second corner copy. Again, the Smart Guides is my friend. It lets me know I have perfectly aligned it with the bottom of the swatch. I will let go. I will Shift+Click to select both of my glyphs and Option or Alt drag across to create the other two corner copies.

Now I would like one for the center of the pattern. So I will grab any one of these, Option or Alt+Drag, and then again use the Smart Guides to let me know when I have it exactly in the middle and let go. Now I want to take these and paste them into my pattern swatch. I can only paste one object at a time into another frame, so I have to make these all behave as one, and I'll do that by grouping them. I will Shift+Click to select all five, group them, cut them, and then select the frame and choose Edit > Paste Into, and there I have it, my pattern swatch.

I will zoom out, put it in the top left corner of my document, and again choose Edit > Step and Repeat. I will choose Create as grid, and now I want to have the Vertical and Horizontal Offsets exactly match what my size in my pattern swatch was. So it was 100 pixels tall by 160 pixels wide, and I just have to create enough rows and columns to fill out the page. I need a few more rows, and I will click OK.

Now at this magnification it looks like there's a little gap in between the pattern swatches, but don't worry. It's not really there. If I zoom in, you can see that it goes way. It's just a screen artifact. At certain magnifications, it looks like there's a slight gap, but remember we are really careful using the Step and Repeat function to precisely align these things and the Smart Guides. So this really is a seamless pattern. InDesign doesn't have dedicated tools for building patterns, but with a little ingenuity and some careful attention to alignment, plus the Step and Repeat function, you can create objects that function just like pattern swatches.

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This video is part of

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InDesign FX

109 video lessons · 37906 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8h 7m
    1. 000 Welcome to InDesign FX
      2m 42s
    2. 001 Blurring Objects with Drop Shadows
      6m 26s
    3. 002 Creating Interlocking Objects
      3m 46s
    4. 003 Exploring the Effects Panel
      8m 43s
    5. 004 Creating Long Text Shadows with Type on a Path
      4m 23s
    6. 005 Making Shiny Effects
      4m 46s
    7. 006 Producing Slime
      6m 22s
    8. 007 Exploring Bevel and Emboss Settings
      5m 34s
    9. 008 Exploring Inner Glow Settings
      2m 9s
    10. 009 Building Better Bevels
      3m 16s
    11. 010 Punching Holes
      4m 26s
    12. 011 Exploring Basic Feather Settings
      2m 52s
    13. 012 Exploring Directional Feather Settings
      5m 15s
    14. 013 Getting Effects into Print
      8m 10s
    15. 014 Getting Effects into Ebooks
      4m 32s
    16. 015 Simulating a Polaroid Effect
      3m 15s
    17. 016 Creating Metallic Strokes
      3m 18s
    18. 017 Exploring Inner Shadow Settings
      3m 50s
    19. 018 Exploring Drop Shadow Settings
      6m 15s
    20. 019 Simulating Multiple Strokes, Part 1
      3m 59s
    21. 020 Simulating Multiple Strokes, Part 2
      3m 29s
    22. 021 Creating Metallic Chrome Effects
      3m 56s
    23. 022 Creating Glass and Plastic Effects
      4m 49s
    24. 023 Exploring Satin Settings
      6m 57s
    25. 024 Exploring Gradient Feather Settings
      3m 51s
    26. 025 Simulating Carving and Chiseling
      6m 42s
    27. 026 Understanding Transparency Blend Space
      8m 2s
    28. 027 Drawing Extrusions, Part 1
      5m 25s
    29. 028 Drawing Concentric Shapes
      3m 17s
    30. 029 Creative Blend Mode tricks, Part 1
      5m 29s
    31. 030 Creative Blend Mode tricks, Part 2
      4m 6s
    32. 031 Drawing Star Bursts
      6m 7s
    33. 032 Scaling effects
      3m 0s
    34. 033 Learning Pathfinder Tips and Tricks
      9m 10s
    35. 034 Learning Transform Again Tips and Tricks
      6m 39s
    36. 035 Creating Cast Shadows, Part 1
      5m 27s
    37. 036 Exploring Outer Glow Settings
      6m 45s
    38. 037 Understanding Perspective Drawing
      4m 38s
    39. 038 Drawing 3D Banners
      3m 23s
    40. 039 Shearing to Create 3D Effects, Part 1
      6m 41s
    41. 040 Shearing to Create 3D Effects, Part 2
      6m 20s
    42. 041 Simulating a Ripped Background
      1m 53s
    43. 042 Creating a Breakthrough Effect
      2m 10s
    44. 043 Creating Spotlight Effects
      2m 22s
    45. 044 Backlighting an Object
      6m 8s
    46. 045 Simulating Stickers and Tape
      4m 23s
    47. 046 Creating Burnt Edges
      6m 26s
    48. 047 Creating Seamless Patterns
      8m 39s
    49. 048 Using Scripts to Create New Shapes
      6m 40s
    50. 049 Simulating Liquid
      2m 48s
    51. 050 Creating Editable Knockout Text
      5m 52s
    52. 051 Making Peeling Stickers
      5m 42s
    53. 052 Tips for Text Stroke Effects
      6m 44s
    54. 053 Creating 3D arrows
      3m 37s
    55. 054 Creating personal buttons
      4m 22s
    56. 055 Simulating leather with bevel and emboss
      4m 17s
    57. 056 Creating the effect of a magnifying glass
      4m 20s
    58. 057 Simulating a college notebook
      6m 11s
    59. 058 Using multiple effects to create plastic type
      3m 58s
    60. 059 Achieving a rough-hewn look
      2m 28s
    61. 060 Creating speech bubbles
      2m 41s
    62. 061 Creating buttons for interaction
      4m 37s
    63. 062 Creating wraparound headings
      5m 46s
    64. 063 Creating picture frames
      3m 24s
    65. 064 Customizing stroke styles
      5m 19s
    66. 065 Creating photo corners
      3m 44s
    67. 066 Making new shadow effects
      3m 19s
    68. 067 Making 3D type
      3m 15s
    69. 068 Making a 3D object
      5m 13s
    70. 069 Making translucent objects
      3m 10s
    71. 070 Mocking up a film strip
      4m 53s
    72. 071 Showing graphics as tiles
      3m 41s
    73. 072 Simulating chalk
      3m 7s
    74. 073 Using drop- and inner-shadows to create a cutout effect
      4m 30s
    75. 074 Applying multiple strokes with layers
      7m 1s
    76. 075 Enhancing design with skewed text
      3m 59s
    77. 076 Creating and revealing hidden objects
      3m 33s
    78. 077 Setting text vertically
      2m 51s
    79. 078 Achieving a developing Polaroid effect
      3m 38s
    80. 079 Creating ornamental frames
      5m 54s
    81. 080 Framing photos in letters
      4m 19s
    82. 081 Creating effects with paragraph rules
      3m 30s
    83. 082 Putting curved shadows on paper
      2m 40s
    84. 083 Building a puzzle
      2m 16s
    85. 084 Applying a gradient to text
      2m 2s
    86. 085 Creating a theater marquee
      4m 38s
    87. 086 Centering type on a curve
      2m 33s
    88. 087 Creating looks without fill
      2m 31s
    89. 088 Creating spiral patters from random lines
      3m 11s
    90. 089 Creating highlights at top and bottom
      3m 24s
    91. 090 Combining stroke styles
      2m 11s
    92. 091 Making a bottle cap
      1m 47s
    93. 092 Creating a 3D bevel effect behind a cover
      3m 30s
    94. 093 Creating custom frames
      2m 11s
    95. 094 Making trading cards
      4m 43s
    96. 095 Revolving an item around an object
      2m 44s
    97. 096 Creating old-fashioned spotlights
      2m 12s
    98. 097 Creating a rust effect
      1m 44s
    99. 098 Creating sparkle
      1m 54s
    100. 099 Double beveling text
      2m 24s
    101. 100 Creating a 3D pocket with bevel and gradient
      3m 2s
    102. 101 Creating metallic text
      3m 7s
    103. 102 Creating stained glass
      2m 53s
    104. 103 Bobbling a photograph
      4m 47s
    105. 104 Creating a lighted sign
      3m 9s
    106. 105 Creating a blue ribbon
      12m 58s
    107. 106 Putting items on a shelf
      6m 11s
    108. 107 Creating a shredded-document effect
      4m 12s
    109. 108 Simulating a train-station display board
      9m 54s

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