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Pattern Pens have a bit of what I call an Alice in Wonderland quality. On one hand, these pens are back in accordance with the usual pen behavior. Smooth edges or a nice-looking thick to thin ratio, as pressure is applied. On the other hand, the ink that comes out of these pens is anything but normal. Let's pierce through the looking glass at Pattern Pens. I'm going to go up to the Brush Selector bar and we'll drop down here to Pattern Pens. Let's just try one out and see what we get. Well, you can see right away, this is not your mother's pen.
This actually uses an imagery to paint with. So the first quality that's noticeable about this is that it's not just a simple color. It's a graphic imagery that makes it up. The other thing about the Pattern Pen is that it knows how to stretch whatever the content is. And where is that content coming from? Well, it's actually a pattern and based on the pattern that you select, you can get a lot of different kinds of qualities. Some of them can be based on photographic material or they can be hand-drawn but the idea is that anything that can be encoded into a pattern can become a pattern to fill an area but it can also become content for the Pattern Pen itself.
Now there is another quality about the Pattern Pen that's very interesting as well as useful. You can see this pattern that I'm drawing right now and I'm going to do a Select All, Delete, so we can just look at it clearly here. You can see it just does a band of this graphic, but if I switch from the normal Pattern Pen to the Pattern Pen Masked, now what happens is it knows that there is a mask associated with this, that it was created with. And when that mask is being detected, it masks off everything but the area of the graphic that is unmasked.
So now I can paint with this in an even more interesting way. So not only can you have bands of graphics but you can have irregular shaped graphics along the strip of your Pattern Pen. What's not too well known is how can you construct one of these masked Pattern Pens. So I'm going to go through the process to show you how that's done so that you can start creating your own content. It's easy to create a basic pattern but to mask it off takes an additional step and let's take a look at that.
So I'm going to Select All, Delete, and all patterns basically are are a repeating seamless pattern. By seamless, I mean there is no beginning and there is no end. So there is no obvious separation between the pattern at any point and it takes a special technique to create that. Normally, what I'll do is I'll start with a rectangular horizontal area. So I'm just going to use in this case my Crop tool. You could also create a new file of dimensions that you want to work with, but this is just a quick and easy way to get to that shape of imagery that I want to work with.
The first thing you want to do is from the dropdown menu in the patterns selector is go over to the Pattern fly- out menu and you want to say Define Pattern. You have to do that first. So we've now defined a pattern and there are no fireworks or anything showing up here to tell us it's been done, but I'll show you in a minute how you know it's happened. The next thing that has to happen is, in order to create a Masked Pattern Pen, you must work on a layer. So I'm going to create my layer. Now here is the really interesting part. Any tool can be used to create this content and what I'm going to do is go to the Liquid Ink category, just because it does an interesting graphic quality.
I'm going to use the Graphic Camel. So let's go up here and grab Graphic Camel and I'll paint with it and what I want you to notice is when I get to the edge, I'm going to kind of do it here in an olive green color. I'm going to start to draw with it. When I go off the right side, watch over on the left side. See how that just came up and allowed me to join it? That's what tells you that this is a pattern that's been defined because it understands that the edges are seamless more or less.
So now I can play around with going off the edges, if I want to take advantage of that technique. So I'm just going to fill in the pattern a little bit more. I might go in with the Graphic Camel Resist here and just kind of scrounge it up a bit more but I just want to get an interesting graphic quality going here. The one thing I said you had to create a layer. I did create a layer but in the case of the Liquid Ink Pen, it has to create its own layer type. So it happened to do that there and that's fine but the idea is that you have to work on a type of layer.
Normally, you would work with most tools on a normal layer. With Liquid Ink, it just happens to be a special tool that requires its own layer type. That's the reason we've got that going there. And just to keep things simple, I'm going to go ahead and delete this so we're not confused by it. So I've got a layer, in this case a Liquid Ink layer, and what I want to do is from the Layers palette, go in and say Drop and Select. Now you must use this command. You can't just drop it. You must drop and select because what's going to define that mask that the Pattern Pen Masked is going to use is this selection.
So if we save this without a selection, it wouldn't recognize any mask at all because it is the selection that's defining the mask. I'm going to go back over to my Pattern Selector, go to the flyout menu and now I want to say Capture Pattern. Now this is where I can go and give it a name and I'll just call it My Pattern and now we've got a new pattern. Now let's test it out. I'm going to go and create a new file and let's go into the Pattern library.
There is My Pattern. I'm going to grab it. I'm going to go back to the Pattern Pens library. We've got Pattern Pen Masked. Go up to 100% here so you can see it, but now I've got this really cool new pattern that I've created and it's masked. I challenge you to look in the Painter documentation and find out how to do that because you won't find it. So that's a really cool little aspect of Pattern Pens that you now have under your belt.
So have some fun with some of this. Pattern Pens enable some pretty remarkable mark-making capabilities. With the knowledge of how to construct your own ink or content, these pens open up a rabbit-sized hole you can explore. Bon voyage!
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