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Creating seamless patterns from shape layers

From: Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers

Video: Creating seamless patterns from shape layers

This movie is about using a custom shape to create a repeating pattern. Now this may be something that you've seen before and it's pretty easy to do, but the twist on it here is that we're using a custom shape and then our pattern tile is consequently going to have the benefit of being scalable, should we decide that we want to change the size of our pattern. So I've used the light bulb custom shape and it's somewhere in our standard shapes. It's right there. And I've got one of these that's right in the center of the canvas.

Creating seamless patterns from shape layers

This movie is about using a custom shape to create a repeating pattern. Now this may be something that you've seen before and it's pretty easy to do, but the twist on it here is that we're using a custom shape and then our pattern tile is consequently going to have the benefit of being scalable, should we decide that we want to change the size of our pattern. So I've used the light bulb custom shape and it's somewhere in our standard shapes. It's right there. And I've got one of these that's right in the center of the canvas.

Now in order to get this to repeat and tile perfectly I need to put other versions of the light bulb at the four corners of my image. And I need them to line-up exactly. So here is a trick that we can use to have them line-up exactly. To do this we're going to use the Offset filter, but the Offset filter is not going to work on a Vector shape without rasterizing it and we don't want that to happen. So before I do that I'm going to make the stamp of my layers above my current layer stack.

And I'm going to Merge Visible but Merge Visible into a new layer. So I'm holding down the Alt or Option key while I do this. So that's made a rasterized copy of my layer at the top of my layer stack. Now I'm going to come to my Filter menu > Other and choose Offset. Now this document that I'm working with is 200 pixels square, so I want to go horizontally 100 pixels and vertically 100 pixels. That's going to divide my light bulb into four and position it exactly at the four corners.

Now what I want to do is come back to my original light bulb shape where I'm going to copy this four times, one, two, three, four, and pressing Command+J four times. And I now want to get these copies and place them exactly over the rasterized portion which we're essentially using as a tracing layer. So I'm going to start with the top image and then I'm just going to drag that and position it exactly in place like so, and then I can come and select the next one, and the next one.

I'm clicking on the vector masks to make the path active. So now my top tracing layer has served its purpose. We can turn that off. In fact, we can now throw that away. What we're left with is five custom vector shapes that will make up our pattern. So what we need to do next is define it as pattern tile, but before I do that I'm also going to just add a little bit of noise to the background so we have a bit of texture. I've already done that actually.

It's on a Smart Filter. I just have it turned off for the moment, but when I turn it on we can see that we just get a little bit texture there and if that's a little bit too much, and I think it is, because it's been applied as a Smart Filter I can double-click on the Smart Filter name and reduce that amount I'm going to go down to 4%. So now I can come to my Edit menu and choose Define Pattern. It's going to give me a little preview of it there. I'll give it a name. Now that it's defined as a pattern I can fill any area or any canvas, and I'm going to have a canvas that's 900 pixels x 550 pixels. And then I'm going to press Shift+Delete, which is the keyboard shortcut for the Fill command, or use Edit > Fill, and I'm going to fill it with a pattern.

And the pattern I want is that one. And there we have it, our repeating pattern created using the offset filter. But where the custom shape really comes into play is its scalability. So we took the precaution of retaining our original pattern tile as a vector custom shape. So that if we needed to go back and style the whole thing, let's say we needed to come back to the original and we decided that we actually want it to be an 800 pixels square, we could scale it up here and we're not going to suffer any kind of degradation quality.

It's vectors that we're working with and not pixels.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers
Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers

42 video lessons · 13868 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 30m 57s
    1. Three ways to use the shape tools
      6m 49s
    2. Converting shapes to paths and vice versa
      1m 24s
    3. Moving, deleting, copying, and rasterizing shape layers
      5m 28s
    4. Drawing rectangles, rounded rectangles, and ellipses
      2m 59s
    5. Drawing lines
      2m 40s
    6. Drawing polygons and stars
      1m 48s
    7. Drawing pen paths by adding, deleting, and converting anchor points
      5m 51s
    8. Drawing pen paths with hybrid anchor points
      2m 58s
    9. Inverting paths
      1m 0s
  3. 28m 19s
    1. Adding, subtracting, intersecting, excluding, and combining shapes
      3m 50s
    2. Aligning and distributing shapes
      2m 19s
    3. Coloring shape layers
      2m 1s
    4. Creating a poster by combining simple shapes, part 1
      11m 32s
    5. Creating a poster by combining simple shapes, part 2
      8m 37s
  4. 52m 55s
    1. Creating a logo with shape layers
      10m 47s
    2. Applying blend modes to shape layers
      3m 36s
    3. Applying layer effects and styles to shape layers
      2m 53s
    4. Adding strokes to shape layers
      5m 14s
    5. Applying Smart Filters to shape layers
      4m 0s
    6. Combining shape layers with layer effects, blending modes, and Smart Objects
      5m 31s
    7. Creating shape layers from type
      3m 32s
    8. Creating web buttons using shape layers
      2m 33s
    9. Using shape layers to mask multiple layers
      3m 6s
    10. Adding shape layers to a photo illustration
      7m 38s
    11. Using shape layers to apply custom gradients to type
      4m 5s
  5. 28m 52s
    1. Finding and loading custom shapes
      3m 13s
    2. Creating your own custom shape
      5m 2s
    3. Creating a custom shape from an Illustrator symbol
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a custom shape from an Illustrator Live Trace object
      9m 40s
    5. Creating seamless patterns from shape layers
      4m 18s
    6. Saving and loading shapes with the Preset Manager
      1m 38s
  6. 30m 10s
    1. What is a vector mask?
      6m 39s
    2. Converting to a selection, vector mask, or layer mask
      5m 17s
    3. Linking and unlinking vector masks
      4m 47s
    4. Using shape layers to create a photo grid
      1m 42s
    5. Feathering a vector mask edge
      2m 54s
    6. Adjusting vector mask density
      3m 16s
    7. Combining vector masks with layer masks
      3m 34s
    8. Working with paths and clipping paths
      2m 1s
  7. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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