Complex Pattern Swatches in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Complex Pattern Swatches in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Create Complex Patterns in Photoshop - Introduction

      1:30
    • 2. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 1

      8:14
    • 3. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 2

      7:07
    • 4. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 3

      8:53
    • 5. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 4

      3:28
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn how to create more complex patterns in Photoshop. You will learn to take shapes and arrange them in a document to create a large seamless repeating pattern tile. See how to edit and add detail to the pattern and how to save it as an external .pat file that can be saved and shared. This is a sample of the pattern we will create:

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Create Complex Patterns in Photoshop - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch Class, creating complex pattern swatches in Adobe Photoshop. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're looking at creating complex patterns in Photoshop. We'll start by finding some icons that we can use at a site called Vecteezy, and we'll have a look at converting a vector format to a raster format in Photoshop and then cutting out the shapes that we're going to use in our pattern. We'll then go ahead and create a complex pattern, making sure that it's going to repeat and that the elements are going to be interestingly placed and your pattern is not going to have seams through it. We're going to create the pattern as a PAT file. I'll show you how to work with the preset manager in Photoshop. Now as you're working through these videos, you might see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up. These recommendations help me get my classes in front of more people just like you who want to learn about Photoshop. If you'd like to leave a comment please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now let's get started making complex patterns in Photoshop. 2. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 1: So that we can focus on making our pattern and not have to make a lot of pattern elements, I found an illustration that we can use here at Vecteezy. I'm going to give you the download link and you can click to download free of charge. Now vecteezy is a site for free vectors and this is actually a vector image but I searched around to find one that was saved as an EPS format file because we can't open EPS format files inside Photoshop. Even if you're a Photoshop user you have no access to illustrator there will be vectors here that you can use. It is a bit of trial and error. I found that I just had to download them, open them up and see what was inside, and when I found an EPS file, that was what I was looking for, not all of them are saved in EPS formats. Now I've already downloaded this, let's go to my downloads folder. Here is the zip file that I downloaded. I'll double-click on it and then on Windows machine on it to extract the files. On a Mac it's probably going to be done automatically for you. I'm going to drag and drop the EPS file into Photoshop. Photoshop needs to rasterize this. What Photoshops going to do is, it's going to turn the vector format into a standard raster image, the image that Photoshop can handle. We can tell Photoshop how big we want the image to be. Well, I want mine to be a 150 pixels per inch, and I just want to check the pixel dimensions here. A 2,900 by about 2,000 is pretty good for me, I'm just going to click Okay. Now we need to put these shapes on individual layers so that we can move them around for our pattern. I want to clean up and get rid of everything else. The first thing I'm going to do is go to the Magic wand tool, we set the Tolerance to around ten. I'm going to disable Contiguous. What I want to do is click here on the background and select all the pink in the image, including the pink inside these cup handles. I've just done that, so I'm going to press Delete to remove it. Now we've got rid off the background there. I'll press Control or Command D or choose Select Deselect the selection that was made with the Magic wand. Next, I'm going to grab the shapes and put them on their own layers. I'm going to the Lasso tool because I can just draw around a shape with the Lasso tool and I'll choose Layer, New Layer Via Cut. I wanted to send this to a new layer, or puts off, go back to this layer and then do the same for the other shapes. Not worried too much at this stage, about a few stray dots, will get rid of those in a minute. As I put each on a new layer, I'm going to turn off that layer's visibility, so it's not confusing me. I'm going to make sure that I go back and reselect the bottom-most layer in the last stack because that contains the image piece I'm trying to make a selection of. If you make a mistake, Control Alt Z Command options seen on the Mac to just undo it. I'm go and make your selection again. I've made a mistake there, I didn't have the background layer selected. Soon as you see something looking not right, just undo it and go back and do it again. With this cup, I do want those little bits of steam included with it. What we have left is this image on its own layer because we don't want all the dots with it. I'm actually going to select around it and then invert my selection with Select Inverse, down select this layer and press Delete, and that will get rid of all of the dots. I am going to put temporarily a white layer under everything just so that I can see what's going on. To do that I'll Control or Command, click on the New Layer icon here. Well, that was a bit enthusiastic, I got a couple of layers there. Because white is my background color here, I can press Control Backspace, Command Delete to fill the bottom most layer with white, but before I do so, I'm going to select this selection. Of course, if you're not used to using the Control or Command Backspace tool to fill the background layer, you can always just dump it full of white with the Paint Bucket tool. You grab the Paint Bucket tool, make sure whites the foreground color and just fill it with white. I'm just going back and check these layers to make sure that all I've got is the shape and no dots. Well, we've got dots here, I'm going to Eraser tool. I'm going to select a very hard brush here. I want it to be hardness of 100 because I wanted to save the brush when I'm erasing. I'm going to select the layer, increase of brush size with the close Square Bracket key and carefully erase over those dots, but making sure that I don't destroy the cup in the process. Let's check the next layer, same thing, get rid of anything that stray in the next layer and the final one. Now that we've got the items I selected, I'm going to pull out a couple of other objects that I want for my pattern and one of them is these coffee beans here. This is the layer that it's on, I'm going to drag and drop it onto the New Layer icon. I get two coffee cups here, I'm going to turn one off, and on the topmost one, I'm going to make a selection with the Lasso tool around the coffee beans that I want. Now I need to delete everything except the coffee beans. I'm going to invert the selections select Inverse, and that selects everything except the coffee beans and a little bit of yellow and I'll press Delete. Now I'm going back to the Magic Wand Tool. I'm going to deselect the selection first tool, Control or Command D, and then click on this yellow. Now, there are two different yellows here, I'm going to click on one, shift click on the second, and press Delete, and then deselect the selection with that Control or Command D. That gives me a pair of coffee beans that are on their own layer. Now I can go back and put this coffee cup back as visible because I've got an element I'm going to use in my pattern. I'm going to do the same with the stem here. I'm going to duplicate this cup. I'm going to turn the bottom version of it off, so it's not confusing me. I'm going to make a selection around the stem here. Again, using the Lasso tool or whatever tool makes sense to you. I want the stem but not the rest of the cup. I'm going to invert my selection with Select Inverse and then I'll press the Delete key and then Control or Command D to deselect the selection. Now there is a small piece of the image in there I still need to get rid of. Again, with my hard brush, I'm using the open Square Bracket key to just re-size the brush and then erase a bit I don't want. I'm going to move it out of the way by selecting the Move tool. Looks like I've got a bit of the cup here too, let's just get rid of that because it's going to be a nuisance. We use the Move tool to move it out of the way and then redisplay the cup that it came from.. Now I've got all the elements isolated, we're ready to go and create a complex pattern from them. 3. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 2: At this point, we're going to want to re-size document a little bit. What I'm going to do is just increase the canvas size. I'm going to Image and then Canvas Size. I'm going to work in pixels. What I want to do is to make this a round number. I'm going to make it 3000 pixels by 3000 pixels and I'll click ''Okay''. Now, I've added some extra canvas all the way around the shapes, and I now no longer want this white background. It was really only there to help me say that I had everything isolated and nothing left from the original image that I didn't want. I'm just going to turn this off and actually trash it for now. I'm going to zoom out a little bit so I can see the edges of the document clearly. What I'm going to do next is I'm going to start moving the shapes around inside the illustration to make my pattern. I'm going to take this shape and I'm going to place it in the bottom most corner. What I'm going to do in a minute is to place three other versions of this same coffee cup in the corners here to fill in the pattern. But for now, I'm just going to place some of the other elements here as well. I'm going to rotate them a little bit just to get something a little more interesting. This one's going to need to be repeated down the bottom here, which means it's going to run in probably too close to this particular coffee cup. I'm going to move it. I have auto select turned on. If I just click on a shape, it's being selected. Sometimes that will bite you, but for this particular project, it might be a really good idea. This shape here is going to have to be repeated over here. Now before we do too much work on the middle of this pattern, we would be well advised to go ahead and do the transformations for these edge paces. Let's go to one of the simple ones first. Let's go to the one up the top here. We know that our document is 3,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels in size. The dimensions are measured from this top corners. This is zero and this is the point 3000, 3000. Three thousand in the x direction, 3000 in the y direction. We're going to make a duplicate of this cup. I'm going to drag the layer onto the New Layer icon. We're going to move one of these cups 3000 pixels down the image. I'll choose Edit and then Free transform. We're looking for the vertical setting, which is this one here, and at the moment, the y value is 122 pixels. All I'm going do is type a three in front of this to move it to 3,122. That's taking it from where it is and adding another 3000 pixels because the dimensions of the image are 3000 by 3000. That's why I was really careful about making the image a size that the mathematics would be easy to do. Now, we want this one over here, so I'm going to click on it, drag it onto the New Layer icon. What we want to do is to move this 3000 pixels in the X direction. We'll go Edit, Free transform, and its X value is 43 pixels. Well, we're going to make that 3,043 pixels, 3043 and I'll click the check mark. The last one we have to move is this one down the bottom, and I left it to last for a good reason. Because we need to make three more copies of this, so I'm going to drag out two copies, three copies. Let's go and select the top one here. This one has to be moved up to here. We're going to move it minus 3,000 pixel. I'm going to choose Edit, Free Transform. We're going to look at its Y value, which is 2,630. We have to subtract 3,000 from that. If your brain is about to go to marsh, don't worry. You've got a calculator on your computer and seriously just use the calculator. Because this is a pattern that's got to be accurate. I'm going to type 2,630, and then minus 3,000. The answer is minus 370. In here, I'm going to take out the current number in the Y value and I'm going to type minus 370. The coffee cup has been moved to the exact correct position. I'll click the check mark. Now, let's go to the second version of this. This one is going over here. It's going minus 3,000 pixels in X direction. Let's go and move it. We'll go and select it, Edit, Free Transform. Currently, it's at 2914.50 pixels. Well, let's go back to our calculator, 2914.5 minus 3,000. The answer to this is negative 85.5. I'm going to come in here, wipe this out minus 85.5, and click the check mark. This is the exact pace of cup that will go here later on to make the cup a full cup. Now, we've got the last one. The last one has to go all the way up here. It has to go minus 3,000 in an X direction and minus 3,000 in a Y direction. We've already got the values for it in our calculator. It's going to go minus 370 minus 85.5. Let's go and do that. Edit, Free transform. We just need to be clear about which value goes where. This one's going to be the minus 370. This one is going to be minus 85.5. There's the bottom of the cup and position. Now, whatever you do from now on, the thing that you can't do is move any of these paces that are around the edge of the pattern. Because if you move them, you're going to throw the corresponding paces out. If you move one of these four, you're going to throw all the other three out. Here, these two are related to each other. If you move one, you are going to have to re-create the other one, and do it all over here. But we can move things around in the middle. That's really what I wanted to do at this point. At this stage, we've got the rough outline of our pattern. We're going to come back in the next video. We're going to test the pattern and then we're going to fill it in, and complete it. 4. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 3: To test our pattern, we're going to select everything. I'm going to choose "Select", "All", and then I'm going to choose "Edit", "Define Pattern". I'm going to call this coffee1, and I'll click "Okay". To test it, we're going to create a new document. I'll choose "File" and then "New". I'm going to make a document that is typical scrapbook page size at 3600 by 3600 pixels. It's going to be transparent RGB color. I'll click "Okay". We're going to add our pattern using a layer. I'm going to choose "Layer", "New Fill Layer", "Pattern", and click "Okay". The benefit of this is, is that the pattern that is used is the one that we just created. This one defaults to the last pattern in the pattern list. We can scale it too, which is why this is such a valuable tool. I want to scale it so I can get an idea as to how my pattern looks, to go set it to about 35 and click "Okay". Behind this layer, I'm going to add a new layer. I'm going to Control or Command click on the "New Layer" icon. I'm going to go and get a pink. I'm going to borrow the pink for the shadow, and I'm going to go quite a bit lighter still than that, and click "Okay". I'm going to fill it by pressing all Backspace, Option Delete. But of course, you could also fill it by dumping the Paint Bucket into it. This is giving us an idea as to how the pattern looks. For the pattern that we've designed, the elements that we can change are these three in here. If we think that there's something not happening correct in here, we can fix it. I really think that this one would probably be better rotated the other way, and probably maybe moved these around. Let's go and say, I'm going to do here is rotate this the other direction, and I'm going to move these two around and see how that looks. Again, "Select", "All", "Edit", "Define Pattern", coffee2, press "Okay". Go back to the document we created, double-click on this thumbnail here, open up this dialog, and at the very end of the pattern's list is our new pattern. That's the new one. This is the one before, this is the new one. We can experiment until we get cups looking the way we want them to. Just remembering that the ones that we have control over are these in here. I think this one could be moved a little bit, but I'm pretty happy with the overall layout now. Now, we're going to do the fill-in paces. One of the fill-in paces is this pace over here, the coffee bean. It's on a layer by itself. It's on this layer up here. What I'm going to do is I'm going to drag the coffee bean layer right to the very bottom where I can get to it easily because I want quite a few of these. I've now got it at the bottom of the last stack, so I'm just going to drag and drop the coffee bean onto the new layer icon. I'm going to get the bean, I'm going to need to zoom in here to be able to select it accurately. Sometimes these small objects just won't select very easily. I'm going to select it and move it somewhere else, rotate it a little bit, and then go and do that again. I'm going to do that until I get a number of coffee beans scattered throughout the document. Now, it's important that you put some coffee beans near the edges of the document. But unless you want to do the minus 3,000 routine with the coffee beans, put them close to the edge of the document, but don't put them right over the edge, and just watch the bottom of the document. If you're putting something up here, watch what's close to the edge down here because they're going to be very close to each other when they go back into the pattern because the pattern is effectively a wraparound thing. At this point, it can be useful to learn the Move tool shortcut, which is V, because you're continually selecting the Move tool and not having to go back to the tool bar each time can be quite handy. I've got a few coffee beans in here. Now let's go and pick up the spare copy we had of the shape up here. The shape is over here. Again, I'm going to get its layer and drag it right to the bottom of the last X. I need a few copies of it. It's going to be a whole lot easier to make duplicates if it's at the bottom of the last stack. Here I am at the bottom of the last stack, I'm going to make a duplicate of it. Now I'm going to move it somewhere over here. I'm just rotating it as I go to get a slightly more interesting and varied result. I can go close to the edge here, but I don't want to go over it. Now, the other thing I'm going to do before I finish up here is I'm going to add a new layer. I'm going to put this at the bottom of the last step just for convenience. I'm going to get the Brush tool and I'm going to select a really hard brush. These are really hard brushes. They got hardness set to 100, and they're circular. I'm going to sample using the Eyedropper tool here, some of the colors from the image such as this pink. I'm just going to adjust the size of my brush a bit by using the close and open square bracket. On this new layer, I'm just going to dot a few brushstrokes around, and all I'm doing is clicking. Again, if I don't want to do that minus 3,000 thing, I'm not going to put anything over the very edge, but I'm going to get close to the edge. I'm going to change colors, so I'm going to sample one of the browns here. Going back to my brush, I'm going to change the size of my brush just a little bit and add some brown dots, being careful just to click and not paint. Finally, I'm going to go and get the yellow color, increase the size of my brush quite a bit, and finish off with a few yellow dots. Let's test out our pattern now. I'm going to select all these objects with "Select", "All". Again, make my pattern. Again, go back to the test document, double-click on the thumbnail here, and select the last pattern in the pattern swatch because that is my pattern, and click "Okay". At this point, I can have a look at it and say if there are some things that I would change. If I did want to change something, I would go back to this document and make my changes. We've got all the brush strokes here. If you want to get rid of a brush stroke, for example, you could just go to the Eraser and just erase an errant brush stroke or two. You've got other shapes are all on their own layer, so you just go to the Move tool, make sure that you have Auto-Select selected, make sure that you still do not have this selection made though. You want to go Control or Command D to deselect the selection. Now, you can select on any of these shapes and move them. If you move them, make your pattern again, go back to your test document, and just see how it looks. Now, I'm pretty happy with that. I'm going to add a couple of more dots around this particular coffee cup, but we're going to come back in the next video, and I'm going to show you how you can save this pattern as a special PAT file that you could then share with others. 5. Create Complex Pattern Swatches - Part 4: Now I've gone ahead and fixed that little bit of the pattern that I thought needed fixing. If this were a pattern that I then wanted to share with others, I would need to save it as a special file to do so. The other thing that is of concern is that while these patterns are saved in Photoshop, if you were to reset your Photoshop preferences, for example, then you would lose this pattern. This is not a simple pattern, this is when we put quite a bit of effort into. I'm going to show you where patterns are stored in Photoshop and how you can work with them. To do this, we'll choose Edit and then Presets and then Preset Manager. Here is where you can manage things like brushes, swatches, gradients, and patterns. I'm going to open the pattern's dialog here. Now, on the way to getting my coffee pattern, I made some coffee patterns I don't any longer want. I don't want this one, this one or this one. I'm clicking and then shift-clicking on each of the ones that I don't want. I'm just going to press "Delete" because that gets rid of them from the patterns collection. and I'm left with just the one that I do want. Now, if I want to make a permanent copy of this pattern, I can select it and choose Save Set. Now it says save set, but you're not actually saving a set, you're just saving a single pattern. I'm going to call this coffee and click "Save". Now, this is saved as an external file. If for example, we reset our Photoshop preferences and lost all our patterns, we would just come back into the preset manager and you would click "Load" and Photoshop will go to the place where Photoshop knows that the patterns are stored and you can just click on it and then load it. This gives you pattern files that are stored on disk, so it's safer than just leaving them in Photoshop and something that I would recommend with patterns that you really care about, that you do just that and save them. You can also move patterns around in this dialogue. We could take this pattern if we wanted to use it a lot, for example, we can put it up at the top of the list, so it's always going to be the first in the list instead of the last in the list, for example. You can do that with brushes and swatches. If you have a brush that you like a lot, you can just go and put it up at the very beginning of the brushes list. I'm done with my preset manager, I'm just going to click "Done". Then we have a coffee pattern created in Photoshop. Your project for this class is going to be to create your own complex pattern in Photoshop. You can go to vect AZ and find something that's saved as an EPS file and use icons in your pattern. You could draw your own or you can use the ones that I used. When you've created your complex pattern, fill a document with it, and post that in the class project for us all to see. I hope that you've enjoyed this course and I hope that you've learned a bit about creating more complex patterns in Photoshop. If you did enjoy this course and if you see a prompt to recommend it to others, please give it a thumbs up. This helps others to identify this as a class that they may want to take. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I'll read and respond to all of your comments that I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.