Create Complex Half Drop Repeating Patterns in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Create Complex Half Drop Repeating Patterns 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

6 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Large Scale Half Drop Repeating Patterns in Photoshop Introduction

      1:32
    • 2. Pt 1 Get the Art Ready

      5:13
    • 3. Pt 2 What is a half drop repeat?

      2:16
    • 4. Pt 3 Setup the document

      11:48
    • 5. Pt 4 Create the design

      6:09
    • 6. Pt 5 Extract your pattern swatch

      8:17
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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 make larger scale half drop repeat patterns in Photoshop and how to extract the half drop repeating pattern swatch in such a way that you can use it anywhere you can use a block pattern. You will see how to set up a pattern template that you can use for multiple projects and how to update your pattern in (almost) real time.

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

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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. Large Scale Half Drop Repeating Patterns in Photoshop Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class: Create Complex Half Drop Repeat Patterns 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 what we're going to be doing is making complex half drop repeating patterns in Photoshop. Now, these are really quite complex patterns. You're going to learn what a half drop repeat is, and then how you can go ahead and make it. We're going to do it in a way that is sort semi-live, so you're going to be able to update your pattern live. Now, once you've created the actual pattern, I'm going to show you how you can extract it from the design so you can actually use it. You can use it for your own documents, you could also use it on a site, for example, like Spoonflower and have fabric created using it. Now, as you're watching these videos, you're going to see a prompt which asks if you would recommend this class to others. Please, if you are enjoying the class and learning from it, would you do two things for me? Firstly, answer yes, that you would recommend this class. Secondly, write even in just a few words, why you're enjoying this class. These recommendations really help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy and learn from. Now, if you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now, let's get started making complex half drop repeating patterns in Photoshop. 2. Pt 1 Get the Art Ready: Before we get started on actually making our pattern, we're going to find some elements to use. The reason for this is I don't want to get stuck too long in making the elements to use and waste the time in actually in actually designing how you're going to make a half drop repeating pattern. So I found these free bakery elements they're a vector image and they're available from Vecteezy. What you're going to do is download them. They come as a zip file, so you're going to double-click on the zip file to open it up and you're going to extract the contents of that zip file. That's if you're on a PC, on a Mac, you'll probably find that they unzipped automatically for you. So you'll find that you have a folder that contains these bakery elements in them. So I'm going here to my downloads folder and the bakery elements arrived in a file called 23 zip. When it unzipped, it unzipped into a file called 23. Inside here are our bakery vectors. There's an SVG file and an AI file. We're going to use the AI file. Now there's a secret to this. If you're working in Photoshop, you can open AI files in Photoshop and that's exactly what we're going to do. So I'm going to open Photoshop and it's really critical that you open Photoshop. You just don't double-click on AI file. Because if you double-click on an AI file, your computer's going to go, "You want to be working in Illustrator?" Well, we don't want to be working in Illustrator. We want to be working in Photoshop. I'm going to use file and then open and then I'm going to my downloads folder, so it's going to be here. Click on my downloads folder, go to 23, go to the AI file that I want to open and click "Open". Photoshop is going to go ahead and open the AI file so we're able to select the pages that we want. Well, we only want this one page and we can also set the width and height now, at the moment is absolutely huge. I don't want anything nearly as big as this. In fact, it would be a really good idea if I just reduce this to about 10 percent. So I'm going to reduce it to about, say, 600 pixels and that works out as a height of 420 pixels. That's perfect for me, and I'll click "OK". So now we have an image of the size that I need to sort of work with open in Photoshop. So I'm just going to zoom in here and what we need to do at this point is to get these elements out because at the moment they're just a flattened layer, so there's no separation here at all. So the background here looks pretty clean to me. So I'm going to click on the magic wand tool. I'm going to click out here. I have a tolerance set to 15. So what's happening is I'm able to select the background, but not all the shading around my shapes. I'm interested in keeping the shading, so I'm going to do just that. So with this selected, I'm going to jump into a new layer. So I'm going to click "Layer," "New" "Layer via cut." That gives me the background colors on one layer and the actual objects themselves on the other. I'm just going to look at this background like I actually want this color. So I'm going to sample the color with the eye dropper tool. Now that it is the foreground color, I can fill this entire layer and cover up these empty spaces by just holding down the alt key and pressing the backspace key. That would be option delete on the Mac. Now, I'm just going to place this behind the objects themselves. So now we've got a document that has a solid background which we can use for our pattern. I'm going to use it. I like the color and we've got the objects all on a separate layer. So at this point I want to jump all of these objects, each onto separate layers. So I'm going to the lasso tool, it's probably the simplest tool to use. I'm going to select on the layer that actually contains the objects. I'm going to drag around this object, just make a really large selection random. I just need to make sure that I've got all the bits that pertain to the object and nothing from the objects surrounding it. I'll choose "Layer", "New layer" via cart. While I'm here, I'm going to learn this shortcut key because it's going to simplify things quite a bit. Shift control J, you'll have a shortcut which is going to be something like Shift Command J on the Mac. So that's on a separate layer. Now, going back to the mainland, I'm going to drag around the next shape, shift control J to jump it to its own layer, go back to this layer and go and get the coffee cup. The biggest mistake you're going to make here is not to go back to the layer that actually contains the content and you're going to get an error message, something like "There are no pixels" or let's go and see what the error message is going to look like. "Could not make a new layer from the selection because the selected area is empty." The reason, we haven't got this layer selected, so we're trying to jump pixels from an empty layer and you just can't do it. So now I've got every one of these objects on their own separate layer, and I've got my background. I'm ready to now start creating my half drop repeating pattern. 3. Pt 2 What is a half drop repeat?: Before we go and create our own half drop repeat, it's worth spending a little time having a look and deciding exactly what a half drop repeat really is and what's in front of us is not a half drop repeat. This is just a regular pattern, and let's see how we can tell. I'm going to focus on this flower here, this large sort of poppy flower, and I'm going to look and say where this flower in exactly the same rotation next appears. If I go to the right, there's one immediately to the right of it. There's one immediately below it, one immediately above it, and one immediately to the left of it. That means that this is a simple block pattern. All these red flags appear in a column and row layout. It's a very simple pattern design and obviously looks quite complex here, but it's quite a simple pattern design. This is what the pattern watch looks like. It's got four little pieces of that big flower that together are going to make one whole flower and the extra little bits between them. Now let's have a look at a true half drop repeat. In this instance, let's focus on this cupcake and let's ask ourselves where the cupcake is next appearing? Well, it next appears slightly above and to the right of the original cupcake, and it also appears slightly below and to the right of the cupcake. This is the half drop repeat. This pattern paint has been offset by half. It's been risen up and then dropped down. The next time we say this cupcake on this row we've already encountered to other cupcakes. So this is what this pattern paint looks like. It's way more complex. You can say that there are cupcakes in all the corners, but there's also one in the middle. So this element appears twice in the pattern, and so too does every other element that's used appears twice in this pattern paint, unlike this one, where each element only appears once. So what we're going to do is we're going to create our own half drop repeat here in Photoshop. First of all, we're going to spend a little bit of time setting up the document because the setup is probably the most complex part about it and then we're going to go ahead and create it. 4. Pt 3 Setup the document: In setting up our document for our half drop repeat, we could use this document, but I'm going to show you how you can do it and work from a brand new document just in case you want to change the dimensions somewhat. I'm going to create a new document. In this case, I'm going to create 1500 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall. You could create yours in any orientation or any sites that you like, except that you don't really want to be enlarging the shapes because you're going to get a pixelised result. You're going to need to remember what these values are, so just write them down if you think you're going to forget. I'm going to click Create. Now, I'm going to take all the objects from this original AI document over to the new document. I'm going to select all of the layers, click on the top one shift, click on the bottom one, right-click and choose duplicate layers. From the document list here, I'm going to choose Untitled, which is my new file here, and click OK. Here, you can see that all of those elements have been copied from the original AI file into this file. At this point, I can come to this file and just close it, I don't need to save it. Back here in this document, I need to make sure that all of these elements are well inside the edge of the documents so that they don't get cut off for any reason because they're on separate layers. The fact that they're stacked over the top of each other won't matter, but it does matter that they're not cut off. I don't need this background, so I'm going to trash it. Before I go any further, I need to crop everything to this exact size. I'm going to the crop tool, I'm going to make sure that Delete Cropped Pixels is enabled. I have a crop rectangle that is exactly around my 500 x 400 pixel document, so I'm going to crop it at that point. Just click the Enter or Return key so that it's cropped to size. Now I'm going to grab all of these objects including the background for now because that's actually marking out the size of my document. I'm going to right-click and create it as a smart object. I'm going to choose Convert to Smart Object. That gives me a smart object file that is the exact right size. If I double-click on it, we're going to open up the smart object itself. I'm reading off down here, that is 500 pixels by 400 pixels. It absolutely has to be that. Let's go back to our original document. At this point, we're ready to create the document that's going to contain our half drop repeating pattern. We're going to see it live on the screen as we make it, but we're going to have to set it up first of all. One of the things we're going to have to do is to enlarge this canvas so that we can see everything at work. I'm going to choose Image and then Canvas Size. I'm going to make this canvas three times its current width and three times its current height. That's a little bit more than it needs to be, but it's just simple mathematics. It's going to end up with 3 x 500, which is 1500, 3 x 400 is 1200. I'm going to make sure that relative is disabled and I'm just going to click okay. Now we have a much larger document. We can add a fill to the background of this. I'm going to click to Create a new layer, just put it at the very bottom. I'm going to sample my current background layer color and I'm going to fill this empty layer with that color by pressing Alt + backspace. That would be option Delete on the Mac, because we're filling it with the current foreground color. Now that that's done, we could go to this layer and remove the background from it, but I'm going to leave it there for just a few minutes because it's going to help us with what we're going to do next. The next step is to create the repeating elements here so that we can see the pattern as we're creating it. I'm going to grab this layer and I'm going to drag it onto the new icon and then we're going to move this copy of this layer. I'm going to select it and choose Filter, Other and then Offset. This is going to zero out these values to start off with, so we can talk about the offset. The first offset we'll create is to take this duplicate smart object and move it up here. The original smart object was 400 pixels in height. If we do minus 400, we're going to be shooting that up in an upwards direction. That's great, except that these two pieces are going to be butted up against each other and there's no overlap. It would make it look more professional pattern if there was a bit of an overlap. The overlap we're going to make is going to be 50 pixel. I'm going to move it up 350, so I'm typing in minus 350. You can see that there's a slight problem here and this is deliberate. This spiral from this coffee cup is being covered up by the duplicate smart object here, so it's overlapping. What we're going to do is we're going to make sure our overlaps are right. This one's perfect, so I'm going to go with what we're seeing here. I'm just going to click Okay. Next we're going to make a duplicate of this one and put it down here. It's easier to make a duplicate of this one than this one, because this one up here already has its offset on it. That's why we created as a Smart Object, because smart objects can have Smart Filters. Offset is a filter and now we have an editable filter. I'm going to drag this onto the new icon, I'm going to double-click it to open up the Offset, where we used a minus 350 pixel offset before, this time we're going to do a positive 350 pixel offset, and I'll click Okay. Now let's look at this overlapping problem. Here, we had a Smart Object to overlap this one. Right now, we've got another one that overlaps this one, so the overlaps are inconsistent. This should be behind this one. We're going to grab it and move it into position. You can see how having that background still in the smart object has helped us work out our positioning. We should be cutting off this smoke on this coffee cup consistently all the way down. We've got one where we can see it, and these two we can't. That's perfect. Now we need a duplicate of one of these. I'm going to go for this top one. I'm going to grab it and drag it onto the new icon, and we're going to change its offsets. For its horizontal offset, we want to move it over in this direction. We know that the document we created was 500 pixels wide, so let's type in 500 as the offset. That's sort of good, but it's not really good. The reason for that is that again, these two shapes are going to be butting up against each other. It would be better if they overlapped a little bit because we're going to be able to create a more sophisticated pattern. So instead of 500, we're going to reduce that to 450. Again, we're saying this overlap, that's perfect. We want to be able to sit so we can get it correct. That one's fine for this pace, but remember, we're creating a half drop repeat, which means that the bottom part of this should be down here somewhere. Well, it needs to be down half of what this vertical setting is. Three hundred and fifty divided by two is 175, so I'm going to move it down 175 pixels and that's perfectly located. I'll click Okay. We're going to make a duplicate of this and we're going to put it in down here, double-click on the offset. The 450 horizontal offset is correct. It's the vertical that's not. All we need to do is turn this from a negative value into a positive value and click Okay. Now, the overlap on this side is correct. It should be overlapping these pieces, and both pieces should be overlapping this one. Just because we have to have one side overlapping, so I've determined that it's going to be this side. But here's the problem, this one should be underneath this because we shouldn't be able to see this part of the coffee cup. Let's go and grab this and move it underneath the top one and just check our overlap. It's correctly overlapping here, and it's correctly overlapping here. It means too that the shapes that we put over here in a minute needs to be tucked in underneath these, so that we've got the consistency in overlaps. Let's go and get this one. That's this one here. We're going to drag it onto the new icon, we're going to double-click on the offset, and we're going to change the value. We don't need to change the vertical because it's in exactly right position, we just need to bring it across here. We moved it previously plus 450 pixels, this time we'll move it negative 450 pixels, click Okay. Then we're going to move this one. We need to work out where it is, here it is. Let's make a duplicate of it. Here's the duplicate, we double-click on it. We're just going to adjust its horizontal value to a negative value and not a positive one, and we'll click Okay. Now, let's look at the overlaps. The overlap between this one and this one is perfect because we should be seeing the top of the coffee cup cut off, but we've got a wrong overlap here. This set of three smart objects should be over the top of this set. We need to take these two and move them to the very bottom. Let's make sure we've got the ones that we want. This is one of them, and this is the other. I'm going to select the two. In this case, I'll need to click on one control, click on the other because they're separated. I'm just going to drag them down here. They need to go at the very, very bottom of everything. Before we leave this, let's double-check our overlaps. Coffee cup missing a spiral, perfect, coffee cup missing a spiral, spiral gone, spiral gone. The only consistently visible spirals are on these top elements, that's perfect. These are overlapping, so they're covering up part of this middle set and then this middle set is overlapping this one. We've got consistent overlaps everywhere. At this point, to neaten things up, let's locate the original Smart Object, the one that doesn't have any offsets on it. Let's double-click it. Let's turn off the background layer. In fact, we could even delete it, should we wish to. Then we'll save and we'll press Control or Command S to save it. When we go back to our main document, you'll see that we can't see the overlaps in quite the same way because we've moved the background from the original Smart object. What we're seeing right now is the beginning elements of a half drop repeat. It just doesn't look very good. But that's fine because in the next video we're going to fix all of that. But that said, right now, what you've got is something that you could save as a template. This document has now been set up so that it could produce a half drop repeat. The starting document is always going to be 500 by 400 pixels in size. Provided you wanted to start with a document that was slightly wider than it is tall, you could use this for any half drop repeat that you created. It's a really good template. Go ahead and save this as a paste AI document so that you are keeping all of these layers and call it a half drop repeat template, so that you can use it in future. In the next video, we're going to come back and reorganize these pieces to look a little bit more attractive in our pattern. 5. Pt 4 Create the design: I've gone ahead and saved my document I'm know working in a half drop repeat template [inaudible] file. If I double-click on this layer here, the one that doesn't have any offsets on it, we get to see our original smart object layer, and it's a pair SPIE file and it's stored inside this Photoshop template file. We want to be working on this, but we also want to be saying this file. This is what you're going to do. Choose window and then arrange and click here on float all in windows. That floats all of these documents so they all in separate windows, we can see both the final pattern and also asked smart object at the exact same time. I'm just going to place our original pattern up here. I'm going to look at the smart object here, just going to re-size this a little bit. I can say the space around my shapes. I'm going to select the move tool, and I'm going to select these shapes in turn and just rearrange them. More so going to re-size them a little bit. Let's start with the coffee cup. I'm going to hold the Shift key as I re-size it sought scaled in proportion, and I'm going to rotate it a little bit as well and just place it up here in the top corner of the document. Now what's important here is that you don't take it outside the edge of the document. You can't do that, but you can take it right up to the edge, but just not over the edge, otherwise you're going to have a paste permanently out of your pattern. Once you get an imposition, press control or command S, and just updates the smart object layer inside our patent document so we can see how things are looking. We can see here that there's a problem between these two pieces. This piece here and this piece are ending up in the same position in our final pattern. Well, we need to separate them a little bit, so let's go and get this space here, and let's do something with it. I'm just going to move it up and inwards. Press Control or Command S to update everything so we can say how it's looking. I'm just going to work with every single space in this document updated as I do it so I can see how the final pattern is looking. I'm going to continue to do that and just speed up the video a little bit. Just being mindful that no piece in this document is going to go over the edge. It's really important that it doesn't go over the edge, but it can go all the way up to the edge. Turning auto select on might be a good idea because that will allow you to click on any of the shapes in this document and automatically select them. Once you've arranged your major pattern paces to your satisfaction, you can do a few other things to your pattern. I'm going to add a new layer here, sample some of the colors from the original document. I'm thinking probably the chocolate icing on the cake. I'm going to the brush tool and I'm going to select a circular, very hard brush. Somebody makes sure it's full hardness, On this new layer with the brush tool selected and this document because I'm going to be working in this document, I'm going to add a few brush shapes. I'm just going to see my brush on the screen, I've got the Caps Lock key turned on, which is why I can't say my brushes are really easy problem to create for yourself. I'm just going to create a few little dots and update the document as I do that so I can just check and see how they are looking. Some painting in a few little dots, and then just updating the document. This dot here you'll say in the final pattern is a little bit close to the edge of this shape. Well, this is the dot that's causing, its a little bit troublesome [inaudible] , that is why I suggest you put those in one at a time, update the document and just say what happened because sometimes it can be hard to say what's causing a dot. This one here I'm going to remove it, update the document by saving it, you can say that it's been removed. You could add multiple layers of little elements, should you wish to do so to fill in the pattern, for now, I'm going to call it scored. I'm going to finally save this, make sure that they pay SP file. The embedded smart object file has been saved. I can now close this window down. This is the element or this is the design I'm going to use to create my half drop repaid. I don't have the half drop repeat right now, but I've got a look as to what it's going to look like, again I would save this as a layered PSD file because if I create this as a pattern and then decide I don't like it, or if my client comes to me and says, I don't like it, I need something a little bit different. I want to be able to edit it really a slice. I'm going to save this in the next video, we're going to come back and extract an actual repeating patterns, watch from this design. 6. Pt 5 Extract your pattern swatch: I've gone ahead and saved this file now. I've called it bakery pattern Layered file. At any time I could come back into this document, double-click on the smart object and make changes to it. But I'm ready now to create my actual pattern swatch. Now, for this, I'm going to create what's called a block pattern swatch. I'm going to create a pattern swatch so I could use in Photoshop using the pattern fill feature to create an entire document. You could also upload it to any online site that will create a block pattern. It doesn't have to be able to create a half drop repeat. You just have to be able to create a block pattern and you're going to end up with a design that is a half drop repeat. We're building a lot of flexibility into this solution. Let's see how are we going to do that. Firstly, I'm going to rasterize all these layers. I'm going to click on the topmost layer, "Shift" click on the bottom layer, but not including the background. Right-click and rasterize these layers. That's just turning them into raster layers, removing that editability that we had through the smart object. Now, I'll right-click and merge these layers. I now have my pattern on one layer and my background on the other. Now let's see how we're going to extract our pattern paste from this. Now, we could do this mathematically based on the size that we were using but if you haven't used the exact same size that I have used, this is how you're going to do it. You're going to select Normal here for the rectangular marquee tool and you're going to locate a position, a known position in this document. I'm thinking, the dead center of this doughnut is a really good place to do it. Now, this doesn't have to be accurate, we're just getting a guesstimate of what our value needs to be. You're going to click and drag down. You're going to do that until you hit the middle of the next doughnut, or the exact same place in the next shape that you started off with. For example, if we started off in this part of the cake, on this cherry in the cake, then we'd go down until we hit that same cherry on the next piece of cake we encounter. That's all you're looking for. Then you're going to go across horizontally until you encounter that position in another shape. Again, the dead middle of the next doughnut that we run into. Now you're going to read the values off that you get. Now I've got 899 and 351 in that little black box immediately above my mouse pointer. We're going to write those down and round them off, Eight is nearly 900, 351 is nearly 350. This was just a guesstimate. It's just to give us the approximate dimensions. If we're working initially with nice round figures and if we've done all our calculations with things like hundreds or fifties, then this is going to be dead accurate. The width of my selection is going to need to be 900, the height is going to need to be 350. I'm just going to discard this selection by pressing "Control" or "CommandD" to de-select it. Now, I'm going back to my rectangular marquee tool. I'm going to set this to fixed size, and I'm going to type 900 pixels as the width and 350 pixels as the height. Now I can click anywhere in my document and I create a selection that is the exact size that it needs to be to create a half drop repeating pattern swatch. Doesn't matter where I click, except that I can't click up here because obviously I don't have any pattern in here. But provided during this general area here, you can click anywhere. I want to make sure that inside this set of marching ants are all pattern pieces. When you've done that, you're ready to create your pattern. But if you don't want this background, you're going to have to turn that off first. Now choose Edit, Define Pattern.