Isometric Cube Patterns in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Isometric Cube 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

7 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Isometric Cube Patterns in Photoshop Introduction

      1:12
    • 2. Pt 1 - Draw the Basic Hexagon

      3:39
    • 3. Pt 2 - Draw the Cubes

      7:12
    • 4. Pt 3 - Create the Pattern

      5:21
    • 5. Pt 4 - Recolor the Pattern

      4:23
    • 6. Pt 5 - Cube in a Cube Pattern

      10:25
    • 7. Project and Wrap Up

      1:21
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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 to make a pattern of isometric cubes. You will learn to make the basic pattern and to recolor it and then how to make a cube in cube pattern and to color it. You will learn to harness the power of Smart Objects in designing this pattern too.

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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. Isometric Cube Patterns in Photoshop Introduction: Hello. I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this graphic design for lunch class, isometric cube 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 we're going to look at creating isometric cube patterns in Photoshop. You're going to learn a lot about working with shapes in Photoshop as well as some of the gotchas with trying to make patterns and we're going to overcome some of those. Now as you're watching these videos, you will see a prompt which let you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up and secondly, write just a few words about why you're enjoying the class. These recommendations help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question, please do so. I read and I respond to all of your comments and your questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. Now if you're ready, let's get started having fun with some isometric cube patterns in Photoshop. 2. Pt 1 - Draw the Basic Hexagon: To get started with our Isometric Cube pattern, we need a new documents, so I'm going to choose File and then New. I need a document that is taller than it is wide. I'm going to make the height 600 and the width 400. The actual dimensions are not important, so if you want to start with a larger size pattern, that's just fine. I'm going to make the background white and I'm going to work in SRGB color mode, and we're in obviously RGB color. I'll click Create. The basis for an isometric cube is actually a hexagon shape, but there is a slight problem with the hexagon shapes that are built into Photoshop in the Polygon tool. I'm just going to show you the problem. I'm going to click on the Polygon tool and I'm going to set it to six sides. When I draw it out, you can see that its base is not perfectly horizontal and it can be really tricky trying to get it perfectly horizontal. Even if I hold the Shift key to constrain its proportions, this is how it draws. It's just all over the place, so actually making sure that you're getting the right hexagon is a little bit problematic. I'm going to delete that. What we're going to do instead is we're going to the Custom Shape tool because in the Custom Shape collection that is shipped with Photoshop is a hexagon shape and this is going to do all the work for us. If you don't seen the hexagon shape here and when you hover over it, it says hexagon, this is what you're going to do. You'll click the Gear icon here and you'll go down here to locate the shapes because the hexagon is in the shapes collection. You'll click on it once and you're going to click Append because you want to add it to your current set of shapes, you don't want to replace the shapes with them. You'll just click Append and then you're going to get it. I don't have to do that because I've already got my hexagon shape. I'm going to target the shape and just click away from it. I'm going to make sure that I'm working with paths. So you will have three options here and you'll select Path. In earlier versions of Photoshop, there'll be three icons here, but one of those will be labeled Path. You're just going to hold the Shift key as you drag out a hexagon. It needs to be about this size at the moment. You need to hold the Shift key because it has to be a regular hexagon. Right now, we have a path which has a hexagon. With the path selected and we can select it using the Path selection tool, you'll see that there are some icons up hear and you're going to select Align to Canvas, and then Horizontal Aligned Centers and Vertical Aligned Centers. That's going to make sure that this hexagon is centered right in the middle of the document. We're going to bring up some guide. I'm going to choose View, New Guides. Going to make one guide at 50 percent vertical and one guide at 50 percent horizontal. Now, the center of the hexagon is right over the intersection of the two guides. We're going to select the hexagon again with the Direct Selection tool, and I need to rotate it. I'll choose Edit, Free Transform Path and up here in the angle, I'm just going to set the angle to 30 degrees and then click the check-mark. Now the hexagon is in the right orientation for us to be able to turn it into the very elements that we need to make an isometric cube. We're going to do that in the next video. 3. Pt 2 - Draw the Cubes: We're going to extract the pieces that we need for an isometric cube from this shape. I'm going to select over it with the direct selection tool. I'm going to make the paths palette visible, because I need that to say what I'm doing. Now at the moment I just have one path and it is the work path. I'm going to drag and drop it onto the new path icon, and what that does is not make a new path at least the first time you do it. What it does is it just turns it from being the work path into a named path. Now I'm going to drag and drop it onto the new path icon to make a duplicate, and I'm going to do it again because I need three paths. We're going to focus on this one first. I'm going to the pen tool, I would need to select the delete anchor point tool, which is a toolbar position with the pen tool. What I need to do now is I'm going to keep this point, and this point, and this point. But I want a fourth in here. I want to make a shape that's a flattened diamond shape, and I don't want these other points. With the delete anchor point tool, I'm going to take away two of the three points that I don't want. I'm going to switch now to the direct selection tool, and I'm going to target this anchor point down here, and I want to move it up, so it snaps over the intersection of those two guides. Now, if when you start dragging, everything moves, just undo it and start over again, it just means that you didn't select that one point. Now we have our first path. I'm going to click on this path. What I want to do with this is I want to save this point, this point, and this point, and I want to add a point in here. I'm going to draw this side of the cube. I'm going back to the delete anchor point tool. I don't want this anchor point any longer, and I don't want this one either, and I want to bring this one into here. So I am going to the direct selection tool, I'm going to make sure that I target this anchor point only and just drag it into position and it's going to snap right into position there. I'm going to select the last of the three paths, and this time I want this plain off my cube, this one in here. Back to the delete anchor point tool, and get rid of the anchor points that I don't want, two out of the three that I don't want. The third one is just going to be brought into here and it's going to snap in perfectly. Now I have three paths which together make up my cube. Let's go to the layers palette, and let's bring that here where we can see it. I need a brand new layer, and I'm going to get a dark gray color. I'm just going to target here a dark gray. I'm going to click on this path because this is the path that I want to make the darkest color. With this path selected, I can click here to fill the path with the current foreground color, and there's my gray. I'm going to add a new layer, going to click on this path, I'm going to found a slightly lighter gray. I'll click on the fill option here, going to make another new layer, target the top of my shape. I'm going to make that quite a light gray color, and I'm going to fill it. Right now I have this path selected and I wanted to deselect it. The easiest way to deselect the path is just to add a new empty path and then Photoshop just goes. Well, there's no path here, so I'm not going to show you anything which is perfect for us. Right now I'm going to hide my guides, go to choose view show and disable guides. The guides are still there, but I don't want them right now. I'm going to take these three layers, click on the top shift, click on the bottom to select all three right-click and choose convert to smart object. That makes all these shapes a single smart object. They're going to move as one object. When I get the move tool, I can just move them around and they'd just one object. I'm going to move this one to the bottom of the current art board or the bottom of the document. I want to make a duplicate, so I'm going to drag the smart object layer onto the New Layer icon. I'm going to move my duplicate into position. It's just going to appear over here. I'm going to make another copy, and this one's going over here. I'm just using the guides to snap everything together, and I need one more copy. We're going to place it in position up here. Then we're going to zoom in and see if we can finesse these a little bit better. I'm going to the zoom tool, just going to zoom in hear and start moving this into position just a little bit better. Now, I have auto select enabled for the move tool, that makes it easy for me to just click on a shape and it's going to be automatically selected. I'm just going to bring each of this shapes in just one pixel, so that's all I needed. Let's just check the bottom of them by just pushing them up. Well, they needed to be pushed up one pixel. I'm going to take this one up, just make sure it's in position. Now, it's inevitable as you work that you're going to get some areas in the shapes where they're not quite intersecting correctly. Just going to select these two shapes and just use the align bottom edges option to make sure they are aligned. Well, they are aligned perfectly to each other, but you'll see that there's a little bit of a gap between them. That's inevitable and I'm going to show you a way of solving it. I'm going to press "Control" or "Command zero" just to zoom back out. I'm going to click on the background layer. I'm going to add a brand new layer into the document. I'm going to select the mid gray here, the middle of the three grays that I'm using, and I'll click "Okay". It's now my foreground color, I'll press "Alt backspace" option delete on the mac. That's just filled behind the shapes with that mid gray. What it's done is it's visually filled up those gaps. Now, we're going to turn that layer off in a minute while we make our selection, but that's a nice, easy way of solving the problem of gaps in your pattern. These are not the fracture lines you get in, for example an illustrate a patent, these are partially transparent lines in Photoshop because we're dealing with a bitmap application, these are being displayed as pixels, and you can't have pixels that are on an angle. It's just a display thing and filling it behind with a solid color layer is going to solve all the problems of gaps in this pattern. 4. Pt 3 - Create the Pattern: Now we're ready to create the pattern, and what we need to ask ourselves at this point is, what is our pattern shape going to be? Well, the easiest way to determine how much you need for a pattern is just to isolate a particular point in the overall design that you've got. We're going to look at this intersection between the dark, the mid gray and the lighter gray so that the lighter gray is on top. We're just going to look at that point and then ask ourselves where in this drawing here or this diagram, do we next see this point? So I'm going to run down here, and that's not the same point, and neither is this, but here it is. So I need to take a block that is this height. It starts here and it finishes up here, because that's going to give me a complete pattern pace. Over here I'm going to look at this point, and I'm going to say, okay, well, where in the image as I work to the right, do I next see this point? Well, let's go across here. This is not it. Well, this is the exact same point. You can say that this point has a darker color to its immediate right, and so does this one. So our pattern pace is going to go from here, all the way around here, all the way down across here, and up. Once you've determined what your pattern pace is going to be shaped like, you can start drawing it, and probably the easiest way in Photoshop is to grab yourself some guides. I have my rule as visible. I did that by choosing View, Rulers. Just making sure that was checked. Now I'm going to take a guide, and I'm going to bring it down and just drop it into position where the top part of my pattern piece is going to be. You will say that that immediately made the other guides visible again, the ones that I'd hidden earlier. I'm going to bring another guide down, and drop it into position, and I'm going to bring guides in from the left and right as well. Now, this may not be perfect, but we're going to zoom in a second, and make them perfect. Let's just bring the zoom tool in, and with the move tool, we can move the guides around. I'm going to make a decision about this guide and this shape. I'm just going to go to move tool. I'm going to drag this guide up, and the guide is going to be right at the point at which these two lines intersect. Now this one's obviously in the wrong position, so I'm just going to make it in the right position. Just follow it down, make sure all my shapes are aligned properly so that the guides are working. This guide is in exactly the same place as the one was above. I'm just going to check the side guide here, and it's looking pretty good. So I'll press Control or Command zero. Once you've got your guides in place, you can re - display this fill layer. It makes it easier for you to work with setting up your guides and everything without this layer visible, but once you've got everything in place, you can make it visible. I'm going to the rectangular marquee tool, and because I've got snap to set on to guides, it's going to snap to these guides, so I'm just going to drag out my marquee. This is my pattern pace. I've got every element in here that I need for my pattern. So I'm going to choose Edit, Define Pattern. Now, there's an off chance that this may not work for you. There's an off chance that when you go to define pattern the pattern's just not going to be there, the option's going to be grayed out. There are a few ways of solving the problem, and this is one of them. You are going to click on the topmost layer in the document, and you're going to hold down Control Alt and Shift, and tap the letter A. On the Mac, you'll be pressing Command Option Shift and the letter A. What that does is it creates what's called a stamp layer. That's just a single layer that contains exactly what you see on all the other layers below. You still have the layers below, but you've got the special stamp layer. Sometimes that will be the solution for being able to select, Edit, Define Pattern. I'm going to call this cubes and click Okay. Now, I didn't need this layer, so I'm just going to turf it at this stage. Now let's go and create a brand new document and test out our pattern. File and then New. I'm going to make a document that is scrapbook paper size, but you can make your document any size that you like. I'm using 3600 by 3600 size, 300 pixels per inch resolution, RGB color mode, background contents are transparent, SRGB color space. Click Create. To fill this document with my pattern layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. When I click Okay, the last pattern that I made, the one at the very end of the patterns collection, is now applied to the document, and I'm just going to click Okay. Here is our isometric cube pattern. 5. Pt 4 - Recolor the Pattern: Now, once you've created your isometric pattern, you can color it. I'm going to color this document and then I'm going to go and show you how you can recolor the pattern piece itself. For this document, we're just going to choose Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue/Saturation, and click ''Okay''. You'll find that dragging around the hue has absolutely no effect on this document because the pattern is grayscale, but you can click ''Colorize''. When you click colorize, you can now adjust the saturation upwards and then drag around on the hue slider and you'll get a pattern re-coloring that is in shades of the color that you select. That's one way of re-coloring your pattern and that's after the fact. But let's go back to our original pattern document now. I'm going to make a copy of this because I actually want to keep the original. To make a copy of a document, you're going to choose Image, and then Duplicate and just click ''Okay''. That gives you an exact duplicate of your original image, all the layers and everything. What I'm going to do is turn off my gray background layer here and I'm going to double-click on one of these smart objects. It doesn't matter which of the smart object layers I click on, but I'm going to double-click on it. That opens the original cube up in a document all of its own. I'm going to go and start getting some colors. Let's have a look at our darkest color. I'm just going to make that a, well, let's make that a dark green. I've got dark green selected, I've got the Layer selected. I'm going to click here on this icon to lock the transparent pixels on that layer. I can press Alt backspace or option delete on the Mac to fill this shape with this color, and then I'm going to click here again to turn that icon off. I'm going to select this next layer and I'm going to click the icon for it. I'm going to find a color to use, and this time we're going to make as a multicolored pattern just to show how we can recolor it. I'm going to use an orange this time or backspace option delete on the Mac. Unlock it, select the last layer, lock it down or lock the transparent pixels on the layer down and I'm going to choose a blue here, a lighter color blue. Click ''Okay'', or backspace option delete, click to unlock the pixels and then I'm just going to close this documents. I click its close icon and say, ''Yes, thank you, I do want to save the changes.'' Somewhat miraculously, when we return to the main document, all the cubes have changed color. The reason is that we used smart objects. So we made duplicates of the smart objects. All these smart objects are linked to each other, so a change in one is a change in all of them. We've got all our guides in place, we can just go to the rectangular marquee tool and just make our selection again. Just letting it snap into place, Edit, Define Pattern, click ''Okay'', go back to our working document here. I'm going to turn off the hue saturation adjustment, because we want to see a pattern in its color version, I'm going to double-click on the Layer thumbnail here and I'm going to select the last pattern in the pattern collection, which is the one that we just created and click ''Okay''. This is a multi-colored version of the pattern, but of course we can still use a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with it, but you want to use a colorized one. I'm just going to click on the Layer thumbnail for the hue saturation layer and I'm going to deselect ''Colorize''. Now when I walk the hue slider around, we're affecting all of the colors underneath so that they're all being walked around into different positions. So you can affect your design using a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer here. There are two methods of re-coloring your pattern. 6. Pt 5 - Cube in a Cube Pattern: Now there is a simple addition that we can make to this pattern to add a whole new dimension to it, and we're going to do that now. The first thing I'm going to do with this pattern pace is I'm going to deselect this selection. If you've got a selection still in place, deselect it. I'm going to turn off this background layer right now because I wan to see my cubes very clearly. I'm going to take a copy of this cube. This is this cube here. I'm going to drag it onto the New Layer icon and then I'm going to take it to the very top of the last stack. It's up the very top. I'm going to click on the Move tool and you'll see a set of handle's appears around this cube. I'm going to hold two keys, the Shift and the Alt key, that's Shift and Option on a Mac, and I'm just going to size it down. Now at this stage, you can't see anything happening, but you do want this shape to be a bit smaller than half the size of the original cube. Mine's just a little bit under half the size of the original cube, so that will be perfect. I'm just going to click the Check mark, and now I'm going to press the Up-arrow key and you can start seeing what's happened. We've created a duplicate of that cube and we shrunk it. I'm just going to move it up into position because it's going to be tucked into the corner between these two cubes. I'm going to the zoom tool and we're just going to check its placement. What you want to happen is that you want this point here, the intersection of these two sides of the cube, to line up perfectly with the intersection of these two planes on these other cubes. It's going to happen the same here. You want the intersection of this cube and this cube, where they intersect here, to be on the same line as the intersection between these two sides of this cube here. It's pretty easy to say where it needs to go, but you will need to just position it in position and just make sure that it's nice and square. I'm going to press Control or Command zero to just zoom back out. I'm just going to select another tool so I can just check that everything looks pretty good, which it does. I'm going to take this cube and I'm going to make two more copies of it. This cube is this one up here. I'm going to drag and drop it onto the New Layer icon. Let's just go and move one copy into position. It's going to pop up here. Then we want another copy over here. I'm going to take it onto the New Layer icon and I'm just going to pop it into position here. Now we have to make sure that it's perfectly aligned. I'm going to select both these shapes and I'm going to click here on this icon or where I could use this one. But I want to align their top edges or their bottom edges, whatever. I just want them both to be in perfect alignment with each other. Since they're both now selected, I can just move them down into position. I think they need to go down about to this position here, and possibly in one pixel. I'm pretty happy with those shapes. Now I'm going to press Control or Command zero to just zoom back out. We're just going to check to make sure our pattern's going to look all right. We're going to take a piece all the way out here, all the way down here, and across here, and across here. Because we made smaller cubes less than half the size of the big one, we don't have to worry about the spacing down here because it's going to fit perfectly and we can just do a quick visual on that. It's going to make a duplicate of one of these cubes here and we're going to move it into position where it would be here. In the pattern, it would need to sit about here because this pace here needs to be in alignment with this. You can see that it's falling well below the bottom of our pattern pace because our pattern pace is going to be taken over here. If it were much larger, we would have to do some fancy math to make sure that we got the paces in exactly, but that's beyond the scope of this video. At this stage, all we're doing is we're making sure that our pace is small enough that it's going to fit in the pattern and we don't have to make allowances for it down here. Now, I can just get rid of this one, but it doesn't really matter if I don't get rid of it because it's not part of the pattern pace anyway. Let's go back to our rectangular marquee tool and we're just going to drag over the area that's going to become our pattern using the guides to line everything up. I'm going to turn my fill layer on. That's critical because if there are any gaps in here, we want them filled with this neutral gray. I'm going to choose Edit, Define Pattern, and this is going to be cube in cube, and click on Okay. Now we'll switch to our working document. I'm going to double-click on the pattern fill layer. I'm going to click the drop-down menu and I'm going to click the last pattern, which is the one that we just created, and I'll click Okay. Now we have this cube in cube effect in our pattern. It just gives interesting and different dimension to the pattern that we have created. Now of course we could also re-color this pattern. I'm going back to the original. I'm going to deselect my selection. I'm just going to turn my gray layer off. Now, we can recolor this pattern by just double-clicking on any of these smart objects. As we did before, we can recolor these smart object. Then we would just click Close and they entire pattern would recolor. But what if we only want to recolor the small blocks? Well, we could do that, but we're going to have to rebuild this pattern. First of all, I'm going to locate all the layers that relate to these smaller blocks. I'm going to select them and remove them. I'm going back to one of these layers and I'm going to make a duplicate of it, but I'm not going to drag and drop it onto the new law icon because we've already determined that when you do that with a smart object, you get a smart object that's linked to all the other smart objects, and you change one, you change them all. The solution to this is to right-click the smart object and choose new smart object via copy. There's no indication that this is going to be a different copy, but it is. This one is not going to be linked to the originals. I'm going to do that, and while I still have this brand new copy selected, the one that's unlinked from everything else, going to make sure I have the Move tool selected. I'm going to hold Shift and Alt and I'm going to size it down. Again, I'm aiming for something that is less than half the size of the original cubes, so I don't have to do anything fancy with creating this pattern. I'm going to press the Shift and Up-arrow, I'm going to move this up through the document, but I'm also going to put it at the very top of the document so that I can see it and make sure it's going in the right place, which was quite happy not to. I'm just going to zoom in and just make sure that in the right position, which it is. I'm going to make a duplicate of this one because I want these small boxes to all be linked together. I have to make my duplicate the way that I've been making it up until now, so that they will be linked together and drag and drop it onto the New Layer icon. Target the Move tool and move it up into its position. Make a duplicate of that. Again, the same way, so it's going to be linked and then move the duplicate into position. I'm going to select both of these shapes and just make sure that they are aligned perfectly. Just double-check. They look pretty good inside the pattern as well. I'll press Control or Command zero. Now, before I leave this, I'm going to re-color at one of these shapes. I'm going to double-click on it. I'm just going to recolor it this way. I'm going to click on the layer to recolor, lock down the pixels. I'm going to go and find a color to use. I'm going to use shades of blue here. I'm going to press Alt Backspace, Option Delete, unlock it and I'm going to continue through and do exactly the same thing as I did before using different shades of blue. When I'm finished, I'll close this. Select Yes to save the changes. The changes flow through to just the three cubes that are linked together. The other cubes are not linked with those. Well, I'm going to recolor those while I'm here too. I'm going to double-click on them. Now that we've got everything back again, we will need the middle color here, so I'm just going to click on this and sample the mid-range color from these cubes. I'm going to re-color my background layer by pressing Alt Backspace Option Delete. That's going to make sure that any leakage in the pattern is going to be filled with a color that is used throughout the pattern. Going back to my rectangular marquee tool, we're going to take a selection using the guides to make sure that the selection is accurate, and create our pattern. We'll go back to our working document, double-click on the pattern fill layer thumbnail and we're just going to use a new pattern color. Now you know how to recolor patterns using the smart object feature, but also how you can break the links in the situation where you want the colors to be different in different areas of the pattern. 7. Project and Wrap Up: Your project for this class will be to create one or other of these isometric cube patterns yourself, whether you want to just make the larger cube pattern, or if you want to go one step further and create the one that has the little cubes in it as well. You may want to do that in such a way that you could recolor the smaller cubes differently to the larger ones. Post a picture of your completed pattern in the class project area. I hope that you've enjoyed this class and that you've learned something about creating isometric shapes in Photoshop, and also something about Smart Objects. As you're watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up, and secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying the class. These recommendations help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave 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. My name's 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.