Surface Pattern Design: Half-Drop Repeat in Illustrator | Lindsey Slutz | Skillshare

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Surface Pattern Design: Half-Drop Repeat in Illustrator

teacher avatar Lindsey Slutz, Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

8 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Drawing

    • 3. Image Trace - Turning Your Drawings Into Vectors

    • 4. Color - Creating A Color Palette From An Image

    • 5. Creating Your Pattern

    • 6. 2 Methods For Saving Your Half-Drop Repeat

    • 7. Share - Use An Instagram Template To Share Your Work

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class


In this class you will learn how to turn your drawings into vectors, create a color palette, and finally how to create a half-drop repeat. At the end of the class I share how I use a template to show my patterns on Instagram. I've included three Instagram templates for you to use as well. This class is great for anyone that is new to illustrator or someone that already knows the basics.

It’s ok to go ahead and skip to the video on creating a half-drop repeat if you’re already familiar with a basic understanding of how to create a color palette and/or motifs. =)

Meet Your Teacher

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Lindsey Slutz

Surface Pattern Designer



Hi! I'm so glad you're here. My name is Lindsey Slutz and I'm a graphic & surface pattern designer, blogger and the founder of East Coast Charm. I'm known for my preppy style that comes organically from growing up near the coast of North Carolina. I also gather inspiration from my travels and hikes with my husband, Eric, and our dog, Willow. In my spare time, I enjoy photography, which lends to helping create beautiful color palettes.

To see more designs or to follow me, check out Instagram and Pinterest.


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1. Introduction : Hi, I'm Lindsay from Mexico. Sharm. Thank you so much for joining my class. We're going to learn how to create 1/2 drop. Repeat Ah, color pilot. How to vector rise your drugs and how to share your work on Instagram For those of you that are wondering what the difference is between a basic repeat and 1/2 drop repeat. I've printed off some of my patterns that I've made recently to show you the difference. So this one, if you look at the circles with the excess you notice that is being repeated in a square. That's exactly what a basic repeat is. It's just a tile that is being repeated over and over again. If you look for the blue flowers, this is the half drop. Repeat. If you go over your noticing that one, it's tiling. It's also going down halfway. The benefit of using 1/2 drop repeat is that it's harder to pick up whether Pete actually is so another basic repeat. If you look at the bunnies, they are in a square, same as the birds half drop. Repeat. It's harder to pick up which flowers, air repeating and where they're repeating By the end of this class, you will be able to create your own half drop. Repeat. And I really hope that you share in your class projects so that we can all see it as well as your drawings. Thanks. 2. Drawing: for this class. I'm going to using a drawing that I created earlier in order to make my pattern. This isn't something that you have to do if you're more comfortable creating motifs and illustrator, go ahead and do that. These are my drugs. Yeah, Once you're happy with your drawing, there's one of two ways that you can get your image into. Illustrator Option one is the scan option to the one that they used most frequently is to take a picture with your phone. You can either email it to yourself or using Affleck Dropbox Toe Open an illustrator. I use an app called After Life, where I can play around with the exposure saturation, things like that so I could eliminate any shadows on the page. It's not something you need to do is just something that I like to dio 3. Image Trace - Turning Your Drawings Into Vectors: Once you're back at your computer, go ahead and open. Adobe Illustrator is Little is a file that you just saved with your drawing. You will notice Adobe has already put in in our board, and it's typically smaller than your drawing. It's totally fine. It's just the same size as the Last Illustrator document you created. And once we're done, converting your drawings and two vectors will scale them down, and they all fit into this box to go ahead and click on your drawing on your top menu, Click window and image trace. You'll notice that a box appears and the first drop down for preset click black and white logo. I like this precept the best because I think it is the best job of separating littering from the paper. Once it's done converting, I use command and the plus sign to zoom and and take a look to see if all of the lines are showing up and I see a couple spots that I would like to show up a little bit more so back in the image trace box, you'll find threshold, and you can either use a slider or you can type in a number on the right hand side. I'm gonna bump this up slightly toe 1 40 and it's looking better, but I would like a stronger line and here, so I'm gonna bump it up to 1 55 Okay, that looks a lot better. I'm going to x off of image trace and using command and the minus sign. I'm gonna zoom back out. Any time you use image trace, you need to expand and you'll find the expand. Button the top toolbar towards the centre. When you click it, you can see all of the points that have been added in, and you need to right click an ungroomed up so that it separates everything because you can say you can click on it and you can find all the individual lines. In order to remove the background, you need to click on a white area of the document and go to the top menu again. Click select. Same fill, color hit, delete. And now you've got rid of the background. I see some areas that I want to go ahead and delete. So, using the selection tool if it's not already selected, you can hit the on your keyboard or it's the black era, which is the top left Arab. So just go over the areas you want to delete once they're gone. Still using the selection tool. Go ahead, select everything using shift, click on one of the corners and just move it and slightly. So everything is scaled down when you could be everything into your art box. And now I'm going to go ahead and save the vectors file save as when I'm working on patterns. I like to say everything in one folder and then have some folders for color palette, the drawing and the Illustrator files and in 100 processing illustrator things like that. So in the drawing folder, I'm gonna go ahead and save music and save as on illustrator file. Okay, so everything saved. Go ahead and share your drawing or your vector drawings into the class project. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of your work 4. Color - Creating A Color Palette From An Image: before I start making the pattern, I like to go ahead and have the color palette figured out. There's many ways to come up with a color palette, either. Flip through Pantone's. It's like the colors that you like. There's plenty of websites out there that have pre made color palettes that you can use. One of my favorite ways is to take a picture and to create a color palette from that, and that's what we're going to do today. So go ahead, click file open. It's like the image that you would like to create a color palette from. It's usually zoomed, called away on soda. Zoom out. I used the command and the minus sign and then with the rectangle tool, we're going to create a square by clicking on shift. And if you're not familiar with the rectangle tool, you can hit em on your keyboard and you just click and drag. Like I said earlier, if you want to create a square, you shift while you're dragging, and it will keep all the sides the same length using your selection tool or via your keyboard. Click the square hit Ault and dragged down on what you're doing is you are copying that image, and I want to make five of these rectangles. So now that you've created a 2nd 1 while that one still selected, you can hit command and D, and it's just going to duplicate it. So now we have five going to use the selection tool, select all of them and skillet down slightly on move it closer to the image, clicking on the first square and using the eyedropper tool, which is either I anarchy ward. Or it is this icon on the right side of the screen or the left side of the story, and you can click around on your image until you find a color that you like. If you use command, it will switch back to the last tool that you were using, which is the selection tool. Select the second square. Once you've lift off of the command, it's back to the eyedropper tool. So find something that you like for the second color and just repeat command Selector Square goes back to the eyedropper. Select your third color. Repeat again and one more time. Okay, Once you're happy with your colors, use the selection tool select all five of the boxes. Open up your swatches panel, and if you don't see it on the right side, you can always click window and swatches and swatches. You will see a folder at the bottom, click it for new color group selected artwork. Okay, and it brings in the colors that you've selected from your image. You'll see swash libraries menu on the bottom left side, click save swatches, and I'm going to just make this skill share and save. You have now created the color palette for the pattern you or belong to make. 5. Creating Your Pattern: it's time to make our patterns file new to create your pattern document. When you are selecting your with and height, it is best to you something that is easily divided in half when doing 1/2 drop. Repeat. So for this, I'm going to do 1000 pixels 5000 pixels for color mode. If you plan on printing out your pattern, you see him like, Hey, if you're primarily using a computer, RGB is bust okay with the rectangle tool selected Click down and I would like my background to be the same. Size is the art war 2000 pixels by 1000 pixels. Click OK, you may notice that there is a stroke. Go ahead and take that off by clicking the white box with the red line through it to bring in the color palette that you just created. Click on the swatches panel or do window and swatches. Go to your library and go to user to find Select the color palette that you just created. Click on the folder and it will bring it into your swatches panel. If you would like to get rid of the colors, you do not plan on using click on the last one all the way through Click Select through the one, the top one that you do not want hit the trash can. And yes, it's like the color you want as your background for this I'm using with charcoal color ought to center our background, go to the align panel or go to window a line in the bottom right hand corner. You'll see a line to click the drop down. Make sure a lyinto art board is selected, Click Horizontal Alliance Center and then click Vertical Align Center. And I like to make sure that the background layer is blocked so that when I'm moving motifs around, I don't accidentally click on the background. I move it as well. So go to you're layers panel or go to window layers. Click the triangle to drop down in the square. If you click, you'll see a lock up here, and that just means that the layer is locked. So if you use your selection tool, try to go over. You cannot select the background any longer, but that done, I'm gonna go back. Teoh the document with the motifs when I select them and I'm going to drag them and to the pattern our board. I'm a change the select, so they're easier to see. And before we do too much, I want to go ahead and delete the ones that I don't plan on using theirs don't work where they look or there's ones that look better or similar that these are all individual and you want TEM groups. Since they go together, he select all the items you select all of the items, right Click group. Uh, if you want a faster method, you can select all of them. Hit command G. I highly recommend learning all of the keyboard shortcuts and illustrator as it does, save quite a bit of time. Okay, so I want to make these larger and I want to pare down even more what I'm going to use. So go through late some more. Okay, so I'm pretty happy with this once again. I still want TEM larger sums like hm, make some bigger and then I'm gonna move everything off to the side. Now it's time to start placing your mom, MTV's and to your art board. Since these are slightly larger wound to make them a more neutral colors, so they don't stand out as much. And I also like to turn metiers in several different directions so that the pattern is a just one way. - Okay , now I have all of motifs and patterns, and we can start moving some things around, duplicating some of the motives and bringing over the ones that are overlapping to the other side. If you were to dio a basic repeat, anything that is on your left side must be repeated in the right side. Anything at the top must be repeated at the bottom. So, for instance, this you would need to move to the top so you go to object, transform, move and are the Our board is 1000 pixels, so we're not moving it horizontally, so put zero to move it horizontally. If it's at the bottom and you need to move it up, it needs to be a negative number. So negative 1000. You can preview it a copy. These two as well. They need to be moved down, so object to transform move, not moving them horizontally. So zero this time you're moving them down, so it's not negative. It's just a positive number I can preview it. Coffee. And most people I've noticed, when they're making patterns, they go ahead and they do everything on the left side and on the top or the bottom and move everything at once. I typically work. Where, What? This is the 1st 1 I'm I put in that overlapped. I would work off of that. I do it individually. So this one and then I'd work to the next motive in the next day. I feel like I have more control when I do it this way. Um, for instance, had I started with this, I would not have put this here with the color blue. So I'm going to switch that one. Teoh, I think the tan color for now. So now we have one object that is on the left side that needs to be moved to the right. As of right now, um, when you're doing 1/2 drop, repeat you going to do it slightly different than when you are doing your basic repeat. So instead of doing moving over horizontally 1000 pixels here to go toe object, transform, Move. You are gonna put in the horizontal 1000 But in your vertical Instead of putting zero, you're going to do half of the vertical, which is 500. If you look at it, you're not gonna see it because this is at the bottom. And if this were to repeat and half it actually needs to go up by 500 so we'll do the negative 500 preview. You could see it over their coffee. I'm going to copy this motif either by command C and the command F or you could have also Ault moved to the object. You couldn't make it slightly larger, and I want to try this so object to transform move this time horizontal by 1000 vertical by 500 copy. Just move things around so everything fits so just content to you. Moving motifs around doing the half drop. So 1000 over 500 down or if it's on the bottom, half 1000 over and 500 up. - So sometimes you will run into a motif that you boob like this one started out on the left side. You come over 1000 moving down my 500 you noticed that there still some of ah left over and you want to make sure that repeats the way that it needs to. So you actually need to copy it twice to click on a second time object to transform new and instead of doing 100 do a negative 500. In this way, it ends up in both spots that it needs to be. So you think they were almost done with making the pattern. - Okay , I'm finally happy with my pattern. Someone stop now and meet me in the next video to figure out how to turn it into a file that you can save to either upload to places like spoon flour or to create a pattern and illustrator that you can use another documents. 6. 2 Methods For Saving Your Half-Drop Repeat: we're ready to turn our pattern into a repeatable file. So the first thing to dio go into your layers panel scroll to the bottom, find your locked background, unlock it, select it the need to copy and paste a new file exactly like it behind it. So the best way to do it is command. See, and then command be, and then you need to make sure there's no stroke and no Phil. So make sure both of these are the white box with the red hair or through it or the red line through it. The other method of doing that you do not feel comfortable copying and pasting is do the rectangle tool 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels. Make sure there's no stroke in a film and then align it and then you can right click and then arrange sent it back. Since I already have the other one, I'm to delete this when it came out slightly so you can see it all. The first method for the half drop Repeat for saving the file. You have already done doing the square at the back with the no phone. A stroke creates a pattern so if you wanted to do something for spoon flour all you have to dio we have a saved already. If not, you should go ahead ends. Save your pattern. Go to file Safer Web. Just going to say you're a pattern. If you're doing something just to the Web like, say, instagram or Facebook, I don't do the quality at 100% but for something like spoon flour where you want to either have something made imprinted. It's best to dio quality at 100% so save and this is saving it as a J peg. So if you go ahead, pull up spoon flour click create I want a quick fabric Upload your new pattern file and as you'll see if you have your basic repeat no switch this took tests. Watch. You'll say things are getting cut off, so switch to the half drop and now everything is lined up correctly there. Yeah, method one your doctor method to if you like to be able to drag your pattern over to another file and use it, Um, later on, I'll show you how to do it for Instagram and this is how I do it every day. Um, or if you need to send the pattern file to someone, this is the better method. And it is, I think, Adobe CS six and above. So if you have something older than CS six, the other method is your option, the only option. So go ahead with the selection tool and select everything. Click object pattern. Make tile Type two brick by column, and now you'll see everything is lined up the way that it is supposed to be. Save a copy. Clicking came and done. I like to make sure that everything so looks right, and I'm not seeing too many gaps or anything that's obvious as a repeat. So I make a rectangle, and with it selected, click on the new pattern that we've created. Take a look at it. I see one thing that I would change naturally in here. So I am going Teoh with the selection tool. I want to copy this using all. Bring it down, change the direction and the color once again, select everything object pattern. Make I prefer column. Save a copy gun, select your square rectangle and click on the new one and you will see looks better for sure. On what you have to dio save your file. You have successfully created 1/2 dropper. Pete, do you follow me into the next video lesson? I am going to share with you how I share my patterns on Instagram. 7. Share - Use An Instagram Template To Share Your Work: after creating pattern, I sometimes like to share them on Instagram to get feedback from other designers. And if you look in the class project tableau, I have included three different instagram templates for you to use. So I have one with a banner. I have a rectangular one, and then I have a round one. Personally, I use the round one summer sun X out of these other two, and you'll notice it is a square 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels. And I have a rectangle the same size and in a circle where you put your logo in order to save it. For Instagram, I drag and my pattern, once it is in your file, will have delete it because it is right here in your sauce. Just panel quick directing will. And now you have your new pattern in the square. If you would like to either make the powder in larger or make it smaller, you go to transform scale. Make sure to unclip the transform objects, so I have to his uniforms. So this is at 60%. I like that. He wanted it larger. We'll try 1 20 It's a closer view of it actually like that The 100%. So I'm just gonna cancel and for the circle, Or if you choose the banner or the rectangular one, I like to pull colors from the color palette. Some just been open this back up again. It's like the circle and then choose the color that I would like. I think I'm gonna go with this pink or peach color and then with my logo information selected. I'm just going Teoh, drag it into the instagram template and scale it down to fit in here. Okay, now it's ready to save file. Safer Web 60% J Peg, I'll save Instagram music. Say that and you are ready to upload to Instagram. 8. Conclusion: you just created your first half drop. Repeat. I hope you're as excited as I was the first time I made mine. And once again, I really hope you enjoy the class. If you have any questions, let me know. And make sure to share your work with us in your class project. Thanks.