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

Techniques for Recoloring Patterns in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Techniques for Recoloring Patterns in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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6 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Recoloring Patterns in Photoshop - Introduction

      1:25
    • 2. Pt 1 - Best Practices in Pattern Design and Recoloring

      9:29
    • 3. Pt 2 - Gradient Overlays

      1:53
    • 4. Pt 3 - Selective Recoloring

      6:51
    • 5. Pt 4 - Recolor Black and White

      4:58
    • 6. Pt 5 - Recolor Objects in Complex Patterns

      8:06
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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 recolor patterns using a range of techniques. This grab bag of techniques will help you recolor patterns including complex patterns, black and white patterns and much more. This is a sample of a recoloring technique which uses in part the Color Overlay effect and the Exclusion blend mode to replace black and white with color: 

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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. Recoloring Patterns in Photoshop - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch Class, Techniques for Recoloring 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 looking at some handy and quite different pattern recoloring techniques that I haven't shown you in any of my classes so far. We're going to develop a couple of small patterns of our own just so that we can apply some recoloring techniques to those. I'm also going to give you a download link for some really quite sophisticated patterns that we're going to have a look at recoloring as well. As you're watching these videos, you'll see 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 just a few words about why you're enjoying this class. These recommendations help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy. 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 out and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now, let's get started looking at some handy pattern recoloring techniques in Photoshop. 2. Pt 1 - Best Practices in Pattern Design and Recoloring: To get started recoloring patterns in Photoshop, let's have a look at a best practice in terms of developing a pattern that could be easily recolored. I'm just going to look at a simple dot pattern here. So I'm going to choose File New, and I'm going to make a document 400 pixels by 400 pixels in size. It's going to have a transparent background. I'll click "Create". I'm just going to zoom into this by pressing Control or Command 0, and I want to circle right in the middle of this document. I'm going to the Elliptical Marquee tool, just going to hold shift as I drag out a circle. This is going to be one of the dots in my pattern. I have a color selected here. We'll, let's actually go and get a slightly nicer color for this. I'm going to press Alt Backspace Option Delete on the Mac because that color is my foreground color so I can just fill this circle with that color. Now I'm going to the Move tool. I'm just going to make sure that this is aligned perfectly to the middle of the document. I'm just trying to pick up these smart guides here. But given that we know that this document is 400 pixels by 400 pixels, we could also select this shape and choose Edit, Free Transform, and we can just read off the X and Y values of the center point of this shape here. The center point should be in the very middle of the document, so 200 and 200 X and Y are perfect. That's telling me that this shape is in the middle of the document. There are lots of ways of checking that, but that's one of them. I'm going to press Control or Command day-to-day selection because I want to make this entire workspace, this entire, outboard my pattern. I'll choose, Select All. This is really important because I'm going to build a second layer of pattern in just a minute. I'm going to choose Edit, Define Pattern, and this is going to be dot part 1. I have a pattern that is now this blue dot. Let's go to the last pattern. You can see that I have just one layer with transparent background, and with my blue dot on it. Well, we're going to create a different colored dot. I'm going to select the dot here. I'm going to lock down the pixels on this layer, select another color to go with it. I'll choose a contrasting color, this orangey yellow, and I'll press Alt Backspace Option Delete. With those pixels locked down that just replaces all the blue pixels with yellow ones. I'm now going to unlock this layer, that's really important. Now what I want to do is put this circle up here in the corners of this document so that it will be offset from the blue circle when we create our pattern in a minute. To do this, I'm going to select this layer, I'm going to use the offset filter. Filter, Other, Offset. The document here was 400 pixels by 400 pixels in size, when you use the offset filter, you're just going to put in measurements here that are half the width and height of the document. Say 400 by 400, you just type 200 and 200 here. Click "Wrap Around' and click "OK". Now this is the second dot for the pattern that we're going to create. I'll choose, Select All, and then Edit, Define Pattern. This is going to be dot pat 2, and I'll click "OK". I've created the center dot as one pattern and this is a second pattern. Let's see how they work together. File, New. I'm going to create a scrapbook paper size document of 3600 by 3600 pixels transparent background. I'll click "Create". Now I'll choose Layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. The last pattern that I created, which is this yellow dot pattern, is automatically selected. Now really the only thing that I have to be careful of here is that I use the exact same scale for both these patterns that I'm going to add in. I'm going to set this one to 75 percent, and I'll click "OK". I'm going to add a second pattern fill layer with the other dot. Layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. Click "OK". Now from the drop-down list here, I need to select the second to last pattern, the blue dots that I created. I need to scale this to the exact same value as I used previously. I'll click "OK". Let's put a layer at the bottom of everything by selecting the bottom most layer and Control or Command clicking the "New Layer icon. " White is my background color. I'll press Control Backspace Command, Delete on the Mac. Now there are a number of ways that we could have created this pattern of blue and orange dots on a white background. But this is the most effective way. We have created the blue dot S1 pattern so it's completely independent of the yellow dots, which are a totally different pattern. The white fill is separate again. This makes it very easy for us to be able to re-color this patent because everything is separate from everything else. If we wanted a different background color, we could just change the color fill here. But instead of creating a layer with a solid color fill, it would be better if we created this as a new fill layer. You would choose Layer, New Fill Layer, Solid Color. Click "OK". The reason for this is going to be apparent in just a minute. Just going to add a green behind this and click "OK". Now if you decide you don't like the green, you can just double-click here on this color picker, and then you can go and select any color that you like as a background color. You could not even go really dark. But you can see here that you can see immediately on the document what your chosen color looks like. You can flip through all sorts of colors here, and just decide what you like before you actually commit to selecting that color. The yellow and the blue are very easily recolored. In previous videos, I've showed you how to do that with a huge Saturation adjustment layer. But today we're going to use a totally different process. We're going to use an effect. I'm going to select this layer, which is the blue dots. I'm going to click on it and click the "FX" icon and choose Color Overlay. Now, I'm just going to turn this off for a minute because we need to be really clear about what we were saying before we added this color overlay. We have a brown background here, and we have yellow dots and blue dots. The layer that we're working on is the blue dot layer, so what we're doing here is trying to recolor the blue dots. Let's turn this Color Overlay layer back on. You can see that this yellow color that I've selected has gone over the brown. If I selected in normal mode, this is what's happening here. In normal mode I'm just slapping a color over the top of everything and I've lost all the detail in my design. I could use other blend modes to try and blend in the color that I want but, we're not going to do that. We're going to select our color overlay to be the color that we want to use, and then we're going to Blending Options. There's an option here that says Blend Interior Effect As Group. When I click on it, look what happens to what were the blue dots. Well, they're recolored yellow. This method is recoloring the blue dots. Let's go back to the Color Overlay and let's choose a different color. These are our blue dots, which are now red dots because we've used a color overlay effect on this layer. By limiting the effect using this lend Interior Effect As Group check box, then we're able to limit the color to just those blue dots which are now recolored. We could do the same thing here for the yellow dot. Click on the "FX" icon, click "Color Overlay". Again, the color that we've chosen has just filled the entire document. Well, we're going to Blending Options and we're just going to limit the blending to the dots that we have visible. Now if we choose the exact same color as the color overlay, we've lost the two color effect. But that might be what we want if we want to color dots the exact same color this is a method that we could use to do that without having to reinvent the original pattern. But we could also go and choose a different color. I'm going to choose a green here and click "OK". Now this Color Overlay feature is not the only one that we can use from this effects menu. In the next video, we're going to have a quick look at another overlay that we could use instead. 3. Pt 2 - Gradient Overlays: There are other effects that we can use with this particular pattern. I'm just going to turn off one set of dots, for now, let's just focus on this visible set of dots. Right now we have a color overlay applied to them. But I'm going to get rid of this color overlay effect and instead let's create a gradient. I'll click the Fx icon and choose Gradient Overlay. Now this is going to work exactly the same way as the color overlay. First of all, we want to make sure that we have selected Blend Interior Effect as a Group, then we'll go to our Gradient Overlay. I'm going to select Normal as the method and you can see now that the default gradient that's selected here is being applied to those dots. The dots are actually changing in color because we have this gradient overlay applied to those dots. Now there are heaps of gradients that you can use in Photoshop. If you don't see a lot of gradients here in your gradient box you can click the gear icon and there are a series of gradients that you can add. If you click on a set of gradients, just make sure you click Append so they're appended to the list and then don't replace the current list. In addition to selecting the gradient that you want to use, you can also choose from the varying types of gradients, including reflected and diamond gradients. If you're choosing a linear gradient, you can select the angle that it's applied to the dots in your pattern. I'll just click Okay. Now I can turn on the second set of dots. Now for these dots, I may want to leave them the color that they are or I could turn off my color overlay and keep them the original color or I could go back and perhaps add a gradient overlay to them. 4. Pt 3 - Selective Recoloring: Now let's look at the situation where you don't have a pattern that's been designed to make it easy to recolor. I'm going to build this pattern up so that all the elements are in it. I already have my yellow dots, so I'm going to press Ctrl or Command as I click on the New Layer icon to add a new layer at the very bottom of the stack. White is my background color, so I'll press Ctrl Backspace, Command Delete on the Mac to fill that layer with white. Now, I still have a selection visible here, so I'll press Ctrl or Command D to deselect the selection. I'm going back to my top layer and I'm going to add a circle. So I'm going to do that on a brand new layer. I'm going back to my Elliptical Marquee tool, and I'm just going to hold Shift as I drag out a circle. Now, it may not be the exact size of the yellow circle here, I'm only using it for example purposes so it doesn't really matter. I'm going to select a color for it. The pink color is my foreground color, so I'll press Alt Backspace, Option Delete on the Mac. I do want to make sure that this shape is centered right in the middle of the document though, so I'm going to try to pick up my guides. If they're not behaving, Edit, Free Transform, and I'm just going to set this to 200 and 200. So this is right in the very middle of my 400 by 400 pixel document. Now I have all the elements that are going together in my pattern. I'm going to select everything, and I'm going to choose Edit, Define Pattern. This time my pattern has the yellow dot, and the pink dot, and the white background all in the one file. Let's create a new document this time: File, New. I'm going back to the exact same size as I was working with that scrapbook paper size 3,600 by 3,600 pixels, I'll click, "Create." Layer, New, Fill Layer, Pattern, and click "Okay." The pattern that is being used is the last pattern that I created. Now, in this case, if we want to recolor our pattern, we can do it with a hue saturation adjustment. But today we're going to look at a hue saturation adjustment which actually isolates the colors that we want to recolor. I'll choose Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue Saturation, and click "Okay." Now, instead of just recoloring the whole thing by just dragging on this hue slider, which adjusts both these colors together, what we're going to do is something a little bit more sophisticated. I'm going to zero this out and I'm going to look at the colors that I want to effect and one of them is yellow. From this channel which currently reads Master, I'm going to go and select yellows. Now look what happens when I drag my color slider around. The pinks are staying pink, but the yellows are changing color. So I can choose a different color for my yellows, and I'm going to make them this blue color. Then I'll just click away from that hue saturation adjustment layer. All it does is affects these yellow dots. Well, I can add another hue saturation adjustment layer and just target the pink ones: Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue Saturation, click "Okay." Instead of selecting the master channel, I'm going to select magentas, which are these purpley pink. Now I can start walking the color around the hue slider, and that adjusts the previously magenta circles. I'm going to make them a darker blue and click away from this. So there's the color fix for just the magenta circles. Here's the color fix for the yellow circles. But of course, all of this just begs the question is how we can get rid of the white background? Well, we can do that with a Color Fill Layer: Layer, New Fill Layer, and then Solid Color. I'll click "Okay." I'm going to select a color to use. I'm going to use a pale pink. So let's just wind that back to find the pale pink that we want to use, and I'll click "Okay." Well, this is the pale pink that I want to use for the background, but I want to be able to see my dots through it. I can do that by using Blend If because we've got a white background that we're trying to recolor. So it's a solid white background, it's very easy to isolate. With our Color Fill Layer selected. I'm going to click the FX icon and choose Blending Options. Now, last time we were here, we used this checkbox, but this time we've come here to use something completely different. We're using these Blend If sliders, and what I want to do is just wind back this option here, just this slider until I see my blue circles. Now, if you don't know which slide to wind back, just try all of the sliders and one of them will work and the rest of them won't. So you can see here that what I'm getting is my original blue pattern back. I don't want that. I want the pink background and the blue pattern. Well, this one's not working either, and neither is this one. But this one works a treat. So I just have to wind it back to where I can see my blue dots. Now, this little thing here has a line down the middle. If you hold the Alt or Option key, you can split it and you should split it. This just fades out the transition, and although you've got fairly distinct edges to these circles, you'll get a better result if you fade out the transition here, and I'll click "Okay." Now, the reason why I chose a color fill layer for this effect is that having set up this Blend If option, if we don't like the resulting image, we're just going to double click on this icon here, and now we can go out and select any color and we can test it on the document as we're looking at it because our Blend If sliders have already been adjusted so we can go and select any color that we like, preview it, decide what we want to use, and then click Okay to go ahead and use it. We're actually going to use a more orangey look here and just click "Okay." That's a way of recoloring a pattern when you have multiple colors in it and in particular, white. White's always a difficult color to recolor. In the next video, we're going to have a look at recoloring black and white and a very interesting process for doing just that. 5. Pt 4 - Recolor Black and White: So this next pattern that we're going to look at recoloring, we're going to create a very simple black and white pattern. I'll choose, "File" and then, "New". I'll select my 400 by 400 pixel document, "Transparent" background and click "Create". I'm going to the "Rectangular Marquee Tool", I'm just going to select over the entire document and then I'll choose, "Select" and "Transform Selection", because that allows me to transform this selection. I'm going to hold the "Shift" key as I rotate it around 45 degrees and while it's still an editable selection, I'm just going to place it so it intersects with the left-hand side of this document. What I've effectively done here is selected this portion of the document. I'll click the "Check mark". I'm going to fill this with black by pressing "Alt+Backspace", "Option-Delete", because black is my foreground color. Now, I'm going to add a new layer to the document. I want to select everything that I don't currently have selected, so I'll choose "Select", "Inverse". Then I'm going to fill this with white - white is my background color - so I'll press "Control+Backspace", "Command-Delete" on the Mac. I've got a half and half document, I'm going to create what's called a 'Stamp' layer. That's a layer that shows what's on these visible layers, but is a brand new layer all of its own but it still leaves in place these two layers, and that's really important. I'll hold down "Control+Alt+Shift", that's "Command-Option-Shift" on the Mac, and tap the letter "E". Now, I am going to "Control" click on this layer, so that the entire layer is selected, and I'm going to rotate it around 90 degrees. I've got a half and half document at the top, and then the two half layers underneath. The top layer, I'm going to set the "Blend Mode" to "Difference", and that just gives me this interesting pattern piece. I'm going to choose, "Select", "All" so that the entire document is selected, choose "Edit", "Define Pattern". I'm going to double-check to make sure that my pattern looks like this. I'm just going to call it "triangles", and click "Okay". I now have a black and white triangular pattern. I'll choose "File", and then "New", and I'm going back to that scrapbook size paper, 3600 pixels by 3600 pixels, transparent background I'll click "Create" and now fill this with my pattern, "Layer", "New Fill Layer", "Pattern". If I click "Okay", the most recent pattern that I've created is used to fill this document, and what we end up where this sort of checkerboard pattern from the triangular shapes that we created, I'll click "Okay". The problem with black and white patterns like this is the difficulty in isolating the black and the white to recolor them, we could do it with hue/saturation adjustments. Let me show you a different method of doing it. I'm going to click on the "fx" icon, I'm going to choose "Color Overlay", and I'm going to choose a yellow color. It could be yellow, or it could be blue it doesn't really matter which. Then I'm going to set the "Blend Mode" to "Exclusion", and what that does is that it separates out the colors. Now, we've got yellow and blue where a minute ago we had black and white and when you've got yellow and blue, then your hue/saturation adjustments are just so much easier to apply. So I'll click "Okay". Now I'm going to put a hue/saturation adjustment layer on top of this layer, "New Adjustment Layer", "Hue/Saturation", I'll click "Okay". We have blue here. I'm going to select the "Blues", and now I can recolor the blues to anything that I like. I'll add another layer, "Layer", "New Adjustment Layer", "Hue/Saturation", click "Okay". I'm going to pull the yellows out this time. I'll go to the "Yellows" layer, and now I can adjust the yellows. I can make them in a color I like. I'm actually going to make them a sort of dark blue. This is a way of recoloring black and white. What you'll do is anytime you have a pattern that is black and white, you can add "Color Overlay", it doesn't matter which color you use, and then you're just going to apply, "Exclusion" as the blend mode. Having done that you can just isolate yellow and blue, and recolor those. So however complex your pattern happens to be, this is a nice, easy way of applying some colors to it and just gets you thinking in terms of using blend modes in interesting ways. 6. Pt 5 - Recolor Objects in Complex Patterns: The last pattern recoloring exercise that we're going to do, we're going to use some patterns that I've downloaded from DeviantArt. I'm going to give you the download link for those patterns. It only shows a small subset of the patterns here, I think they're actually 10 in the pattern collection. You come to this site using the link I'll give you in the project area and then click the Download link to download the RAR file. Now, RAR files are basically Mac files, so on a Mac you're going to find that that's going to unzip really easily. On a PC, if you double-click that file and cannot unzip it, then I'm going to give you a download link for 7-Zip because you can use 7-Zip to extract it. You'll go to 7-Zip and you'll just navigate to the folder that contains the download, and then you can extract it. I've extracted it here. You'll get a floral vintage PAT file. Back in Photoshop, I've created a document that's 3600 by 3600 pixels in size. I'll choose Layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. Click '"Okay". Now I can get hold of the patterns that I just downloaded by clicking this download link, drop the gear icon here, and choose load patterns. Then you'll navigate in this dialogue to the download area where you extracted that pattern file to, click on it and click "Load". Now, I've got it multiple times here, but that doesn't matter. I just wanted to show you how you could install it. Now the pattern that we want to use is this floral one here. I'm going to size it up to 300 though, so we can see it really clearly for our re-coloring exercise, and I'll click "Okay". Now to re-color these flowers, we're going to use a hue saturation adjustment layer with Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Hue/Saturation, and I'll click "Okay". Now I want to select the pink flowers. From the channel dropdown list, the closest to the pink color is probably going to be red. Now that I've selected red, I can start walking the hue slider around. Now the exact colors on the hue slider are not going to correspond to the colors that the flowers are actually being recolored too. But all the colors are available here, you'll just need to move the slider until you pick up the color that you want the flowers to be. Now I want a sort of blue rows here. I've selected the place on the hue slider where I'm getting the blue that I want for my rose. I'm going to click the eyeball icon on and off and just check to see that not too much of the rest of the image is also being recolored. If it is, I can select the Delete icon here. Just click on the Eye Dropper that has the minus k beside it. I can try and remove some of these color areas that are being colored. Now I may or may not be successful here, I think that these colors are too close to what was in the flower to successfully remove them, but there's not a heap of them there. You can also adjust these sliders. The middle two sliders just mark out the area that is being recolored. This area here has been recolored to this color here. This is a fade out. We're fading out across some of the orange area and also some of this magenta color into the blues. You can always manually adjust these sliders as well to limit the area that's being adjusted and the color that you're adjusting it to. Now let's go back to the original pattern. I just want to zoom in a bit so that you can see where we're going to next. There are some little blue flowers in here and if I turn off the fix that we just made, you'll see that the flowers were always blue. They haven't been picked up in this recoloring because they're not pink. Only the pink areas of the image have been recolored. If I want to go and recolor these blue flowers, I could do so. I can choose Layer, New Adjustment Layer, and then Hue/Saturation again, and click "Okay". I'm going to select blue as my color. Now let's see what happens when I start adjusting the blue. Well, you can say that this is bleeding into the flowers, and in fact, the flowers that I'm most interested in aren't being adjusted at all. I'm going to the Eye Dropper here and I'm going to click on one of these blue flowers. If I now try and adjust that blue flower, you can see that I'm losing all the blue that I recolored these pink flowers to be. The reason for this is the ordering of this Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Because this one here made everything that was pink, blue. Now we're selecting the blues and that includes the red-colored flowers. If I bring this Hue/Saturation adjustment layer down underneath the original one, then I can go and make some changes to it. I'm going to select this one which is now in the middle over the top of the original image. Let's go up here and we're going to select it's called Cyans 2, because that's what Photoshop called it. I make sure that I've got my blue color selected here now. Now let's go and adjust this color. You can see that these little flowers here are now changing color in isolation to the rest of the image, so I can make them pink. By reversing the order of my Hue/Saturation adjustments in this case, I've been able to pick out these little blue flowers and recolor them, but also allow these flowers to be recolored appropriately as well. This is our original pattern that we downloaded and put into this file. Blue flowers here, pink flowers here. When I turn this on, you can see that the blue flowers have gone a yellow color. That's really important, that yellow color, because as soon as we throw this Hue/Saturation adjustment layer on top of it, which recolors the pink, these little flowers here that have already gone from blue to a orangey yellow are then going to become pink. If you find that you're trying to recolor different areas or different elements in a pattern, you may find that the order of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layers has an effect on the resulting image. Just be aware of that. Just be prepared to reverse the order of your layers to see if you can get a better result. Your project for this class is going to be to either take one of these floral patterns or create a pattern and practice re-coloring that pattern using some of the techniques that have been taught in this class. Post an image of your recolored pattern in the class project area and just tell us what of those processes you've used in recoloring your pattern. I hope that you've enjoyed this class and that you've learnt something about recoloring patterns in Photoshop. As you were watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please if you enjoyed 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 this 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 for me, 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 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.