Turn a Photo into a Pattern in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Turn a Photo into a Pattern in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Turn a Photo into a Pattern in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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4 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Turn a Photo into a Pattern in Photoshop - Introduction

      1:13
    • 2. Turn a Photo into a Pattern - Part 1

      6:07
    • 3. Turn a Photo into a Pattern - Part 2

      7:55
    • 4. Turn a Photo into a Pattern - Part 3

      9:33
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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 turn a photo into a repeating pattern in Photoshop. You will see how to simplify a photo and make it look almost hand drawn. Then create it as a repeating pattern you can use any time in the future. This is a sample of the pattern we'll make:

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More in this series:

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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. Turn a Photo into a Pattern in Photoshop - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class: Turn a photo into a pattern in Adobe Photoshop. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're looking at creating a pattern effect in Photoshop using a photo. We'll start out by cutting the image from its background, then we'll make the photo look hand-drawn and colored. Then finally, we'll create this object as a pattern and use it to create a new Photoshop document. As you're working through these videos, you might see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up. These recommendations help me get my classes in front of more people just like you who want to learn more about Photoshop. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. So if you're ready now let's get started on turning a photo into a pattern in Photoshop. 2. Turn a Photo into a Pattern - Part 1: To get started with our photograph two, pattern project, we're going to need an image to use. Now, I'm going to a site called morguefile.com to find my images, and I've located an artists there who has a lot of photos that are pretty good. They're really high quality photos, and there's plenty here that you could use. Now because we have to make a cut out, we're going to choose something that's basically simple. So I'm actually going to go and get this image. But if you scroll through their site, you'll see that there are plenty of images here that you can use. I have some that are already cut out for you that will make it even easier for you. For example, this sparrow here. You may want to look for it, but I'll give you a link to this particular artist here on morguefile so that you can get to see their work, see if there's anything here that you would like to use. Failing that, go and find an image that you like from morguefile or from a site like unspliced.com or use your own photo. So we're going to click on this image and then we'll just click to download it. Now, I've already done that, so I'm just going to close this all down and I'm going to open the file here in Photoshop. So here is my white spiral image. This is a really good size image. In fact, it's way bigger than we actually need for our projects. So I'm going to start by cropping it, and to do this, I'm going to the crop tool. I'm going to hold the Shift key as I drag over this sparrow because I want a square crop here, and I don't want anything other than the sparrow in the image. So if I can get rid of this branch here right now, that's one less thing I have to crop out in a minute or get rid of in a minute. I'm going to bring the sparrow pretty well up into the image here, click the check mark. Now I need to isolate him, and probably for this particular image, these are things going to be to get rid of the background, not the bird. So I'm going this time to the "Magic Wand Tool", and I'm just going to set a reasonably high tolerance and click on the background. That's pretty much selected everything. I will need to select this area here in between his legs and the branch, and to do that, I'm going to hold the Shift key as I click here to include this area in it. But there's a little bit that I've got in here that I don't want. So I'm going to switch to the "Quick Selection Tool", because this will very easily allow me to remove that area from the bird. Just going to zoom in here so we can see what the problem looks like. With the "Magic Wand Tool" selected, I'm going to hold down the Alt or Option key as I drag over or paint over the area that I want removed from this selection. What happened was, having a tolerance of 25 for the background actually started to allow me to select into the bird itself because it's edge feathers were in that 25 range. So probably had a bit too high a tolerance here, if you like. Now here, I've got some bits that have been left out. Well, still with the "Magic Wand Tool", I can just go and drag or paint over the bits that had been left out of this background selection that will add them to it. I'm going to work my way around the bird, making sure that I've got everything I need and nothing that I don't need here. Now, once I'm happy with what I've got here, I'm going to add a mask so that I can add extra little bits to this or remove some if I need to. So I'm going to click on the last pallet here to see what we have, and we have a single background layer. We need to convert this into a regular layer so that we can remove the background from the image, because you can't remove pixels to allow transparent backgrounds on a background layer. It's one of those special layers that just doesn't do things like regular layers do. To make it irregular layer, we're going to double click on it, and just click "Okay" when you see that dialogue. Now it's irregular layer, and we could press "Delete" to remove the background, or we could just click here to add a mask, to mask it out. That's what I'm going to do. Unfortunately, my mass quintin backed front. I'm going to click on the mask into inverted, and then it press Command or Control I, I for invert. Now at this point, when we're working with mask, that we can paint on this mask in black or white to add or remove bits from the image. Well, I don't want this bit down here, so let's go and get the paintbrush, which is hiding here. Let's go and make sure that we have a fairly hard brush here. I'm going to select something that has a very solid look to it, Just going take its hardness down to about 78, that's pretty good for this brush. Let's make sure that we are painting with black because we want to remove some of the object here, make sure I have the mask here selected. So it's got a little border around it, and I'm going to paint out the bits that I don't want. Now I also don't want this branch to be cut off at quite that sharpen angle. From this, I'm going to make my brush really smallish here. I'm just going to add an organic shape through that branch. So it's a little bit more attractive than it was before. Now you could continue to work on this mask if you wanted to make a better selection. But because of the process that we're using and doesn't actually have to be that good of selection. So if we're ready to proceed, we can now go ahead and fix this mask. So what we're going to do is, we're going to actually apply it to the image. You can do that by dragging the mask onto the trash can as if you're about to remove it. Photoshop says, "well, wait a minute, you did this mask. Do you want to apply that to the image before you remove it or just want to trash it?" Well, we want to apply it to the image. So we're going to click "Apply". Now we have an isolated bird all on its own layer, and we're ready to go in the next video and color it, but also make it look a little bit more like it has been hand drawn. 3. Turn a Photo into a Pattern - Part 2: We're ready now to make our bird look a little bit more hand drawn. But it will help us put a background behind the bird just so that we've got something to look at, at this point. I'm going to hold the Control or Command K down as I click this New Layer icon here and that adds a new layer at the foot of the layers palette. If yours doesn't go in the right place, it's fine, just drag it around until it is where you want it to be, at the very bottom. Select the layer, make sure that you have the color that you want to fill it with as your foreground color, and press Alt or option Backspace. That just fills the background with the color, so we can see the bird a little more clearly, just make sure we've got that good selection. Pretty happy with that. Now, let's go and turn the bird into something that looks a little bit more hand-drawn. One of the things that photos have is a lot of rich detail. We want to flatten that detail, and there's a filter that will help us do that. It's called the median filter. We'll choose Filter, and then Noise, and then Medium. What this does is it flattens the colors in the image and so smooths everything out. I'm going to take it to a fairly high value and this is what it does to photo. It's not very good at all, but at smaller values, you'll find that you get more detail back in the photo. But you get this beginning of a painterly drawn look, if you like, rather than a photo per say. What we want to do here is we want to flatten these areas of color so we have less detail than the image, but we want to keep some detail. The eye of the bird, the beak and the facial things are really important to establishing that this blob is an actual fact of bird. You're going to choose a sweet point here, where you get some flattening and smoothing of the color, but you still get detail in the image. For me, that's probably about 12 pixels. It's a radius here of 12 pixels, I'll click Okay. Next we're going to apply a filter to this image. To do so we'll choose Filter and then Filter Gallery. Now the filter that we're going to use is here in the artistic group and its called cutout. That's the top row middle filter here in the list and it's cutout. Now, I want to see my bird and it's all disappeared right now. Let's choose Fit on Screen. With the cutout filter, you have three sliders: levels, simplicity and edge fidelity. Edge fidelity doesn't do a lot, but number of levels and edge simplicity are really important. We'll go to edge simplicity. First of all, if I make it really high, you'll see I get a very stylized bird. Now that might be your preference. If you like that effect, then use a fairly high value. If you want some semblance of realism, then start to reduce this edge simplicity value. Now there's not a lot of values along here. At the very top, it's 10, for the other end, it's zero, so you've got 11 settings here that you can use. But a setting of zero or one or two will give you something more realistic and less abstract. I'm going to choose two right now. Levels is how many colors do we want in the image? If we go down to a very small value, we have very few colors in the image, and so it's again more stylized. The more levels we apply this is three, and this is five, we're getting a more realistic image. But of course, because we applied that median filter to the image, we flattened all the color. We're getting a little bit more of an artistic look, but without having to re-draw the image. Now for my levels, I think seven is too high. This is seven. It's too detailed for me. I'm going to wind this back to six or five. There's a sweet spot here somewhere that gives you the detail you want, and yet is not too complex. I'm thinking five is pretty good, so I will click Okay. Now let's go and turn this into a black and white. To do this, we're going to use an adjustment layer. We'll choose Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Black and White, and I'll click Okay. Now this is affecting not only the bird, but also the blue background. If we want to limit it to the bird only, we can click this icon here. That then sets the adjustment to affect only the layer immediately below, which is the bird. From here, we can select colors in this color slider. As we select them, if there are any of these colors in the bird itself, then we can make them darker or lighter in the black and white. Now there are some yellows. If I take these out in a positive direction, you can see that the yellow areas become very white. If we take them in the opposite direction, they become very black, and so using the sliders, we can craft a perfect black and white for this particular bird. I'm not expecting too much in the blues and greens because this is a sparrow, basically it's a brown bird. Also here in this blue, there's not much action happening, but there might be in the science and there certainly is some movement if I go to the reds and to the yellows. I'm just going to create the black and white image that I want here. Now, we have our black and white bird on our background. If the bird is not contrast enough, if there's not enough darks and lights, then you could adjust it. Let's go back to the bird layer here and let's add another adjustment layer: Layer, New Adjustment Layer, and this time we'll choose Curves, then click Okay. Now the curves adjustment can be a little bit confusing until you know what it really means. Over here are your darks, over here are your lights, and right now this line says there's no change at all in the image. But if you want to make the darker pixels a little darker, you can drag down on the curve in the dark area which is over here. If you want to make the lighter areas a little bit lighter, drag up on this end of the curve, which represents the lighter areas in the image. You can also use this little hand icon. If you click on it and go and select an area of the image that you want to lighten a bit, you can do so. Just drag up to lighten it. Some clicking and dragging up to lighten it, dragging down to darken it. In this way, we could create a little bit more of a custom black and white here. I just want to see a little bit more detail in this area of the bird around here. I think this is a better result. We can have a look at the before and after. Here's this eyeball icon, I'll click it. That's the before, and this is the after. It's a little bit more contrast and I think that's a little bit better for this particular image. Now at this point, you may just want to take this bird with you and do something with it. You can save this image, you can turn off the background. You could, for example, save this as a ping image, a PNG format image, and that would save the transparency with the image. In this way, you could put this on any background. You could, for example, use it on a scrapbook page and just add it over a background. The background is going to come through the transparent areas of the image. But what we're going to do is we're going to make a repeating pattern out of it. In the next video, you're going to see how to do that. 4. Turn a Photo into a Pattern - Part 3: To turn this sparrow into a pattern, we're going to need a little bit more space in this image and one way to do that is to use the crop tool. But to start off with, I want to be able to say a bit more of the image. I'm going to zoom out a bit so I can see the surrounds to the parrot. Now you can use image canvas size. It's just that this dialogue is just to me really confusing because where is the content going and exactly how much more do I want? It's much easier for me to just eyeball it. I'm going to cancel out of there and I'm going to the crop tool. Because what they don't tell you about the crop tool is that you can add extra canvas using it. You have these handles here so you can drag inwards, but you can also drag outwards. I'm going to hold ''Shift'' because I want this to be constrained to still a square and I'm also going to hold ''Alt'' or ''Option'' because that's going to drag out from the center point and look what happens when I drag out. You see that the crop canvas comes with me and I can just eyeball about how much space I want. I want quite a bit of space because I want the pattern to be quite spaced out and when I get to where I think it looks good, I'm just going to let go the left mouse button and then let go the ''Shift'' key and the ''Alt'' or ''Option'' key and I'll click the ''Checkmark'' here. I've used the crop tool to add extra canvas way easier than trying to use that canvas tool. Now I'm going to get the move tool here. I'm going to select the bird and just move him a little bit more centrally on the canvas. You'll see that our background didn't resize. We've still got that box there, but we're not going to use that anywhere so I'm not really that fast about it. Now, given that I'm happy with my bird, I'm going to flatten these paces now. I'm going to select the bird and the two adjustment layers and merge them together. But if you thought that you were going to at any stage need to keep these and make adjustments to them, you could save this as a PSD file and then go ahead and make your pattern so you still have the PSD version, still with these layers later on. To do that, just choose File and then Save As, and from the Save As type drop-down list look at PSD. But I'm going to merge these. With these three layers selected, I'll choose layer and then merge layers. That makes a sparrow into a single object on this layer. I want two of him, so I'm going to need another copy. I'm going to take this layer and I'm going to drag it down and drop it onto the new layer icon, so I now have two sparrows right on top of each other. I'm going to the top one and I'm gonna make him face the other way. To do this, I'll choose Edit and then Transform and we're going to flip him horizontally. He's now facing in completely the opposite direction. If you followed my class on making patterns, you'll know the tool that we're going to use next. But before we use that, we need to know how big this image is. I'm going to choose Image and then Image Size. Now I don't necessarily want to make this image smaller, but I do want to check the size. But now that I'm here, I'm seeing this is a really huge image and way too big for a pattern. I probably want it down to more like about 1500 pixels. I'm going to type 1500 here. Because there is two values the width, and the height are linked here, when I type in a width, it becomes also the height because this is a square image. From the re-sample list, I need to choose a re-sample method and because we're reducing this in size, bicubic sharper reduction is a good one to use and this is a preview of what it's going to look like. I'll just click ''Okay''. Now it looks really small, but if we zoom in, it's going to be fine. It's going to look much bigger. Now we need to apply our offset filter to this layer so with the topmost layer selected, we'll choose Filter, Other, Offset. Now, in the horizontal and vertical settings here I need to type a value that is 1.5 of the width and height of this document. We made it 1500 a few minutes ago so we're going to type in 750 because 750 is half of 1,500. You can see it helps to have even numbers so you can divide them equally in two. It's also helpful to have simple numbers like 1,500 so you don't have to get out a calculator to do the math. I'm going to click ''Okay,'' and this is exactly what it should look like, and this is my pattern. I'm going to select these two layers here, and I'm going to choose, ''Select All''. I'll choose ''Edit'', ''Define pattern''. It's called Winter sparrow, which is the name of the file, I'm actually going to call it sparrow. I'll click, ''Okay,'' and this is my pattern. One of the things with patterns in Photoshop is that they're stored inside Photoshop, so it's going to be there next time you start up Photoshop. It's also going to be accessible to a new image. This wouldn't be the case in all other programs. I'll choose ''File'' and then ''New'', and I'm going to make a piece of scrapbook paper here. I'm going to use a document that is the size of scrapbook paper, 3,600 pixels by 3,600 pixels at 300 pixels per inch. I'm using RGB color and I'll click, ''Okay. '' This is my new document and I'm going to add my pattern. I don't know how big I want my pattern to base. I'm going to use a technique for filling this document with a pattern that will allow me to scale the pattern. That is Layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. I'll click ''Okay.'' One of the things I love about this pattern fill dialogue is that it defaults to the very last pattern that you created so it goes ''Okay,'' when you just made this pattern maybe this is the one you want to use. This is how the pattern looks. If I want more birds, I can take the scale down to about 75. Well, that looks pretty good to me, so I'll click ''Okay.'' Now I'm going to put a layer below the pattern by holding the ''Control'' or ''Command'' key and click this ''New Layer'' icon and a new layer goes in here and I'm going to fill it with my color, which at the moment is this blue. It's a foreground color so I'll press ''Alt'' ''Backspace'' option ''Delete'' on the Mac. Here is my pattern made up of my painterly birds. Now if you want to recolor the birds, you can do so. We could add a tint to it. For example, I'm going to click on the top layer, which is the patent layer, which has the bird pattern in it. I'll choose Layer, New adjustment layer, Hue Saturation and I'll click ''Okay.'' This allows me to colorize this bird because I can click the colorize option and then colorize the birds. But right now it's colorizing not only the birds but also my background layer. Well, I can limit this colorization effect just to the birds by clicking this icon here, which creates a clipping mask. Now I can go and select an appropriate color for the birds. Something that contrasts nicely with the background color. I think the background colors probably not rich enough, but I can adjust that in a minute. It's going to bring this up to a nice sort of brown sepia tone. Let's go back to this layer here, and let's go and find a better blue. There's a fun way to turn a photograph into a pattern in Photoshop, you will isolate the bird and then simplify the photo using a median filter. Use the cut-out filter to give it this sort of painterly look and then convert it to black and white. Once you've created your pattern swatch, you can then go ahead and create a document from that pattern swatch. Of course, it's going to be available in the pattern swatches in Photoshop next time you open and launch Photoshop. Your project for this class is going to be to go and find a photo to use. Try and find something with not too much background detail so you don't spend a lot of time cutting out the object. Then go and create it as this sort of painterly object, create as a pattern, and then fill a new document with it. Post a piece of your final image in the class project area. I hope that you've enjoyed this course and you've learned something about creating patterns in Photoshop and also altering photos so that they look a little bit more painterly and a little bit less like fire hose. If you did enjoy this course and if you see a prompt to recommend it to others, please give it a thumbs up. This helps other people to identify this as a class that they may want to take and if you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and I look at and comment on 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.