iPad Art: Make Mesmerising Kaleidoscopic Bitmap & Vector Patterns | Nic Squirrell | Skillshare

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iPad Art: Make Mesmerising Kaleidoscopic Bitmap & Vector Patterns

teacher avatar Nic Squirrell, Artist and illustrator

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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 (27m)
    • 1. About this class

    • 2. Kaleidomatic

    • 3. Adobe Capture CC

    • 4. Exporting from Adobe Capture CC

    • 5. Using the pattern in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

    • 6. Using the pattern in Graphic

    • 7. Comparing the different tile properties

    • 8. Final thoughts & project

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About This Class


Kaleidoscopic patterns are captivating and really fun to make from your photographs, sketches, paintings and digital art. 

In this class we will be looking at some simple ways of making these beautiful Boho style patterns on your iPad or phone, and how to use them to make high resolution seamless raster and vector pattern tiles for surface pattern design, and which you can also use in your digital images as dazzling textures, backgrounds or collage elements.

We will be using both the Kaleidomatic and the Adobe Capture apps. 

It’s quick, it’s fun and very addictive.

This class is suitable for beginners, and although I show you how to use the tiles in Adobe PS and AI and in Graphic for iPad, these are not a necessity for the class.

Do feel free to share your images on social media using the hashtag #nicsquirrellskillshare. I may share some of them too, so if you’d rather I didn’t please let me know.

Don’t forget to follow me to be kept up to date with my new classes!

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Music credit: Alice In the City by Jeris (c) copyright 2013 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/VJ_Memes/43424 Ft: Orrisroot

Links to the apps used in this class in the App Store:

Kaleidomatic by Stuffmatic

Adobe Capture CC by Adobe

Graphic for iPad by Picta, Inc (optional)

Meet Your Teacher

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Nic Squirrell

Artist and illustrator

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I am an artist and illustrator living in Kent, England.

I studied Creative Visual Art & 3D Design at the University of Greenwich and loved every minute of it.

My illustrations are on many products from prints to suitcases and everything in between.

I love drawing & painting on my iPad as well as using traditional media, particularly watercolour.

If anything stays still long enough, I will draw on it.

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I'm up to!

Nic Squirrell's website

Nic Squirrell on Society6

@NicSquirrell on Instagram

Squirrell Designs Facebook page

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1. About this class: Hello, I'm Nick. I'm an artist and surface patent designer. I like to do as much as possible on my iPad. Kaleidoscopic patterns are captivating and really fun to make from your photograph, sketches, paintings, and digital art. In this class, we'll be looking at some simple ways of making these beautiful Bohemian style patterns on your iPad or iPhone. How to make high resolution, seamless raster and vector patterned arts, the surface pattern design, which you can also use in your digital images as dazzling textures, backgrounds, or collage elephants. We'll be using both the collider metric and the Adobe capture apps. It's quick, it's fun, and it's very addictive. Let's get started. 2. Kaleidomatic: Kaleidomatic is a simple to use but really useful app which makes high-resolution pixel based kaleidoscopic patterns and pattern tiles from your camera or from camera roll. I've put a link to kaleidomatic in the app store, in the about and projects sections of the class, and you can use this on your iPhone or your iPad, but for this class I'll be demonstrating it on my iPad. Before we open the app, there are a couple of things we can do to make life easier. Go to the iPad or phone settings and scroll down to the Kaleidomatic app. I'm going to make sure that the photos are on region, so that I can save my patterns to my camera roll and so that I can use pictures of my camera roll and switch the camera on for same reason, and I want to show the resolution information. That's going to give us a little indication on the screen of the size of our patterns that we've been working with. The reference point density, I'm going to leave mine at 300 dpi because that's what I normally work at. The dimension unit, I'm going to choose inches because I'm mainly working for the American market, and they work in inches. You can choose whichever if you like. If you're using your phone, you'll need to scroll down to find this bit. The image size limit. By default mine is on 4000 pixels, I'm going to change that to 8000 pixels, which is pretty large, I do work very large. If you find that this gives you problems because it does depend on your device and on how much memory you have available, then take you back down. Let's open the app and have a look. By default it opens with the camera active, and this is actually my face. With the camera on as you move, of course, your image will change, so if you want to freeze it in order to use the image, you just tap on the 'I' icon down here, and that freezes your picture. Along the bottom you've got various bits and pieces. There is, this picture of the eye with the square and above it there's a little small plus which is a little bit hard to see pending on what's behind it. So I'm going to tap on the plus, and this gives you various options for your picture sources. You've got the camera, which is what is on now, you can use the camera with the flash, you can take a selfie which I think could be horrific some, we're going to show you that, and you can go to the album, which is what I'm going to do right now. I'm going to choose this image which I've made quickly and procreate just to demonstrate how the app works, and here it is opened up in the Kaleidomatic app. Let me show you a few things you can do. You can pinch to zoom out, and this will give you a much better idea of how your pattern looks. Along the top here are the pixel dimensions. This one is 5997 by 8000 pixels, that's the entire screen, and that comes out at 20 times 26.7 inches at 300 dpi. So it's quite handy Information. Along here on the top right is a question mark, and that will give you a little bit of information, and it says, "Touch the patterns, swipe, pinch and rotate, press down one finger to stop all movement," and there are also some pro tips. Double-tap the pattern to toggle full-screen mode, it gets rid of all the full bits and pieces around the edges. Tab again to get back, long press the pattern to show the composition guides. So have a long press, and there they are. I don't tend to use these, but you might like them, and it's telling you about enabling the resolution which we've already done so by got it. I'll just zoom in a little bit, you can scroll, which is handy if you're quite zoomed in, so you can get a better idea of it, then you can twist with two fingers, and that gives you the really kaleidoscopic effect. In fact you can do that quickly and then let go, it carries on. If you put one finger on, that'll stop it, doesn't stop it immediately. So if you want to go back to a bit that you've missed, just twist back the other way and it'll get back to it, if there's something that you particularly liked. Let's have a look through this. If you want to change the photo to a different one, just press down here, it'll take you back to your album. So next thing along is vanilla. That's what it says at the moment because that's what it's on, so I'm going to tap on that. These are the filters, so vanilla just means it's exactly as it was with no filter applied. That lacrosse is dry, which is a grayscale, and there's X-ray, looks like a load of aliens. Obviously, these will all look different depending on what your initial image was. Then if you scroll across, there are a whole bunch of filters which you can buy. The good thing is you got a preview of what they're going to look like. So you can try before you buy, and then even further, there are psychedelic filters. Certainly go back to vanilla, and then the next thing along at the moment says mirrors, that's because at the moment the mirror pattern is enabled. So you have a variety of different persons you can choose environment, within these patterns, you can still move your original image around to get different variations. So there's so many things you can do, and then again, there are some paid-for versions which I don't have right now, but maybe quite good to say, maybe I will. Once you have one that you like, I'm going to choose this one and I'm going to stop it moving by putting one finger down, and then the last thing you can do is, you can press this little plus switch just knew this. So you can see it, this little plus down here it gives you the choices of how you're going to use your final pattern. So the moment it's on full screen. If I were to take the photo now using the camera, I'm going to get exactly what's on the screen. The next one is square, It just optimizes it, if you want to use it on something like Instagram for example, so if I take a photo with that, it's going to come out just as that square portion that's shown on the screen, and then the last one, which is I'm going to find most useful, is the surface pattern designer is repeatable. This is going to give you a perfectly repeating tile. It's not centered at the moment, but you can move it around, doesn't matter because however you have it, it will repeat perfectly. If I put it on here, you can see that all the corners on this bit, and if I move it over, you can see that the piece that goes onto the square here is exactly the same as the piece that goes off the screen here. Let's pick this block at the top is the same as this block at the bottom. Then you've got your information about it up here. The tile size is 8000 pixels square. She is pretty good quite large. It's 26.7 times 26.7 inches at 300 dpi size, pretty massive, this is why you may possibly, depending on what you're doing, want to go back and set the maximum size little smaller. That's good for me. I'm going to take the photo of that and will save that to my camera roll as a repeating tile. So it tells you that it's been saved to camera roll, and their choices were vanilla and lemons for the filters, and you've got the export up here, similar tap on that. That's going to give me ways of exporting my tile. So I'm going to save mine to dropbox. You can see that this could be really handy. There are so many possibilities. I'm just going to show you a few more that I've made using other pictures. Let's pop in a stripe, and cause it looks very different from the blocks that I had earlier. This is a photo I took in Plumas at various bits of faded rope from fishing boats. So it's quite interesting to see how the app handles these. If you zoom right in, you can see that it manages not to have sharp edges where it joins, so it's quite clever. You can do quite a lot with your photographs as well as images that you've made digitally. This was a really close up macro picture of my cats fluff. Let's see what happens with that. There are lots of things that you can do with this. Just for fun, some home grunt tomatoes. Tomato are nightmares maybe. This is a picture from my sketchbook, that I did quite a long time ago. I'm just going to use a portion of it because if I use the whole thing, a lot of the details is going to get lost, and this is a great way of using pictures and sketches that you already have. I'm going to take a screenshot of that. The images and picture is quite large, so to me, it's not going to do it any harm at all, and then I'm going to bring that into kaleidomatic. Of course what you get will automatically coordinate with your original, you can get some really pretty results. This is actually my favorite way of using kaleidomatic. You can see there are so many possibilities of different things that you can do with this app, and I hope you have as much fun with it as I do. In the next class, we're going to be looking at the Adobe Capture app, and all the various things you can do with that for making patterns. 3. Adobe Capture CC: So am going to go to the App store and download the Adobe Capture App. I put a link to it in the about and the Project section of the class and when you open it up, if you haven't signed in before, it'll want to your Adobe ID. If you already have some of the other Adobe apps, if you have Photoshop and Illustrator in particular, you'll be able to sync your patterns through to there. So for that reason you need to sign in using the same ID. So it opens up and its opened up on the looks screen. So you can see that down here. I'm going to scroll through. This app does offer a lot lot of things. But today we're just going to be doing patterns. So it opens up on the camera. This is just one of my old paintings. You can move around until you get a composition you like and when you are ready to tap the screen to freeze and tap again to unfreeze. When it's not frozen, there's a couple of options you have. You can turn this around to use the front camera. Here's my ceiling, and you can use a flash if you have one. You can also use pictures of your camera roll, which is what I'm going to do. I'm going to go back in and pick the one that we were looking at before. So I'm going back to my zoomed in sketchbook picture. So there it is. This absolutes available for the phone. Of course it will look slightly differently there, but it has all the same options. So I put my picture in, I can't move it around on the screen or do anything in particular with it in this screen. But we do have some options down here. So the first one is this little color palette here. So you've got the color option which is highlighted at the moment. There's also gray-scale or black and white. Then slide as page around here so I can change quite how much is included or not. Next one down is this little square here and that shows that I'm going to be taking a bitmap or raster image and the other option is to do vector image. So we'll come back to that in a minute. We'll take a vector one and the raster one and then we can compare. So I'm going to leave that on the pixel version. The next one down gives you some different pattern options. This one at the bottom I rarely use because it's just full of sharp edges but in some circumstances that might work well. So I'm going to go back to this one and then at the bottom here, you have a lot of adjustments that you can make. So you have got exposure, highlights, shadows, saturation, brightness, contrast. Then we've got line and all of these you can change. You've got little sliders along the bottom here, so you can do lots of things with this, you've got a blur, you've got comic, did I miss one out? Pix-elated, didn't mention there's crystal as edge, there is point, invert and post dry. So you can play around with your image and see what works. I'm just going to leave mine as it is. So once you're happy with it, you press the tick and it takes you to the editing page. So the triangle is showing you the piece of the image that's being used and with the different patterns, you're going to get different shapes here. You will see dial here that you can rotate and so it changes the image itself. You can zoom in a little bit. You can move your image about. So you can play with it until you get something you like. There's also a rotate down here that will rotate it by 90 degrees and if you just preferred it, how it was, you can revert here. So once you're happy with it, you press "Save" up at the top and save that one and it's gone back so that we can do some more. So let's do some more and then we'll see what happens afterwards in a minute. So I'm going to do the same thing again. I'm going to bring in that same image on my camera roll. The reason I'm using the same image with these is just so that we can do a bit of a comparison with the pattern we ended up from paradigmatic and also we can compare the vector and the raster versions of these. So let's make a vector version and with the vector version, a slider has appeared down here and this tells you how many colors you're including. It does make a difference to how the image looks obviously if you have two colors. Sometimes you need to slide it around to get it to show the correct image. So I'm going to keep mine fairly high, but it's completely up to you how you do this, and everything else is the same. So you still have the choice of color, gray-scale, black and white, and the different patterns and the adjustments. So I'm going to leave it as it is and I'm going to press the tick and am going to leave all that as it is as well and press "Save". I don't want to do anymore. So I'm going to press this cross here to go back out into my libraries. So here are my two patterns in the library. This one on the left says Vector SVG. So it saved it as a vector file, as an SVG, which is a scalable vector graphics file and then this one is a bitmap, which is a raster image and it saved this as a PNG. You can move those to a different library if you want to. There is a down arrow here. We've got all sorts of different libraries and assets. You can make yourself a new library by pressing "Plus" and renaming your library. I've named mine Skill Share already, so I should leave that and go back to it. So now we need to export these and see what we can do with them. 4. Exporting from Adobe Capture CC : If you go to the three dots by one of your patterns, I've chosen the raster pattern this time, and you've got some options here. You can edit your pattern, which will take you back to the last screen. I'm going to close that down. You can rename it. At the moment it's called pattern 1. You can duplicate it, you can move it to different library and you can delete it. What we're interested in right now is sharing it, so you have various different choices here. If you choose Share, you can share a pattern link and then you can send that to somebody. You can message it and mail it etc. You can also share it to whoever you want to. If you do Export As, this is the bit I tend to use the most because I want the extracted pattern tile, which will then repeat rather than the sample of the repeated pattern here. With this one, you only have one choice because it's a bitmap raster image and that's pattern tile. I'm going to choose that. Again, it's giving me different ways of exporting this. I'm going to save it to my files. You can also save it to your camera roll. This hasn't saved the tile, this has saved the sample pattern. The last option is open in, and you get the choice to open it in Illustrator or Photoshop. If you're sitting near enough to your desktop computer, it will open that up. At the top it says sending to Photoshop. We're going to come back and export the vector pattern as well. It's got all the same options but if we choose Export As, it has pattern tile. We've also got SVG and PDF. If we export it as a pattern tile, it's going to export it as a PNG, the same as it did with the other one, so we'll try that just so that we can compare them. I'm going to go back and export it has both an SVG and a PDF. The last thing I'm going to do is open it in Illustrator. 5. Using the pattern in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator: Here's my PNG file, the bitmap master file, that's being sent from capture SCC through to headshot. I can use this by going to Edit, Define Pattern, and if I make a new file, I'll made this 3,000 by 3,000 pixels, which is a 10-inch square 300 dpi. I'm going to go into Layer, New Fill Layer, and then choose "Pattern." I'm going to say "Okay." This is filling it with my pattern. The moment it's a 100 percent, but I can just take that down. I would never make it bigger because you can see it gets very blurry and pixelated. I'm going to press "Okay." Another way of using it is to go to Window, and Libraries. Then you click on the library that you want to achieve, my case is Skillshare, and here are my patterns. I've got the vector SVG pattern available and also for bitmap PNG. Then to bring my empty file to the front, I'm just going to click on Bitmap PNG, and it just automatically fills it for you. It's very similar, you can still scale it, so let's pop it back up to 100 percent. You can use this in so many ways. You can mask parts of your image if you want to, you can use it just to film a small selection and so on. Let's have a look at the one in Illustrator. This is how it's imported it as an SVG file. I can use this as a swatch as it is by selecting all of that and just dragging it over into my swatches section. If you don't have the swatches showing, you can go to Window and just take Swatches. Then if I zoom out here, and let's just make us a larger square or switches the circle. Let's just drag out a large lips. Then if you click on your Swatch, that fills it with the pattern. I'm just going to make that white movement. Then as before, I'm going to go and show my library by going Window, Libraries. There's my library down the moment there. I've got, I'm in the correct library moment. If I hold over the patents, it'll tell me what they are, so that's the Bitmap class to one. This one is the vector SVG. I'm just going to click on that. it's come out really tiny. But it has filled it with my pattern. We obviously need to scale the pattern. If I just move these handles, its just going to scholarly objects, which isn't really what we want. Let me go to Objects and we go to Transform, and I'm going to go to Scale. The choices here on uniform, I'll leave that like that so it keeps it. In proportion I'll just Scale Strokes and Effects. I don't want to transform the objects, I want to transform the pattern. So now I'm going to change the scale, it's so small, let's make it a 700 percent and see what that looks like, and turn the Preview on much more better. I'm going to say, "Okay." 6. Using the pattern in Graphic: You can also use the pattern on your iPad by going into the graphic app. I'm going to choose "Import". Do this with both the PNG and the PDF file. The process is exactly the same whichever of your files you're using. I'm just going to use the PDF file. I'm going to import it as vector objects. Let's go and have a look. Here's my pattern. It doesn't really matter whether it's vector or PNG for this process because it's exactly the same process. I'm just going to press on the color chip here, at the top, I'm going to choose "Pattern" and I am going to choose "New Pattern from Selection". If you can see it very well, but it's gone in there. Then I'm just going to make a large circle and again, I'm going to tap the color chip. I'm going to get pattern and I'm going to tap on our pattern. Then I can change the scale of the pattern and I can change the opacity of the pattern. I hope that gives you a little bit of an idea of how you can use your patterns. 7. Comparing the different tile properties: Let's compare our pattern tiles just to satisfy my inner geek. On the left, we've got the tiles from Adobe Capture. The top one is the Bitmap PNG file, which is a good size for a pattern swatch. It's 2660 by 1536 pixels, which works out at 300 PPI as 8.87 inches by 5.12 inches. The lower ones were made as a vector pattern in a Adobe Capture. Are pretty small, and the one that I then exported as a PNG is probably too small to be of much use. If I wanted a Bitmap pattern in Capture, I would make it a Bitmap to start with like we did with the one above. Those three came out at 665 by 384 pixels, 2.2 inches by 1.3 inches. That doesn't matter really with the vector ones because they can be scaled up and that's what I've done on the right-hand side. The top one is the Kaleidomatic Bitmap tile. It's a slightly different shape to the one that I demonstrated with because I just used a different pattern and they all have slightly different shape tiles. I wanted something that I could compare. That one came out at 2887 by 5000 pixels, which is 9.62 inches by 16.67 inches. That's really big for a pattern tile, but you can always scale it down, so it gives you a lot of options to start large. On below it is the Adobe Capture vector tile, which has been scaled up to the same size. They look a little bit different, really because the lower one was vectorized, so you get slightly different effects. The top one is more true to my original drawing, but I can't particularly say that I like one better than the other. They both work very well, and it just depends what you want to use them for. 8. Final thoughts & project: We now have the knowledge to make perfect seamless repeating kaleidoscopic pic pattern tiles in both bitmap and vector formats. I hope you enjoyed it and we'll make use of this in your workflow. I use the pattern I made from my sketches for products in my print on demand stores and if you want to know more about that, I have two classes on print on demand for artists. Please post your pattern tile or pattern sample in the project section. I do always look at them and I love to see them and if you enjoy this class, please do leave a review. If you want to be kept up to date with my new classes, please be sure to follow me. Do feel free to post your patterns on social media using the hashtag Nicsquirrell Skillshare. I might pose some of your work there too. Thank you for joining me and bye for now.