Create a Half Drop Repeat Pattern in Photoshop using Smart Objects | Mel Armstrong | Skillshare

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Create a Half Drop Repeat Pattern in Photoshop using Smart Objects

teacher avatar Mel Armstrong, Illustrator, Pattern Addict & Teacher

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

    • 1.

      1 : Hello!


    • 2.

      2 : Your project


    • 3.

      3 : Setting up your document


    • 4.

      4 : Creating a pattern tile


    • 5.

      5 : Using Smart Objects


    • 6.

      6 : Extracting the repeat


    • 7.

      7 : Applying your Repeat to a Product Mockup


    • 8.

      8 : Uploading your Design to Spoonflower


    • 9.

      9 : Final Thoughts


    • 10.

      Bonus Video: Offset crop fix


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About This Class

Are you a surface pattern designer and always wanted to know how to create seamless repeats in Adobe Photoshop?  Do you create patterns in Adobe Illustrator and always wanted to learn how to do it in Photoshop? Join me in this fun class to learn how to use Smart Objects to create seamless complex repeats in Adobe Photoshop.

This class is suitable for all surface pattern designers or artists with a basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop. In this class, I’ll take you through my process of creating a seamless repeat pattern that can be used to apply to products such as fabric, bags, stationery and much much more.

Some of the topics you’ll learn about include…

  • Pattern Creation - create your pattern using your own icons/motifs
  • Smart Objects - learn what they are and how to use them in pattern design.
  • Pattern tile  - learn how to extract your seamless pattern tile from the design
  • Applying your repeat pattern - apply your repeat pattern to a mockup
  • Spoonflower - Upload your design to Spoonflower to create fabric, wallpaper or giftwrap.

Adobe Illustrator is great for creating patterns , but Adobe Photoshop is best suited to artists who use traditional media or digital artists that use use various texture to create a traditional painterly look which is difficult to achieve in Adobe Illustrator.  

For your class project you will use your own artwork to create a seamless pattern using the half drop repeat using the technique that I’ve shown you.  It can be any theme or style.

 As a bonus video I’ll show you how to use your repeat pattern to upload to Spoonflower to create fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap.

If you post your work on Social Media, please use the hashtag #melarmstrongskillshare so I can like, share and comment on your work.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mel Armstrong

Illustrator, Pattern Addict & Teacher

Top Teacher

Hello and greetings!

I'm a dedicated illustrator and surface pattern designer hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. My passion lies in crafting beauty, whether it's through illustration, patterns, sewing, or even assembling IKEA flat packs (yes, really).

Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I found my way to Skillshare. After discovering this treasure trove of learning, I not only delved into various classes but also found my... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. 1 : Hello!: Hi, everyone. My name is Melissa, and I'm a surface pattern designer and illustrator living in the beautiful Southern Highlands in Australia. In this class, I'm going to show you a technique that I use to create complex repeat patterns in Adobe Photoshop. I will teach you how to use a half drop repeat using smart objects to create a seamless pattern. I will then show you how to apply that pattern to mockups. As a bonus, I'll show you how to create a file specifically for spring flower to apply your patent fabric, gift wrap, or even wallpaper. So please join me in my class. I can't wait to see your designs. Let's get started. 2. 2 : Your project: Your project for this class is to create your own seamless half drop rotate in Adobe Photoshop. Use icons that you've created to create your repeat using the techniques that I'm about to show you. You can also apply your final design to a mock-up that I have supply or you can create your own mock-up or buy one online using one of the links that I will provide for you. I can't wait to see what you come up with. 3. 3 : Setting up your document: To begin to create a new document, I go to File, New, and we need to create a square document, so I'm going to create one at 12 by 12 inches. You can create one at any size you like, but this is the one I kind of do all the time, depending on what I'm creating really. Create a resolution of 300 DPI, and you can select RGB or CMYK for color. Now we need to create a guide for our patent tile. So to do this, we're going to select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and we're going to use Fixed Size and type in six by six inches, which is half the size of the actual document. So if your document was 16 inches, then you would put an eight by eight inches. Now, to create the diamond, we just need to click in the middle of the document anywhere, and actually, first we need to put it on a new layer, yeah, and then fill it. So Edit, and then Fill, or command F5. Select 50 percent Gray and 10 percent Opacity. We need to rotate that to make a diamond and put it in the middle. So command T, hold down the Shift key, and just rotate that to make a diamond, and then put it in the middle of your document. Now we're going to create another layer, rename that one first to Guide so I know what it is, and then create a new layer. Then I'm going to drag in some elements for our patterns. I had these ones here. I'm going to select them all by holding down the Shift key and then just dragging them over into our file. They're going to be too big so I will reduce the size by holding down the command T, or Control T, and just hold show the Shift key and reduce the size. 4. 4 : Creating a pattern tile: All right, now what we're going to do is create our pattern. First, I'm going to lock that layer, the guide layer because we don't want to move that one. What we're going to do is we're going to put our pattern within that diamond. It can go over the edges. I'll start by just playing around and placing the icons on various parts of the tile. You can go a little bit over the edge and later on when we put it all together, we can come back and adjust. Instead of overlapped, just don't look right, which is the the benefit of doing it with smart objects. I'll show you that in the next lesson, how easy that is. Now, I'm just going to create this tile. I'm going to speed it up. Put some music on, and let you sit back and watch the creation of our pattern tile. I'll see you in a minute. I think we are done. In the next lesson, I'm going to teach you all about smart objects and creating the repeat pattern with this pattern tile. 5. 5 : Using Smart Objects: Okay. In this lesson, we're going to use smart objects to create our design. The first thing we need to do is get rid of that guide that we created. We don't need that anymore, so we'll just "Delete" that layer. Then what I normally do is group all those layers into one group. Now I like to create a copy just in case I want to keep that original one we had, but for the moment we don't need it. With the new copy of that layer of that group. Right-click it and click on "Convert to Smart Object". Let's just wait for that to create. Now, what that does is it creates a smart object, which if you double-click it, you can go in and edit to your tile, and what we'll do is we'll create a number of tiles around this. When you update this one, the original one, it will go and update all of the others. You don't have to move everything around. It just makes it a whole lot easier. If we go back here. First thing I'll do is I'm going to create a tile down the bottom. I'm going to duplicate that first tile. Actually, I'm going to rename that original one to middle, just so I know which one it is. Then the second one, I'm going to rename it to middle bottom. Then I'm going to go up to Filter under Offset. I'm going to change the horizontal to zero, and I'm going to change the vertical. Normally it's around 2,500, but that looks pretty close. You can use your little slider here to just adjust it to wherever you like. You just want it to sit nicely at the bottom. I'm going to go with that 2,500 there. Then click "Okay". Now we're going to do the same. We're going to put this bottom one up the top. Duplicate that middle bottom and rename it to middle top. Then if you double-click on that "Offset" it will bring back up that box, and all you need to do is change the vertical to a negative, and that will put it at the top. All right. The next one we're going to do is the bottom right here. I'm going to grab that middle bottom and duplicate it. Rename it to middle right. Double-click on the "Offset". Now, I'm going to change that vertical to be half of that 2,500, so that will be 1,250. That will move it up halfway, and then we're going to put it in a horizontal number. Just put it in 1,800. I think it'll be close. Then we'll just use the slider to get it to a position that I like. It can be a bit tricky sometimes, but why not? I'm going to change it to 1,400. Now you can see there's a few things here that would need to be modified because they're overlapping, but we can do that when we've got all our tiles up. I will click that. Now before we go any further, we need to write down some numbers. I'm going to write down the horizontal number. I'm going to write down H equals 1,400. I'm also going to write down the original vertical number. We'll go back to that middle bottom one, double-click on it and grab that number there. The 2,500. Vertical is equals 2,500 and just have them written down for later. Now we are going to do this tile over here. I'm going to grab that middle right and duplicate it. Double-click on the "Offset". This time I'm going to go and change the horizontal to a negative and then we'll put it over there. I'm going to rename that to bottom left. Now we're going to do these top ones here, so we'll do this top left first. I'm going to duplicate the bottom left and double-click on "Offset", and then change the vertical to a negative. Then we're going to create a duplicate of this one and put it up here. We should just rename this one first, that's top left. I'm going to grab the bottom right and duplicate it. Change the vertical to a negative. There we go. Much better. We'll rename that to top right. Okay, we've only got two left to go, these two middle ones. To do this, I'm going to grab the middle tile and duplicate it. Rename it to middle right. I'll have to go back up to the Filter and other than Offset, or you can see that it's just put itself at the top there. You can just click it there. Now, I'm going to clear the vertical on this one and I'm going to double that horizontal number. So that'll be 2,800 and that will put it perfectly over there. I'm going to duplicate that middle one again to do the left side, rename it to middle left. Go out to Filter Offset and we will change the horizontal to minus negative, and that will put it over on the left-hand side. There you have it. Now there's a few things that we need to fix. You can see there's a few things overlapping I don't really like. There's an overlapping of few dots down here that are overlapping. This is where the smart objects come into play. I also think I'm going to move this guy here, maybe down into this area here because he's too close to the goose up there. We go into this middle one and double-click it, and that will open up our smart objects. Anything I change in here will apply to all those tiles in there. The first thing I'm going to do is move this guy here, down into this spot. Just hang in with me for a minute while I do that. Okay, let's see how that looks now. I will save that. Then let's have a look. As you can see, it's moved it on all the tiles. Now there's a few little things I want to clean up. This here, and this overlapping here, and this purple flower. It's a bit too close to him there so. Let's go and fix those up. Let's make that a bit smaller. Save that smart object and that will update the main pattern. Okay. I think that's almost there. There still needs just a couple here that I need to move. Ready. I will just get rid of those ones. Drop here. Bring those ones in, these two. Select that again. All right. Let's have a look at that. All right, I think I'm happy with that. In the next lesson, I will show you how to extract the repeat pattern from that document. 6. 6 : Extracting the repeat: In this lesson, I am going to show you how to extract the repeat from new document from your design. The first thing I do is I grab all the smart layers and I group them, and then I'm going to duplicate them. I'm going to hide the original one. I might rename that to original so that they know. Original smart objects. I just do this so that I have a record of where I've gone and if I need to go back. You don't normally because you've got it all there, but I just like to do that. With this new group, I'm going to merge it. Now I'm going to extract that repeat. Now to do that, you need those numbers that you wrote down in the last lesson, the vertical and the horizontal one. Now, go up to your rectangular marquee tool and change that to fixed size. In the width, I want you to type in your horizontal number times two. If your horizontal was 1400, then you would put in 2800, which is what mine is. I'm going to put 2800 and px for pixel. The height is the vertical number that you wrote down. In my case, it was 2500 pixels, then just click somewhere up in the left-hand corner there and you can see the mark here has shown you where that repeat is. You can see if we look at where that top it is, and then down here, you can say that's where it repeats and then the same course this way. It's just on the head there and then repeats over there. Now, if you click on the edge of the marquee, you can move that around to a spot that you like. It doesn't matter because it all repeats. This is the one that you're going to extract and keep for your repeat passion. Once you're happy with that, go up to edit and define pattern, and give it a name. We're going to use this later for our mock-up. Click okay, and then we're going to copy this and put it into a new document. Edit, copy, and then go to file new. It has remembered that I mentioned that you have the 2800 by 2500. Create and then edit, paste, and that is your repeat file. You can save that however you like. I normally save it as a PSD first. I always put repeat on it so you know it's a repeat file. I also like to save it as a JPEG, and that is it. In the next lesson, I will show you how to use that repeat file to apply to a mock-up. 7. 7 : Applying your Repeat to a Product Mockup: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to apply your design to these notebooks. This is a mock-up that I have created. I actually sell this on Creative Market, but I've given it to you guys for free during my class. You're free to do with it what you like. You can put your design on it and showcase it on [inaudible] or on your website, wherever you like. First of there's two notebooks here, this one on the left and on the right. We can apply your design to the cover of that. Also to the back of or the front of this one, which is just the outside of it there that you see, and you can place your own little design in here. You might want to put a sketch of something that you've drawn. You've also got this pencil here. I've included the ability to change the color of that to match your design. These are all done via Smart Objects. Let's go ahead and apply our design to this notebook here on the left. Over my last panel here, I'm going to open up the notebook on the left and go down to front cover design. Now that is a smart object, so just double-click in it. We don't want this text there so we just delete that one. Now you can either have just a color, you can change that to any color you like, or if we had that, we can add a passion. Just open up, double-click to open up your pattern field and select the pattern. As you can see I've got quite a few patterns in here, and this is the one we just did so we'll put that one in there. Now to reduce the size of it, if you double-click on it and thereby take that down to 50 percent, then it's going to be a bit smaller. Then we can close that and save it. It is applied to that notebook. We can also change the color of the elastic in the bookmark ribbon in both of these. To do that, if we go to here and find the layer called elasticribbon, double-click on the color there and you can just change it to any color you like, or you can just pick one from your design like that. [inaudible]. Try this one,and just play around until you find something you like. Just stay with yellow, and then let's do the notebook on the right. G over to the notebook on the right group and find the cover design which is the spit just going around the outside and double-click on that. Again, I'm not going to use a color, I am going to use a design and it's already selected for me. Change that one to 50 percent as well, and then close that and save it. You can see the design just in the outside there, underneath the pages. I should change the elasticribbon to the same color as this one over here, so that it matches. We can place whatever we like in here. Let's go in and we'll get rid of that. Type some message in here [inaudible] and close and save. Let's do the pencil. So go to the pencil layer, click on the color, and then just select the color. I might go with yellow, and there. I would recommend saving that for the Web as Lawrence JP, and you're ready to go. 8. 8 : Uploading your Design to Spoonflower: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to extract your repeat pattern into a file that you can upload to spoonflower to create wool paper, fabric and gift wrap among other things. Open up your original pattern file. We're going to grab the repeat out of there again, so you go up to the marking tool and select it. You probably still have the same dimensions still on and just keep that there and click anywhere to create. Then the pattern is going down a bit. Control C or edit copy or Command C, sorry, to copy that and then create a new document. Now, it will remember, what dimensions you copied. So we'll leave that as is, but we're going to change the resolution to 150. Keep it at RGB as well. If you had an unseen marker, it should be RGB for the spoon flower. Create and then edit paste. Then we're going to save that. Now you can save it as a PNG, JPEG, or TIFF file for spoon plan. I like to use the TIFF anyway it just seems to work better. lake.birds.spoonflower2tiff because I've already got one there from previously and then save that. I'm going to keep all those defaults as well. Then I'm going to go over to spoonflower. Now if you haven't gotten an account. You can just go up to the right hand corner there and click on the Join button and join up. It's easy, it's free. Otherwise, if you've already got an account, just login. Then we're going to go to Design and Upload. Choose your file. I'm going to select that one we just created, you need to select this to say that you have the permission to use that design that it's yours. Then you click on the "Upload File" button. This can take a little while depending on how big your design is. You need to keep it under 40 megabytes, which is pretty generous, but just means it takes a little while to upload. Here it is. Now a few things you need to do once you've uploaded, give it a name, give it a description. I like to get a bit personal. So I quite often right in there where the inspiration came for this design and any other additional details, put them in there. Now make sure you tag it. If you're going to sell in spoonflower, tags are very important and allows people to find it. So this design, I'm going to write things like birds, lake, fauna, floral, et cetera. Down here you should choose, this is what the customer will see when they're looking through your design. So pick the one that looks the best and showcases your design. Sometimes it's the zoomed in version, the Swatch, or could be the Fat Quarter view, whichever one looks best. Now you can also just to double-check, that looks okay. I quite often go in here and just change it to Yard and you can see that repeats nicely in there. Change that back to the Fat Quarter. There was a lot to have a look and see what it looks like for the wool paper, and then the gift wrap. It's taking a little while to come up. Unfortunately, my internet speed is not so great. Now the thing you need to do, if you want people to be able to see it in your gallery, you need to select that checkbox there. You might be able to sell it until you've actually ordered a sample. There's the gift box, it's come back up now. You need to order a proof before you can actually sell it on spoonflower the best way to do that is after you've got a few designs uploaded, you can put them into a collection and buy a whole lot of swatches together as one [inaudible] and that makes it a little bit cheaper. That's it. 9. 9 : Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking my class. I really hope you enjoyed it and learned something new. I would love to see your designs, so please upload them to the project gallery and if you do upload your design to spring flower, make sure you include a link so that we can all go and have a look. Also, if you want to post on social media, please use the hashtag, melarmstrongskillshare. If you did find it a bit overwhelming, don't worry, over time you'll be able to master this technique. Didn't take me long so I'm sure it won't take you long either. Thank you, and don't forget to keep an eye out for my next class. See you then. 10. Bonus Video: Offset crop fix: Just want to share with you a quick video, to show you a problem that seems to have just started happening in Adobe Photoshop. I'm not sure if it's because it's been upgraded. I'm not sure but maybe it used to happen before, where your Smart Object group, when you use the filter offset and move it, it gets chopped off, which can be a problem. I'm going to show you what, what I mean by that. I've got my tile here, my Smart Object over here, I'm going to drag and duplicate that and then filter, other, offset, maybe down the bottom. If I grab that, you can see that it's been cropped, which is a bit of a pain really. Then if I was to move it up there, you may not even see it. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. It's very random. The only way to get around this is to change the canvas size. If you go up to image, canvas size and bump it up, I'm going to go with 36 inches. You can see it's still there. It hasn't actually been chopped up. Chopped off, sorry. Then you can continue on and create your pattern. There you go. You've just got an extra large document which you can then go and re-scale by clicking on the crop tool and then scaling it down.