Get Smart: Add Layers to Patterns Using Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop | Charnelle Barlow | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Get Smart: Add Layers to Patterns Using Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop

teacher avatar Charnelle Barlow, Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer

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

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.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      08 COLOR


    • 9.



  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Are smart objects really smart? Why yes... yes they are, but only if you know how to use them.

In this class you will learn what the function of a Smart Object is in Adobe Photoshop and how to use it to create luscious engaging layers within your pattern designs. By the end of this class you will know how to *create a repeat pattern, how to create a smart object, and why the use of one is absolutely necessary for adding layers to patterns. I'd love to see your progress, so please upload your process and finished pattern in the projects section.

* Since this class is focused on smart objects. It is suitable for advanced beginners because I do quickly show the entire pattern creation process. If you are in need of an in-depth explanation of each step (such as what an icon is) please refer to my class Paper to Pattern.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Charnelle Barlow

Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer


My name is Charnelle Pinkney Barlow and I am the lovely face behind Call Me Chartreuse. Originally from Poughkeepsie, Ny, I am an illustrator and surface designer that loves drawing as much as I love tea...and that's a whole lot of love!

The images I create are made to delight your inner child. These hand drawn whimsical patterns and illustrations are inspired by everyday objects, animals, and food.

I leave it to my artwork to tell my stories and make others smile. Whatever I'm drawing is usually a dead giveaway as to what I'm currently obsessed with (did someone say donuts??).

Thanks for stopping by!

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. 01 INTRODUCTION: everyone. My name's Sharon. L and I love smart objects. Strange, right? You don't really hear a lot of people saying that many people I talked to fund smart objects to be nothing more than a nuisance layer to be rast arised. And I must admit, I used to think that, too, until I found a way to use them to my advantage. In this class, you'll learn how to add stunning layers to your pattern designs using smart objects and Photoshopped. If you've always wondered what in the world smart objects are used for than this class is just what you need. 2. 02 WHAT IS A SMART OBJECT?: What is a smart object? Well, I'm glad you asked. A smart object is essentially a box within a box or, in this case, a file within a file. It is a layer that, in and of itself is a fully creditable file. Exhibit A. In this file, you can see that I have several layers, including my smart object layer. A smart object is easily recognizable by the file symbol on the layer preview. Other than that small symbol, a smart object looks and acts like any other layer in the pan. Now here's where things get interesting. Double click the preview, and it opens as a totally separate file, saving any changes made here like switching a color gets updated in the original file Raster as a smart object and it turns back into a regular layer. We'll get into how to make a smart object soon enough. But for now, let's move on to drawing our icon 3. 03 DRAWING YOUR ICONS: The theme for this project, if you choose to use it, is winter warmers. When it comes to drawing your icons, use whatever black and white media you have on hand. - The focus of your pattern is going to be on layering. Mark making is a great way to do this, so be sure to draw several pages of textures and marks as well once you have a lovely stack of new drawings scanning each page as a tiff at 300 BP I in grayscale. 4. 04 SKILLSHARE02 PATTERN BASICS: Now let's quickly go over how to isolate your lines and select your icons. First, open your scans and Photoshopped, making sure that they're in grayscale and rotating the image as necessary to clean up our image. We're gonna go to image adjustments levels, then click on the white eye dropper and click on the white background. This will bright in the white areas and get rid of any unwanted haziness. Use the black eye dropper to dark in your black lines. Next, go to the channels panel and command. Click on the Gray Channel preview. This selects the white pixels. Go to select an inverse the selection to select the grey pixels. Next, go back to the layers panel and create a new life. Turn your foreground. Fill color to black and on that new layer, fill in this election. Go to file, save as to save the image as a Photoshopped file. Teoh easily select your icons. Use the lasso tool to loosely trace around each drawing. Once selected, copy and paste it onto a new layer. Naming each layer makes them easier to identify and future steps. - Repeat these steps for each image you scan 5. 05 ARRANGING THE PATTERN SQUARE: By now, all of your icons should be isolated and on separate layers, create a new file that is six by six inches. 300 BP I an RGB color. Drag this new file to the scene between your workspace and the toolbar until a blue line appears. This creates a split screen, so it's easier to move icons from one file to the other. Play with orientation and scale as you begin dragging your main icons into this new five. Once your main icons are laid out, start layering and overlapping pieces. You're going to have to use your future vision for this because it's at this point where things may start to look like a big mess. But don't worry. This is all a part of the process. - I find that things are a little less messy. If I focus on layering my icons first and then adding in textures in the next step and no point in time will you have to merge all of your layers. So if you're still unsatisfied with your layout, don't worry. You'll be able to move things around at every step of the process so it doesn't have to be perfect Once your main squares roughly laid out, it's time to move on to the next step, converting to a smart object. 6. 06 CONVERT TO SMART OBJECT: before we get into creating the smart object, I first want to show you why you need a smart object for a densely layered pattern when creating a simpler pattern is at this point that I'd normally more job my layers in order to apply the offset filter. But here's the catch. You can't apply filters to more than one layer at a time. We have all this beautiful layering we need to preserve. Merging the layers just to apply filter would make it nearly impossible to cover overlapping areas. And this, my friends, is where the amazing nous that is the smart object comes into play. Let's go ahead and convert your square. First, Select all layers, head to your layer menu and scroll down to smart objects that we pause here for a second. You can see that two down from smart objects is the option to rast. Arise. This turns the smart object back into a regular layer. Okay, so go ahead and click. Convert to smart object. You have now created your very own smart objects. This preserves all of your layers while essentially merging them in tow. One layer double click the smart object toe open up the file that it created dialog box that pops up is just reminding you to choose file save in order to save the changes that you make instead of using file save as so that all changes made are saved to the same location. Now it's time to finish off our pattern square. 7. 07 SPLIT AND FILL: Once we have our original square consolidated into the smart object, it's time to split it up and fill it in. First, go to image and then image size and take no of your images with and height in pixels. Divide that number by two and write it down. Next, go to filter other and select offset in the dialogue box. Type in the number you wrote down, which is half of the images with and half of the images. Height set the undefined areas to wrap around and select. Okay, now this Waris blitz so that all the sides lineup This creates our repeat. Fill in the middle gaps with additional icons and textures. - As you're working on this, open up your smart object to rearrange and add to the original square. Remember to save it periodically to keep your main file up to date. When you're satisfied with your final square, go ahead and test your pattern to see how it looks as a repeat. To do this, select all your layers, select all go to edit and click on define pattern. Give it a name and hit OK, next de select an under layer go to new Phil Layer and select pattern this'll creates a new layer with the most recent pattern. Use the scale option to make a smaller and check to see that there are no gaps or holes in your hat. Once you're satisfied, it's time to move on to college. 8. 08 COLOR: when it comes to applying color, I like to set up a few different color palettes to choose from in a new document. To color your lines, locked the transparent pixels of the layer and fill with your foreground color. - I like to drag a smart object file in between the main file and the color palette to make a three way split screen used the same steps to color your layers. In the smart object, - I use the paintbrush to color in details. - I turn on the white background in the smart object file, so it's easier to see what I'm painting. Be sure to turn off the background before saving the smart object File paint on a new layer underneath your lines to fill in parts of your icons. Lock the transparent pixels on this layer and filled with the foreground color to easily switch between colors. That way, you only have to fill a shaped ones, and there we have it. The finished colored square 9. 09 FINISH AND SAVE: to create the finished pattern will use the same steps that we use to test it. Select all of your layers, then select all Go to edit, define your pattern and give it a name in order to see the full glory of a finished pattern . I like to open a new document, usually 8.5 by 11 and fill a new layer with the finish pattern to save your pattern. Within photo shopped, double click the pattern filled layer in the dialogue box. There's an arrow that brings up available patterns. Click on the tiny setting symbol in the top right hand corner. In the menu that pops up, you'll see the option to save patterns. This saves your pattern within the floater shop application. You'll also notice that in that same pop up menu, you'll see the option to load patterns. Select this option and you'll see the pattern file that you just created. Congratulations on your new pattern. Thank you so much for joining me in this class. Be sure to post your progress and you're finished in the projects area.