Creating and Applying a Basic Pattern

Defining any image as a pattern is easy. Follow these steps, and then apply the basic pattern to a blank document.

1. Open a scan of a small sample of a walnut, the file Walnut.jpg from the companion CD.

2. You can easily define this image as a pattern. Choose Edit > Define Pattern to open the Pattern Name dialog box.

In the Name box, type Walnut and click OK. The pattern is added to the current pattern library. Do not close the Walnut image yet.

Now that you have defined your first pattern, let's see what it looks like when it is applied in a new blank image.

3. Choose File > New to open the New dialog box. Choose 640x480 from the Preset drop-down and click OK.

4. The basic way to apply a pattern is with the Paint Bucket tool. Choose the tool (press G), and choose Pattern from the Fill drop-down on the Options bar. Click the arrow button next to the pattern swatch to open the Pattern Picker drop-down. This displays the current pattern library. Double-click the Walnut pattern at the bottom of the picker to make it active.

5. Click anywhere inside the Untitled document window. The pattern automatically tiles to fill the image with the Walnut pattern. Figure 5.24 shows how this pattern is not tilable because the seams between tiles are clearly evident.

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