Use Photoshop's Pattern Maker

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Photoshop 7's Pattern Maker command makes it easy to create patterns out of any part of an image. For example, I recently wanted to fill part of a design with an abstract pattern based on the American flag. While I certainly could have tried creating this pattern by hand, Pattern Maker was able to give me a wide variety of patterns to choose from based on this theme in no time at all.

TRY IT To use Pattern Maker, you first need to open an image in Photoshop on which to base your pattern. So when I wanted to create a pattern based on the American flag, I opened the following image from Photodisc (

After opening the file, move to the layer containing the image and decide whether to base your pattern on the entire image or a select part. If you're basing it on a select part, use the Marquee tool to select that part before continuing. Once you're ready to create the tile, choose Filter | Pattern Maker to reveal a window similar to the one shown in Figure 8-15, where you can preview and customize your patterns.

Click Generate to ask Photoshop to create a pattern based on the current selection in the window. The default size for patterns created by Pattern Maker is 128 by 128 pixels. You can change the size by entering different numbers in the Width and Height boxes in the Tile Generation section. Or, to create one pattern the entire width and height of the current file, click the Use Image Size button.

Photoshop generates a single pattern the size specified and tiles it across and down the available window space in an evenly spaced grid. To vary that grid somewhat, choose Vertical or Horizontal from the Offset menu and specify the offset amount below that.

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