Using Patterned Tiles

Tiling a pattern or texture is a nice way to fill up space. The key is to make sure the texture size is large enough that the seams are not visible. You can find several collections of patterns available, but the key is to look for seamless ones. Thanks to the folks at Auto FX, I was able to include a sampler of seamless textures on the book's DVD. You can find 3000 textures as well as hundreds of free fonts at their Web site, http://www.autofx.com.

The easiest way to make a tiled background is to use a pattern adjustment layer. The adjustment layer will create a pattern that can be easily resized and positioned. Let's begin.

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These utterly useless patterns are built in Photoshop. Don't let them scare you away. The Artist Surfaces, Rock Patterns, and Texture Fills collection are very useful.

Step 1. Open the file Ch11_Seamless.jpg in this chapter's folder or any other seamless texture.

Step 2. Select the entire object by pressing jj-a+0 (^0+Q).

Step 3. Define the pattern and name it (Edit>Define Pattern). The pattern is now temporarily stored in your Preferences file.

Step 4. Create or open a safe-title document sized for your edit system.

Step 5. From the Fill Layer menu on the Layers palette, choose Pattern. The last-added pattern will automatically be selected. Adjust the scaling of the pattern, but do not exceed 100%, or the pattern will soften.

Step 6. You can click in the palette and reposition the pattern by dragging.

The end result, perfectly tiled and scalable. And at any time, the Pattern Fill layer is editable.

More Free Patterns

You'll also find a huge collection of seamless textures on this book's disc provided by the generous folks at Auto FX Software (http://www.autofx. com).

Step 7. To save the pattern, click on the drop-down arrow, then the triangular submenu icon. Select Save Patterns and give it a unique name, adding .pat at the end to inform Photoshop that this is a pattern library. All of the visible presets in the window will be stored into this library (you can click to remove a thumbnail from the library).

The best place to store them is inside your Presets folder (Application Folder>Presets>Patterns). This way, they will appear in the submenu for faster loading.

Step 8. Click OK to apply the pattern to the layer.

If you change the size of your document, the pattern will automatically expand or contract to fill the work area.

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