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Creating a Tileable Pattern

March 22, 2014

In creating a tileable pattern that can be used in Photoshop for painting or for use as a texture in Maya, the first few steps are similar to creating a custom Photoshop brush. Firstly, open an image that you wish to turn into a texture or stamp pattern. Then select the ‘rectangular marquee tool’ and in the top toolbar that contains the tool properties, set the style to ‘fixed size’. This allows you to put a fixed pixel width and height which locks the marquee tool in the specified dimensions. Then in the width and height, enter the dimensions that you want your texture size to be. In this case, I put the dimensions 256 by 256 pixels. This number was chosen because textures for 3D programs like Maya work best with texture resolutions to the power of 2. Therefore, textures can be resolutions of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 etc.  Then using the marquee tool, select the image that you want to capture. Then go to edit → then define pattern. To use the texture pattern just made, select the ‘pattern stamp tool’, and in the top toolbar, select the drop down menu and find the created pattern.

customPattern_01

The pattern that I used was from a scanned texture rubbing sheet which I used to collect textures of various objects.

Textures collected from objects both organic and man-made

Textures collected from objects both organic and man-made

When I used the pattern I created to create a tileable texture pattern, the problem was that the ‘seams’ (where the pattern was repeating) could be seen.

Pattern testing

Pattern testing

To fix this, a new document was created with the dimensions 256 by 256 pixels and using the pattern stamp tool I filled the canvas with the pattern just created. Then I went to the filter menu → other → offset. In the offset filter, I moved the sliders until the seams were able to be seen clearly.  Next using the shortcut to select all (ctrl+a), the ‘healing brush tool’ was selected to paint over the seams. To be able to use the healing brush, a reference point must be defined by holding ‘alt’ and then clicking on an area to sample which will be used to hide the seams. The healing brush automatically blends with the original image to help cover seams. Once the seams were hidden, the texture was saved as a pattern. The texture was now able to be used as a tileable pattern.

customPattern_02

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