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MAKING A REPEAT PATTERN IN PHOTOSHOP

1. Start with artwork that suggests your pattern either a single motif (fig. 1) or a croquis (fig. 2)

fig. 1

Single motif

fig. 2

Croquis

A croquis is a group of motifs or marks that suggest a pattern, in a ‘puzzle piece’ shape

2. Select All (command + A)

3. Move the selection onto it’s own layer: New Layer via Cut (shift + command + J)

4. Increase the Canvas Size 200% vertically, leaving artwork on top

Increasing canvas 200%

5. Duplicate the Artwork Layer

6. Align the layers along the left margin, and then overlap them to determine spacing

7. Using Selection tools, the Eraser or the Layer Mask, carve away artwork along the join to create a seamless vertical repeat

8. Merge artwork layers (command + E), do not merge into the ground

9. Using Guides to mark the top and bottom of your repeat, crop the vertical repeat unit leaving the full width of your artwork in place

10. Decide on a Straight Repeat (A) or a Half Drop repeat (B) and follow the appropriate instructions

Crop vertical repeat unit

A. STRAIGHT REPEAT INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Increase canvas size 200% horizontally

2. Duplicate the Artwork layer

3. Overlap the layers and resolve the join (see step 7)

4. Merge artwork layers, do not merge into the ground

5. Using Guides to mark the left and right margins of your repeat, crop the horizontal repeat

6. Flatten Image (Layers>Flatten Image)

7. Repeat unit complete! To check the repeat:

• Select All (command + A)
• Edit > Define Pattern
• Image > Canvas Size > 200% horizontally and vertically
• Edit Fill (with Pattern)

B. HALF DROP REPEAT INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Increase canvas size 200% horizontally. Leave artwork on the left side

2. Duplicate the Artwork layer

3. Move artwork to the right hand side and down to the ½ way mark vertically (it will ‘snap’ into place)

Snap to halfway point

4. Duplicate the artwork layer again and place it above to complete the repeat (align them vertically)

5. Merge these 2 layers

6. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move this ½ dropped layer to the left, overlapping it on the original repeat unit

Overlap original repeat

7. Using Selection tools, the Eraser or the Layer Mask, carve away artwork along the join to create a seamless horizontal repeat

8. Use the guides to crop the horizontal repeat. Remember it is a ½ drop

9. Flatten image (Layers > Flatten Image), then select all and create a New Layer via Cut (Shift + command + J)

10. This is now a ½ drop unit. Photoshop can not see ½ drops so the last phase is to step it out to a straight repeat

11. Increase canvas size 200% horizontally. Leave the artwork on the left side

12. Duplicate artwork twice and place layers to fill canvas with the pattern

13. Flatten image

14. Repeat unit complete! To check the repeat:

• Select All (command + A)
• Edit > Define Pattern
• Image > Canvas Size > 200%
• Edit Fill (with Pattern)

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