Deke’s Techniques #17: Creating a seamlessly repeating pattern

Published by | Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

In this week’s free video technique, Deke McClelland shows you how to use Photoshop’s Offset filter to create a repeating, or tessellating, pattern for your homemade giftwrap project, in which an image (or two in this case) is wrapped around so that it can be tiled into a seamlessly repeating pattern.  So you can go ahead and spend all your hard earned cash on the gift inside, and then use Deke’s technique to print your wrapping paper at home. In fact, Deke, feeling extra thrifty, demonstrates this technique with a couple of ribbon photographs complete with bows, saving even more money, not to mention knot-tying:

And by offsetting and duplicating the images in Photoshop, you’ll end up with a convenient, delightfully intertwined pattern, as you can see below. I requested Deke re-color the final image slightly for this blog post example, creating a timely Mother’s Day-friendly theme. The beauty of creating your patterned paper in Photoshop is that it can be adjusted for the season:

Of course, even with Photoshop’s handy filter, having your pattern line up correctly at the edges is problematic, if not downright impractically optimistic. In this week’s exclusive video in the Online Training Library®, members can see the fine-tuning that Deke applies at the seams where this pattern repeats. Deke shows you how a combination of layers, masks, and blend modes can correct or simply hide the misaligned edges of the repeating pattern.

Tiling an interesting pattern has all kinds of practical uses, even if you’re not M.C. Escher.  If you’re enchanted by the idea of tessellation, and you’re an Adobe Illustrator user, be sure to check out chapter 16, Repeating Tile Patterns, of Deke’s Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced course. With Illustrator, a little math, and some attention to detail, Deke actually shows how he created this amazing set of tiled, interlocking creatures.

Every week, Deke shares a new technique, designed to inspire you in your own work or awaken your own curiosity. And members can always review the whole course of collected techniques here. Meanwhile, we’ll see you back next week for another free technique d’Eke.

Related links:
Deke’s Techniques
courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

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