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Create a Seamless, Textured, Spade Pattern Using Illustrator and Photoshop

by Grant Friedman

on October 14, 2009

in Tutorials

Seamless patterns can be a lot of fun to play with. When used properly, a nice seamless pattern can make the difference between a good design and a great one. There are a lot of tutorials out there describing how to create seamless patterns in Illustrator and Photoshop but today we are going to demonstrate how to use both programs to create a spade pattern in Illustrator, and then add some texture with Photoshop.

Final Image

Below is what our final pattern will look like.

tp-final

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
  • Difficulty: Beginner.
  • Estimated Completion Time: 10 minutes.

ILLUSTRATOR STEPS

Step 1: The Spade

You could easily draw a spade of your own for this step I prefer not to re-invent the wheel. I found this awesome vector spade from Twhite Design and modified it just a bit by deleting the decorative elements. To do this, select one of the spades and go to Object > Compound Path > Release. Then Ungroup the layers. You should now be able to select the spade without the decorative elements.

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Step 2: Create Our Base Tile

Now that we have our spade, it’s now time to create a base tile. To do this draw a rectangle behind the spade and set its color to black. Now set the color of the spade to white and center the spade vertically and horizontally.

tp-2

Step 3: Create Corner Elements

Before we proceed to the next step, make sure that you Turn On Your Smart Guides and that you Enable Snap to Point. You can do this by going to View > Smart Guides and View > Snap to Point. If you are new to the Smart Guides feature, it is something that I really suggest you getting acquainted with and will enable you to place vector elements exactly where you want them to go.

Now that you have your Smart Guides turned on select the spade and the rectangle behind it, then place your cursor directly over that center point (when you do this you will see a tool tip that says “center”). Now press the ALT key and duplicate the both elements. Drag these new elements to the top right corner of the original rectangle and release them directly over the anchor point. Then repeat this step for the other 3 corners. After you have four spades as shown, delete their backgrounds.

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Step 4: Crop the Tile

Select the background tile and copy + paste it to front. Then open your pathfinder palette, select all the elements that make up the tile and select crop.

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Step 5: Manually Create a Tile

If we weren’t going to add texture to our pattern we could potentially stop here but since we are we need to add one last step before we bring the vectors into Illustrator.

Select your newly created tile, duplicate it as shown and place it directly to the right of the original. Repeat this step until you have created a row of tiles about 1000 pixels wide.

Now duplicate your rows and stack them vertically as shown.

Tip: In this step it might help to Hide Your Bounding Boxes by going to View > Hide Bounding Box. Hiding them will enable you to more easily grab the anchor points of the tile.

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PHOTOSHOP STEPS

Step 6: Create New Photoshop Document

Now copy and paste your new tile and create a new document in Photoshop. Photoshop should recall the dimensions of the tile in Illustrator and recommend them to you. After you have opened your new document copy + paste it into Photoshop as Pixels. Name the new layer Spades and set its opacity to 10% (or whatever looks best on your monitor) and change the color of the background layer to black.

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Step 7: Place Your Texture

Now find a texture that you like and place it as a new layer in Photoshop; name it Texture. I used a nice leather texture that I found on CGTextures. Desaturate the image if you like.

Now we need to remove any pixels hiding off the canvas. To do this, select the Texture Layer and Select All. When you see the marching ants around the entire canvass press CTRL + J and paste the selection as a new layer. This will make sure that there are no hidden pixels hiding off the canvas. Call this new layer Texture 2 and delete Texture 1.

Place Texture

tp-7a

Desaturate

tp-7b

Delete Hidden Pixels and Create New Layer

tp-7c

Rename New Layer

tp-7d

Step 8: Offset Filter

In order for our pattern to be completely seamless, the spade layer and the texture layer have to be completely seamless. To do this, select the Texture 1 layer and go to Filter > Other > Offset. Each of you will have different settings depending on the dimensions of your document but set the pixels to a number roughly half the size of your document’s width and height. All that really matters here is that the texture come together somewhere near the center of the document.

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Step 9: Clean Up

Using the Clone Stamp Tool clean up the cross hairs. The better job you do here, the better-looking your pattern will be.

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Step 10: Adjust Blending Modes and Transparency

Now all that you need to do is adjust Texture 2’s blending mode and transparency. Each of you will experience different results based on the texture you used but I set my blending mode to Screen and Transparency to 45%.

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Final Image

Your Pattern should now look something like this.
tp-final

You can download the Photoshop file here.

File type: .psd
Compatibility: Photoshop
Size: 7.2 MB

Download this file!

About Grant Friedman

Grant Friedman is a graphic design, blogger, and author. In addition to being the founder of this website, Grant is also the editor of Psdtuts, one of the world's most popular tutorial websites.