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Computer ArtsTutorial

Repeating patterns

Patterns can be used in a number of ways to create intricate repeating images that can be put to a multitude of creative uses. Hannah Gal uses photoshop to demonstrate the possibilities.

There are several ways to create patterns in Photoshop, such as duplicating a Shape or using a Fill, Define Pattern or one of the application's many fantastic brushes. But if you're after even greater control, it's worth trying Artlandia's SymmetryWorks or SymmetryShop.

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The first proved an instant hit with Illustrator users, and the company soon followed it up with a version for Photoshop users, SymmetryShop. Although presented as a companion to the first, SymmetryShop remains totally independent.

As well as automating features and speeding up the whole design process, SymmetryShop's patterns remain fully editable throughout, so it's possible at any point, even after the design is complete, to revisit any previous step and practically rebuild the pattern. This kind of flexibility is a designer's heaven.

In this tutorial I'll demonstrate how SymmetryShop can turn a simple 'seed' element into an intricate repeating pattern - starting with the basic automatic SymmetryShop repeats, and ending with creative enhancement and export to Photoshop. You'll learn how to put many of the automated one-click repeats to use, adjust the Control Path, which is central to any SymmetryShop design, build interlocking patterns, use Feather to smooth boundaries between neighbouring elements, familiarise yourself with the many design presets, create your own background to the main design and export the finished design as a Photoshop pattern.

The last steps illustrate the seamless collaboration between Photoshop and the plug-in, as we turn to Adobe's own filters and effects for enhancement.

Click here to download the support files ( 3MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free

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