Tutorial – Photoshop – Repeat Pattern

Here is a tutorial I learnt while in college. The program used was Adobe Photoshop CS5. This tutorial focuses on repeating a pattern and creating a document resembling wallpaper so to speak. I’ll include screenshots along the way as well as my notes.

There may be some variation to this tutorial as the screenshots I originally did were lost because when I copied them to my memory stick, it only copied shortcuts instead of the actual file, never happened before to me… So I had to do the tutorial and screenshots again, and guess what, I couldn’t repeat the exact same design. But this should give a good enough idea to start on to experiment and how it could be recreated with another pattern.

NB: The file I got for this was off Moodle, the VLE system for K College. I started by opening it in Photoshop as well as opening a new Photoshop document to an A4 size.

  1. I checked the Image Size (Image > Image Size) first of all in order to be able to work out the measurement for the repeating pattern. I wanted half of the document, so as it is 833 pixels square, the answer was 416.5. But as the tool I would be using only dealt with integers, then the number I needed was 416. 
  2. Making sure the correct layer is selected, I went to Filter > Other > Offset, which bought up a dialog box where measurements for the offset could be entered. For both vertical and horizontal boxes, I entered 416 before clicking OK. It is now clear to see that there is a pattern that has appeared. 
  3. I then selected both layers at once, this can be done when one layer is already selected by pressing the Shift key on the keyboard and clicking on the other layer.
  4. By going to the Move Tool on the Tools Panel, it is then possible to drag it into the other document and position it in the top left corner.

Now I shall detail the steps taken to repeat this pattern across the whole document.

  1. With the Move Tool selected, press the alt + shift keys on the keyboard and drag the pattern. You will see this drags a copy of the pattern, not the actual pattern. Position the tile so it lines up next to the first part of the pattern, it should snap into place but sometimes you need to press the arrow keys to line it up perfectly.
  2. Repeat that until the top row of the document is covered. 
  3. Go to the Layers palette (Window > Layers), and select all of the layers except the background. Then at the top right corner of the Layers palette there is a drop-down box where ‘Merge Layers’ is visible near the bottom. Click this to merge them. 
  4. The reason for doing that was to make it quicker to copy the pattern. Now it is a case of using step 1 to fill the document, except this time vertically instead of horizontally.

That should be it! In theory you should have an A4 sized Photoshop document with a repeating pattern like the one below.

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