In Adobe Photoshop, patterns are a great way to include fascinating repeating elements in a design. Patterns are easy to make and use, but still have a huge impact on your design. Here, we will explore what patterns are and how to use them.
What are Photoshop Patterns?
Basically, a pattern in Photoshop is an image which can be repeatedly tiled. By using patterns, you can considerably speed up your work by eliminating the need to make complex objects which can be created by using a recurring image template. Thus, you will not only be able to save time, but also incorporate interesting design elements in your design.
You can use the preset patterns that come with Adobe Photoshop, create your own patterns, or download free Photoshop patterns from different sites.
How to Apply Photoshop Patterns
There are various methods you can use to apply Photoshop patterns and we will look at each one of them.
The simplest and perhaps the easiest way to apply a pattern is by using the Fill command. All you have to do is select the area you want to fill with the pattern using a select tool and then use the Fill command. For instance, you can select an area on your canvas by using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, go to Edit > Fill to open the Fill dialog window and choose Pattern in the Use option.
When you do so, a new option appears in the Fill dialog box called Custom Pattern. Set your desired pattern using the Custom Pattern option and press OK to fill the selection with a pattern.
Using the Fill command is a great way to apply Photoshop patterns on parts of the canvas or on the entire image. Another benefit of the Fill command is that your pattern will be present in a separate layer, so you can make changes to it without affecting the other layers.
The best way to apply a pattern on a layer is by using the Pattern Overlay layer effect. Access the Layer Style window by double-clicking on the layer you want to add the pattern to. Select the Pattern Overlay option from the list on the right and then select the pattern you want to apply from the Pattern option.
This method is the best if you require flexibility. You can easily delete, show, hide and adjust a layer effect without affecting anything else on the layer.
If you want to paint a pattern, there are various painting tools available like the Pattern Stamp Tool and Paint Bucket Tool that can use patterns to paint.
Using a painting tool is great for when you would like to apply a pattern irregularly. You also get more control with a painting tool, which is especially great for when you are using a graphics tablet.
However, the drawback of using painting tools is that it is more time-consuming than the other two methods since they decide automatically how the pattern should be applied. Moreover, using the Pattern Stamp Tool can yield unpredictable and irregular results (which may not be a bad thing, depending on what you want to achieve).