(Joyce) #1

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Step Four: Now it’s time to resize and position your
objects. A handy tip is when you have the Move tool (V)
active, go up into the Options Bar and turn on both Auto-
Select and Show Transform Controls. Make sure the drop-
down menu to the right of Auto-Select is set to Layer and
not Group. Now when you click on an object, that layer
will automatically become active, and you’ll see transform
handles appear around the object. If you drag a control
point, the object will automatically go into Free Transform
so you can easily resize and rotate it. Just press Enter to
commit the transformation. Also, hide the Background
layer by clicking its Eye icon in the Layers panel. We want
our final pattern to have a transparent background to give
it more flexibility.
Resize and move the objects around into their own
spaces, but make sure they stay within the boundary of the
canvas. You’ ll want to slightly rotate some of the objects so
the final pattern isn’t too uniform.
Another little trick you can do is to duplicate an object
(Command-J [PC: Ctrl-J]) and flip it with Edit>Transform>
Flip Horizontal just to give you more objects with which
to work in the pattern. To take it a step further, you
can adjust the color of a duplicated object by going to

Step Five: Once you have everything in place, click on
the top layer in the Layers panel to make it active, hold the
Option (PC: Alt) key, and go to Layer>Merge visible. This will
make a merged copy of all the layers at the top of the layer
stack while leaving the original layers intact. If the merged
layer has a white background, you didn’t hide the Back-
ground in the previous step. We want the background to
be transparent.
We only want the merged copy visible for now, so
Option-click (PC: Alt-click) its Eye icon in the Layers panel
to automatically hide all the other layers.

Step Six: At this point, we could go straight to Edit >Define
Pattern, but that would give us a very static pattern. For
example, if you were to apply the pattern to another doc-
ument you’d see that, depending on how you scale the
pattern, some items spill off one edge, but the parts of the
objects that are being cut off don’t appear on the opposite
side of the document. This is where the Offset filter does a
better job of creating a seamless repeating pattern.
So how do we use Offset? Start by going to Filter>
Other>Offset. Here’s where we’ll begin shifting our
objects. Alter the Horizontal and Vertical values to shift
the objects up, down, left, and right. In my first attempt
I ended up with a couple large gaps, as you can see in
the example image shown here. For a cleaner pattern, we
want to avoid large gaps.
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