Making an abstract pattern in Photoshop

Final result:

Part 1. Turn the original photo into triangles.

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1

Let’s start with a special script that turns the photo into a triangular pattern. This script can be taken in the archive to the lesson. Unzip the archive and run the script in the browser. After that, simply drag the desired image into the field “Drop your bitmap here“.

Step 2

I chose this magnificent photo of the Golden Gate Bridge of the user Curioso_Travel_Photography on the Photodune service to demonstrate the benefits of the “triangular” script. Run the downloaded script, upload a picture into it and just click on it.

You will notice that in the places of clicks triangles appeared, filled with gradients similar to the color gamut of the photo. If nothing happens when you click on a photo, just click “Add 25 vertices: randomly“, and then “Delete all vertices“. Now the control points in the photo will be put without problems.

Step 3

Click on the image by adding more triangles or appreciate the others with the possibility of the script (you can reduce the opacity of the triangle layer by moving the slider at the top) to make your design more similar to the original image.

2. Import photos into Photoshop

Step 1

When you have achieved the desired result, save the resulting photo in SVG format. To do this, left-click on the line “Export“, then right click on the string”save this link“above image and select”Save link as“.

Step 2

Open your SVG file in Adobe Illustrator, select the entire file, copy its (ctrl + c) and insert (Ctrl + V) in a new Adobe Photoshop file.

Note: if you do not have Illustrator, then you can get out of the situation simply by taking a screenshot of the resulting pattern and pasting the image into Photoshop.

When transferring files from Illustrator to Photoshop, I choose Smart Object (Smart Object). This allows you to resize the image without losing quality. After that, you just need to right-click on the layer and select “Rasterize layer“(Rasterize Layer). Now the image is ready to cut, copy and paste into our future pattern.

3. Create a pattern

Step 1

Using the tool Pen (Pen Tool) without a fill and stroke, draw a polygon without a specific shape (just something with a lot of edges) and on the panel Contours (the third tab above the available layers – a comment of the translator), right-click on the newly created shape and select To form a selected area (Load path as a selection). Copy and paste part of the pattern into a new square sized document 1000 px.

Step 2

I wanted a smoother color scheme for the pattern, so I turned another image into a mosaic for the final pattern. Your color scheme, the original images and the refinement of the final result is entirely up to you.

Paste the two copies of the copied form into the new file created in the last step. Rotate the shape through the menu Editing> Transform> Rotate 180 ° (Edit> Transform> Rotate 180 °) and move it overlapping another shape. Click Ctrl + E, to merge layers (Merge Layers) and repeat the step with other pieces. Be sure not to merge the copied shapes with the background layer.

Step 3

After done go to menu Filr> Other> Shift (Filter> Other> Offset). This will allow us to combine the forms and “patch” the holes in our pattern. Make sure the item is Paste clipped fragments (Wrap around) for Undefined areas (Undefined Areas) is active. Click OK and go to the next item.

Step 4

Continue to fill the drawing with new forms using Pen (Pen Tool) on the original image and inserting them into the pattern. Work hard on filling in the empty spaces. When you are happy with the result, merge layers (Merge Layers).

Step 5

When your pattern is completely filled, pay attention to dark areas, rough edges and too noticeable traces of copying mosaic pieces. Use Pen (Pen Tool) to draw a selection and then fill them linear gradients (Linear Gradients) with the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool). Use Dropper (Eyedropper Tool) to select a color around the selected shape and make the gradient harmonious.

Step 6

In the image below, notice how the darker shapes were softened by gradients.

Step 7

When you’re satisfied with the design, or want to see it in action, make sure the layers are merged, select all (Select All or Ctrl + A) and create a new pattern. To do this, go to the menu Editing> Define a pattern (Edit> Define Pattern), give it a name and click OK. You will see your pattern in the settings. Fillings (Paint Bucket Tool) by choosing Pattern under the fill settings and opening Patterns menu (Pattern Swatches). Create a new document larger than the previous one and fill it with your new pattern.

Great job!

Now that you have created one or more patterns, you can use them as backgrounds, a basis for future work, etc.

As you can see, often low-poly patterns require “polishing” and sometimes several layers of the gradient, frequent use of the filter Shift (Offset), several specific patterns to be able to choose the right one. With the “triangular” script, the process of determining the color range, creating polygons and gradient shapes is greatly accelerated. Take this script into service and share your work in the comments!

Author: Mary Winkler

Translator: Shapoval Alexey

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