Create spectacular patterns in Photoshop

I hope this lesson will be useful for both beginners and those who are not particularly friendly with pencil and paper, and even more so with the tablet, but have a great desire to draw using the different tools and capabilities of Photoshop. I’ll show you a few examples of how you can quickly create interesting textures, patterns, decorative elements using simple transformation commands.

In most of the examples, I used ordinary geometric shapes – this is for ease of implementation and for better clarity. And when the principle is clear, you can experiment with more complex shapes. By the way, using the described technique, create unusual fractal patterns. There is a lesson on this site on this topic. I want to tell in more detail where and how to use transformation commands and what can come of it.


Step 1. First, create a new document. Ctrl + N 1000 x 1000 pixels (or another according to your desire) with a white background.

Step 2. On the new layer draw a round selection tool Oval area (Eliptical Marquee Tool) while holding the key Shift to preserve the proportions, and fill it with any color.

Step 3. Remove selection (Deselect) Ctrl + D and move the resulting circle to the middle of the top of the document. The size is about the same as in the screenshot.

Now we need to place copies of this shape evenly around the circumference. To do this, we will first use the following key combination: Ctrl + Alt + T.
Known key combination Ctrl + T causes Free transformation (Free Transform) and allows you to perform any kind of transformation on this layer. But the team Ctrl + Alt + T does the same thing but on a copy of the layer!

Step 4. Press these three keys Ctrl + Alt + T and let go. A transformation frame appeared around the figure. Pay attention to the layers palette: we see that there is only one layer with a circle. But as soon as we begin to perform any transformation, a copy of the layer automatically appears and the transformation is applied to this copy, and the previous layer remains unchanged.

So, after the transformation frame has appeared, we move the center of rotation (central marker) to the center of the document.

Then in the settings panel set the rotation angle to 18 °. You can also use another angle value – as long as it is a multiple of 360 (for example, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 20, 24, 30, etc., non-integer numbers also fit).

Apply the transformation – to do this, click on the check mark, or click Enter.
Step 5. Now we just have to do the previous conversion several times. To do this, use the following key combination: Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T. This command repeats the previous transformation each time on a new layer. Hold three keys with three fingers of the left hand Ctrl + Shift + Alt and do not release, and right press the key T as many times as necessary repetition transformation. When the circle is closed – release all the keys. This is what should happen:

Step 6. Now you need to merge all the layers into one. To do this, temporarily disable the background layer and click Ctrl + Shift + E. Now turn on the visibility of the background layer again.

Step 7. We will continue to perform transformations already on the new layer. To do this, you do not need to create a new layer, it will appear automatically thanks to the command Ctrl + Alt + T. So, press and lower the keys. Ctrl + Alt + T. In the frame that appears, pull the corner marker inward. At the same time hold down the key Shift to keep the proportions and the key Alt, so that the center does not move. Reduce the size so that the new shape fits inside the previous one. On the settings panel, set the rotation angle to 9 °.

Apply the transformation (Enter).

Step 8. Again, to repeat the previous transformation click Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T as many times as you see fit. If everything is done correctly, it should look like this:

Step 9. Merge all layers, except the background, and we have such a decorative figure. We can change its color, or apply any styles, gradients,

and we can also use it as a basis for creating a brush, or pattern (fill). To do this, go to the menu Editing – Define a brush (Edit – Define Brush), or Editing – Define a pattern (Edit – Define Pattern). Save and find a new brush, or a new pattern in the library of brushes and patterns.

For the sample was taken the most elementary figure of the circle, but you can use any other shapes, images, or texts. Here are some more examples of what can be done in the manner described above.

We will create the following “pattern” by repeating only two deformations: scaling (Scale) and turning (Rotate), without moving the center marker.
Step 1. Create a new document Ctrl + N 1000 x 1000 pixels On the new layer we make a square selection tool. Rectangular area(Restangular Marquee Tool) while holding the key Shift to keep the proportions

and fill it with any color or gradient.

Step 2. Return to the tool Rectangular area(M) (Restangular Marquee Tool) and, without removing the selection, right-click, bring up the menu, and select the command Transform selected area (Transform Selection).

Holding down the keys simultaneously Shift and Alt, slightly reduce the size of the selection. Push Enter.

Step 3. Delete selected area – Delete. Remove selection Ctrl + D. It turned out a square frame.

Step 4. Next, click the already familiar combination Ctrl + Alt + T, to perform the transformation on a new layer. As in EXAMPLE 1, reduce the figure so that it fits inside the previous one. Do not forget to simultaneously hold the keys Shift and Alt, to reduce it proportionally and center it. You can restrict only this transformation and click Enter, and you can still add turn (Rotate) by setting the rotation angle on the settings panel (I have 2 °),

and then click Enter. Try both options.

Step 5. Then again, a familiar combination Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T will repeat all these transformations each time on a new layer.

Step 6. Merge all layers into one when everything is ready.
In the first case, a kind of tunnel is obtained, in the second – a spiral.

The greater the angle of rotation, the steeper the spiral.

You can experiment with different parameters, for example, change the degree of scaling, the angle and direction of rotation, shift the center of rotation, or use other types of transformations.

Interesting figures are obtained from circles and ovals.


Team Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T Also used to create beautiful fractal patterns. You can see this lesson on our website. From simple shapes, peculiar unusual spirals are obtained, which in turn are used to create more complex spirals and patterns. Let’s see how this is done on the example of a simple circle.

Step 1. Again we create a new document. Ctrl + N with a white background size 1000 x 1000 pix. For the accuracy of construction we will call the grid: View – Show – Grid. (View – Show – Grid) Set the grid size to 90 pixels. Ctrl + K – Guides, mesh and fragments. (Editing – Settings – Guides, Grid, and Fragments) (Preferences – General – Guides, Grid Slices).

Step 2. On the new layer we make a round selection. To do this, when we select the tool Oval area (Eliptical Marquee Tool), put a cross on the intersection of the first two grid lines in the upper left.

Then with the key pressed Shift stretch the selection so that the circle diameter is 4 squares of the grid. The selection itself “binds” to the grid lines.

Step 3. Right-click the menu and select the command Perform a stroke (Stroke Selection)

with the following parameters:

Choose the color to your taste. Remove selection Ctrl + D.

Step 4. Then click Ctrl + Alt + T and perform the following transformation:
1. we move the central marker of turn on 4 squares downwards and 2 squares to the right.

2. On the settings panel, set the scale to 98% in width, click the icon keep proportions, and the same values ​​are set in height.
3. The angle of rotation is set to 7.5 °.

Enter – apply transformation.
Now you can hide the grid: View – Show – Grid (View – Show – Grid).

Step 5. It remains the case for small. Push Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T as many times as you like. Decide when to stop. There are a lot of layers – more than a hundred. And then all the layers are merged into one.

Please note that the edges of such a spiral do not overlap, but only touch. Unless, of course, everything is exactly and correctly done. Try using different values ​​of the angle of rotation, a different scale, and the center of rotation can be moved to any place. The spirals will twist differently. If the principle is clear, then you can experiment with the most diverse and unusual figures. The resulting abstract patterns can be used at your discretion, for example, to create textures, backgrounds, for the design of collages, etc.

In the described way it is easy to create a variety of compositions of wavy lines, which are now popular in design.

Step 1. Create a new document Ctrl + N 1000 x 1500 pixels Choosing a tool Pen(Pen Tool) and on the new layer draw something like this.

Step 2. Now prepare Brush (Brush): choose a round solid brush of 2 pixels. and rigidity 100%. Set the foreground color to your taste, but different from the background.

Step 3. Then go back to the tool Pen(Pen Tool) and, by right-clicking, select the item in the context menu Outline the contour (Stroke Path).

Choose a tool from the list Brush(Brush) and click OK.

If the resulting line suits us, delete the contour. Right-click – delete contour (Delete Path).

Step 4. Next, click Ctrl + Alt + T, to perform the following transformation:
1. move the line by about 4-5 pixels. Right: Press the arrow key on the keyboard the appropriate number of times.
2. Set the rotation angle to 1 °.
3. Apply the transformation Enter.

Step 5. Then Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T several times until something like this happens:

If in addition to move the center of rotation in any direction, for example, to the left, then you get a completely different effect.

Or use only move without turning:

Note.If, when transforming, elements go beyond the canvas, it is better to go back, somewhat reduce the original line, or rotate it, or move it slightly to another edge.
But what happens if you use ready-made contours, taken from a set of shapes.

In general, if you experiment with the transformation parameters, as well as with the contour line, you can get very interesting and unusual shapes, which are then easy to save as brushes.

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