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How to quickly create seamless textures in Photoshop CC


kerby

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Greetings PSG. I work for an architecture firm, doing lots of visualization/renderings, and textures are one of the most important parts of this job. I'd like to share with you a technique that I use almost every day to create tileable, seamless textures.

Application: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
What you'll learn: How to create textures that are tileable and seamless.
Difficulty: Beginner - Intermediate
Estimated time: 20-30 minutes

I'll be using a stone texture as an example. This particular type of stone was requested by the client to be used on the exterior of a townhome building that we designed for them. In order to render the building with the proper materials, I had to take the original image of the stone (below) and make it seamless.

Wisconsin Ledgestone.jpg
Original image from the client

The first thing you should ask yourself is if the texture is already tileable. You can test this easily by going to Filter > Other > Offset. This will essentially take the edges and "wrap them around the image" so to speak.

Capture.PNG
Offset settings

offset.png
Result of the offset


This is how your image would appear stacked vertically and horizontally on itself. Not good!

The next step is the longest process, clone stamping the image. If you're not familiar with this tool, it's the stamp icon in your toolbar (the keyboard shortcut is "s"). The goal is to remove the "seams" where the sharp lines appear. With this tool, you can "borrow" edges of other stones to make the seams disappear. This process can be quite tricky, but if you're clever you should have no problems. I've circled the parts that I worked on, one stone at a time below.

1.png
First few stones finished

2.png
Second pass of stones finished

For the rest, I performed another offset to determine what lines were still left to be fixed. I proceeded to stamp them until i was satisfied with the outcome and ended up with this:

Wisconsin Ledgestone finish.png
Another offset, and a little more cloning

This looks pretty good. I decided to offset it one more time to clean up any lines that may still be harsh. After the offset and the final cleaning, here's what I ended up with:

3.png
Final result.

Now no matter how I offset the image, it will always appear seamless.

To create a pattern with your texture, you would go to Edit > Define Pattern. Name it something recognizable and open a new canvas.

With your pattern defined, select the Paint Bucket tool (G). At the top of your toolbar, change the fill settings from "Foreground" to "Pattern". I chose to tick the "All Layers" checkbox, I can pattern fill on a new layer and still stay inside the lines.

Capture2.PNG
Alternatively, you can use the pattern overlay effect to set the scale of the bucket fill, and refine other settings until your happy with your pattern.

Thank you for reading, I hope you learned something from this tutorial. It's a very useful technique in this industry and hopefully it will come in handy for your purposes as well.

If you made it this far, I would greatly appreciate some feedback as this is the first tutorial I've created for you guys/gals, and I plan on making some more in the future!
 
Last edited:
Hey Kerby, thanks for the tutorial.

This is understandable for those of us who are bit more seasoned in Ps. My fear is that this would be very difficult to follow by a new Ps user.

You generally cover the Cloning process.
kerby said:
The next step is the longest process, clone stamping the image. If you're not familiar with this tool, it's the stamp icon in your toolbar (the keyboard shortcut is "s"). The goal is to remove the "seams" where the sharp lines appear. With this tool, you can "borrow" edges of other stones to make the seams disappear. This process can be quite tricky, but if you're clever you should have no problems. I've circled the parts that I worked on, one stone at a time below.
This is the most important part of creating the pattern. You show your results which vary and are not consistent in 3 of your images following your statement and are, yet again, different than your finished image. While I understand the changes, this can be extremely confusing for the newbies.

I understand that you would have a hard time visually documenting all the processes of this type of manipulation. This type of tutorial should probably be done in video format.
 
Thank you, everything you said is valuable feedback. It's more difficult to use text/images for this type of tutorial than it would be to explain it with a video. If I can get my webcam running again I will gladly create other visual aids to be used with the tutorial.

I will probably come back to edit this later using a different image and steps that better demonstrate the process of what I'm trying to explain. :thumbsup:
 

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