advanced photoshop

Master scripted patterns

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

We explore the creative potential of this new Photoshop CS6 option

Master scripted patterns
At first, native Pattern presets in Photoshop had limited use for rudimentary texture application. But soon Photoshop artists started personalising patterns and enhancing projects for both on-screen and print.

The new CS6 Scripted Pattern options are in harmony with this creative philosophy. These now offer variable styles, which liberate designs from the single-tiled look that was set in earlier versions. Each defines its own method of displaying your pattern.

Brick Fill fixes textures into rows much like brickwork, with Cross Weave also adopting real-world properties, interlinking multiple textures at alternating 90-degree angles. Both these styles introduce alternate tones to your original pattern, however Spiral retains the original colour of your pattern. Random Fill is less organised, offering entirely random effects each time you apply.

Patterns can now be applied to empty layers, maintaining transparency. This means you don’t have to bother with solid backgrounds when layering effects. Unfortunately these presets don’t extend to the Layer Style options.

Parameter control would help adjust looks, applying effects non-destructively in projects. Hopefully we can expect these updates in the near future, but for now we’ll show you how to approach existing scripted styles.

Step 01: Random foreground elements

Master scripted patterns

The Random Fill throws out some cool experimental effects. We’ve created a new pattern using leaf stock, applying this scripted pattern to create a foreground. The selection size you make around your leaf will establish spacing applied in your Random Fill effect.

Step 02: Chequered styles

Master scripted patterns

The Brick Fill option works best when applied with shapes with a hard edge, namely squares and rectangles, saved as a new pattern. This eradicates the annoyance of negative space that appears with other shapes. Stick to four sides and these should interlink nicely.

Step 03: Master the cross weave

Master scripted patterns

Cross Weave styles are very specific, so stick to the fundamental shapes. We’ve created a small gradient shape in CS6, making a selection and saving this as a pattern preset. Once applied using Scripted Patterns>Cross Weave, the effects are quite attractive.

Final image:

Master scripted patterns