Patterns are a very good choice when you want to create a quick background or apply a nice texture to an object. However, creating your own patterns is tiresome work and most of the time, you don’t even get close to what you originally intended to do.
For this kind of matter, using vector patterns are a really good idea. So here’s how you can easily use them and save alot of time, stress and tons of feedback from your clients.
Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
Completion time: 2 minutes
Open the vector pattern in Illustrator (File > Open or click-drag the file over the Illustrator icon).
Grab the Selection Tool (V), click one of the vectors, click-drag one of the corners and hold ALT key to preserve proportions. Double-click it to enter Isolation mode.
If you want to change colors, grab the Magic Wand Tool (Y), press Enter and set Tolerance to “0”. Then click a color and click a color of your choosing from Swatches (Window > Swatches).
Repeat this step until you change all the colors.
Grab the Selection Tool (V) again and double-click outside the drawing to exit Isolation mode.
Open Photoshop and create a document of 600×600 px.
From Illustrator, click-drag the edited pattern directly into Photoshop. It will have a bit of loading time to re-size the pattern.
Hit Enter to exit Free Transform mode. When you import images or vectors, Photoshop automatically sets the new layer to Free Transform. For vectors, it will scale Width and Height and will pick the max dimension from your canvas size.
Open the Layers palette (Window > Layers or F7) and CTRL+click the “Vector Smart Object” layer thumbnail. This will create a “marching ants” selection.
Go to Image > Crop. This is very important, since it will define the edges for the repeat pattern.
Go to Select > Deselect (CTRL+D).
Go to Edit > Define Pattern (CTRL+F2). Name it, so you’ll know which one it is later on. Hit OK.
To apply it, select the layer you want to apply pattern to, then click the “fx” button in the Layers palette (F7). Select Blending Options.
Check the Pattern Overlay box, click its tag and from the box shown below, select the pattern you created in STEP 10.
The advantage of applying a pattern like this is that you can scale it from the Blending options.
Simply reduce or increase Scale, play around with it until you are satisfied with the result.