This is how anyone can create repeating patterns with Photoshop.

Nahtloses Muster mit Photoshop

To create this seamless repeating pattern in Photoshop you really only need to use one function; the Move Filter

1) Preparing the Ingredients

I decided to make a repeating forest scene using trees, gnomes and deer. Each of these elements were drawn separately in a single file, on their own layer. The benefit of starting this was is that I really can't accidentally delete or ruin any of my drawings while I am working, since there is always the original as backup.


2) Make a New File

You can simplify your life by giving the image an even number of pixels in the length and width, since you will have to divide the length and width by two as you continue through the pattern-making process. In this example I use 1180 pixels in the width and height (about 20 x 20 cm).

For the resolution I alwas use 150dpi, since this corresponds to the printer resolution. If you are unsure about the size, err on the side of caution and use a somewhat higher resoltion since you can always shrink and image but you cannot make one larger without it getting pixely and losing quality :(


3) Fill from the Bottom Up

I begin filling in the design with one 'ingredient' at a time, but that's according to taste. You can also add and arrange all your elements at once if you want.

Using Copy & Paste I copy the tree element from the original file to the new file where I am building my pattern as many times as I want and place them around the background, making sure that none of the elements are falling off the edges. Once I have enough trees I flatten them all onto a layer saparate from the background.


4) Inside Out & Outside In

Now it's time to use the Offset filter we talked about before. This will let us move the empty border areas of our image into the middle, so you can even out the composition with some more trees, and puts the filled-in center of our images on the edges and corners. You will find this Offset filter un the main menu under Filter/ Other/ Move.

Now it's time for a bit of math: Enter the horizontal and vertical repeat.

  • Image width/2 = horizontal repeat
  • Image Height/2 = vertical repeat

In order to prevent our trees from being shoved out of the picture, click Undefined Areas, then Wrap Around. This will send the trees going off the bottom up to the top of the image, and those going off the left will reappear on the right. Perfect! Now we can see the empty areas that were on the border before right in the middle of our workspace.

5) Fill in the "New" Middle

Now all you have to do is fill in these empty areas, again being creful not to place elements off the edge of the workspace.  with a little bit of scaling, mirroring, and rotating of the different image elements you can play with the composition until you have a fun little scene.


6) Done. Save it!

You save and upload it, we'll print it!

Last update on 2018-03-22 by Ellie Mutchler.