Adobe Photoshop is perhaps the most powerful
photo-editing software on the market. However, from this
power stems a very complex program. Itís quite difficult to
figure out many aspects of Photoshop yourself, so thatís
where tutorials come in. This tutorial will explain a very
simple trick in Photoshop, which, until explained, seems
With this tutorial, we will go on an
adventure with fill patterns!
Letís begin. Open Adobe Photoshop. This tutorial should
work for both Photoshop 6 and 7, I will be using 6 for
Often times it is fun to experiment with your new skills
on a stock photo. Below is the photo I will be playing
with. This is a bit of Zell, a character in Squaresoftís
Final Fantasy 8:
[ the photograph before any alteration ]
Since this tutorial is about fills, letís
make our fill pattern. The first, and easiest, pattern
will be a simple set of scan lines. Scan lines are often
used on websites, and here Iíll show you how to make them.
Point your mouse to File | New. Set the measure to pixels,
width 1, height 3. 72 pixels/inch, background transparent.
Zoom in all the way, 1600%. Select the
pencil tool, and make sure opacity is 100%. Set the
foreground color to black, and make a single black pixel
at the top of this picture.
[ zoomed in
Press Control + A, or point to Select |
All. Now, with that selected, point to Edit | Define
Pattern. Name it something zesty like ďScan line,Ē and
press OK. Close the document you just created, donít save.
Open up your stock photo, and re-save it with a ď1Ē
(without quotes) after its name (example: zell1.jpg). This
way you donít screw up your original image.
In your stock photo, create a new layer. In
the new layer point to Edit | Fills. In Contents, select
Pattern. Select your new pattern in the Custom Pattern
box. When itís selected, click outside the list of
patterns to make the window go away. Leave the mode at
normal and the opacity at 100, we can change these later.
Now your picture looks like itís behind
shutters. Interesting effect, but not the desired one.
Press Control + I or point to Image | Adjust | Invert to
invert the selection. Now the lines are white, and still
not what we want. But closer. Change the layer opacity
to.15%. There we go.
Well the scan lines are fun, but letís try
something else. Delete the scan line layer from your stock
photo, and create a new image. Letís say 8 pixels by 8
pixels. Draw something like this:
Make it into a fill (select all, Edit |
Define Pattern.), and put that over your stock image (new
layer, Edit | Fill). Interesting. However, not quite what
I wanted. Lets try something else, and this time use more
than one fill. Delete the fill layer on your stock photo.
Duplicate the photo twice, so you have three layers, all
with the same thing. Now delete the locked background. You
should now have two layers of the same image.
Create three new blank layers, one on the bottom, one
between the two image layers, and one on top:
Excellent. Set the foreground color to white, and paint
bucket the bottom layer with white. The paint bucket is
dangerous to have in hand, so change your tool back to the
pointer. Ok, now select the layer in the middle. Point to
Edit | Fill. and find that noisy looking patter called
ďWrinkles.Ē Comes standard with Photoshop. Press OK.
Select the top image layer, the second layer from the top.
Right-click and select Enable Layer Mask.
If it wonít let you, as my Photoshop often does to me, do
like so: Point to Layer | Add Layer Mask | Reveal All. For
some reason this always fixes my problem. Anyway, select
the layer mask. Fill with the funny looking pattern we
made above. Your picture might look a bit strange, but
thatís ok, just wait a minute. Select the top layer, Edit
| Fill. and fill with that funny quicksilver looking stuff
called ďSatin.Ē Comes standard with Photoshop.
Hah, now you canít see anything! Thatís ok. Change the top
layerís style to Overlay. Change the middle most layerís
style to Overlay also, and lower itís opacity to about 50.
Select the second to last layer, and drop the opacity to
There ya go, youíve got a really funny looking picture
thanks to some fills. Show that to your friends
Iíve included the PSD file of the three
fill images (the ones above) in case you didnít quite follow
Well, I hope you learned
something useful. Fills are very fun to play with. If you
have any questions, please post in the forum or email me:
[email protected]. Please feel free to send me
any sweet pics you make!