This Cyber Monday Tuts+ courses will be reduced to just $3 (usually $15). Don't miss out.
Seamless backgrounds can be used in just about any type of project. You will commonly see them used in fashion design, print design, web design, and even architectural design. I've always enjoyed creating seamless backgrounds, and in this tutorial, I will show you how to create a really interesting circular, geometric background pattern using Photoshop's vector tools. Let's get started!
1. Set Up Your Canvas
Before we get started, the first thing that you will need to do is to set up your canvas. Setting precise measurements for this pattern is important, so in this tutorial, we will rely heavily on grids.
To set up your grid, browse to Preferences > Guides, Grids & Slices.
Set a Gridline every 50 pixels, as shown below.
Now that your grid is set, create a new document that is 350 x 350 pixels in dimensions. Use the settings below.
Once your document has been created, go ahead and show your grid by going to View > Show > Grid (Command/Ctrl-')
Your document should now look similar to the image below with Gridlines placed every 50 pixels.
2. Draw Shapes
Before you get started, make sure that Snapping is enabled by going to View > Snap. This will make sure your shapes are placed properly.
This pattern will be created using basic vector shapes. Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and click anywhere on the canvas. Create a circle that is 200 x 200 pixels in dimensions.
Activate the Path Selection Tool (A), select the circle shape that you just created, and change the color to black, or any color you prefer.
Place your first shape in the top left corner of your canvas, as shown. It should snap in to place.
With the Path Selection Tool (A) selected, and while pressing Alt on your keyboard, select the circle shape and drag out a duplicate circle, as shown.
With the new circle selected, select the Intersect Shape Areas option from Path Operations, as shown.
To simplify things, select Merge Shape Components, as shown. This will get rid of all the excess paths.
Your canvas should now look similar to this.
3. Build Pattern Shape
With the Path Selection Tool (A) selected, select the new shape, and with the Alt key pressed, drag out a duplicate of the shape and place it, as shown.
Select both shapes with the Path Selection Tool (A) and make duplicates of them by Copying and Pasting (Command/Ctrl-C and Command/Ctrl-V). Then, rotate them and place them, as shown, by Pressing Command/Ctrl-T on your keyboard, using the appropriate Transformation handles.
Now we need to fill in the center of the pattern. To do this, select the Rectangle Tool and click directly onto the intersection of the two Gridlines in the center.
Create a square shape that is 70 x 70 pixels in dimensions. Make sure to enable the From Center option.
Now, let's Inflate the center shape a bit by going to Edit > Transform Path > Warp.
Select Inflate from the Warp dropdown menu. Set the Bend to 10%.
Our pattern is almost complete. Before we move on, take a look at your Layers panel. If your paths are broken up onto several layers, like mine, select all the shape layers and Merge them by right-clicking on them and selecting Merge Shapes. This will combine all your paths in to one.
Now that we have simplified our layers a bit, we can now start duplicating the shapes to fill the screen. Select the Path Selection Tool (A) and select the shapes, as shown. You can select multiple shapes by shift-clicking on them. Don't click the far left shape. It's not necessary.
With the four paths selected, press Alt on your keyboard, drag out the duplicate shapes, and place them, as shown.
Using the technique explained above, drag out some more duplicates and place them, as shown. Remember, you don't need to select the top two shapes.
4. Make the Seamless Pattern
At this point, we are pretty much done with the tutorial. All we need to do now is turn it into a pattern preset.
Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and draw a selection in the center of the canvas as shown below. Your selection should be 150 x 150 pixels.
Now go to Edit > Define Pattern.
Name your pattern.
5. Apply the Pattern
Once you are done, the next step is to apply the pattern to see how it looks and to make sure it actually works.
Create a new document in whatever size you like. Mine is 2000 x 2000 pixels.
Select the Background layer in the Layers panel.
Go to Edit > Fill (F5).
Select Pattern from the Use dropdown menu and select the pattern that you just created from the Custom Pattern dropdown. Click OK. Your pattern will now be applied to the Background layer. If you did everything correctly, your pattern should be completely seamless. If it is not seamless, you may need to make some adjustments.
In this tutorial, I showed you how to quickly and easily create a seamless, geometric, circular pattern using Photoshop's vector tools. I hope that you learned something from this tutorial and can use these techniques to create your own beautiful patterns in Photoshop.