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2.3 Grassy Pattern

The first step in generating our text effect is to create a seamless grass pattern out of our stock images. This involves layering several photos together, making them blend with each other, and creating a seamless tile of grass.

2.3 Grassy Pattern

Hello everybody. Kirk Nelson here. Welcome back to nature Inspired Text Effects. This is chapter number two where we are creating this grass text effect. This is Lesson 2.3 where we we develop a grassy pattern. In these source files for this lesson are these two images of these grassy plots, this is grass plot 09.jpeg, and grass plot 04.jpeg. Both of these came from my original set of stocks that I shot, and then i retouched using the same techniques we reviewed in an earlier lesson. Our mission for this lesson is to take both of these and create a seamless, tileable grassy pattern that we can use as a texture for the overall letter forms of our project here. We'll begin by creating a new file, File New. And let's make it 2500 by 2500 pixels. It's important whenever you're creating a pattern that you work in square dimensions. Things just work out a lot easier that way. Then for each of these plots, i want to remove the flower areas. If we leave those in there, it creates a very recognizable repetition of the pattern. We want to avoid anything that creates a very obvious visually repeating element. Now true, the entire texture will be repeated but when there's something with high enough contrast like this, it makes it all that much more obvious that you're doing that, and that's what we want to hide. So using the same techniques that we've used before, let's select all the way around it and try a content to wear fill. Through Edit > Fill > Content-Aware. That does a good job there. The one on the outside can probably even just be trimmed off. Once we have a selection completely around it, we can just fill that with white. White is my foreground color and I fill the selection by holding down the alt and tapping the backspace key. And then deselect that selection with Ctrl or Cmd + d. I'm going to do this for both the images. My next task is to create a mask from the surrounding white areas, so the mask leaves only the grassy portions visible. One of the best ways to do this is with the color range selection tool, you can click once and you can get a decent selection. You can use the plus on the eye dropper and get an even tighter selection by selecting some of those light shadowy areas. Let's hit the Refine Edge button, and let's smooth out that selection just a little bit. It's hard to see if that's doing anything so we zoom in. And look at that edge. The smoothing's a little bit harsh there, so I'm gonna pull that back down, increase a little bit of a feather edge to it, and then use the shift edge to bring it in some, because it's better for the selection edge to error on the inside of the selection than to accidentally capture pixels belonging to that white background. We'll output to layer mask, and click OK. So what happened here? Well what happened is that we created a mask of the white areas and not of the areas inside of this white border, so let's click on that mask thumbnail and go to Image, Adjustments, Invert. And that's exactly what we wanted. I've done that same process to isolate this secondary grass stock from its background as well. And then it's time to begin building the texture. So I'm grabbing this masked out layer, dragging it over onto our texture file here. And just depositing it right in there. And I think it's kind of large for what I need it to do. So I'm going to engage the show transformation control handles and scale it down a little bit. I'm going to deposit both of these and position them with in the frame here. And then it's really just a simple matter of creating copies of these elements. And repositioning them until we cover up all of that white space. If you find with your mask selection that we still get a bit of a white halo there, here's a great way to deal with that. Make sure you're on the layer that you're working with or directly looking at, and target the mask. And then go to Filter, Other Minimum. And you notice how that pulls in that white outline. The more you increase the radius pixels, the more it's gonna cut inwards. Looks like a pixel of two is exactly what I needed to get a nice, sharp, crisp mask outline around that. For the sake of time I've made several copies of both of these images, and translated them around to fill this frame so there's no more white background showing through. Now when doing that don't just make a copy and slide it around. Make sure you rotate it, and, or scale it so you get a much different perspective, and it doesn't look visually identical. On close inspection you can see that these are copies of certain areas, but you do have to look closely. It doesn't immediately jump out to you as a visual copy. There is some concern over mismatched green tones though. And really the best way to address that is to add a hue saturation colorization layer. So it's the hue saturation adjustment layer. Click Colorize, and then force the color of all of them to be a standard grass green. That way there is some differences in the luminous values, but the overall green tone is still identical. And then let's add a curves adjustment layer, just so we can make sure that our curves our matching our histogram pretty well, we want a slight curve in there. And once we enhanced the contrast with those curves, it occurred to me that the colorization layer is probably a little too intense. So I'll pull down on that opacity, so it still applies the colorization, but it's not quite as drastic. After that, we need to create a merged layer at the top of the stack. Hold down the Alt or the Option key, and go to Layer > Merge Visible. And this top layer is the one that will be used to generate the actual pattern. Before we do that, we have to take a look at how the seams are going to look. So if I were to repeat this image vertically and horizontally, tile it all next to itself, how would the two edges that butt up against each other appear? There's an easy way to tell that. Go to Filter, Other, Offset. And you can just drag those edges up to someplace where it's easier to see. Right near the middle, lets say. Hit OK. And now we can treat these seams and not have to worry about the seams that were over here. Because what that filter did is when pixels got pushed off the left side, it added them to the right, same with the up and down, therefore the vertical seams and the horizontal seams will be seamless there, we just have to worry about what we see in the middle of our canvas. And this is easy enough to fix with a rough selection and our old friend, the Content Aware fill tool. As I made this selection, I wanted to make sure I didn't create additional seams with my selection edge. The Content Aware Fill does a really good job of trying to hide that but it's not perfect. So I add to it by making sure it's an irregularly shaped selection. Now we go to Edit > Fill, use our Content Aware, and our seams disappear. I do end up with some fairly strange-looking grass blades in here, and I'm not too thrilled with the way that that particularly looks. So let's try the Patch tool. By just offsetting that a little bit, and I think that's a little bit better of an interpolation. And if you don't care for the way some of these grass blades ended up, you can just continue working with these tools to disrupt some of the pattern that's in there. The patch tool does a good job, or you could also use the healing brush or even the clone stamp tool. The idea is just to get some nice randomized elements that looks like it's growing grass. And when you've got the texture set how you like it go to Edit, Define Pattern. And we'll call this grass pattern one. Before we close out I wanna show you what we've done here in creating this pattern and how it's useful. Let's say we create a new blank layer right here on the top of the stack. And just fill this with white for right now, just so that we can have some pixels in there. I'm adding a layer style of a pattern overlay, and selecting our new grass pattern, which appears way down at the very bottom of the list, which just looks like the work we've already done, I realize that. But now watch, we can use this scale button Let's make it repeat endlessly, and move it around, and it's completely seamless. You see a little bit of repetition in there. But you can't tell where one pattern starts, and the other one begins. In fact, if that repetition is bothersome, you can go back and rearrange some of those elements, and reset the pattern until you get a result that you really like. And that's it for Lesson 2.3 on developing the grassy pattern. Next lesson, Lesson 2.4, we address working with the letter forms, and our preparations of growing grass on our letters.

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