In this tutorial we'll play with adjustment layers and various effects in order to create a seamless grunge texture in the form of a pattern fill. Combine this tutorial with the previous grunge brush tutorial and you'll have the tools and techniques to create countless grungy creations worthy of a dystopian future themed gallery show. Enjoy!
1. Set Up Your Document
Open a New File in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 (note that most if not all of this tutorial will be applicable to older versions of the program) of approximately 3 inches square. The size, really, is up to you and your grunge texture needs.
Go to Filter > Render > Clouds in order to create a quick dark and stormy rendering of clouds within your document. This will give us the perfect basis for creating an abstract texture.
2. Modify Your Image
A lot of distortion filters can be applied at this stage, and I hope you check out what the program has to offer in terms of distorting and deconstructing your clouds. For this texture, I chose the Ripple filter found under Filter > Distort > Ripple. I set the amount to 845% with the Size set to Large.
Let's play with the levels of our current image with an Adjustment Layer. Go to Layers > Adjustment Layer > Levels, hit OK (since the default settings are just fine), and enter 24 for the change in Levels in the Properties panel. Since it was set to Posterize, the adjustment layer will harden the edges of the previous ripple effect.
I opted to keep playing with Adjustment Layers by altering the Brightness/Contrast of my image. I set Brightness to -18 and Contrast to 17. Additionally, in order to get the image to look grittier, I chose to Merge Visible (Shift-Control-E) layers and went to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen More.
3. Creating a Pattern
The easiest way I know of creating seamless patterns starts by Offsetting our design. Go to Filter > Other > Offset. The goal here is to get all four corners of the design to converge in the center of the image. It may take a bit of trial and error. For this file, I found 295 pixels both Vertically and Horizontally did the trick.
My aim in this step is to cover up or alter the very visible edges of my design. Using brushes from the grunge brush tutorial I wrote up previously, I did my best to cover up the pattern's edges.
Either create your own brushes from the previously mentioned tutorial, or download the brush presets attached to this tutorial to play around with the brushes I created. Use the Brush Tool (B) in varying shades of gray to blot, dot, and sponge textures from the brush pack over the edges. Be careful to not cover all of your previous hard work. Alter the design further by adding a Noise or Sharpen filter.
When satisfied with your texture (and after Offsetting it again to make sure any changes made don't result in additional edges), go to Edit > Define Pattern to save your new pattern with a unique name. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to test out the pattern in a New Document (make sure it's two to three times larger than your working document so you can see how the pattern repeats).
You've successfully created a seamless grunge texture. Play around with other colors, filters, grunge brushes, and methods outlined in this and the grunge brush tutorial in order to create a variety of textures for use within other pieces of art.
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