Saturday, January 15, 2011

Create elaborate patterns from a single flower

Here's an easy way to create some beautiful patterns that could be used for fabrics, scarves, or just plain fun... all from a single image of a flower and some Photoshop magic. 
For this demonstration I chose a photo I have of a pansy, one of my wife's favorite flowers.

Isolate the image of the flower and place it on a separate layer in a new document. Drag guides from the top and bottom to mark the center of the document.

Fill the background with a color. I happened to choose green because... just because. You don't have to get deep and technical about this. You can play with and change colors to your heart's content. Then change the blending mode of the flower layer to Difference. 

Duplicate the flower layer 4 times, creating 5 identical layers. Select the four top layers,  select Edit => Free Transform, and drag the center point of the selection to the center of the document, at the intersection of the guides. Rotate the selection 72 degrees.

Repeat this process with the 3 top layers, then the top 2 and finally the remaining top layer. Create a group from all the flower layers. 

Duplicate the group. With the new group selected, select Edit => Free Transform, rotate the group 36 degrees, and scale and move the selection until it covers the background area.

Now for some fun. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the background and play with the hue.

To take it a step further, experiment by changing the blending mode of the groups. You can see the variations by just changing the blending mode of the top group.
Each flower you use yields a unique image. Here's a sample of a pattern I created using an image of a snapdragon.
Have fun!  If anyone decides to use this tutorial I'd love to know how and where you applied it.

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