Seamless Background Tiles in Photoshop: Starry Night

Many people who have absolutely no interest in web design find themselves needing to learn bits of it – and usually, the bits center around graphics. Blogs and personal pages on sites like MySpace and IMVU all have options for you to personalize your personal space, but you have to know how to make some graphics to do it.

Using Photoshop, creating your own backgrounds for any number of purposes (including scrapbooking, as I recently learned) is easy. You need a couple tools, and you’re ready to go – but don’t stress, I’ll even show you how to load them up in this quick and easy guide.

Part 1: Gather & Install Tools

One: You’ll need to download 2 files. One is a filter package by Redfield, and the other is a set of star brushes. Each are free to download and use. Grab the Redfield package here: Then, download the star brushes here: Save the files to your desktop or somewhere else you’ll easily remember them.

Two: The Redfield filter package is the easiest. Make sure you do not have Photoshop open, and then double-click the file you downloaded. It will install by itself, just like any normal software.

Now, to install the brushes. If you know how to install brushes, have at it. Otherwise, follow along. You first need to unzip the file you downloaded. Just right-click it and choose “Extract here” or “Unzip here”. Two files appear – an .abr file and a .txt file. The .txt is nice, included by the creator of the brushes, and tells you where to place this brush set.

If you don’t want to read the .txt, read this: go to “My Computer”, open your hard drive (usually C), and then open the Programs folder. Inside this folder, open Adobe and then open Photoshop. Now, open Presets, and go to the Brushes folder. You can drag & drop your .abr file here.

Yay! You’ve got the tools installed!

Part 2: Create Some Stars

One: We’ve got our tools installed, so now it’s time to create a background that we want to make seamless. Open a new canvas sized 300 x 300 pixels. Set your foreground color to #d2dadc and your background color to #13314b. You’ll want to use the switch foreground & background colors tool often – it looks like a double-ended arrow that curves over your foreground and background colors.

Two: You found the switch button, right? Good – because you need to use it now. Switch your foreground and background colors and fill the background of your canvas with the dark blue. Just use your paintbucket tool.

Three: Use the switch button once more, so that your gray is the foreground color. Then, grab your star brushes. Click Layer – New – New Layer, and start dotting some stars all over the canvas.

Four: When you’re happy with the stars you’ve made, merge the stars with your background. Right-click the stars layer and choose “Merge Visible”. Easy-peasey, now we’re ready for our seamless tile filter!

Part 3: Whip Out a Seamless Tile

One: Click “Filter”, look all the way to the bottom and click “Redfield”. Choose “Seamless Workshop”. A dialogue opens – you can adjust the settings in here using drop-down boxes to get the look you want. To create your tile, click the check-mark icon.

Two: Save it! You will probably have to crop your canvas up to the edges, but you now have a seamless tile ready for saving and use. Experiment with fabrics, brushes, textures, and even photographs.

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