Textures and Patterns

I used to build and sell giant sets of repeatable patterns before Photoshop made them easy.

Over a Million Custom Patterns

Using one pattern, I generated a look that I liked.  I did this by using a combination of custom made Photoshop Styles.

I created several different sized sets of pattern using Adobe Illustrator.  This was before Photoshop had created a fairly easy method of tiling, so the pattern files needed to be scaled precisely.  This involved setting up the bleed and cropping that Photoshop does automatically now.

With pattern sets of 1000, 2500 & 4000 in different scales, I could simply apply a style to each layer, trim and save.  Using actions and scripts, I ran batch processes to automate the process.  Then a script created a consolidated pattern library for each set.

Good Money While it Lasted

I used several graphic and stock image marketplaces to sell the patterns and styles for around 5 years.  I charged fair competitive prices and the better sets sold by the thousands.

Eventually that market dried up.  Over the final year, even selling a new set a dozen times was a struggle.  A combination of a crowded market and changes in the software made the need for pattern libraries a little obsolete.  I occasionally dust off a set or two, but it’s usually just as easy to generate project specific patterns from scratch when needed.

One huge takeaway from the venture was that I did gain a massive amount of experience with Photoshop’s Blending Options and Styles.  That experience and how it crossed over to Adobe After Effects was priceless.

Some Pattern Examples

Here is a handful of the texture files a frame at a time in video format linked from YouTube.  It takes a couple minutes to watch each, but they’re mildly entertaining for a handful of seconds.