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Advanced Tiling

Natural Images By Luke Ahearn
Figure 2.24, click images for larger views
Tiling some images is easy, while others may present quite a challenge. Some of the hardest to tile are the natural images from digital photographs. As an example, we will use an image of some cobblestones in the next exercise. Achieving a smooth and continuous tile with an organic pattern such as these cobblestones, as opposed to cinder blocks or some symmetrical pattern, is a challenge.

Tiling Cobblestones

This exercise involves tiling an image of cobblestones in Photoshop:

1. This exercise is much easier with the grid on, so go into the Preferences and set the grid size to any number as long as there are at least 8 to 10 grid squares over your image. For the image in this exercise, set the gridlines to every 32 pixels.

2. Now open the stone.psd image file from the folder for this chapter on the companion CD-ROM (see Figure 2.24).
Figure 2.25

3. You will notice that the image is 640´480 pixels, but you eventually want a 256´256-sized (square) image. So, start by making the image square. You first must determine how to do this without stretching or distorting the image. Choose the portion that you will crop out. In this example, I chose the middle of the image where it looks the cleanest. Now, if you use the Crop tool to outline an 8´8 square area, you will have your 256´256 image, but youÕll want to outline a 10´10 square area, so that you have the border needed to make the tile work right (see Figure 2.25).
Figure 2.26

4. Select the bottom two grid rows of the image. Copy this selection by pressing Ctrl+C, and then paste the copy by pressing Ctrl+V; this will create a new layer. Hold the Ctrl key and click-and-drag the selection to the top (see Figure 2.26). (Having the grid lines visible and the Snap option turned on will make this step easier.) Use the Eraser tool to remove the area from the small selection at the top and make the seams seamless. Use a medium-sized, very soft brush, and work carefully.

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