Seeing Spots! Create your own Polka Dot Pattern in Photoshop

In this tutorial you will create a file that will allow you to quickly and easily create a polka dot ‘fabric’ in any color combination you wish with just a few clicks of the mouse.

To begin create a new file.

Create New Document

Create New Document

Notice the settings:

  • Size: 100 pixels by 100 pixels
  • Resolution: 72 Pixels/Inch
  • RGB color
  • Background: Transparent

 

Zoom in so you can see your little square.

Create a new layer.

  • Layer
  • New
  • Layer
Create New Layer

Layer, New, Layer

 

Layer 2

Layer 2

 

2 Layers

2 Layers

 

Create New Guides

  • View
  • New Guide
  • 50% Vertical
  • Repeat, this time 50% Horizontal
View New Guide

View New Guide

50% Vertical

50% Vertical

 

This is what it should look like with the Vertical and Horizontal Guides set.

Vertical and Horizontal Guidelines

Vertical and Horizontal Guides

 

Create the first polka dot.

Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool.

 

Elliptical Marquee Tool

Elliptical Marquee Tool

 

Draw the Circle.

  • Mouse over the center point of your square, where the guides intersect.
  • Press and hold Alt and Shift keys, and drag the circle out to the size you want. It will be perfectly centered over the center of your square.
  • Be sure to release mouse button before releasing the Alt and Shift keys.
Centered Circle

Centered Circle

 

The circle edge will appear pixelated, but that is only because we’re zoomed in so close. It will be fine when you zoom out.

 

Fill with white (usually the background color.)

  • Edit
  • Fill
  • Background
Fill with White

Fill with White

 

Duplicate this layer.

duplicate layer

duplicate layer

 

Duplicated Layer

Duplicated Layer

 

Offset the new layer.

  • Filter
  • Other
  • Offset
  • Offset 50 Pixels Vertical and Horizontal.

 

Offset

Filter, Other, Offset

 

Offset 50 Pixels

Offset 50 Pixels

 

Your image should look like this.

After Offset

After Offset

 

Set up the file up so you can quickly change the colors of the polka dots.  I like to do this with Layer Styles.

Click on the center dot layer to activate it.

Layer Style:

  • Layer
  • Layer Style
  • Color Overlay
  • Pick color
Layer, Layer Style, Color

Layer, Layer Style, Color

 

Color Overlay

1 Color Overlay, 2 Click Color Window, 3 Color Picker from Pallet.

 

Copy the Layer Style to the layer with the corner dots.

Right Click the Layer Style in the Layers Pallet, Copy Layer Style.

Copy Layer Style

Copy Layer Style

 

Select Center Dot Copy layer.

Paste Layer Style.

Paste Layer Style

Paste Layer Style

 

The file is set to make a polka dot pattern with dots the color you’ve selected, in my case hot pink.

Colored Dots

Colored Dots

 

Set the background color.

  • Select the background layer.
  • Fill with the color of your choice.
    • Edit
    • Fill
    • Color
    • Use the color picker to select the color.
Edit Fill Color

Edit Fill Color

colored layers

colored layers

 

 

To use this save it as a pattern.

Edit, Define Pattern.

 

Edit Define Pattern

Edit Define Pattern

The pattern will now appear on your Pattern Presets window.

Refer to other tutorials, such as “Create You Own Textures for Mesh Garments and Shoes,” for information on using this pattern file to texture garments.

 

Save this Photoshop file to use again for other colors. It is easy to change the dot colors by changing the Color Overlay, and simply refill the background layer to change that color.

This is an example of the pattern applied to a 1024×1024 square. You can see how the dots fill seamlessly.

Example

Example

 

How did I get 2 different colors of dots? Change the Color Overlay Layer Style on just 1 dot layer!  Once your file is saved, play with it and see what other ideas you can come up with to use this principle.  Have fun with this.  Think of other applications.  There are many.

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