- Applying Color and Patterns to an Object with Photoshop
With Photoshop, it’s easy to make realistic looking color changes and add pattern to an object. For this tutorial I’ll be using Photoshop CS4 to show how it’s done. You should be able to follow along with later versions of Photoshop as well. My object will be a long-sleeved tee shirt, which I will make multiple shirts from in various colors and patterns.
To follow along, right click on the below links to save two practice files to your computer:
• Practice File 1 – Shirt
• Practice File 2 – Pattern
- Get Organized
Since I’ll be producing several images, I will set up a file folder to hold my work. I’ll name the folder “Color_Pattern.”
In Photoshop, I will open the practicefile1_shirt.png file and save it with a new name by choosing File > Save As. In the pop-up window, I’ll type in the text field the name “shirt_neutral” and navigated to my Color_Pattern folder, then choose Photoshop for the format and click Save. I’ll do the same with the practicefile2_pattern.png file, only I will name it “pattern_stars.”
- Change the Color of the Shirt with Hue-Saturation
At the bottom of the Layers panel, I will click and hold on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button, and from the pop-up menu I’ll Select Hue/Saturation. This will cause the Adjustments panel to appear. I’ll then place a check in the Colorize checkbox.
To make the shirt blue, I will type in the Hue text field 204, in the Saturation text field 25, and in the Lightness text field 0.
- Save the Blue Shirt
The file now needs to be given a new name. I will choose File > Save As, and in the pop-up window I’ll change the name to “shirt_blue” and navigate to my Color_Pattern folder. I’ll then choose Photoshop for the format and click Save.
I save my original files in Photoshop’s native format, knowing that I can later save a copy of the file in JPEG, PNG, or whatever format suits the project at hand.
- Adjustments – Make a Green Shirt
With the Adjustments panel still active, I can click and drag the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders, or type numbers into their text fields as I did before.
Adjustments to the Hue will change the color. Saturation adjustments will make the shirt dull or bright, and Lightness adjustments will make the shirt dark or light.
To make the shirt green, I will type in the Hue text field 70, in the Saturation text field 25, and in the Lightness text field 0.
- Save the Green Shirt
After making adjustments to the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness, I need to choose File > Save As. I will name the file “shirt_green” and navigate to my Color_Pattern folder, then click Save.
- More Colors
To make multiple shirts in various colors, I will change the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness again and again, and save each new shirt color with a new name in my Color_Pattern folder.
- Define the Pattern
Before I can apply a new pattern, I need to define it. In Photoshop, I will choose File > Open, navigate to the pattern_stars.png in the Color_Pattern folder, then click Open. The image of a pattern of stars will appear. Next, I’ll choose Edit > Define Pattern. In the Pattern Name dialog box I’ll type “stars” in the Name text field, then press OK.
I don’t need the file to remain open, so I will choose File > Close.
- Quick Selection
Open a file containing one of the shirt images. I have here a pink shirt, which I will select with the Quick Selection tool. If this tool isn’t visible in the Tools panel, click and hold the Magic Wand Tool to see the Quick Selection tool and choose it.
The Quick selection tool works like a brush to quickly select areas. I just click and drag on the shirt. If I miss an area, I simply continue painting to add to the existing selection. If I paint beyond the area, I can press and hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) key to paint what I want to delete. And, I can change the size of the tool by pressing repeatedly the right or left brackets.
- Apply the Pattern
I’m now ready to apply the defined pattern to the shirt. With the shirt selected, I will click and hold on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Pattern.
- Adjust Pattern Size
The Fill dialog box should show the new pattern. If not, click on the arrow just to the right of the pattern preview and select the pattern.
The Fill dialog box also allows me to scale the pattern to a desirable size. I can either type a number into the Scale text field, or click on the arrow just to the right of it to adjust the size with a slider, then click OK.
- Change Blending Mode
With the fill layer selected, I will click and hold on Normal within the Layers panel, and change the blending modein the drop-down menu to Multiply. I can also experiment with the different blending modes to see how they will affect the pattern.
I will save this file with a new name, in the same way that I saved the previous files to my Color_Pattern folder. I will choose File > Save as, and type in the name “shirt_stars.”
- Applying More Patterns
Know that Photoshop has a set of default patterns that you can choose from. You can also download patternsfor use. Before making this shirt, I downloaded a free set of plaid patterns. To download this plaid pattern and other free patterns, and also learn how to install them for use in Photoshop, click on the below links. To learn how to create your own custom patterns, continue on.
- Create a Custom Pattern
To create a custom pattern In Photoshop, I will create a small canvas that is 9×9 pixels, then use the Zoom tool to zoom in 3200 percent.
Next, I will create a simple design using the Pencil tool. I’ll define the design as a pattern by selecting Edit > Define Pattern. In the Pattern Name pop-up window I’ll name the pattern “square” and click OK. My pattern is now ready for use.
- Apply the Custom Pattern
A custom pattern is applied just like any other pattern. I select the shirt, click and hold on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Pattern. In the Pattern Fill pop-up window I adjust the size and click OK. In the Layers panel I choose Multiply.
As before, I will give the file a new name by choosing File > Save As. I’ll name this file “shirt_squares.”
- Lots of Shirts
I’m now done! My Color_Pattern folder is filled with shirts of various colors and patterns.
This Article is written by Heena Lalwani
Heena Lalwani is a traveler, writer, thinker and Dancer. She is a CS engineer and blogger. She happily shares her Designing tips. Motto: “Success is before work only in the dictionary.”