Textures and patterns are useful tools to have in the toolbox when manipulating images in Photoshop.  They can be used to create vintage effects, add complex backgrounds to blend into your design, or act as creative blending blocks when compositing. 

And while there are countless textures available online – free or for purchase –, sometimes you need something specific to your design requirements.  Fortunately, creating a seamless texture from a photograph is a straightforward process.

Choose the Right Photograph

While it is possible to create a seamless, tile repeatable pattern from anything, choosing the wrong image can make the process harder than it needs to be.  Choose an image with even exposure, no perspective distortion, is high resolution and free of noise or be prepared to “fix” those problems before you start this process.

Create your Pattern

The goal is to create a pattern that can be tiled seamlessly, so it is important to start by cropping the image to Square dimensions.  If necessary, take this opportunity to crop out any potential problem spots in the original image like those mentioned above. 

To create a repeating pattern, use Filter – Other – Offset and adjusting the Horizontal and Vertical values to be ½ the size of the image.  You will now have a grid of 4 that will create a seamless pattern when tiled.

But you will also most likely see visible seams where the 4 parts come together.  You have a choice of methods to fix this.  Use the Clone Tool, Patch Tool or Content Aware Fill to select the seams and fill with suitable content.  I prefer the Clone Tool as it provides the most control, but it can also be the most tedious depending on how obviously the seam area stands out in the final image and any other issues that may need to be addressed.

Save your new Pattern

Save your new pattern by using the Edit – Define Pattern dialogue box and give it a unique name. 

See your new pattern in action by creating a new document and adding Layer – New Fill Layer – Pattern from the list.

It is easy to use these easy to create a seamless tiled texture pattern from your photos to meet all your design needs.

Karen Foley is a freelance photographer and frequent contributor to Dreamstime Stock Photos. See more of her work at Karenfoleyphotography.com.