Patterns in Photoshop CS5 - Skin Investigation

Patterns in Photoshop CS5

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Creating Scanlines in Images using Custom Patterns

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Images can be modified in a whole bunch of ways using PhotoShop. One that is quite commonly used is scanlines, which is reminiscent of an old TV or a screen being viewed through another screen. We can replicate the scanline effect quite easily in PhotoShop, and this article will show how.

First, we have our document open in PhotoShop that we want to add the scanlines to. We then open a new document of 5px by 5px, and we can zoom in if we like. We are going to define a pattern for the scanlines. We zoom in and delete the white background. Then choose black pencil – thickness of one or two pixels. Then we simply draw a line on the top half of the document:

Next, we Select All (Ctrl + A), and then goto the Edit menu and then Define Pattern. You can give it a name or leave it as Pattern 1.

Now we can close that document and goto the document we want to apply the scanlines to. We double-click on the Layer to get the Layer Styles up, and choose Pattern Overlay. From the Patterns dropdown we can select the pattern we just made. Once we select this, we can see in the background that the pattern is applied. We can adjust the pattern using the opacity and blend mode options. You should experiment to see what looks best for your needs.

For this example, we just reduced the opacity to 35% and got the following:

Another way to achieve similar results is to create a new layer above the layer you want to apply the scanlines to, and then choose the Paint Bucket tool (G). From the toolbar at the top, we want Pattern instead of Foreground, then we can choose the pattern we created from the dropdown, similar to how we did in the Layer Styles. Then we simply fill the layer with that pattern. Now we can adjust the scanlines by manipulating the layer. We will add a blur to it, by going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. We chose a value of 0.8

You’ll probably find that if you used a black pencil for the pattern, blurring the scanlines will make the image darker. You may want to play around with the Layer Blend mode at the top of the layer Window. For the above image, we used a Gaussian Blur of 0.8 and Overlay blend mode.

You may also want to experiment with different color patterns, and different kinds of patterns (vertical lines, diagonal lines, squares, and even more complex designs). Creating your own Patterns is just one of PhotoShops powerful features.

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