Paint Shop Pro Seamless Tiles Tutorial

A Technique for Creating Seamless Tiles in Paint Shop Pro 7

Seamless tiles on the web are just like the linoleum ones on your kitchen floor, except that you don’t have to mop away the orange juice and milk stains to maintain the shine. Think of them as self cleaning. That’s not to say that web tiles won’t have you on your hands and knees. Making backgrounds for web pages is not hard. Making them seamless can be frustrating. This intermediate tutorial is just one of many ways to make seamless tiles.

Step 1 – Open Image

Scroll down and right-click on the left below image called “girl1.jpg” and save it to your hard-drive (“save picture as”). Open the image in Paint Shop Pro. Click the Retouch toolbar icon pictured below.

Retouch Tool on Paint Shop Pro ToolBar
Retouch Tool

After doing this, you should see the Retouch Tool Options Palette. If it doesn’t appear after clicking the retouch tool on the toolbar (the finger above), go to the Paint Shop Pro menu bar and choose:

View > Toolbars > Tool Options Palette

Step 2 – Setting the Retouch Tool Options

Make sure tab 1 is selected and choose the settings below:

 
Shape: Round
*Size: 80
Hardness: 0
Opacity: 100
Step: 100
Density: 100
Retouch Effect: Push
 

*The size setting of the brush varies with image size.

 

Step 3 – Performing the Push

Place the cursor approximately between the eyes. This is important because you want the push to pickup as much of the face as possible without including extraneous material from the background (like the chair). She such a cutie!

Girl 1

Original (girl1.jpg)

Hold your mouse button down and push it around in a swirling motion until you see faces appear. Try to cover the entire area with faces that look similar because remember, the end result must be seamless. Don’t make the mistake of letting go of your mouse button until you’ve filled the entire area. If you have to restart, place the mouse button over one of the faces you just created and swirl it some more. You may want to drop the step setting (not below 40) to fill in areas that aren’t consistent.

Girl 2

Swirled (girl2.jpg)

Step 4 – Making the Image Seamless

Make a rectangular selection with the Selection Tool over the swirled faces the size that you want your seamless tile to be.

Selection Tool on the Paint Shop Pro Tool Bar

Go to Selections and choose Convert to Seamless Pattern. A new image will pop up that will hopefully be both nice looking and seamless.

Step 5 – Editing the Seamless Tile Image

The chances are, the newly created seamless tile image will need some touching up to get rid of edges or fill in gaps to truly be seamless. A tiled image that’s not seamless is noticeably ugly. A few careful pushes with the step setting dropped can correct much of the problem. Also, use the Retouch tool’s Soften and Smudge modes for smoothing and blending areas.

Step 6 – Lighten the Seamless Tile

To use the seamless tile as a background in a web page with dark text, you will probably want to lighten it. There are several ways to this. The easiest, is to go to Colors > Adjust > Hue/Saturation/Lightness and up the lightness. You can also make create a quick image of the exact size as your seamless tile and fill it with a lighter color, then use the Arithmetic function under Image > Arithmetic > Average to create a new lighter image of a different color.

Girl 3 - Seamless Tile

Lightened (girl3.jpg)

Step 6 – Testing the SeamlessTile

How do you know if the finished product is actually seamless? Well, tile it. The easiest way is to set the image as wallpaper on your desktop. I use a freeware program called sTile, which allows quick and easy testing of tiles. sTile even allows you to merge edges and four-way flip a tile.

Another example of a seamless tile using this technique:

Seamless Tile Example

Emory Rowland

Emory Rowland is editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire. He's a fanatical blogger, entrepreneur and builder of Internet things from way back. Emory's love for social media and success with organic search led him to start a SEO consulting venture. Apart from the Internet, he could be considered by many as pretty worthless. More...

2 comments

  1. Emory Rowland

    Douglas, I totally understand what you’re saying about graphics being addictive and keeping one out of trouble :)

  2. Douglas Gross

    I have Paintshop Pro 9, and I used to have PSP 8. It does not seem to have all the same functions, or I cannot find them. I have been dabbling with PSP9 and came up with some really cool tiles though. Once you get good at it you develop an intuitive feel for what to do to get the result you want. It just takes experience. Myself, I am just getting started with designing graphics. Making seamless tiles can become like an addiction. All day yesterday and late into the night I spent the whole time just working on an artsy Web template. It keeps me out of trouble.

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