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Adding a Pattern to an Object

This classic effect adds a pattern to any selected object within your image. Before layer styles came along (back in Photoshop 6), we had to do all this manually, and it was really kind of a pain. But layer styles changed all that, and now it’s pretty painless.

Step One. Open the photo that has an area you want to apply a pattern to. In this example, we’re going to apply a pattern to the fabric of this umbrella.
Step Two. The first step to making this happen is to select the fabric. Start by pressing the letter “w” to switch to the Magic Wand tool. Click once on the left side of the fabric to select that area (as shown here). (Note: If the Magic Wand doesn’t select a very large area, try raising the Tolerance in the Options Bar and clicking again.)
Step Three. Hold the Shift key, and then click the Magic Wand tool on the center panel of the umbrella to select the rest of the fabric. Chances are it won’t select every last bit of fabric, so press the letter “L” to switch to the Lasso tool, hold the Shift key again, and click-and-drag to “lasso” over any areas that still aren’t selected until you have the entire fabric area selected (as shown here).
Step Four. To be able to use the Pattern Overlay layer style, your object has to be on its own layer, so press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to copy the fabric up onto its own separate layer (as shown here).
Step Five. Now choose Pattern Overlay from the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette (it’s the first icon from the left). When the dialog appears, it will put the default pattern (some weird blue blobs) over your fabric. It won’t blend in, mind you; it will completely cover it (as shown here), which looks mighty bad.
Step Six. First, let’s find a decent-looking pattern, then we’ll work on making it blend in. In the Pattern dialog, click on the Pattern thumbnail to bring up the Pattern Picker. Click on the little right-facing arrow at the top right and a flyout menu will appear. At the bottom of the menu will be a list of pattern sets you can load. Choose Nature Patterns (as shown here). When the dialog appears, click the Append button to add these nature patterns to your Pattern Picker.
Step Seven. In the Pattern Picker, you’ll see that this set of patterns has been added to the end of your current set. Click on the Blue Daisies pattern (as shown here), to switch to a nice flower pattern. Don’t click OK just yet.
Step Eight. When you look back at your image, you’ll see that the weird blue blobs have been replaced by the purplish daisies (as shown here). So the pattern looks better, but it’s still covering the fabric, not blending in with it.
Step Nine. To make the pattern blend in with your umbrella, change the Blend Mode pop-up menu in the Pattern category of the dialog. Normally, the Overlay mode works well; but in this case, it made the pattern too dark, so instead try Color Dodge (which brightens the flowers). Lower the Opacity to 65% to keep the effect from being too intense (as shown here). Now you can click OK to apply your pattern. In the next two steps, we’ll turn the photo into an ad for anti-depressant medication.
Step Ten. To create some white space under your image so you can add a headline and some body copy, go under the Image menu and choose Canvas Size. Turn on the Relative checkbox; enter 3 inches for Height; and in the Anchor Grid, click on the top-center square. For Canvas Extension Color, choose White in the pop-up menu.
Step Eleven. When you click OK, it adds 3 inches of white space beneath your umbrella. Now you can add your text with the Type tool. The font used in the headline and the body copy is Minion Pro (which comes with Photoshop CS). The type in the light blue oval logo is Helvetica Bold Italic. To make the oval, I created a new layer, drew an ellipse with the Elliptical Marquee tool, and filled it with a light blue. From the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu in the Layers palette, I chose Bevel and Emboss, and then chose Drop Shadow from the left side of the dialog. This completes the effect.
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