Photoshop step and repeat effects

by Design Workshop Sydney

Step and repeat effects can be easily created in Adobe Photoshop. This is one of the many features we look at in our Photoshop training courses.
To create an effect similar to the one illustrated here we would first create a new document within Photoshop via the top File menu. This will open a dialog box where we can either choose an existing template for print, web or mobile device. Note the various options within each category – we may also enter our own custom sizes if desired, as well as save these as presets for future use.
For example, we may wish to create a web banner 150 x 150 pixels, with a resolution of 150 pixels per inch. We then change the foreground and background colours to the default black and white, and fill the background of the image with black.
Next create two centre lines, horizontally and vertically, from the ruler bars. And select the Ellipse shape tool (stacked behind the Rectangle tool). Select “Shape Layers” from the top left options, and change the colour to white. Press the Shift and Alt keys to create a perfect circle from the centre outwards, using the ruler guides to centre it to the page.
Next select the Path Selection tool (ie. the black arrow) and select the ellipse. Press Alt and Shift, and click and drag the shape to the bottom of the canvas. Next select both shapes (using the Shift key to add to a selection). Then press the Control+Alt+T keys (ie. Free Transform and Copy), hold down the Shift key, and rotate the shapes by two stops, that is increments of 30 degrees. Hit the Enter key to complete the command.
This is where the Step & repeat function applies – we press down on the Control+Alt+Shift keys, then press the T key four times.This will give us multiple copies evenly spaced out. Now select all of the shapes by clicking and dragging around all the shapes with the Path Selection tool. Press Ctrl+Alt+T (or FreeTransform & Copy), hold down Shift and rotate by 15 degrees. Then hold Alt+Shift to scale down, and hit the Enter key. Now press Ctrl+Alt+Shift and press T several times.
Select all the shapes again and press Ctrl+T  to scale. Press Alt+Shift and scale up a bit. Then deselect by clicking on the background layer. Turn off the visibility of the shape layer, and on the background layer use the Gradient tool with the options of Foreground to Transparent and Radial gradient with an opacity setting of 50 percent. Change the colours to the default again and use white to draw a light gradient out from the centre of the canvas.
Add a New Adjustment Layer from the bottom of the layers panel, choose Hue/Saturation and tick Colourize. Then change the Hue slider to 100 with a Saturation of 60 (which is bright green), and hit OK.
Turn the shape layer back on and change the layer blending mode to Overlay. Add a Layer Mask and use the Gradient tool with an opacity of 100 percent. Change the colours back to the default black and white, and click and drag out from the centre of the canvas.
Lastly we find a suitable image, in this case a woman’s head from the 1940s. Select the background with the Quick Selection tool, for example. Go to the top Select menu to choose Invert – this has the effect of selecting the head only. Use the Move tool to copy her across into the green background image. You may also use the layer effects at the bottom of the layers panel to apply an Outer Glow effect, and change the colour to green or yellow. Adjust the size and spread, etc.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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