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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 2:19 AM Last edited by JaneSamborski : 4th Jun 2009 at 2:30 AM.
Default Separating patterns without vectors
This tutorial explains how to split patterns into channels using only Photoshop. In practically all cases HP’s vector method will give you superior results, but sometimes this method will give you comparable results with slightly less effort. These instructions also contain a mini tutorial on how to preview your results in Photoshop.

If your pattern is simple geometric shapes or contains more than 3 or 4 colors you are better off using the vector method. I’ve chosen an ornate damask style pattern in 3 colors for this tutorial because it’s the kind of pattern that is faster with this method.

1) Tile your image. The result should be a square of at least 256x256 pixels.



2) This is my starting image. For most of this process I will be working with the image in grey scale. So I went ahead and desaturated the image (Image>Adjustments>Desaturate). If I was lucky enough to have a distinctly different grey for each of my colors, I’d skip to step 6. But if it looks more like this:



So I need to back track.

3) I’ve undone the desaturate. I need to create more contrast before I proceed. I’ll start with curves. (Image>Adjustments>Curves)



That’s a little better, but I really need to make changes based on color.

4) For this I’ll use replace color (Image>Adjustments>Replace Color). The eyedropper tool is used to select the color to be altered, I’ve chosen the grey, and at the bottom of the panel I’ve used the lightness slider to darken the color. Play with the fuzziness slider at the top if your color change is affecting too little or too much of the image.



I’ll do the same for the yellows, this time going lighter.



5) I think it’s going to be contrast-y enough now, so I desaturate it.

6) Now to actually start separating colors! First, I duplicate the layer. With my new layer selected I open up the levels (Image>Adjust>Levels)



In the levels box is a little bar graph, with three distinct peaks: one for each of my greys. I adjust the sliders below this graph until all three triangles are between the rightmost and second-rightmost peaks:



7) I’ve finished my first channel now, but here’s where things get a little tricky. If I just redo step 6 to isolate the midtone grey both the midtone and the lightest grey will be white, which I don’t want. I need to get the lightest tone out of the picture.

I grab the magic wand tool and set the tolerance to 0. I click in the black area of my image. Then I select similar (Select>Similar) and inverse it (Select>Inverse). I hide the layer with my first channel on it, so I can see my original grey scale image, it should look something like this:



I only have three colors so its okay if I just work right on this image, but if you have more colors you should duplicate the layer again and work on the duplicate.

8) I grab the pencil tool, set it to the largest size, and make the color black. I click it over the image a few times, this makes everything within my selection turn black. I get rid of the selection (Selection>Deselect).

9) I open the levels panel again, and move the sliders to isolate my midtone grey.



10) You may have noticed that this image has a lot of artifacts in it. Those artifacts are what makes this method inferior to the vector method. But, because I’m only doing a few colors cleaning them up by hand is relatively quick.



10) If you have more than three colors you will need to repeat step 7, 8, and 9 for each additional color.

11) The last color should be solid white.

12) Now I want to know of if these channels look how I want them to look. It is pretty easy to set up a test in photoshop. First I hide all the layers I’m working on. Then I select either the pen tool or the rectangle tool and set the tool options to look like this:


Next I’m going draw a random box for each of my channels anywhere in my workspace. It’s not important what they look like, but when I’m done my layers panel should look like this:



13) See how I have three new layers each with two boxes? I grab the second box on each layer and drag it to the trash can. Each time it will ask me if I want to delete the vector mask, I click yes. The layer panel now looks like this:



14) I now want to add a raster mask to each of these layers. That’s done by selecting each layer then pressing the mask button at the bottom of the layers panel. It’s the one that looks like a dark rectangle with a light circle cut out. Now the panel looks like this:



15) I now need to copy and paste each of my channels into one of these layer masks. I make my channels visible (I won’t be able to see them in my document because the new layers are on top of them, but that’s okay. I select the topmost channel layer, hit ctrl+A to select all and ctrl+C to copy it. I then enter the mask on the topmost layer by alt+clicking it (the box on the right). When I hit ctrl+V it should paste my top channel into the mask. I do this for my other channels as well. The end result should look like this:

.

16) Now if I double click the first box on each layer it will bring up the color picker. I can use this to get a good idea of how my channels are working together. I fiddled with all three boxes and got acceptable results:



17) If my colors were not lining up correctly I would play with the curves. If the edges looked too hard I’d try the reduce noise filter (Filters>Noise>Reduce Noise).

18) Since I’m happy with these I’m going to go ahead and reduce the image size to 256x256. I can now use these source images for HP’s tutorial.
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world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
#2 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 2:28 AM
Great tutorial! I'll probably make use of this myself for some types of textures. Thanks very much!

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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#3 Old 4th Jun 2009 at 2:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HystericalParoxysm
Great tutorial! I'll probably make use of this myself for some types of textures. Thanks very much!


Thank you so much! *blushes* Your method really is better for most things, but hopefully this will be helpful for people who want to do this sort of pattern.
Test Subject
#4 Old 6th Jun 2009 at 7:20 PM
Default Thanks
neat method. Personally, i was using PSP8 and splitting the raw image into RGB channels but it didn't give me much leeway with colour changing, your way is so much better.
Rabid Recoloring Renegade
retired moderator
#5 Old 6th Jun 2009 at 8:23 PM Last edited by [email protected] : 6th Jun 2009 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Took a good hard look at HP's and found GIMP info
Thank you very much for this tutorial! I've made it to step 11, and can't do anything after that because I can't figure out the options on Gimp. If anyone can help me there, that would be great.

I'm getting closer and closer thanks to you wonderful peeps!

I'm really happy with what I've found here and on HP's tute. I WILL GET THIS!
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#6 Old 6th Jun 2009 at 11:36 PM
icalvert - if you can get to step 11 you've done all the real work, the rest is just checking for errors. Its not critical, it just means fewer surprises when you get into game.

I don't know if gimp has the same kind of functionality for shape layers but I imagine it does have masks. If you can create an ordinary ratster layer and apply a mask to it, try that. You will have to use the paint bucket to fill the layer each time you want to try a new color, but otherwise it should work just as well.
Test Subject
#7 Old 7th Jun 2009 at 12:42 PM
OMG!!! I can't get it! I guess I'm not good enough with these programs to us this tut for Gimp... I thought I was doing good, but then I don't know what happens. I'm just lost, and fustrated. I have so many ideas for fabrics, and I'm mad that I can't bring them to life. Of course, its only my fault for not being able to follow instructions.
Test Subject
#8 Old 7th Jun 2009 at 2:20 PM
Ok I have a question.... Is there some point in here where you're supposed to get your color back? If so, when and how (using GIMP)?
Test Subject
#9 Old 7th Jun 2009 at 3:56 PM
you get the color back when you go into the pattern program itself. That is where you click the color tabs (defaulted in the same pink as the background of the prgram) that is what picks your default colors. so, like if you have 3 color choices from the channels, you will have 3 color options, etc.
I hope I explained that correctly. In photoshop the RPG will always look funky.
blessings,
PuterWitch


Quote:
Originally Posted by t0b1a5
Ok I have a question.... Is there some point in here where you're supposed to get your color back? If so, when and how (using GIMP)?
Test Subject
#10 Old 7th Jun 2009 at 8:40 PM
Okay.. Few more questions. What does it mean when it says the last layer should be white and how do you get to that point? Also, if you're only using two colors, what is done differently
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#11 Old 8th Jun 2009 at 7:32 AM
You won't ever be getting your color back, not until you get into the game. If you ever made clothing for TS2, do you remeber the alpha image that defined what parts of your texture would show up and which would be hidden? Each of these color separations is an alpha channel for one part of the pattern. The last layer can be all white because its under everything else, only in the places where holes are cut out of the upper layers will the bottom layer be visable.

The second half of the tutorial (from step 12) is designed to help you preview your work, but you don't import your colors into the game using the actual graphic. The preview colors for your texture are set numerically via the pattern packager.

I don't currently have gimp so I'll have a tough time answering questions about it, but for a two color pattern you chould be able to seperate off the first color using levels, then make the second channel solid white (just paint bucket it). Then head over to HPs tutorial.
Lab Assistant
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10th Jun 2009 at 8:07 AM
This message has been deleted by red_dragons. Reason: Resolved
Lab Assistant
#12 Old 10th Jun 2009 at 5:01 PM
I followed your tutorial, and into the game the colours pattern are strange...
When I change one colour (composed by three colours), change another colours.
what I wrong?



I separate the pattern in three part, background, foliage and flowers, but for to see the colour difference i can try several times...

Field Researcher
Original Poster
#13 Old 10th Jun 2009 at 6:28 PM
kihaad - I don't think you are putting your separated layers into the channels correctly. It looks like you have created the DDS with the alphas in normal working layers. You need to open a new 256x256 RGB document, in the layers pallate there is a channels tab, click it and you should see 4 layers RBG, Red, Green, and Blue. Ignore the RGB, copy/paste your bottom alpha into the red channel. Second lowest goes in Green, third in Blue. If you have 4 colors you will need to create one more layer (new layer button) and it will automatically name it Alpha. Your a fourth color can go there. If you've done it correctly, when you go back to the normal view the colors will be all nutty. If you are still having trouble let me know and I'll post some pics to explain.
Sir Not Appearing In This Film
#14 Old 10th Jun 2009 at 6:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kihaad
I followed your tutorial, and into the game the colours pattern are strange...
When I change one colour (composed by three colours), change another colours.
what I wrong?

I separate the pattern in three part, background, foliage and flowers, but for to see the colour difference i can try several times...


If you have an all white background layer, make sure that it is going into the RED channel, they are basically in reverse order:

Red -> Green -> Blue -> Alpha

Background -> Next -> Next -> Top

If your Alpha (or topmost channel) is all white, changing it's color will change the whole patterns color.
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 10th Jun 2009 at 6:50 PM
thanks JaneSamborski!
I think that now it's work, I had not set well rgb channel



but...i don't have create the the shape like a tutorial

ps: sorry for my english, i'm italian...
Test Subject
#16 Old 15th Jun 2009 at 9:19 PM
I was able to follow until step 10 using PS CS...Step 11 says The last color should be solid white and mine isnt....is there something im missing...do i make a new layer fill it white?
Test Subject
#17 Old 18th Jun 2009 at 12:08 AM Last edited by ANGEL D. : 18th Jun 2009 at 12:29 AM.
I'm just too stupid for this
I tried to make some Gucci patterns but in the end I can’t save it
Eminence Grise
#18 Old 18th Jun 2009 at 4:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by persianflower
I was able to follow until step 10 using PS CS...Step 11 says The last color should be solid white and mine isnt....is there something im missing...do i make a new layer fill it white?


Yup, that's what you do That one is the one that has to go in the Red channel. It will show through anywhere that isn't fully covered by the rest of the channels. You don't need it if the other colors in your pattern are fully opaque and completely cover the area, of course. But it's usually easier to have a "background"/"everything else" area.
Test Subject
DELETED POST
9th Jul 2009 at 11:31 AM
This message has been deleted by Delphy. Reason: How about you try the tutorial here first?
Test Subject
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26th Feb 2010 at 7:33 PM
This message has been deleted by Sweeney204.
Test Subject
#19 Old 10th Jul 2010 at 12:37 AM
I followed your tutorial properly and its work properly but i have also a problem. When I change the color of 3rd tile , the color of 4th tile changed automatically.
Test Subject
#20 Old 20th Jan 2012 at 5:09 PM Last edited by SusieCC : 20th Jan 2012 at 5:20 PM. Reason: Found what i was looking for .. i think :/
Okay, I have done everything and it worked perfectly although it's easy when your using a damaged rusty pattern as it's supposed to look all messed up haha. annnnyway, you said that this tutorial is used for HP's tutorial which I can't find.. -_- I would hate to have gone through all this to not be able to get it in game /facepalm

*Edit: I think i have found HP's tutorial, for any n00b idiots like me here's the link lol. http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title...Custom_Patterns
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