How to make seamless repeat patterns from illustrations


Repeat patterns are repetitive, area-filling patterns.
They are particularly suitable for fabric samples and merchandise, such as folders, pencil cases and everything made of textiles.

While you can easily display each image as a repeat using the pattern function, some tricks are required so that it can be displayed seamlessly and without errors.
Today I'm going to show you how you can easily create designs from your illustrations that blend seamlessly.


Simple designs can be easily created using guidelines in Clip Studio.
If you assign a "square" to each figure, you can easily create patterns with a bit of gimmick.
There are already some tutorials on TIPs that explain very well how to do this.

However, it becomes more difficult if the figures are placed differently, or mesh with one another and are no longer the same distance apart.
With more complex designs one cannot avoid "cutting" the design.
This means that, for example, a part is cut off to the left of the figure. The cut-off part of the pattern must be on the right side and in exactly the right place, so that the pattern fits together seamlessly.

If the figures are not placed correctly, there will be unsightly edges and incorrect displays, as in this example here.

In the following tutorial, I explain how you can create complex patterns with just a few clicks that work seamlessly together.

Step 1

In the first step you should create the illustrations that you want to use for the pattern

Now you should arrange them and try out which page format is best for the pattern. For some constellations of figures, squares are better, for other rectangular formats.
You can act completely freely. It's just about getting a feel for how your pattern should end up.
But already plan where your pattern should repeat and which figures should be cut.
Then you should choose a page and size format.
Warning: Don't make your design too small.
You can shrink it at any time, but enlarging it can result in loss of quality and the file can become pixelated.

step 2

For this step you need Adobe Illustrator, or a program with similar functions.

Defines the size of your design in Illustrator. Attention: You do NOT need a bleed!

Also note that with Illustrator you can also see elements outside of your drawing area. This is very helpful when creating a pattern, but can be a bit confusing at first.
Everything on the white surface is actually your file format and can be seen later. Everything else is cut off during export.

In my case, the design is size A6 in landscape format.

Using drag and drop you can either place your illustration directly in Illustrator or insert it under File -> Place.

Now place the first element of your design to be cut in the appropriate place.

Important: While placing the element, you should pay attention to the "Transform" box.

See, or don't you find this then go to Window-> Transform.

If your element is placed in the right place, copy it and go to File -> "Paste in original position"

The duplicated element should now be in the same place.
Now go to the transformation box.
There you see four values: X, Y, B and H.
For you only the X and Y values are relevant.
These are coordinates and tell you exactly where your element is.
If you change the values, the corresponding element moves and that's the trick.

If you change the coordinates of the X axis, the element moves to the left or right.
If you change the coordinates of the Y axis, the element moves up or down.

My original file was in the format A6 105x148mm.
So now all you have to do is simply add or subtract the values of your basic format. Then the duplicated element is always exactly in the right place so that it merges seamlessly with the original element.

In my example, the output element is at x: 0 y: 13.181mm

If I want to move it along the Y axis, I just add the Y value of my A6 format.
So 105mm + 13.181mm = 118.181mm

You just type in the new value and the duplicated element is at the right place.

Since the skull is cut on each side, so to speak, I have to repeat this step twice for my design.
So copy again, insert in the original position and add up to 148mm on the X axis.

Then copy this element and add 105 mm on the Y axis.

Once you have correctly placed your first element to be cut, you can continue with the next one. The procedure is always the same:
1. Place the element
2. Copy and paste in original position
3. Move according to the X or Y side by adding or subtracting the corresponding value of the file format.

In the following example, the element was moved "up" by subtracting.
Starting position (Y):
File format (Y): 105mm

Position of the duplicate (Y): 41.104mm

Piece by piece you can now place your elements to be cut.

Finally, you add the remaining elements and your pattern is ready.

step 3

As soon as your pattern is finished you have to export it to ClipStudio compatible.
To do this, go to File-> Export

I personally like to save samples in two versions. With and without a transparent background.
Attention: To save with a transparent background you have to save it as a PNG and activate "Background Color: Transparent".

Saving with a transparent background offers you the advantage that you can change the background as you like in Clip Studio.

However, if you want to save your pattern with a background in Illustrator, I recommend making a new layer and "fixing" the layer with your pattern (lock).
This will prevent you from accidentally changing the pattern.
Creating a new layer works the same way as in Clip Studio and you should therefore already know the lock function.

Just like your individual image elements, you can simply place your background image in Illustrator using drag and drop.

Step 4

Let's get to the final step:
Finally you can import your new pattern into Clip Studio.
There are 2 options:

1. File-> Import-> Pattern from Image

2. Register the image as material

This function is particularly suitable for patterns that are used more frequently.

To do this, open your sample file in Clip Studio and then go to Edit-> Register material.

But don't forget to tile the image and activate the "Enlarge / Reduce" option.

I hope I could help you with this tutorial.


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