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Seamless Textures

In the glory days of Windows v3.1, seamlessly tiling textures were definitely the way forward in desktop wallpapers.  They consumed very little memory, were visually appealing, and caused negligible system slowdown.  Of course, much has changed since then, with high-resolution wallpapers now the standard for nearly everyone.  That does not mean, of course, that seamless textures have been consigned to the junk pile. They are now more useful than ever, valuable for webpage backgrounds, 3D texture mapping, and many other professional applications. Luckily for designers, they are also easy to make, providing you have the required patience and know the techniques necessary to make them.  This is my method...

Step 1: Find/Create a image 200px by 200px in size.  This image can, within reason, feature almost any content, although removing the seams from more detailed images will require substantially more effort. Now select Filter > Other > Offset from the application menu, check the wrap around option, and enter horizontal and vertical values that are 1/2 the dimensions of your image (i.e. 100px by 100px in our example). Press OK.

Step 2: If you've done everything correctly, your image centre should now be displaced toward the edges, with the seams clearly visible in the middle. Using the Clone Stamp Tool, or Smudge Tool (whichever appears better to you), remove those seams as cleanly as you can.  With complex backgrounds this can take quite a bit of time and effort, but your patience will definitely pay off in the end.

Step 3: And that's it!   Just save your image and use it as a wallpaper, a background for your webpages, a texture map for your 3D models,  or whatever you like!

The Final Result:  A completely seamless tiling texture!

- Tutorial written by Man1c M0g

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Last 5 User Comments

User:  fractalartist01 (#18217)
Date: Fri Sep 02, 2005. 04:09:36

Post #1 of 1


Just wanted to Thank You for this tutorial. :beer:

It seems like such a simple idea but no matter how hard I have tried in the past, I have never been able to make certain images tile seamlessly without changing the entire look of the original. (especially with some of my mandala and floral fractals)
The tiling process would make the original look so different that I would end-up trashing the whole idea. This will help me tremendously!

Your tutorial posting is appreciated!


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