Tips to using the Pattern Preview Tool in Adobe Photoshop

Tips to using the Pattern Preview Tool in Adobe Photoshop

My favourite application to use when creating an illustration or new pattern is Adobe Photoshop (not really a surprise if you have read previous blog posts of mine). Adobe Photoshop introduced the pattern preview option in October 2020 and it is one of the easiest ways to create a tossed repeat.
screen shot of pattern preview menu option
Here is my list of tips to keep in mind when using the View -> Pattern Preview option:
  • Convert your pattern motifs to Smart Objects: Ensure that your motifs have been converted to Smart Objects. Smart Objects retain their integrity even when scaled or transformed, ensuring a more accurate preview of how your pattern will look.

Smart objects in layers panel

  • Design Within Canvas Limits: Ensure that your motifs are contained within the canvas boundaries. Anything outside won't be visible in the final pattern tile, as the preview only shows the repeating pattern within the document space.
  • Check for Seamless Repetition: Pay attention to how your design repeats both horizontally and vertically. Look for any noticeable seams or discontinuities in the pattern. Adjust motifs as needed to create a seamless repetition. 
  • Experiment with Scaling and Arrangement: Use the Pattern Preview to experiment with different scaling options and arrangements of your motifs. 
  • Consider Pattern Density: Think about the density of your motifs and how they fill the space. Is there too much or too little space between them? 
  • Test with Different Backgrounds: Try viewing your pattern preview against different background colours.  I often test the pattern with every colour (as background) in my colour palette for the collection.

Testing pattern with dark background colour

Testing a dark background colour above, and a light colour below.

Testing the pattern using a light colour

 I hope you find these tips helpful when next using pattern preview. I have a short YouTube video using the pattern preview to make the canoe and oar pattern above.

You can check it out here

Until next time, take care.