Sunday, January 4, 2009

Look What I Made

There are lots of beautiful digital papers out in the virtual world. I have many stored on my external hard drive. Some were free downloads and others I purchased. In the beginning of my digital scrapbooking, I relied exclusively on pre-made papers. But as my experience grew, so did my experimenting and desire to play with and tweak papers. Then I realized that I could create my own papers from scratch using Photoshop Elements or later with Photoshop CS3. Now I rarely purchase or even download a free paper, unless I really love the pattern and feel it will prove versatile.

Recently I discovered a very versatile online tool which allows me to create tartans, turn them into a downloadable pattern and then use it to create papers or any other digital element. This tartan pattern generator is called Tartan Maker. It starts you off with just three bands of which you can vary the thickness. But you can make the tartan more complex by adding more bands, as well as varying the thread thickness. You can also change the orientation from a straight x/y axis to a diagonal. Once you like what you have created and previewed, you can download the “pattern”. That’s one complete square of the tartan pattern which, when repeated, will give you a complete digital tartan “fabric”.

Screenshot of Tartan Maker as I worked on it

The downloaded pattern can be opened and used in either Adobe Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS3. Here’s one way to use it in either program:

Open the downloaded tartan Ping “.png” file.
Edit > Define Pattern
Once you see your tartan in the dialogue box click OK.

Now open a new blank document. (I chose 11 x 8.5)
Go to the Layers drop down menu:
Layer > New Fill Layer > Pattern
Choose OK in the dialogue box
Then adjust the scale in the next dialogue box. (I chose 250%)
Then choose OK
And Ta Da!

If you like what you see, you can flatten the image and save it as a JPEG “.jpg” file, which effectively becomes a tartan digital piece of paper. But the tartan pattern now lives with your other pattern choices, so it can be used anytime you like.

The folks behind Tartan Maker have several other online tools you’ll likely enjoy. (Stripes anyone?) Just follow the links at the bottom of their home page and have fun!


dancingmorganmouse said...

I may have to wait till the weekend (working for a living, bah - I should be one of the idle rich damnit) but I'm going to have a play with that.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Hope your first day back at the grindstone/keyboard went as well as any first day back could possibly go!

The Tartan Maker is very, very addictive. I think you'll enjoy it!
- Lee

barbie2be said...

that is very cool!

barbie2be said...

hey... did you change your heading picture?

Pink Granite said...

Hi B2B -
Tartan Maker IS very cool!

Yes I did add a photo to my blog header a while back. I took it up on Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park in Maine.
- Lee

Lailaa said...

Happy New Year Lee & Chuck!!!
Thanks Lee for another wonderful tool and trick of the trade :)
Hugs, xx

Pink Granite said...

Hi Lailaa -
I hope now that your folks have returned to South Africa you'll be able to play around with PSE on your new Apple!
- Lee