Software: PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: Scaling Fill Patterns
Skill Level: Beginner

Description: Learn how to scale fill patterns to the size you want them to be. Many fill patterns are nice but much too large such as bricks, polkadots, etc. You can scale them down to suit your own needs in just a matter of seconds.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


Open a new image - 400x400 is fine. We're going to fill this image with a pattern.

Open your Easy Palette. Click on the Galleries tab, then open the Fill group. In the Natural Texture group, scroll down to NT53 (grey bricks) and double-click on the thumbnail to fill your image with that pattern. It should look like this:

For most backgrounds this would be much too large. So, how do we get those bricks smaller? With PhotoImpact, we can make them any size we like with a minimum of effort. These next steps will show you how.

Select the Bucket Fill/Texture Fill Tool on the left tool bar.

This will cause the menu bar on the top to change and give you the options that are associated with this tool. Select Natural Texture (#1) from the drop-down window and select Keep Aspect Ratio (#2) as shown in the image below.

Click on the small grey texture (#3) which will open another window showing all of the natural textures from the Easy Palette. Scroll through the thumbnails until you find the same bricks (NT53). Your cursor will change to a cross hair with a little fill pattern box attached to it.

Click on any part of your image (the one with the large bricks) and while holding down the left mouse button, drag your mouse down a bit to form a small box.

Release the mouse button. The brick pattern will automatically change size. The box you created in the step above will now have texture fill control handles on the corners and in the middle.

Use your mouse to drag the one of the handles inward to make the pattern smaller or drag it outward to make the pattern larger. The smaller the box, the smaller your pattern will be. This gives you full control over the size of the fill patterns.

The above applies to the Natural Textures and Photos in the Easy Palette. One thing to note is, even though Magic Textures are listed as an option, they are not scalable. You can also scale your own fill patterns by clicking on the dropdown box as shown below. This will allow you to navigate around your hard drive and select any image that you wish. Try it!

Now that you know how to scale your patterns, let's take it one step farther. Let's change the colors! Using what you've learned so far, fill your image (the bricks or a new image) with Natural Texture NT40. leave the texture fill control handles active so your image looks like this:

On the menu, change the value as shown in the box below to one that's either lower or higher than zero. This will change the hue of the image.

This is the result of changing the example to -180. It's now a pretty blue!

Let's try just one more little trick. While the texture fill control handles are still active, click on the dropdown menu that says "Always" and select Difference. This should result in a dramatic color change. The blue one came out like this:

Experiment with the various tools on the menu bar and other textures. Try using a texture without keeping the aspect ratio and see the difference. Once you're happy with your pattern, clicking the X next to the Hue will remove the texture fill control handles from your image.


Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.