Change color and add pattern in Photoshop

Content
  1. Apply color and patterns to an object with Photoshop
  2. Organize
  3. Change the shirt color with Hue Saturation
  4. Save the blue shirt
  5. Adjustments – make a green shirt
  6. Save the green shirt
  7. More colors
  8. Define Template
  9. Quick choice
  10. Apply Template
  11. Adjust the image size
  12. Change blending mode
  13. Apply more patterns
  14. Create your own template
  15. Apply Custom Template
  16. many shirts

Apply color and patterns to an object with Photoshop

Photoshop makes it easy to make realistic color changes and add a pattern to an object. In this tutorial, I’ll be using Photoshop CS4 to show you how. You can also keep an eye out for later versions of Photoshop. My subject will be a long sleeve T-shirt, of which I will make several shirts in different colors and patterns.

To proceed, right click on the links below to save the two practice files to your computer:
• Practice file 1 – shirt
• Practice file 2 – example

Organize

Since I will be creating multiple images, I will set up a file folder to store my work. I name the folder “Color_Pattern”.

In Photoshop, I open practicefile1_shirt.png and save it with a new name by choosing File > Save As. In the popup, I’ll type “shirt_neutral” in the text box and navigate to my Color_Pattern folder, then select Photoshop for the format and click Save. I do the same with practicefile2_pattern.png, only I call it “pattern_stars”.

Change the shirt color with Hue Saturation

At the bottom of the Layers panel, I hold down the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button and choose Hue/Saturation from the pop-up menu. This will bring up the settings panel. Then I check the Colorize box.

To make the shirt blue, I type a Hue text box of 204, a Saturation text box of 25, and a Lightness text box of 0.

Save the blue shirt

Now the file should be renamed. I choose File > Save As and in the popup I change the name to “shirt_blue” and navigate to my Color_Pattern folder. Then I select Photoshop for the format and click on Save.

I save my original files in Photoshop’s native format knowing that I can later save a copy of the file as JPEG, PNG, or whatever format is appropriate for the project.

Adjustments – make a green shirt

While the Adjustments panel is active, I can click and drag the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders, or type numbers into their text boxes, just like before.

Tint adjustment will change the color. Adjusting the saturation will make the shirt look dull or bright, and adjusting the lightness will make the shirt look dark or light.

To make the shirt green, I type a Hue text box of 70, a Saturation text box of 25, and a Lightness text box of 0.

Save the green shirt

After adjusting the hue, saturation, and brightness, I have to select File > Save As. I’ll name the file “shirt_green” and navigate to the Color_Pattern folder, then click Save.

More colors

To make multiple shirts in different colors, I’ll be changing the color, saturation, and brightness over and over and saving each new shirt color under a new name in the Color_Pattern folder.

Define Template

Before I can apply a new template, I need to define it. In Photoshop, I choose File > Open, navigate to the pattern_stars.png file in the Color_Pattern folder, and then click Open. An image of a star pattern appears. Then I choose Edit > Define Pattern. In the Template Name dialog box, I type asterisks in the Name text box, and then click OK.

I don’t want the file to stay open, so I choose File > Close.

Quick choice

Open the file containing one of the shirt images. I have a pink shirt that I will select with the Quick Select Tool. If this tool is not visible in the Tools panel, hold down the Magic Wand tool to see and select the Quick Selection tool.

The Quick Selection tool works like a brush to quickly select areas. I just click and drag the shirt. If I miss an area, I just keep drawing to add to the existing selection. If I draw outside the area, I can hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to draw what I want to delete. And I can resize the tool by pressing the right or left brackets multiple times.

Apply Template

I am now ready to apply the specific pattern to the shirt. With the shirt selected, I hold down the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Pattern.

Adjust the image size

The Fill dialog should show the new template. If not, click the arrow to the right of the template preview and select a template.

The Fill dialog also allows me to scale the drawing to the size I want. I can enter a number in the “Scale” text box or click the arrow to the right of it to adjust the size with the slider and then click “OK”.

Change blending mode

With the fill layer selected, I hold down the Normal button in the Layers panel and change the blending mode to Multiply from the drop-down menu. I can also experiment with different blending modes to see how they affect the drawing.

I will save this file under a new name, just like I saved the previous files in my Color_Pattern folder. I choose File > Save As and enter the name “shirt_stars”.

Apply more patterns

Keep in mind that Photoshop has a range of default templates to choose from. You can also download templates to use. Before making this shirt, I downloaded a free plaid pattern set. Follow the links below to download this checkered template and other free templates and learn how to install them for use in Photoshop. Continue on to learn more about creating your own templates.

  • Checkered Patterns for Photoshop by Shelby Keith Schmitz

  • How To Install Free Content For Photoshop

  • Exploring the Preset Manager in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

Create your own template

Creating a custom template In Photoshop I create a small canvas of 9×9 pixels and then use the zoom tool to zoom in 3200 percent.

Then I create a simple design with the Pencil tool. I define the design as a template by choosing Edit > Define Template. In the “Pattern Name” popup, I name the pattern “square” and click OK. My template is now ready to use.

Apply Custom Template

A custom template is applied just like any other template. I select the shirt, hold down the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Pattern. In the Pattern Fill pop-up window, I adjust the size and click OK. In the Layers panel, I choose Multiply.

As before, I rename the file by choosing File > Save As. I call this file “shirt_squares”.

many shirts

I’m done now! My Color_Pattern folder is full of shirts in different colors and patterns.

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