How To Create Custom Camouflage Patterns in Photoshop

How To Create Custom Camouflage Patterns in Photoshop

October 5, 2019 27 By Peter Engel


Hello
everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Photoshop. Today I’m going to show you some clever techniques
for creating military style camo patterns, using nothing but Photoshop filters. The result is completely randomised, which
is perfect for producing abstract shapes and disruptive patterns. I’ll show you a range of optional steps you
can take to customise the appearance of your camouflage design, then prepare to have your
mind blown when you see how Photoshop can completely automate the creation of your pattern
across a vast area with no repetition whatsoever. But first, if you need a camo pattern, a floral
pattern, or any other kind of asset while working on a design project, sign up to Envato
Elements… This
is the camo pattern I’ll be creating in this tutorial, but you can use the same process
to create endless pattern designs with various colours, shapes, details and effects. This is just a sample of some additional camo
patterns I created in minutes by simply adjusting the parameters of the same Photoshop file. To begin, open up Adobe Photoshop and create
a new document. The size of your document needs to be around
3000px or larger to allow for the scaling of the filters we’ll be using. Any smaller and you won’t really see much
of the pattern within the canvas. But as you’ll see, you can adjust the canvas
to any size later. Click the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom
of the Layers panel and choose Solid Color. Pick the background hue of your camo colour
scheme. I’m going for a muddy brown of #24180E. Add a new layer, then right click and choose
Convert to Smart Object. This is crucial for editing the settings of
the filters, otherwise they are permanently applied. Go to Filter>Render>Clouds to produce
the foundation of the camouflage pattern. Next, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Choose any value for now, I’ll show you what
difference it makes later. Go to Image>Adjustments and choose Threshold. Move the slider back and forth to see how
it affects the complexity of the shapes. In the layers panel, double click the Gaussian
Blur smart filter to edit its settings. Choose different values to see how it alters
the appearance of the pattern. The higher the blur, the smoother the blobs
will be. This is just one option you can experiment
with to create different camo pattern styles. Double click the layer to open the Layer Styles. Drag the left handle of the Blend If slider
to the right by 1 point, which turns the black portion of the pattern transparent so you
can see the Solid Color below it. Next go to Image>Adjustments>Hue & Saturation. Check the Colorize option, then alter the
Lightness, Hue and Saturation sliders to find a suitable colour for this layer of camo shapes. I went with a dark green. As with all the Smart Filters, the settings
can be changed by double clicking it in the Layers panel. Use the CMD (or CTRL key on Windows) and J
shortcut to duplicate the layer. Go through each Smart Filter and change the
values, starting with Hue & Saturation to choose a different colour for this layer of
camo blobs. Adjust the Threshold to alter the density
of the shapes. Alter the Blur amount to determine how detailed
the blobs are. Then double-click the Clouds filter to randomly
generate a unique layout. Use the CMD+J shortcut again to make another
duplicate layer. Repeat the process of adjusting each Smart
Filter to generate a unique spread of abstract shapes. Another filter that can help you create unique
pattern designs is Motion Blur, which will generate longer shapes. Find it under the Filter>Blur menu, then
choose a high value. Drag the filter below Threshold within the
stack of Smart Filters, then adjust the various filter settings to find the best result. Let’s take a look at some other filters you
can use to customise the appearance of your pattern design. Activate the middle camo layer, then go to
Filter>Filter Gallery. Under the Distort category, choose Glass. Move the sliders to see how it produces a
grainy outline around the blob shapes. Frosted is the default texture, but you can
also choose Tiny Dots for a halftone effect. Alternatively, you can load your own texture,
but first we need a texture to use. Download some kind of texture to use within
your camo pattern, such as brush strokes, tree bark, foliage, or something completely
abstract. I’m using this free oil painting photo from
Unsplash.com. Open the image in Photoshop, then go to File
>Save As. Choose Photoshop as the file format to make
a PSD. Back in the main camo design file, bring up
the Filter Gallery again. This time choose the new PSD as the texture
source. Play around with the sliders again to adjust
the smoothness of the texturing. There’s another cool filter you can experiment
with. Select the bottom layer and apply the Filter
Gallery. This time choose Stained Glass under the Texture
category. Bring down the Light Intensity to zero, then
play around with the sizing options to transform the blobs into cool mosaic shapes. Now you might be thinking this camo pattern
looks really cool, but does it repeat seamlessly? Well, not exactly, but because the entire
design is made using live filters, watch what happens when you change the canvas size. Photoshop automatically regenerates the pattern
to fill the canvas, without any repetitiveness whatsoever. Then as a finishing touch, if you’re wondering
how I added the fabric texture in my preview graphics. Simply download a free texture and open it
in Photoshop. Use the shortcuts CMD+A to Select All, CMD+C
to Copy, CMD+V to Paste then CMD+T to Transform. Scale and position it over your artwork, then
go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate to remove the colour. Change the blending mode to Multiply, then
bring up the brightness of the texture with some Levels adjustments. Bear in mind that unless you create a repeating
pattern using this texture and apply it as an adjustment layer, it won’t form part of
your original camo pattern that can be resized to cover any area. The final result is a cool military style
camouflage pattern that is completely customisable with different shapes, colours and textures. By configuring any of these filter settings
differently, you can produce unique pattern designs every time. If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any
new tips or techniques a Like on the video would really help spread the word. Subscribe to the channel to stick around for
more of my content, and head over to my Spoon Graphics website to get your hands on all
my free design resources. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.