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Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to convert Lettering Delights paper to seamless texture for use in MTC.

MTC now has the ability to apply a texture (or fill) to a shape. You can use any graphic as a texture. The one problem is that this takes up a lot of system resources so it has been suggested to limit the size of the texture to 128x128, 256x256 or (at the largest) 512x512 pixels.

Lettering Delights has so many cute papers that are repetitive and would make wonderful fills. The only problem?  They are huge for using in MTC - a whopping 3600 x 3600 pixels! I wanted to use them anyway and devised a way (not perfect) for resizing them so that I can use them in MTC.

Let's take a look at a some of the backgrounds in the "Love is Sweet" paper pack. Several of these can be converted into smaller textures easily.
The easiest of all will be the last one, the stripes. Open this image in a graphics program like Adobe Photoshop Elements. I use PSE 7. Note: You will need to have some basic foundational knowledge of your program - this tutorial is not intended to teach you that. Please do a search for tutorials for your program if you need this knowledge.

Now what you want to end up with is a file that repeats to make the the same image as the original (alternating stripes the same size of pink). For this file crop the original around a section that starts in the middle of the dark pink and ends in the middle of the dark pink.  On the left menu, choose the Crop Tool and click the "square" menu choice. I choose to use custom, and made my square 1" x 1" Make your selection. You can zoom in (use Ctrl +) and then use any of the handles to crop your selection. Click the green arrow when you are happy with it.

Let's check the pixel size on this image. Go to Image-Resize-Image size and check out the menu box.
Here's what I got:

Remember I want my end pixel size to be 256x256, I am not far off at tis point. Play around with this box until you get a size of 256 by 256 pixels. Don't worry about how the inches and resolution changes - we are not so interested in that right now. You may need to click a few boxes and such. I think I clicked all the boxes, then entered 256 and it converted easily.

Now you will want to save this as a different file than than the original (so you don't over-write the original). You can choose to save it as whatever, I choose to add 256 to the end of the original filename. Save your file and it is ready to be used.

The final step is to try it out tiled in a shape to see how it looks. Place a simple shape in MTC and fill it with this texture (Select shape, right-click and then Change Color Texture-Select Texture). If it looks right, you are ready to go! If not, you may need to play around a bit more.

Change the scale and rotation as desired. When you select OK, this new texture should fill the shape.

Try playing with different textures. Polka dot patterns can be cropped like this:

And there are some patterns that are just not able to be cropped well. I am sure there are other ways to do this, probably better ways. But this is how it has been working for me to do it. Hope that helps.


Linda said...

Great Tut!!!!!

cfine said...

When I do this I scale the paper down to 6x6 and then make sure it is at 72dpi(not 300). This seems to work well for me and doesn't slow my computer down. I usually don't need anything larger than that since I make cards. Thanks for your tutorial which shows yet another way to do this. It's very frustrating when you can't use the program after importing the texture!

Nelda said...

cfine, thanks for sharing, I will try that for the papers that do not repeat. Great idea!

Lisalovestosew said...

Thank you! I'm printing this out so I can have it nearby when i work on it. I tried your other tutorial but got stuck when the program balked at the addition of texture. Thank you for providing this workaround!!

AuntieM said...

Nelda, I find the easiest way is to (in PSE) just to save for web and resize it that way. Works for me and is so simple. Just make sure you are saving as JPG and then put in the properties...I usually start with 800 and apply to see if it is the size I am after.

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried this yet, but this will be very helpful to know!! Thanks for the info, Nelda.

Im a cutter

Anonymous said...

This will work okay for patterns with simple symmetry such as stripes or the evenly laid out dots you showed, but it won't apply to ALL Lettering Delights papers as most don't have such a symmetrical pattern.

Nelda said...

Anonymous, you are correct - that is exactly what I said in the last paragraph!