Textures play such a huge role in surface pattern design that I thought I’d start a series of posts on how to generate or create them. This first post shows you how to use one of your photos to create an Illustrator texture that you can put into multiple images, use in Photoshop, clip to a shape, or use as an opacity mask.

The basic steps are to:

  1. Open a photo (preferably a JPG photo) in Illustrator.
  2. Select the photo and use the Image Trace command. In the video, I also show you how to make the artboard the same size as the image. I used the Object > Artboards > Fit to Selected Art command in Illustrator CC.
  3. Once you enter Image Trace mode, you need to open the Image Trace options (the icon between the presets and the View fields on the Control panel.
  4. You may uncheck the Preview box whilst making initi8al changes:  show the Advanced settings, set the Path count to Low, Set Corners to Less, untick Snap Curves to Lines, and tick Ignore white. (Snap Curves to Lines, despite my slip in the video, creates *fewer* lines, which is what I want.
  5. Once these options are set, tick the Preview box and drag the Noise and Threshold setting where you like them best.
  6. Click the Image trace options and click Expand on the Control Panel.

These steps should get your start. If you need more written instructions after viewing the video, please let me know and I will get them added to this site (somehow) I’m still learning my way around!

I’d love to know if you find the video helpful.


‘Til later! Sherry–aka the prancingpixel