Photoshop painting: how to apply patterns to complex objects?

Posted on 2014-08-15
Last Modified: 2014-08-26
I have a horizontally repeating pattern that I want to apply to a drawn piece of clothing. The tricky part is that it has a full-width extending stroke that must follow  the edge of fabric strictly to appear realistic.

There are many folds and creases and I am not sure about what technique would give me the best result. Googling I came accross many tutorials of one of these:

1. Warp tool
2. Puppet Warp
3. Liquify
4. Displace

So I am guessing that what I want might be a combination of the mentioned above. What do you think?
Question by:Immbah
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Do you have an example of your image?

    Author Comment

    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    by:Sarah delos Santos
    Hello! I tried to do this with the images you supplied (no copyright infringement intended); you can see this in the attached file.

    Steps taken:
    - Isolate the dress by removing the white background (in the example I did this VERY roughly). If it were more complex, I would select the dress and duplicate it onto a different layer so it would be separated from the dancer.
    - Paste the pattern into a new layer and create a clipping mask from it. This way it only appears over the dress and you can make it look like it's "wrapping" around the dress.
    - Change the pattern layer's blend mode. I used multiply. This makes it so the shading of the dress still shows under the pattern, adding to the realism. Linear burn also looks good. I changed the color of the dress to white using Layer > Adjustments > Black and White so the shadows would be more obvious but it looked alright with purple as well. Having a background color also helped the pattern "blend" more.
    - Select the pattern and go to Edit > Puppet Warp. Here you will spend most of your time. Using the shadows you can see through the pattern, use the grid and pins to warp and wrap the pattern to the dress. Pay attention to the large folds (where one part of the fabric is over another). If you need to you can right click on a pin to bring it to the front; that should help you create folds. Since you have a bottom stroke you'll want to work with the edge especially but since you have a clipping mask it'll be more forgiving. In the example file I have a hidden layer that's a screenshot of my puppet warp grid so you have an idea of how much you'll have to warp.

    Obviously since this was a quick example it's not as detailed as it could be, but if you spend some time on the puppet warp bit or you have a less complex piece of fabric it could look quite realistic! I haven't tried the other methods you listed but this shows that Puppet Warp definitely works.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Giving Majed Bahar a ping
    You might find to achieve these you'll need to install some filters  for photoshop first
    achieve these
    Then try youtube matey.
    what your looking for is folds and wrinkles, when drawn in the right direction the outcome will look like a fold
    To illustrate these from youtube look on the right for more, as depending on the graphics background you wish to use different strokes work better with different patterns.
    First example
    Folds and wrinkles ( video) on a flat background
    How to Draw Clothing (folds and creases)   ( video)
    How to draw cloth
    Use the KeepVid to download them, copy the youtube video URL and paste it there
    ( you will need java installed)

    Author Comment

    @Sarah delos Santos
    This: "use the grid and pins to warp and wrap the pattern to the dress. Pay attention to the large folds".

    Suppose I have a a flat pattern and I want to create one big vertical fold in it . So with puppet warp I should pin it from three places: 1) the edge closest to the fold. 2) the start of the fold. 3) the end of the fold. Then drag the end pins over the start pins whilst leaving the opposite side of the pattern pins-free so it can compress like a realistic material. correct?

    See my attached image. The bottom  one I made in illustrator with envelope mesh which is similar to warp in PS but can be expanded to 50x50. Am I pinning my fold correctly in Puppet warp or is there a better way to do it?

    I apologize if I wasn't clear. Please do check the pictures I linked and Sarah's attached file.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    @Majed Bahar
    Yes, that's correct about the large vertical fold. I believe there's one part near the "middle" of the skirt in my example file with a rather large horizontal fold. Pin the "beginning" and the "end" of the fold, then drag the "end" over the "beginning". It's much like origami. Then to make the shape more rounded, use pins on the "edge" of the fabric (where the border would be). And yes, if you leave a section pin-free it will "compress" naturally. It's hard to tell what you've done by the jpg you attached but the puppet warp looks much more realistic than the envelope mesh.
    Puppet warp is nice to use because it's very organic, like real fabric. Making a pin and dragging it is much like pinching the corner of a piece of fabric and pulling it where you need it to go. It'll naturally "fold" over the rest of the fabric. In your example it looks like you placed pins all along the edge of the fold which I don't think is necessary. You can just "pinch and drag" the top edge and the bottom edge, not all the points along the fold.

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