Pattern Stamp Tool in Photoshop tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2022


How to use the pattern stamp tool in Photoshop to add patterns, how to add tile designs, how to add images, text effects, filter effects and more in seconds using a variety of brushes.

1. Where

You can find the pattern stamp tool in the tools panel of Photoshop, generally beneath the clone tool. It comes with a number of options to extend it in different areas such as the impressionist feature.

2. Basic use

This is the only tool that combines brushes and patterns in Photoshop, you need to select a brush preset as well as a pattern preset. As they can be anything, literally an infinite number of pattern stamp brushes can be created. The pattern stamp tool also has the full range of brush options other than color dynamics (but there is a workaround, albeit limited) for this, really not sure why they didn't include that feature as it would have been super useful. You can set the scattering, spacing, size etc. You can also apply the pattern as impressionist as well as aligned or not aligned.

3. Aligned / not aligned.

A small check box but actually quite useful. Tick it ON and then the pattern is applied the same as the actual pattern, so each application of the tool is applied using the same tile position. You can use the aligned to create more uniform designs. Turn it off and the alignment depends on the relative position of the start point of the brush stroke so you can create overlapping pattern designs, distressed designs and more. Really depends on what you want but it should not be ignored.

4. Pattern stamp scaling

One thing that is lacking, there is no scaling or rotation etc of the pattern so you have the design as initially created. You can get around this by re-sizing the pattern source and then defining it as a pattern so you end up with multiple patterns of the same design but just different sizes and angles, not super useful but a workaround.

5. Pattern effects

You can use the patterns as is but if you have access to the source design, you can also add effects to the pattern and then define that as a pattern so instead of just having a basic design, you can now have a halftone pattern design or a blurred pattern design etc. You can then select that pattern in the patterns panel in the control bar and use that to apply a halftone effect with the pattern as well as just the standard look.

6. Re-coloring the patterns

You can apply the patterns as is but you can also use adjustments on the source pattern design such as the hue / saturation adjustment and then define that as a pattern. Probably best to use adjustment layers instead of the image menu version though if you do, deselect all the layers and then use the define pattern command in the edit menu (otherwise you may try and define the adjustment as a pattern and that is not possible)

7. Use image as a pattern stamp

You can open any image and define the entire thing as a pattern via the edit menu and define command. You can also apply effects such as blur filters or liquefy or halftone etc to the design or perhaps turn the image into a sketch effect by using the other brushes and then defining that as a tile, or using color effects on the image and then defining that as a pattern. You can use all number of effects on the image and use those as sources for an infinite number of tiles. Go back to the stamp tool and then use those presets and apply the strokes to a new image perhaps filled with black or white et or perhaps blurred image etc. You can then basically use the stamp tool as a filter brush with your image

8. Use the tool with type

In much the same way as above, instead of an image, you can use type. You can use any type. Any color of type. Use any typeface, use any type with effects and perhaps different fills etc and all of them can be defined as a tile via the edit menu. Again, all these source images are added to the presets panel and as soon as you go back to the stamp tool you can select those presets and then apply the type to a new image in 1000s of different ways. You can use different blending modes such as multiply or darken as well as different flows and opacity as well as apply the type strokes to layers and then combine those layers in many different ways and use effects on those and more.

9. Pattern image scaling

You can use any image, open a document and then re-size the artwork. If the document is 3000 x 3000 then perhaps go for 300 x 300 via the image menu and then define that as a tile via the edit menu. You can also add effects etc and then define those as well. Restore the original image via the undo command. Go to the stamp tool and set the tile via the control bar preset panel and then paint the tiles onto the image. Perhaps use different blending modes such as multiply etc. All kinds of amazing 3D images as well as vintage Victorian scrapbook images can be created and more