Rotate patterns in Photoshop Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

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Rotate a pattern in Photoshop - quick guide to using the new rotation feature.


1. New Rotation Feature

You can now rotate the selected pattern preset in Photoshop in a number of areas of the application though sadly not in some of the more useful areas such as the brush textures. Note that feature has only recently been added though you could of course rotate them early, it would require a slightly different approach. This is for the latest versions of Photoshop

2. New Fill Pattern Layers and rotation

You can rotate the pattern in the layer menu and new fill layer and patterns. This can be done when you first create the fill layer but it can also be done once you have the layer. Go to the layers panel found in the window menu and double click the pattern layer entry and the panel with the angle will re-appear and you can set it to 34 degrees or 68 degrees and so on. Hold down the shift key as rotate the dial to limit the angle to 15 degrees, 30 degrees etc. Change the angle and then release the mouse click and the layer will be updated. Unfortunately the feature does not allow you to multiple layers as the same time.


3. Edit menu and fill

This does not include a rotate angle feature but as it is just a standard layer, you can apply the fill to the current layer via the contents option 'pattern' and then simply rotate the layer. It may be best to convert this layer then into a smart object via the layer menu and smart object menu and then transform it via the edit menu and transform commands. Not ideal, it would be great if the angle feature was added as the resulting layer will end up extending beyond the document if you are using a layer the same size as the document. You can also apply the edit menu fill to a small layer and then rotate that


4. Layer Style and overlays

You can also use the new angle feature in the layer styles panel. Go to the layer menu (with a layer selected) and layer styles and select pattern overlay or stroke (that also has the angle). Go to the angle field and set the value for the rotation of the layer's pattern. You can also combine this tile effect with the existing tile effect via blending modes in the layer styles.


5. Shape Layers

Go to the toolbar and then create a shape layer such as a rectangle or ellipse or a custom shape. Set the top left option to shape layer and add the vector design to the art board. You can set the color to no fill as well as solid color as well as gradient and also pattern. Select that and the angle is available and you can then rotate the pattern design for that artwork. As you can convert the artwork into a smart object via the layer menu, you can also add an additional overlay via the layer styles and then combine those two tile designs,.