background pattern is a great way to repeat a theme for your web site or to introduce subtle elements of texture and color. I love making seamless pattern tiles. They're easy once you learn the tricks and you can create a unique, gorgeous background in a matter of minutes. Working in a small format gives you a great excuse to experiment with colors, filters, and textures.
What do I mean by seamless? If you're creating a background pattern tile that will be repeated, the edges are usually very noticeable. The seams where the pattern repeats are annoying and distracting. Those seams also grab your attention, making it difficult to focus on the other elements of the web page. Learn how to fix those pesky seams and you're on your way to creating a more enjoyable and legible web site.
Luckily, there are a number of ways to eliminate and avoid those pesky seams. I should warn you, though, that creating pattern tiles can be addictive and there is no known cure.
One of the main things to remember when you've created your seamless background is that text must be legible over the top of your pattern. You don't need to worry about that now, since I'll discuss decreasing the contrast in images in Chapter Five. We'll cover creating a seamless pattern tile "by hand", or without filters, in both Photoshop and Corel PhotoPaint. We'll also discuss using filters to create seamless pattern tiles, offering you an endless variety of possibilities.
Seamless pattern tiles are useful for a lot more than just background patterns for web pages. They can be used as backgrounds for table rows or table cells that will display for Internet Explorer (but not Netscape version 3). You can also use seamless pattern tiles as fills for text or icons. Seamless pattern tiles are also used to create bump maps and surfaces for 3D objects in 3D rendering programs. You can also use seamless patterns in desktop publishing programs to create borders and backgrounds for printed pieces as well.