Someone asked me just the other day what Apps there are that will do Offsetting of images.
What exactly is Offset? Offset is usually used for the purpose of creating pattern repeats. I am no expert, so I turned to good old Google for help. Here are some decriptions of how doing an X-and Y-axis Offset helps create a seamless repeat pattern:
“I generally offset by exactly half the width and half the height, so that what were originally the four corners of my image now meet in the center”.
“The Offset filter moves, or offsets, the contents of a layer by a specified number of pixels either horizontally, vertically, or both. When creating simple repeating patterns like the one we’re designing here, you’ll want to enter half the width of your document into the Horizontal input box and half the height of your document into the Vertical input box”.
(Source : http://www.photoshopessentials.com/basics/repeating-patterns-intro/)
OK…so not the clearest of explanations. There aren’t many good descriptions of what Offset means, actually. Most of the Google entries I found related to car wheels or traditional printing methods. Others were for those familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator, and assumed some prior knowledge of technical jargon.
So, perhaps I shall try to explain in layman terms what Offset means in terms of designing seamless pattern repeats. I promise you won’t need any prior knowledge of Photoshop or Illustrator. If, like me, you happen to be a mobile artist using Apps, then the last part of this post will show you some Apps that offer Offset filters. Hurrah!
OK, here goes. We’ll do this the good old bricks and mortar way first, using real objects, not virtual or digital. Say you have a squared image printed on a piece of paper, that you wish to make into a seamless pattern repeat. What you need to do is to Quarter the image, so fold the paper in half, and half again. Open up the paper, and cut along the creases. You now have 4 quarters of your original image. Mentally label the top two quarters 1 and 2, and the bottom quarters 3 and 4.
Now for the “Magic Corners” part. What you need to do is swap the quarters like so: 1 swaps with 4, 2 swaps with 3. What happens is that the 4 corners of your image are now in the middle, and the middle of your image has been magically transported to the outer corners.
There, you’ve done a 50/50 offset. This means you’ve moved your image exactly halfway horizontally and halfway vertically. When you tile this new configuration, as in repeat it several times over, you’ll find that your original image miraculously reassembles itself in the corners that meet.
Now, how does this transpose into the digital realm? Easy, there’s an App for that ;-). Actually, there are a few Apps that will do the “Magic Corners” split for you:
Litho (on both iOS and Android)
Photoshop Effects (Android)
Photo Effects (Android)
I’ll use this image as an example, and show you how each of the Apps creates the Offset.
(Litho uses sliders to adjust the X and Y axis offsets. It is not 100% accurate, as it does not show the percentages of the offsetting).
The above shows the X-axis offset approximately halfway across.
This photo shows the result after doing a Y-axis offset, again around halfway across.
The final result.
(Don’t be misled by the name, this App has nothing to do with Adobe Photoshop. The Offset filter is found under “Amazing effects”, then “Split”).
The result. Image resolution in this App is rather small.
(The Offset filter is called “Split”, under the category “Crazy Effects”).
And there you have it…how to Offset images on your mobile device, without using Photoshop or Illustrator.
And here’s what it looks like after creating a 9-frame square collage using PicsArt:
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! :-)
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