Basic Mosaic Seamless Tile Tutorial
by Jinny Brown  e-mail
copyright 1994 - 2004, Jinny Brown
written for Painter 6 and 7 
(translations for Painter 5/5.5 included)

On the first page of PixelAlley's Mosaics Section, you'll see the original image I used to paint the mosaic (on the left) and the final mosaic next to it (on the right). The background is simply that final mosaic copied, mirrored, and assembled into a seamless pattern. Other pages in the Mosaics section also show you the original image and final mosaic so you can get an idea of how a rather small and mundane image can become interesting when used as the basis for a mosaic seamless tile.


Original Image

Final Mosaic

Mosaic Seamless Tile

Unless you're already familiar with Painter's Mosaics feature, take time to read the Painter User Guide's chapter on Mosaics. You'll find instructions for creating Mosaics in the following locations in the Painter User Guides:

  • Painter 5 User Guide: Chapter 6, Mosaics
  • Painter 6 User Guide: Chapter 10, Mosaics
  • Painter 7 User Guide: Chapter 11, Mosaics
To create the seamless tile, starting with your final mosaic image, first read through these steps one time to get a general idea of where you're going, then begin:

1. Open a new Canvas, twice the width and height of the final mosaic image, large enough to hold four final mosaic images, and the same resolution. For instance, if your final mosaic image is 100 x 100 pixels at 300 ppi, open a new Canvas that's 200 x 200 pixels at 300 ppi

2. With the final mosaic image active, use Ctrl/Command+A to select the entire image, then use Ctrl/Command+C to copy it.

3. With the new (larger) Canvas active, use Ctrl/Command+V to paste the copy onto a new Layer (Floater).

4. Use Ctrl/Command+V again to paste one more copy onto a second Layer (Floater). Now you have two Layers (Floaters). Each is a copy of the final mosaic.

5. In the Layers (Floater) section, double-click one of the Layers (Floaters) to open the Layer Attributes (Floater Attributes) dialog box and change the coordinates to Top: 0 and Left: 0 then click the OK button. Now this Layer (Floater) is perfectly aligned with the upper left corner of the Canvas

6. Highlight the other Layer (Floater) and use Effects > Orientation > Flip Horizontal.

7. In the following step, you'll need to have the Layer (Floater) Marquee turned off in order to see the Layer's (Floater's) edges better. In the Layer (Floater) section menu, choose Hide Layer (Floater) Marquee.

8. Click the Layer Adjuster (Floater Adjuster) tool and zoom in so you can see the pixels, then click and drag the flipped Layer so it's aligned just to the right of the first Layer (Floater). Use the up, down, left, and right Arrow keys to nudge the Layer (Floater) into perfect alignment.

9. Hold down the Shift key and, in the Layers (Floater) section, highlight both of the Layers (Floaters). Then, in the Objects palette's Layers (Floater) section menu, choose Group, then choose Collapse. Now the two Layers (Floaters) are a single Layer (Floater), but it's still named Group 1.

10. Double-click Group 1 and rename it Layer 1 (Floater 1).

11. Use Ctrl/Command+C to copy Layer  1 (Floater 1), then use Ctrl/Command+V to paste it onto another Layer (Floater). Now you have two Layers (Floaters) but the second one is also named Layer 1.

12. Double-click the second Layer (Floater) and rename it Layer 2 (Floater 2).

13. Highlight Layer 2 (Floater 2) and use Effects > Orientation > Flip Vertical.

14. Zoom in so you can see the pixels and move Layer 2 (Floater 2) so its top edge perfectly aligns with the bottom edge of Layer 1 (Floater 1). Use the up, down, left, and right Arrow keys to nudge Layer 2 (Floater 2) into perfect alignment.

15. When you're satisfied that the Layers (Floaters) are aligned correctly, hold down the Shift key and, in the Layers (Floater) list, highlight both Layers. 

16. In the Objects palette's Layers (Floater) section menu, choose Drop All

Now your Layers (Floaters) are flattened to the Canvas and your seamless tile is completed.

NOTE: Depending on your final mosaic image, you may want to arrange the pasted Layers (Floaters) in a different order so the completed seamless tile looks the way you want it to look. Experiment to see what works best. You'll notice that in my example mosaic seamless tile, I started by aligning the final mosaic image with the lower right corner of the Canvas.
It doesn't matter which corner you start with as long as the end result has the four images working together well, with each facing in the appropriate direction to make the seamless tile look best.

Please let me know what you do. I'd love to see your mosaic seamless tiles used as a background, either on a web page or in an image. 

Try using them with  4-Point Perspective Cloning

Jinny Brown, March 9, 2002
last modified on July 11, 2004




©1994 - 2004, Jinny Brown

All Corel Painter screen prints on these pages are used with permission from Corel Corporation.