View Full Version : Looking for a Damascus Steel Tileable Pattern

04-30-2014, 10:34 PM
Hiya, folks! I'm trying to find (or just make myself) a steel pattern-welded tileable texture for a project I'm working on. I've googled Pattern Welded Steel and Damascus Steel. I get many pictures of fantastic-looking blades, but virtually no nice tileables. I might be able to make a tileable out of small snippets of a picture, but the size would have to be small, and my methods for tiling (double the dimensions, duplicate the layer, flip it and move it to the other side, repeat untill all four quadrants are full) tends to have odd symmetry lines.

Any tips on how I could find or make one myself? I was thinking that I could experiment with applying a variety of distort effects to an already-tileable steel texture. Alternately, I could try some kind of two-tone pattern, desaturate it, and go to town on the distorts. I'd also appreciate tips on making a texture seamlessly tileable without having lots of symmetry lines that I get from my reflection-based techniques.

04-30-2014, 10:42 PM
I'd look at wood textures that feature similar grain, then simply desaturated them. Plywood tillable textures would probably be a good start.

05-01-2014, 12:31 AM

After some trial and error with the automated distort filters, I discovered Iwarp. The swirl tools were particularly useful., I found I liked a randomized approach, so I just held the mouse button down and squiggled all over the place. The result isn't tileable, but it's easy enough to custom do for any size texture in a minute or two.

So yeah, here's the step by step (this is for GIMP, but I imagine PS has some similar feature):
1. Get a steel texture, preferably one that isn't too clean.
2. Dial up the contrast by 30 or so with the Brightness/contrast.
3. Go to Filter > Distort > Iwarp.
4. Select Swirl (either direction). The default is ok, but I also checked the box for "Adaptive Supersample", as it seemed to produce a slightly better result.
5. Take two long passes, holding the mouse button down. Work your cursor over the whole area like a zamboni, until you have swirled every pixel on the texture. Hit OK, and inspect your work.
6. For a more randomized appearance (which I prefer), take another pass, but this time just make a scribbling, shaking motion with the mouse, with no pattern or structure to where you swirl.
7. GIMP left the bottom and right edges un-swirled for reasons that I could not discover. If this happens, use the flip tool to flip the layer horizontally and vertically. Then Filter > re-show Iwarp, and swirl the previously-unaffected areas.
8. go to Color > Brightness/Contrast and adjust until you're satisfied.

I was a little worried that I might over-swirl the texture, but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

05-01-2014, 06:11 PM
After Effects has some really nice fractal noise effects that Photoshop lacks. This looks like the "Swirly" setting. But you've managed to pretty well replicate the look with your technique. You might also see what you can do with Posterize and Find Edges on your swirls.

05-01-2014, 07:24 PM
You might also try re-adding your original steel image as a low opacity overlay layer on top of your swirl pattern to get a little bit of grit into your pattern. You can also deal with seamless edges using the Layer / Transform / Offset to 'slide' the edges to the center so you can work across them. It means working on only sections of the image at a time, but you can get seamless results this way.

Here's a quick trial I made using your technique.