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Forward and Back

Experiment with the application of the pattern using different stroke and masking techniques. When you find a combination that works best for you, you can record it as an action. You can also store the pattern itself in an action (just copy, start recording a new action, and paste). Photoshop will remember the coordinate points. After creating an action, you can apply the pattern with a keystroke.

Turning this application into a seamless texture or tiling background is yet another option that might be useful for creating a version of the effect for a pattern fill or web background.

You have to be comfortable using paths to get the best results. Applying the mask you create has numerable variations—so there is a lot to try.

If you aren't clear about any of the techniques or ideas discussed in this article, you can find out more by referring to Special Edition Using Adobe Photoshop 6, as follows:

    Creating Vector Effects: p. 175–202

    Creating Effective Actions: p. 263–284

    Working with Shadow and Light: p. 639–666

    Creating Seamless Textures and Tiling Backgrounds: p. 667–702

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