Making tileable/seamless textures saves significant time with painting, and also offers an opportunity for you to reuse your texture. Making it seamless means that the top pixels have to line up with the bottom pixels, and the left pixels have to line up with the right pixels. It generally does not matter what's in the middle of the texture, so long as the edges are the same.
These sorts of textures can be used on 3d models, digital paintings, floor design, wall design, really anything you can make tile!
Here's an example of some of the tileable textures I have made in the past:
1. So start by drawing or painting the texture you want to make seamless. I wouldn't make it too incredibly detailed, I usually start with just a sketch. You'll be doing lots of redrawing and painting in this process to get it to look right. For this example, I'm using an old texture I had laying around, so that's why it's a little more polished looking.
2. Offset your image. To do that, go to Filter > Other > Offset.
What is Offsetting?
Offsetting an image in photoshop is essentially moving the image left/right/up/down so that you can see what the image looks like next to itself. It tiles it for you.
3. Adjust the horizontal and vertical settings. I usually try to get my seams crossed directly in the middle.
4. There's many ways you can paint over your seams. You can use clone tool, the spot healing brush, content aware, or just paint over it. I personally prefer to paint over it, but that's because I'm working with a hand painted texture.
Covered up those seams.
5. Continue to mess with the offset settings to find all the seams.
Here it is tiled and seamless!
Final Thoughts and Tips
- This can save you a lot of time when texturing your object, since you can just place it side by side!
- Try to vary up the texture enough so that it doesn't look like the texture is just tiled.
Tutorial and Art by Gabrielle Schwall