At a Glance
- No fast way to pull in palettes
This Adobe AIR application lets you create original seamless patterns that look good on screen and on fabric.
When I think of patterns, the first thing that comes to mind is
fabric. While Seamless Studio can certainly generate beautiful
patterns for anything from blankets to sundresses, you can also use
it to design gorgeous custom wallpapers (for your real walls, as
well as for your desktop), and elegant website backgrounds.
The tricky part about making a seamless pattern is… well,
making it seamless. It’s easy to start up a vector drawing
application (such as the free Inkscape)
and throw some basic shapes on a canvas. But how do you make sure
your design can be cut into one basic square which then lines up to
a beautiful pattern when repeated again and again?
Seamless Studio makes this effortless. Your canvas is
that basic square. That square is surrounded by multiple
“view-only” copies of itself. As you drag a shape onto
the square, you instantly see it multiplied, and can see how it
impacts the whole pattern. Perhaps a design element looks good when
looking at the basic block of the pattern, but makes the whole
pattern too busy when you look at it from a distance. With Seamless
Studio, you can instantly tell.
The program comes with a large collection of shapes you can use
in your pattern, divided into thirteen categories, such as food or
transportation. You can also import your own shapes in Seamless
Studio, as long as they’re in SVG format (a format used for
vector graphics). And since the shapes used are vector-based, they
remain crisp when scaled and rotated.
Seamless Studio offers two modes for working with color: One is
called “Custom Colors,” and is pretty much what you would
expect: It lets you individually color any element in your design
with a color of your choosing. You can end up with a pattern that
has 30 colors if you’d like (no gradients, though).
The second mode is called “Colourlovers Template,” and
imposes a constraint of five colors. The idea is to select any
five-color palette out of the thousands shared on the Colourlovers
website, and use just those colors to style your creation. Once
your pattern is ready, Seamless Studio provides you with an easy
way to contribute back to the community and upload it directly to
One feature missing from the current version of Seamless Studio
is easy palette import from Colourlovers (or any other source for
that matter). You must manually specify the Hex or RGB code for
each of your five colors, and there is no way to save palettes for
later use. Importing palettes is a feature planned for a future
Seamless Studio runs on Adobe Air, which is a nice framework but
is not without its quirks: When a sub-window (such as the Options
dialog) was open and I clicked the Seamless Studio taskbar icon,
the main window appeared and covered the dialog, and it took me a
moment to figure out why the app was frozen (it was waiting for
input in the hidden dialog). I just ran it again, and the dialog
snapped back into focus.
It’s a niche application, but Seamless Studio is good at what it
does. If your job (or hobby) call for some original seamless
patterns, this is an app well worth checking.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site,
where you can download the latest version of the software.