If you ever filled a large area by repeating a small image then you have experienced the ugliness of images that don’t tile. You usually end up with sharp distracting cracks where the images meet. I bet you have seen this in the background of bad web sites!

Some special images do not have this problem. They are called seamless tiles because the left side matches the right side and the top matches the bottom. They are very hard to construct by hand, but many of the texture filters in Eye Candy 6 can do it. Here is an example made with the Stone Wall filter. This first image does not tile. Below it is used to fill a larger area. Notice the ugly cracks where the tiles meet.

For the next tile I simply turned on the Seamless Tile checkbox in the Stone Wall filter. Notice that it tiles beautifully.

We have an article that explains how to fill a large area with a smaller image in Photoshop.

So who needs this stuff? You need it when you don’t know how big the area will be that you are filling. Examples are in 3-D texture mapping, desktop backgrounds, and web backgrounds. Web backgrounds, that’s why Twitter comes to mind. Lots of people use repeated images in their Twitter backgrounds.

To make your own seamless tiles for your desktop or Twitter background, try Eye Candy 6. The download page is here. The filters that have a Seamless Tile checkbox are:

  • Animal Fur
  • Brick Wall
  • Diamond Plate
  • Marble
  • Reptile Skin
  • Stone Wall
  • Swirl
  • Texture Noise
  • Weave
  • Wood

Start by going to the Settings Tab and using presets in the Settings Tour (Seamless Tile) group. You can also modify any other setting or make your own by turning on the Seamless Tile checkbox on the Basic Tab.

You can even feed the results of one filter into another. Below is Animal Fur fed into Reptile Skin to make a Gila Monster hide. Make it your desktop or Twitter background to prove to yourself that it tiles!