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Is there any way in Illustrator or Photoshop to format the fill of a rectangular object so that the fill looks a bit like here?

Grid

Could somebody maybe point me in a direction? Or tell the unclear part of the question?

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Do you want the same roughed up look, or a clean uniform appearance? –  JohnB Aug 11 '13 at 15:25
    
hey - both would do for me what would be easier to do? Although it would be nice if the dots on the grid could have slightly different colours as in the original version –  timon heinomann Aug 11 '13 at 20:46

3 Answers 3

We can easily create a uniform fill with circles. Much like Red described, you'll want to create a new document to create your pattern. The size of said pattern is up to you but I'd suggest something 256px by 256px or less. To do a simple uniform pattern we will create a 16px by 16px document and just draw a circle. Like so:

enter image description here

Note that the amount of white-space left around the circle will determine half of the space until the next circle. (The white-space of you current circle + the white-space of the neighboring circle)

Then go to Edit -> Define Pattern...

Now simply open any document and create a new layer and go to Edit -> Fill.. -> Use: Pattern and then click OK to fill the layer with your pattern.

enter image description here

This is all great and good, assuming you like complete uniformity. We can spice things up a bit by simply creating a more complex pattern.

Here is an example of a more complex pattern of circle of varying sizes applied to a layer:

enter image description here

While certainly more interesting it's still utterly predictable, and here is where things get interesting assuming you have Photoshop CS6 As of CS6 there's some increased support for patterns, which, albeit is a small improvement though it has a lot of potential. So let's get started.

When you go to fill a layer with a pattern, in the dialog you'll notice this following option:

enter image description here

Take note of the red outlined area.

The Scripted Patterns checkbox will appear only when you have Use: Patterns selected. You'll notice a couple options in the dropdown and each do something unique. More info on that here. Select Cross Weave and click OK.

You'll notice right away the pattern just became more interesting.

enter image description here

And that's that.

As far as randomizing color, you'll have to do some manual work here. But you can still create "varying colors" as a pattern, and make it a clipping mask on top of the existing pattern.

enter image description here
Click for full resolution

It's not perfect but it's a good start. Hope this helps.

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Here's an idea:

First, measure the size of the individual dot (I got about 5px x 5px). The gap between each dot too needs to be measured (say 2 px). The theory here is basically making a pattern, which will be repeated as the 'fill' of the box.

Say making a pattern of 3-4 dots, with 2px gap between each, and a outer border to 2px too. Each dot you could colour differently. Remember to have a transparent background. When done, make it a pattern; it's somewhere like Edit>Define Pattern.

After that there are many ways of getting the pattern to fill the rectangle. One way is to make a pattern layer, selecting the inside of the rectangle as the layer mask, the rotating the pattern a to suit your taste.

Oh by the way, this is on Photoshop.

Hope this helps (:

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In Illustrator, you can use the built-in Symbol Libraries or make your own Symbols by drawing out an area of circles how you want them to look. The Artistic Textures Library has some that are promising. Then use the Symbol Sprayer tool to "paint" down your texture and adjust the distribution/randomness between points.

enter image description here

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