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I'm looking for something similar to this

http://www.backupintelligence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/data-security1.gif

or this

http://www.fiat-auto.co.jp/img/eco_header.png

I basically have several smaller icons and I want to position them into a shape.

Is there a way photoshop can position them automatically or will I have to manually copy and resize them myself?

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1  
I don't think your going to be able to automate this, unless you have a really convincing pattern. –  ckpepper02 Sep 4 '13 at 13:42
2  
possible duplicate to this or this –  Matt Sep 4 '13 at 16:11

2 Answers 2

Semi-Manual

I think the best way to achieve this would be to Define a Pattern with your different icons, and layer them within your image/shape.

  1. Open your icon
  2. Select a marquee around it (Ctrl + Click the thumbnail in the layer window)
  3. Edit > Define Pattern...
  4. Go back to your shape
  5. Ctrl + J for a duplicate layer
  6. Ctrl + Click on the new layer to marquee select
  7. Edit > Fill...
  8. Choose Pattern then select your custom pattern
  9. Manual: Adjust placement of your icons on curves or remove unnecessary elements to taste

Rinse and repeat for each of the other icons, taking care to vary in size for depth and space.

Define a Custom pattern for each icon

As you can see in the image above, there isn't a lot of padding around my sample, so if you need your icon to have fewer repeats, you'll need to make the tile larger for that icon. The more space, the lower the quantity.

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Pattern will look repetetive. If you want unique look, you need to duplicate and place manually.

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This would be better as a comment, it was 'flagged as low quality due to length and content'. –  DumbNic Sep 4 '13 at 19:43

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