How can I make something in a line complex pattern with thicker (or vice-versa making something with thinner lines in a thicker pattern)? For example, taking a star (full star or only the outline) and making a piece of pattern more thicker for take the form of the star.

A technique that does not overload the software (for example tracking all the lines of the pattern)

Making a star with or other objects with thicker lines in a pattern

This is what id like to do, make something thicker or thinner within the pattern...

thicker lines


2 Answers 2


If you are using vector software to create a pattern tile, it's generally difficult to "overload the software" in most cases. It's not impossible, but it's difficult.

Actual pattern tiles use only one instance of artwork and then repeat that instance with data references. That's not the same as creating multiple copies of artwork.

To possibly over simplify things... Only one instance of the artwork is stored, then the application says to itself -- [repeat artwork A X times with a vertical offset of X and a horizontal offset of Y]. This creates the overall pattern.

enter image description here

How detailed, or in depth you wish to make that base artwork is up to you. You can crate practically anything you wish, especially as vector art. Pattern tiles which rely heavily on raster images can be resource intensive in vector applications (i.e. Illustrator, Inkscape, etc.), but not in raster applications (i.e. Photoshop, Gimp, etc.). So choosing the appropriate application to create a pattern in can be important.

If you aren't creating actual software pattern tiles and attempting to draw a pattern completely by hand, then yes, you can overload rendering in some applications at times. I would suggest you explore pattern tile creation in whatever software you are using. Most applications have such a feature. It will make patterns much easier to create and much less resource intensive.

Regarding the second image in the question...

That's not merely a pattern at work. That appears, to me, to be a raster image where the pattern has been used, then some raster adjustments have been made to alter appearance in a specific manner. Something like that is more easily done in a raster application where you can create a selection then merely adjust levels or thresholds.This also accounts for why it's "fuzzy" overall and not clearly defined. Some blurring in the thinker portions helps push the visual.

For vector software, this would take two patterns -- one thin and one thick. The thin pattern would be applied to the inner shapes, then the thick pattern applied to the outer shapes - or merely the strokes on the shapes as below. (Note that it's not inherently going to be "fuzzy" as in the sample image)...

enter image description here

This is a simple star with a very thick stroke (20pts) in Illustrator. Then the different patterns are applied to the fill and the stroke.

enter image description here

On a background filled with the thin pattern...

enter image description here

As far as I'm aware, it's not possible to alter stroke weights dynamically inside pattern tiles. You need separate patterns if you wish weights to be different overall.


Unfortunately there's no universal tool for it. If the pattern happens to be made by tiling curves in a vector drawing program (Illustrator, Inkscape, etc...) you simply change the stroke width of the tiled curves.

If there's no curves, but filled areas which only look curves because the filled areas are narrow and they still are vector shapes you may still succeed to extract the curves, but it would generally be a rare lucky case. There's numerous old cases in GDSE where someone wants to extract a midline of a curve looking filled area shape. Sometimes it succeeds, but generally it must be redrawn. An example: Illustrator - SVG make thinner path

If the pattern is a bitmap image (JPG, PNG) the only way is to redraw it in a vector drawing program. One can try tracing as strokes (=midline tracing in Inkscape) but generally those attempts fail - tracing doesn't understand the general form and makes something useless in every place where curves cross or branch. Only special tracing programs designed for CAD drawings can handle crossings successfully if there are only straight lines and circular arcs. Other forms fail as miserably as in Illustrator and Inkscape in branches and crossings.

Tracing as strokes (=midline tracing) has better possibilities to succeed if you can divide the image to separate layers so that no separated part has branches nor crossings. You must trace every layer separately.

Shortly: Redraw it as vector and select the wanted stroke width.

ADD after the question was augmented:

You can insert a little horizontally moved copy and a little vertically moved copy to get thicker appearance. Thinning in this way does not work. The light shapes in your example hide the moved copies. As well you can use masks (opacity-, layer- or clipping masks) to hide the moved patterns in some areas.

Masking and covering used as ways to make the pattern different is some areas work also if you can make the different version by changing the stroke width.

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