I'm trying to apply a pattern to a belt.

Here's an image to clarify the problem: enter image description here

What I want to achieve is for the pattern along the belt to follow the curve of the belt instead of being repeated horizontally. I'm thinking maybe puppet warp might be the answer to my problem but I'm looking for perhaps more efficient ways.


Thank you so much everyone, you're advice has helped me a lot and here's a picture of the end result! Now a little more fine-tuning and i can say that i'm finished. Thank you! enter image description here

  • Yes. Patterns can have all sorts of repeating shapes. Are you asking about particular software?
    – Scott
    Jun 2, 2017 at 20:14
  • I'm using Photoshop, but when i define the pattern and apply it to my object it seems to deform
    – user86224
    Jun 2, 2017 at 20:16
  • When you ask a question about specific software you should add the tag for it. I have done it for you this time. Also to get better answers it would be good if you could post an example image, perhaps showing what you have tried so far, showing the specific problem you are having.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 2, 2017 at 20:56
  • 1
    Thank you, I'll provide you with an image to clarify what it is i want to achieve
    – user86224
    Jun 2, 2017 at 21:09
  • 1) Define "deform" 2) Please explain how you "apply it to your object" Sorry, I'm not trying to pester you with endless questions about your question :) But supplying details only help achieve accurate, usable, answers.
    – Scott
    Jun 2, 2017 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


The limitation here is that Photoshop does not transform pattern overlays with their associated objects.

You must merge or "bake in" the pattern and then transform the object if you wish the pattern to transform as well. Or you can convert the layer with the pattern overly to a Smart Object layer, and then transform the smart object. This will allow you to further edit the smart object contents if necessary.

Note how the pattern never changes until I merge the layer with the pattern overlay with a blank layer.

enter image description here

So if you want a pattern in Photoshop to conform to a transformation, it can't be a "Pattern Overlay" layer style.

  • You can also convert the layer to a smart layer before warping in order to maintain some edibility Jun 2, 2017 at 22:23
  • That's awesome, thank you for this enlightening answer!! I'll upvote this when i have enough reputation!
    – user86224
    Jun 2, 2017 at 22:25
  • Excellent point @IgorvanOostveen -- edited to add that.
    – Scott
    Jun 2, 2017 at 22:26

Similar effects can be created using the pattern brush functionality in Adobe Illustrator.

Quick test in Illustrator


  1. Create your shape oriented along a horizontal axis.
  2. Select your shape and click new brush (in the brush panel).
  3. In the modal pick 'pattern brush'.

Create a new brush and select pattern brush

  1. Play around with all options to create the effect you want.

Pattern stroke options

  • @SWEETSDesigns: please share your end result :) Jun 2, 2017 at 22:14
  • I will!! Upvote incoming when I have the reputation for it!. Thanks again!
    – user86224
    Jun 2, 2017 at 22:26
  • The end result has been posted, thank you so much for your help!
    – user86224
    Jun 2, 2017 at 23:30
  • I take it that the final result you are talking about is the actual shape you have drawn in Illustrator and not some kind of brush or pencil that you can then export to photoshop, right?
    – user86224
    Jun 3, 2017 at 10:19

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