How to Create Digital Paper using AI: A Midjourney and Adobe Tutorial
Graphic Designers with AI Technology Unleash the Power
With the recent release of new AI Technology it has given Graphic Designers Super powers when it comes to designing digital paper and seamless repeating patterns. It is an exciting time to be in the graphic design and digital product creation niche with the rise of new tools and technology - what seems like every few hours.
There has been no better time to start creating with abundance than now. Let’s take a look at two incredibly popular topics: Digital Paper and AI technology! Digital paper or seamless repeating patterns offers an incredible amount of flexibility and versatility, giving you the power to create completely unique designs for all manner of digital product creations. Meanwhile, AI technology allows for quick and efficient pattern generation, freeing up time for other aspects of your design work.
In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the process of how I have been creating digital paper using a combination of Midjourney, ChatGPT, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. From prompting to refining to composing a seamless pattern to ways to use it in a final product, I’ll share my processes. So, grab your favorite beverage and let’s get started on creating some.
Generating Design Themes, Ideas and Prompts with ChatGPT
Let’s start off the design process with ChatGPT and get our creative juices flowing. Similar to “ye ole” drawing challenges of the past like INKtober and MerMay challenges and prompts, we can now generate our own list of drawing and design prompts with ChatGPT. This means we no longer have to wait until a certain month or search through past prompt challenges that we don’t really gel with.
If you're looking for nursery theme ideas, great! Want to work on Halloween designs? Wicked! Or any other list of nouns or themes, just ask ChatGPT and it'll come up with a list for you.
Maybe, if you're curious, ask about what are the best-selling themes or repeating pattern ideas, ChatGPT can help you there too. Keep in mind that unless you are on the paid version with ChatGPT4 you will only be able to access information prior to 2021 [I believe] since free access only has ChatGPT3.5 as of writing this.
Once you have your list of ideas, it's time to start playing around in Midjourney. Experiment with different prompts and styles until you find something that speaks to you. Then, ask ChatGPT to create a list of prompts based on your chosen style and themes.
This is where the real fun begins! Play around with different wording and structures to find the perfect look for your designs. With ChatGPT's help, you'll be able to create unique and memorable designs that truly capture your personal style. So, let's get started and see what creative wonders we can come up with!
Creating Seamless Repeating Patterns with Midjourney
Once you are happy with the theme and prompt structure it is time to start creating seamless repeating patterns with Midjourney. There are just as many ways to create digital paper and repeating patterns with Midjourney as there are artist styles.
Let’s start with the most obvious one first! That would be using the parameter -- tile now this parameter will work with Midjourney Versions,1,2,3 and 5. I have no idea why version 4 doesn’t utilize the tile feature but hey it’s neither here nor there to me just remember which version you are using before you start prompting.
/imagine prompt: kawaii cute adorable seamless repeating pattern, with owls, coffee and books, strong clean lines, flat color, vector illustration, moody colors --tile --v 5
The parameter --tile will generate one tile of the repeating pattern which honestly is perfectly fine, that's all you need from a seamless repeating pattern is one tile that you can repeat.
I haven’t played with the tile parameter all that much but I don’t feel like I have gotten the best results using it, which is why I prefer to use this other method to achieve what I want with creating digital paper designs.
Create Design Assets for Digital Paper and Seamless Repeating Patterns
Now, this is my secret sauce to creating beautiful, unique digital paper designs and a little more accurate to perfectly seamless repeating patterns.
In Midjourney I start with a prompt for stickers, digital assets, die cut stickers and icons and generate individual digital design assets that I can then combine and repeat myself using Adobe Illustrator pattern making tools.
An example of a prompt I might use is:
/imagine prompt: Cute Happy Owl valentines day die-cut sticker, kawaii style, 2d graphic art, vector illustration, chromatic, white background clearly defined from background --q 2 --v 5
Remove Background from Images with AI Tools
Once I have the elements I want to include in my digital paper designs I download them and bring them into Adobe Photoshop to clean up and remove the background. I open each one and use Adobe’s built in AI technology and let Adobe Photoshop remove the unwanted background, then I look for any imperfections or things I want to remove or change about the design and will either use the spot heal brush or the selection tools and content aware delete and fill AI technology. Finally I save them as PNGs with transparent backgrounds ready to be combined into repeat patterns for either digital paper or surface pattern designs.
Preparing the Designs for Repeating Patterns
I prefer to use Adobe Illustrator for almost everything, however editing raster images is best done in Adobe Photoshop, but now that we have clean PNG files to work with we can switch to Adobe Illustrator. Depending on your design assets you will need to decide if you are creating patterns with the PNG files as they are or if you are going to vectorize them before using them in your designs.
If the assets work well together as they are you might just leave them as the PNGs and move on to the repeating stage. If however you want to change colors and create color variations of the final pattern using the recolor artwork feature in Adobe Illustrator then you should go ahead and turn your PNGs into vector graphics.
One of the quickest ways to turn PNGs into vector graphics is to use the Image Trace tool in Adobe Illustrator. This takes a little experimenting with the various options and sliders but I have found the logo option to work the best for my needs.
Alternatively you could always redraw each element with the pen and shape tools but if you are going to go down this route I would skip the Adobe Photoshop step altogether and just start with Adobe Illustrator, as you can make all the edits you like when you are vectorizing each design by hand.
Create Seamless Repeating Patterns with Adobe Illustrator
You have two options here, and both are equally awesome. The first method is to select [Object, Pattern, Make] to create your pattern designs which is Adobe Illustrator's OG pattern making tool - and the best way to create pattern swatches. Or alternatively, if you just need a repeat for now, you can select Object, Repeat, and choose your preferred repeat type from Radial, Grid, or Mirror.
The choice is yours, depending on your personal preference or the specific use case for your design. Feel free to experiment with both methods and see which one works best for you. Either way, you're sure to create beautiful, seamless patterns that will make your digital paper stand out from the crowd.
Create Digital Paper Packs and Passive Income
All that is left to do now that you have an abundance of seamlessly repeating pattern designs is to create digital paper packs of course. Digital paper packs are typically created and sold in 12”x12” which is a homage to digital paper origins in scrapbooking and paper crafts. Really you could create them in any size since they are repeatable but customers expect this size.
So create your artboards 12”x”12 at 300dpi, fill each artboard with your designs and export as either jpeg, png or both. You can now start listing them in your Etsy shop or on your Shopify website! Happy Designing!