Note technology rapidly evolves and this tutorial is over 3 years old, as a result some of the practices used in this tutorial may be out of date.

Starfield Tileable Twitter Background Tutorial

Here we’re going to show you how to create one of the backgrounds from the Free Starfield Tileable Twitter Background series at Backgrounds ETC, specifically the one we are using on the BackgroundsETC Twitter page.



You will need to download and install a couple free tileable patterns and textures from Filterforge which you will find below. Alternatively you can download the project source files which include these patterns at the end of this post.

Click here to download all tutorial assets in zip file.

Click here for help installing photoshop presets.

The easiest way to install any photoshop preset is to simply drag the files into Photoshop, but it doesn’t always work. If the drag and drop method doesn’t work for you, you will need to find the appropriate presets folder and drop your files in there.

BRUSHES (.abr)
WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Brushes\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Brushes

SHAPES (.csh)
WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Custom Shapes\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Custom Shapes

WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Patterns\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Patterns

Layer Styles (.asl)
WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Styles\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Styles


Open up the the first pattern above and Desaturate it by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U or Command+Shift+U. Then Invert the pattern by pressing Ctrl+I or Command+I.

Now we need to save this as a photoshop pattern for later. To do this highlight the entire image by pressing Ctrl+A or Command+A then go to “EDIT >> DEFINE PATTERN”


The other two patterns don’t need to be inverted. Just open them up, desaturate, and then define them as patterns. Below is what you should end up with. If you like you can also download these three patterns as a photoshop .pat file at the bottom of this tutorial with the rest of the project source files.

starfield-tileable-twitter-bg-overlay3-step2 starfield-tileable-twitter-bg-overlay2-step2 starfield-tileable-twitter-bg-overlay1-step2


Ultimately we want to create a tileable image that is 512px*1024px, but it’s nice to see a larger area when you’re designing so you can get better feel for what it will look like tiled. Our base patterns were all tileable at 512px*512px so we want to choose some multiple of that to keep our image tileable.

So create a new document 1024px tall and 1024px wide. Then create a gradient fill layer by going to “LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> GRADIENT”. You can approximate the gradient I used below or chose any gradient you like as long as it starts ends with the same color. Download the PSD within the Project Source Files at the end of this tutorial if you would like to use the exact gradient I did.



Now lets start adding the patterns we created in STEP#2.

Start by creating a new pattern fill layer by going to “LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> PATTERN” and selecting the first pattern we created. Then set the layer blend mode to “SOFT LIGHT” with a fill opacity of 40% as seen below.



Now create another pattern fill layer but this time select our second pattern and then set the blend mode to overlay with an opacity of 40% as seen below.



Now duplicate the layer you just created and bring the opacity back up to 100% as seen below.



Now create another pattern fill layer and this time select our third pattern and then set the blend mode to color dodge as seen below.



Now duplicate the layer you just created and set the blend mode to overlay as seen below.



Now to optimize this for a Twitter Background we need to crop it to a tileable 512px*1024px and save for web.

To crop it press Ctrl+ALT+C or Command+ALT+C and enter 512px for the width and 1024px for the height as seen below.


STEP #10

To save for web go to “FILE > SAVE FOR WEB & DEVICES” and set the filetype to jpeg and quality to 90% as seen below.


That’s All!

What’s Included in the Download

  • Fully layered source PSD
  • .PAT file with any patterns needed for the tutorial – ready to install!
  • .JPG files of any patterns used
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45 comments on “Starfield Tileable Twitter Background Tutorial

  1. thegroovychannel says:

    Great Job! Thank you. Found you via Twitter. This is a fantastic tutorial that has many more applications. Thanks also for providing the project source files.

    Looking forward to more of your posts, will Tweet you!

    April 25, 2009 1:42 pm
  2. Rui says:

    GREAT tutorial, I actually saw it posted on http//
    It’s translated for my language (portuguese).
    You should consider posting the PSD file on
    If you post it, don’t forget to mention your website and the URL of this tutorial.
    THANK YOU for sharing this, I am already using it as my Twitter’s background.

    May 1, 2009 9:45 am
  3. Jess says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for the easy-to-follow tutorial and for bringing this technique down to the level of Intermediate PS users!

    May 6, 2009 8:41 am
  4. Pamela says:

    @Tamixes ~ You’re Welcome! :)

    @thegroovychannel ~ Thanks for tweeting us! Glad you found the project source files useful!

    @huwaw69 ~ You’re Welcome!

    @Herb Tucker ~ You’re Welcome!

    @Debbie McNeill ~ Thank you!

    @Rui ~ Wonderful! Thanks for the tip – we’ll be submitting it soon.

    @Jess ~ Thank you! BTW love your twitter background!

    May 15, 2009 2:10 pm
  5. Roger says:

    @retoucher77 ~ You’re welcome. Glad you like our tutorial! ! ! :)
    @Twitter Traffic ~ You’re welcome. We appreciate the comment.

    June 11, 2009 6:16 pm
  6. Roger says:

    @Kris Belucci
    Thank you for your kind words. We are happy to have you as a subscriber! ! ! :)

    June 11, 2009 6:27 pm
  7. Elena says:


    July 27, 2009 2:41 pm
    1. Pamela says:

      Log into your twitter account
      1. Click on the “Settings” link in main menu
      2. Then on the “Design” tab
      3. Then click the “Change background Image” button
      4. Browse for the image you just created above
      5. Make sure “Tile background” is selected then hit “Save Changes”

      August 18, 2009 1:34 pm
  8. jjmm says:

    thank you so much!! i use a backgroud “royalty foliage swirl bright ruby” to my twitter account..its a beautiful..thank’s again..

    August 18, 2009 6:01 pm
    1. Lita says:

      Sorry for such late response. We have yet to try using Elements, all our work are done in photoshop so far!

      July 14, 2010 8:39 pm

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