Welcome to this tutorial on creating seamless Clone Hero Highways! Lets get started…
Step 1 – Setup Photoshop Document
Create a new document – the width needs to be half the height! 512 x 1024 is good for Clone Hero.
Step 2 – Design
Find or create a design for your fretboard. For this tutorial to keep things simple I found a metal texture from google images. Best to go for a solid design and something abstract/random in pattern as you will need to make it seamlessly tile later.
Heres the image I worked with;
Step 3 – Make it tile seamlessly
The fun thing is that you can use these techniques to make any pattern seamlessly tile. Abuse this method!
Drop the image into your 512×1024 photoshop document.
Move it around until it’s in a position you like. (Best to go with something where the brightness levels are even)
Press CTRL+A select all and then press CTRL+C copy, or CTRL+Shift+C copy merged (needed if you have any extra layers)
Press CTRL+V paste. This will create a layer with your new image at exactly 512 x 1024 – you need this for the tiling to work. Delete the original layer with your image.
Go to filter > other > offset. We know the document height is 1024, adjust the vertical value to half that, 512. This will make the top and bottom of your image seamlessly align
Here are a few images showing the offset tool
Step 4 – Clone Stamp Tool, Spot Healing Tool and Color Adjustments
You can see the distinct line across the center of the image above. This kind of problem is easy to fix using the Clone Stamp Tool and the Spot Healing Tool. I also did some color adjustment after with the levels tool to even out the overall contrast of the image. A subtle variation of dark to bright across the image is best for Clone Hero Backgrounds. Keep in mind from a design perspective; if you have too much variation in contrast it can look ugly behind the notes you are trying to hit. Subtle backgrounds generally work better.
Clone Stamp Tool – you sample an area of the image holding alt and clicking to select sample area and then paint a clone of that area to somewhere else on the image
Spot Healing Tool – you paint over a portion of the image that you want to correct – it uses the surrounding pixels and shading and advanced AI algorithms to smooth things out
Using these tools, I was able to get a final image as below in around 2 minutes work. This is a quick and easy design. With more time and effort you can create some great backgrounds with this technique!