Using Classical Halftone Patterns with Photoshop CS, CS2 or CS3

This tutorial requires Photoshop CS, CS2 or CS3 and the Classical Halftone Patterns offered at this website.

Here's a sample sample image you can use for this tutorial and the halftoned result:

Step One: Download three free sample patterns to follow along this tutorial.

Step Two: Start with a grayscale image in either RGB or Grayscale mode. This method only works in these two modes!

Step Three: Click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers panel and choose Pattern...

Step Four: In the Pattern Fill dialog klick on the arrow next to the pattern thumbnail, then in the next window klick on the arrow and choose Load Patterns... Navigate to the halftone pattern file you've downloaded, select it and click Load.

Step Five: Choose a halftone pattern and close the Pattern Fill dialog by clicking OK. Don't scale the pattern!

Step Six: Change the blend mode of the Pattern Fill layer to Hard Mix.

Step Seven: If you don't have Photoshop CS3 continue with Step Eight. Select the image layer and choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters

Step Eight: Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask and apply a stronger-than-usual sharpening. Use the Threshold control to smooth the result. Click OK.


The good thing with this method is that you can double click the Pattern Fill layer at any time and try out different patterns. Also using Smart Filters in Photoshop CS3 allows you to alter the sharpening at any time. Just double-click on "Unsharp Mask" in the Layers panel.

You can also add additional adjustment layers below the Pattern Fill layer like Levels, Curves, Brightness/Contrast, Posterize and so on.

If you want to print the result set the image resolution to 600 pixels/inch in the Image Size dialog. You can even resize the image without altering the halftone screen.