Do you like camouflage patterns? Would you like to create them on your own?

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to design your own camouflage pattern. I’ll present four examples of military camo patterns: woodland, desert, urban digital, and flecktarn. We’re going to create them from scratch, and then we’re going to turn them into seamless patterns!

You are watching: How To Make Camo

But if you want to save time, you can visit Envato Elements. The subscription gives you access to millions of creative digital assets, including this set of military camo patterns:

military camouflage patterns setmilitary camouflage patterns setmilitary camouflage patterns set

What You’ll Learn in This Military Camouflage Tutorial

  • How to paint camouflage patterns from scratch
  • What are the most popular types of camouflage patterns
  • How to make your army camouflage patterns seamless/tileable

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

1. How to Create a Woodland Camo Pattern

The woodland pattern is the most popular one—it’s supposed to imitate the leaves, branches, shadows, and highlights of a forest. In this section, I’ll show you how to paint camouflage patterns in the woodland style!

Step 1

We need to prepare the color swatches first. We’re going to need the following colors:

  • Green #32482f
  • Brown #483a2a
  • Sand #8e7f5a
  • Black #1d2323

Feel free to use different shades of these four colors to create the level of contrast you prefer.

woodland camo swatcheswoodland camo swatcheswoodland camo swatches
You can add these colors to swatches to have a handy set for your future projects

Step 2

Create a New File with dimensions of 1500 x 1000 px. Take the Paint Bucket Tool (G) and fill the background with green.

fill background with greenfill background with greenfill background with green

Step 3

Create a New Layer, press D, and use the Paint Bucket Tool again. Right-click the layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Add a Layer Mask to this layer, fill the Layer mask with black, and click the chain link icon next to it.

create first layercreate first layercreate first layer

Step 4

Press Control-T and in the upper bar change the dimensions to 90%.

resize the layer maskresize the layer maskresize the layer mask

Step 5

In the Properties panel, set the Feather to about 50%. Press Control-I to invert the colors. This layer mask will stop the splotches from being generated across the edge.

create vignette from layer maskcreate vignette from layer maskcreate vignette from layer mask
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vignette invertedvignette invertedvignette inverted

Step 6

Select the actual thumbnail of the layer now. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Go to the Adjustments panel and select Threshold. Adjust the level to create a couple of big splotches.

generate irregular splotchesgenerate irregular splotchesgenerate irregular splotches
use threshold filteruse threshold filteruse threshold filter

Step 7

Go back to the layer below, and go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Adjust the Distance to achieve the level of detail you need.

use motion bluruse motion bluruse motion blur

Step 8

Select both layers and press Control-G to group them. Go to the Channels tab, hold the Control key, and click the thumbnail of the first layer.

select the channelselect the channelselect the channel

Step 9

Go back to the Layers tab and hide the group. Select the background layer and create a New Layer. Fill it with brown, and then deselect with Control-D.

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splotches filled with colorsplotches filled with colorsplotches filled with color

Step 10

Press Control-T, and then drag the sides of the image to the edges of the canvas without actually crossing them.

resize the patternresize the patternresize the pattern

Step 11

Let’s make this pattern seamless now! Go to Filter > Other > Offset. Select Wrap Around and play with the settings to achieve the effect you like. If there’s a lot of space between some of the splotches, it’s best to keep them near the center of the canvas.

make pattern seamlessmake pattern seamlessmake pattern seamless
make seamless camo patternmake seamless camo patternmake seamless camo pattern

Step 12

The other splotches need to be smaller, so go to Image > Image Size and change the Width to 3000 px.

Show the group again and change the settings to create smaller, more separated splotches. Double-click the Clouds effect to generate new splotches, adjust the Threshold to separate them, and change the distance of the Motion Blur to make the edges more detailed.

Repeat the previous steps to create the sand-colored splotches.

add more splotchesadd more splotchesadd more splotches
more splotchesmore splotchesmore splotches

Step 13

When you’re done, change the Image Size again, making it 4500 px wide and 1750 px high.

Take the Eraser tool (E) and remove some of the smallest splotches. Then go to Filter > Liquify to make the shape of the splotches more elongated and less regular.

use the liquify filteruse the liquify filteruse the liquify filter
warp the splotcheswarp the splotcheswarp the splotches

Step 14

Repeat the previous steps to create the black-colored blotches.

create small splotchescreate small splotchescreate small splotches
create black splotchescreate black splotchescreate black splotches

Step 15

Let’s test the pattern now. Go to Edit > Define Pattern and give the pattern a name. Create a New Layer and fill it with any color. Then double-click it and select Pattern Overlay. Select your new pattern and resize it.

test the patterntest the patterntest the pattern

Now, take a good look at the end result. Is there anything in your pattern that makes it look inconsistent? If so, hide the layer and fix the problem by moving certain splotches, erasing them, changing their shape, or copying them. Then turn it into a pattern again and test it on the layer above.

woodland camo patternwoodland camo patternwoodland camo pattern
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2. How to Create a Desert Camo Pattern

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There are many types of desert camo—here we’re going to take a closer look at six-color camo, also known as chocolate chip camo. Now let’s see how to draw camouflage patterns in the desert style!

Step 1

For this pattern, we’re going to need the following colors:

  • Sand #b89d80
  • Beige #d1b19c
  • Light beige #d7bbad
  • Light brown #885b44
  • Dark brown #543429
  • Black #1e201f
desert camo swatchesdesert camo swatchesdesert camo swatches

Step 2

Fill the background with the sand color. Start your pattern the same way as before, but this time use Gaussian Blur instead of Motion Blur—it will make the pattern less elongated. Also, add a black-filled layer to the bottom of the group to compensate for the brightness of the background.

Make these first splotches big and separated.

create big splotchescreate big splotchescreate big splotches

Step 3

Fill these new splotches with beige and stretch them almost to the edges of the canvas.

stretch the patternstretch the patternstretch the pattern

Step 4

Now, create the same set of splotches and fill them with light brown. Use the Lasso Tool (L) to drag the smaller brown blotches over the small beige ones, and use the Liquify filter to drag the bigger ones towards each other as well.

create light brown splotchescreate light brown splotchescreate light brown splotches

Step 5

Create another set the same way, this time filling them with dark brown. Use the Liquify filter again to make them narrower and less regular. Use the Eraser Tool (E) to remove the smallest splotches.

create dark brown splotchescreate dark brown splotchescreate dark brown splotches

Step 6

Now merge these three layers with Control-E and use the Offset filter to make the pattern tileable.

make the camo pattern tileablemake the camo pattern tileablemake the camo pattern tileable

Step 7

We have four colors in our pattern, so there are two colors left! To add them, first make the image 3000 px wide.

Create small, round splotches this time, and fill them with black. Stretch them to the edges of the canvas.

cretae small splotchescretae small splotchescretae small splotches
fil lsmall splotches with blackfil lsmall splotches with blackfil lsmall splotches with black

Step 8

Create an identical set of splotches and fill them with light beige. This time, don’t resize them, but instead use the Lasso Tool (L) to place each beige splotch over the black one.

cover previous splotches with new onescover previous splotches with new onescover previous splotches with new ones

Step 9

When you’re done, merge these two layers. Then duplicate the merged layer by pressing Control-J a couple of times, make the copies smaller, and rotate them to fill the empty spaces in the pattern.

duplicate the splotchesduplicate the splotchesduplicate the splotches

Step 10

Use the Offset filter to make all these layers tileable. Test the pattern the same way as before and make some corrections if necessary.

desert camo patterndesert camo patterndesert camo pattern
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3. How to Create an Urban Digital Camo Pattern

Digital camo is a type of camo pattern that’s produced by a computer—hence the pixelated look. Pixelated camo can come in all colors, but here we’re going to take a look at the urban type. Urban camouflage patterns usually use various shades of grey. If you want to learn how to draw camouflage patterns in the pixelated style, keep on reading!

Step 1

For this kind of pattern, we’re going to need the following colors:

  • Dark grey #4c4c4c
  • Bluish grey #7c8486
  • Light grey #bfb6b1
  • Black #1d2323
urban camo swatchesurban camo swatchesurban camo swatches

Step 2

Create this pattern the same way as you would the woodland pattern, but this time use these four colors.

urban camo patternurban camo patternurban camo pattern

Step 3

Copy the whole image by pressing Control-Shift-C, and then paste it to a new file. Make the image 150 pixels wide, using the Nearest Neighbor as the Resample method.

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Step 4

Zoom in until you can see the individual pixels of the pattern. If you can see a white grid, go to View > Show > Pixel Grid to hide it. Now, take the Pencil Tool (B) and go to the Brush Settings. Add some Scattering and make sure the brush size is set to 1 px.

change brush settingschange brush settingschange brush settings

Step 5

Use this pencil to draw dark grey over the edges of the black splotches to make them narrower and more pixelated.

make black splotches more pixelatedmake black splotches more pixelatedmake black splotches more pixelated

Step 6

Now pixelate the border between the dark grey and the bluish grey splotches.

make bluish splotches more pixelatedmake bluish splotches more pixelatedmake bluish splotches more pixelated

Step 7

Switch to light grey and make the grey splotches more detailed. Feel free to make the brush a little bigger in some places for more variety.

make the grey splotches moe detailedmake the grey splotches moe detailedmake the grey splotches moe detailed

Step 8

Look at the whole pattern and add any adjustments you need.

finish the pixelated patternfinish the pixelated patternfinish the pixelated pattern

Step 9

When you’re done, resize the image back to 4000 px, keeping the same Resample method. You can now turn the image into a new pattern!

urban digital camo patternurban digital camo patternurban digital camo pattern
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4. How to Create a Flecktarn Camo Pattern

Flecktarn is a pattern based on speckles grouped in clusters. It was designed first by the German army, but different variants of it have been popularized all around the world.

Step 1

Typically, flecktarn consists of these five colors:

  • Pale yellow #9b9b6b
  • Light green #5e6254
  • Red #76422f
  • Dark green #354132
  • Black #130a06

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Create a new file, 2000 px wide and high.

flecktarn camo swatchesflecktarn camo swatchesflecktarn camo swatches

Step 2

Fill the background with pale yellow. Create a New Layer. Fill it with black, and then duplicate it with Control-J and go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise.

add noiseadd noiseadd noise

Step 3

Press Control-T and resize the image to 4000%.

resize the layerresize the layerresize the layer

Step 4

Put the noise layer into a group. Add a Layer Mask to the group the same way as before, creating a feathered edge around the border.

resized noise layerresized noise layerresized noise layer

Step 5

Add the Threshold adjustment layer and adjust it to create a lot of irregular splotches.

create irregular splotchescreate irregular splotchescreate irregular splotches

Step 6

Create a New Layer over the noise layer. Take the Brush Tool (B), set the Flow to around 10%, and use the Soft Round Brush to make the pattern less consistent. Paint with white to create clusters, and with black to create spaces between them.

create new layercreate new layercreate new layer
create clusters of splotchescreate clusters of splotchescreate clusters of splotches

Step 7

When you’re done, use the same method as previously to turn this black-and-white pattern into light green splotches. Stretch this new pattern to the edges of the canvas.

create green splotchescreate green splotchescreate green splotches

Step 8

Go back to the group and remove the content of the layer above the noise layer (press Control-A, then Delete). Paint on it again, creating a slightly different pattern this time. Turn it into red splotches and stretch it.

create more splotchescreate more splotchescreate more splotches
fill splotches with redfill splotches with redfill splotches with red

Step 9

Use the Offset filter on both layers to make them complement each other.

make the pattern tileablemake the pattern tileablemake the pattern tileable

Step 10

Repeat this step, this time trying to turn the elongated splotches into smaller, rounder ones. Remove the smallest ones as well. Color the final result with dark green.

create small splotchescreate small splotchescreate small splotches
fill splotches with greenfill splotches with greenfill splotches with green

Step 11

Stretch the layer, and then duplicate it and move the copy slightly up and to the right. Merge both copies by pressing Control-E, and then use the Offset filter on them.

duplicate the splotchesduplicate the splotchesduplicate the splotches
create seamless camo patterncreate seamless camo patterncreate seamless camo pattern

Step 12

Repeat the same step again, this time trying to create one or two big clusters. Color them with black.

Finally, turn the whole image into a new pattern, test it, and fix it if necessary.

flecktarn camo patternflecktarn camo patternflecktarn camo pattern
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Great Job, Soldier!

And that would be all! Now you know how to design your own camouflage pattern. You can add these patterns to any type of apparel, for example using the mockup generator at Placeit.

types of camouflage patternstypes of camouflage patternstypes of camouflage patterns

Army Camo Patterns

If you want to save time, you can use these camo patterns created by professionals on Envato Elements:

Military Camouflage Patterns Set (AI, EPS, JPG)

military camouflage patterns setmilitary camouflage patterns setmilitary camouflage patterns set

This set contains 38 army camo patterns, based on real army camouflage patterns! They come both in the vector format and in a ready-to-use raster one. Whether you need some urban camouflage patterns, woodland ones, or desert ones, you’re likely to find something for yourself in this set!

Army Camo Patterns Backgrounds (JPG, PNG)

military camoflauge backgroundsmilitary camoflauge backgroundsmilitary camoflauge backgrounds

This army camouflage pattern comes in ten color versions. The pattern itself is based on real military camouflage patterns, but with different color variations you can make it more fun and useful for a variety of projects.

Pixelated Military Camo Patterns (AI, EPS, JPG, PNG)

seamless camo patternseamless camo patternseamless camo pattern

This set contains five types of camouflage patterns, all in the digital style. They’re vector, so they’re perfectly scalable to any size you wish!

Classic Camouflage Patterns (AI, EPS, JPG, PNG)

more seamless camo patternsmore seamless camo patternsmore seamless camo patterns

If you liked the colors from the previous sets, but you’re into a more traditional style of military camo patterns, this set is for you—it includes patterns in the same colors, but they’re not digital this time.

Gold Army Camo Patterns (AI, EPS, JPG)

glamour camo patternsglamour camo patternsglamour camo patterns

Military patterns look cool on their own, but they may look even cooler if you apply some creativity to them. This set contains six camo patterns and six gold texture patterns that you can apply to your camouflage to make it look unique.

Military Fonts

If you want to use a camo pattern as a background for something, make sure you also use the right font! Here are a couple of military fonts available on Envato Elements, and you can also find a bigger collection here:

  • military fontmilitary fontmilitary font

Military Serif Font

Stencil Slab Serif FontStencil Slab Serif FontStencil Slab Serif Font

This font is inspired by classic military stencil design. It’s solid, clean, and easily readable, and it will work perfectly for any military-styled projects.

Stencil Slab Serif Font

Army Kids FontArmy Kids FontArmy Kids Font

This font is stencil-inspired too, but it’s even simpler and more straightforward—its military style is visible at first glance, so it will look great in a headline on a poster or flyer.

Army Kids Font

Military Technology FontMilitary Technology FontMilitary Technology Font

This font is less serious, perfect for military-styled projects directed at a younger audience, or anything only roughly related to the army and war. Despite its fun look, it’s still clearly a military font!

Military Technology Font

Military Sans FontMilitary Sans FontMilitary Sans Font

Do you want something more futuristic? This font is inspired by the technology of the future! It will be perfect for science-fiction projects—everything including robots, war in space, or simply any high-technology military topics.

Military Sans Font

How to Design Your Own Camouflage PatternHow to Design Your Own Camouflage PatternHow to Design Your Own Camouflage Pattern

If you want something classic, clean, and straight to the point, this military font will do its job perfectly! It’s bold, full of hard edges, and it comes in two versions: a stencil version and a normal one.

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