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This particular pattern reminds me of the Mayan Temples . I can picture walking through a dense archaic jungle dripping with vines and blooming in huge exotic flowers to find this hidden temple wall. After centuries of weather and decay the intricate patterns are still remarkable. One can hear the howler monkeys in the distance upset that you have intruded on their home. Carefully touching the delicate seeming rock that was carved so many generations ago, one would think it would crumble at the slightest touch. We must explore this delightful place even further to unlock its hidden secrets......

Although the reference to the Mayan Temples is not an accurate one these patterns still made me think of them. Perhaps I should have used skulls and grotesque deformed images since the Mayans were a viscous brutal civilization with blood sacrifices and cannibalism.

This theme has intricate patterns in every image. Some very interesting effects can be created by combining a variety of shapes, plugins and blend modes.

In order to make you think and create your own unique designs, this is a simple briefing of the steps taken to achieve the images shown on this page.

Create the desired shape. This image started out with a simple rectangle. Try different shapes such as the hexagon pictured below to get a variety of interesting effects and uses from the finished image.

Now that you have a shape lets add a texture to it. We are now only working with a shape, for this image I had no color only a shape selected, remember when using Blade Pro the color of your shape will make a difference in the look of the image when  Blade Pro is applied. Choose a favorite preset, any one will do. Now the key to getting the intricate patterns is in the BMP file. Click on BMP and choose Alhambra.bmp or any other grey-scale image with an intricate pattern of some kind. Now play with the various settings such as the depth of the bmp pattern, the bevel shape and the tarnish to get a pleasing effect. Another interesting thing to try is using the mouse click and drag the bmp file to 'move' the focus to a different portion of the pattern, this will completely change the look of the final image. When you are satisfied with the results click OK.

For the design to be used as a background of course the opacity had to be adjusted. This can be done in several ways. Using layers flood fill the top layer with white and adjust the opacity in the layer control panel. Another way, which is much more interesting, is to duplicate your image layer and use the blend modes in the layer control panel to get different effects and also try different settings on the opacity value. 

I came up with an endless combination of settings all creating very different looking images.

The one thing, in my personal opinion, to remember when creating intricate images like this is not to overkill. If you have too many things going on in your page decorations no one will pay attention to the content. Also it is very important to make sure the text is legible over any background you use or create. I chose to use a table with a background of white to give a more polished and professional look to the page rather than simply typing the text directly over the background layer.

*Note: To get the border around the table, use the following settings;

Table Border=1
Cell Spacing=15
Cell Padding=0
Table Width=75% of window

As you can see in this table I let the background in the table default to the page background and had to use a bold font in order to make the text legible. This is not nearly as professional looking and even with the bold text is very difficult to read.
Here I have used a grey table background
And here a lightened purple.
Below is another example of an image using these same techniques on a dingbat font with a point size of 200.
The Hidden Civilization