Recently, we introduced a new camouflage golf bag featuring a proprietary pattern (Mill City) of our own creation. We thought you might like to hear the story of that pattern, so here is an interview with Aaron, the man behind it.
What was your process for creating this new camouflage pattern?
The first thing I had to do was figure out the applications and uses for the pattern and what style we wanted to go for. Once I had that, I took a field trip to find various elements that would be appropriate for that style of camouflage. I photographed both in the field as well as in our studio to get lots of different pieces to fit together for a final composition. After photographing, the pieces had to be cut-out and edited so that they matched as a whole. I ended up with about 15 different leaves, 3 different fir branches, and a few wide shots as options for backgrounds.
The important part of a pattern is making it repeatable or “tile-able” so that one edges flow into each other. I started with the background in Adobe Photoshop and edited the image so that each edge blended into the other. Then I began placing elements like tree limbs and trunks in a fairly balanced composition so no one part draws your eye away from another. Adding the leaves and fir branches was next, along with deciding on the color and balance of spacing. Finally I added all of the effects to add shadows, depth and realism to the pattern while still keeping it stylized. After slicing the image up and repeating parts along the edges, I managed to put together a tile-able pattern that could be printed on the material of our choice.
What was the hardest part of the process?
The hardest part was near the end of the design process since the swatch of fabric was going to be 29” x 19” at 300 pixels per inch. That gives you a file 8700 x 5800 pixels with hundreds of layers adding up to a file that was nearly 2 gigabytes in size. Needless to say, just saving this massive file was a test of patience. My computer was not happy with me.
What was the most fun part of the process?
The most fun came from designing my own custom brush that I used to paint tree branches by hand and add in effects that made them look more three-dimensional. It's almost magic to draw a line and have it grow into a branch, covered in bark complete with lighting already cast on it.