Deke’s Techniques: How to create a stained-glass effect with Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

It’s not often you hear Deke advocating the use of Photoshop’s artistic filters in his in-depth training. The effects of these filters—with creatively evocative names like Watercolor, Rough Pastel, and Fresco—often fail to yield actual results that live up to the promise of their poetic names. But in this week’s free Deke’s Techniques video you’ll see how to combine the Stained Glass filter with a little bit of Deke-tweak to turn last week’s delicate hummingbird project into an even more fragile stained-glass ornament, complete with the beveled lead and translucent color variations you’d find in the real thing. (Real stained glass, not real hummingbirds.)

Deke begins with the hummingbird and its companion mask that he showed you how to create in last week’s technique, Masking with Photoshop’s Quick Selection tool and Magic Wand. For reference, here’s where the project left off last week:

Hummingbird masked with Photoshop

Deke starts by temporarily moving the mask to another layer, applying the filter, then moving the mask back to create a strong outline around the subject. Along the way, he explains why setting the Light Intensity slider to zero is the best way to go when you’re using the Stained Glass filter and how preserving the mask will allow you to refine the edges around your ornament. You’ll also see how leveraging Smart Objects, and holding your breath as you temporarily wipe out the bird altogether, will allow you to capture the outlines between your glass pieces, change them to an appropriate lead color, and apply a Bevel and Emboss effect that really sells the technique. Add a string, and you’ll have this delightful ornament hanging from your virtual window:

Stained Glass hummingbird in Photoshop

For lynda.com members, Deke also has an exclusive video in the Online Training Library® this week (Designing a stained-glass window) in which he makes the glass hummingbird part of a larger stained-glass project, complete with cracked glass.

Stained glass hummingbird Photoshop project

With these techniques at your disposal, you’ll undoubtedly start “stained-glassifying” all kinds of festive objects in your holiday-themed creative compositions.

Note: After almost a year of weekly installments, Deke will be taking a well-deserved holiday next week, but we’ll be back in 2012 with more Deke’s Techniques.

Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
• Courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com
• All courses on Photoshop on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
Photoshop for Designers: Textures
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Advanced Blending
• Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

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