Deke’s Techniques 089: Creating a Stained-Glass Ornament

089 Creating a stained-glass ornament

Hey, gang! Welcome to my last Deke’s Techniques video of 2011.

I know, some of you worried this kooky series (officially made a course at wouldn’t last the entire year. After all, witness the short-form stuff I’ve created. My passing fancy with dekePod (click the link and then the “last” button at bottom for evidence). My two-year stint with “Martini Hour.” And my eventual abandonment of the Photoshop Bible. (Altho that last one was not short-form, dammit; I devoted a dozen years of my tiny life to that ginormous title!)

If you only knew me. I’m a marathon guy. (Again, I cite the Photoshop Bible.) And, lo, Deke’s Techniques lives on.

This week, I make for you A Special Holiday Gift. As Christmas and Hanukkah converge, I yield forth a hummingbird rendered as a precious stained-glass ornament. It’s a small gift—not to mention, a digital (and so ephemeral) one—but what it lacks in stature in makes up for in pure training mass.

Here’s The Official Holiday Description from My Beloved Video Publisher,

It’s not often you hear Deke advocate 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—rarely yield results that live up to the promise of their poetic names. But in this week’s free Deke’s Technique’s video, you’ll see how to combine the Stained Glass filter with a little bit of Deke-tweak and 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. For reference, here’s where the project left off:

The hummingbird from last week's video

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’ll explain 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 the smart object (and holding your breath as you temporarily wipe out the poor helpless bird altogether) allows 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:

The holiday hummingbird ornament

For members, Deke offers an exclusive video in the Online Training Library in which he makes the glass hummingbird part of this larger Stained Glass project, complete with cracked glass, as pictured below:

The final hummingbird, rendered as a stained-glass window

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’s Techniques will be taking a well-deserved holiday next week. But we’ll be back in 2012 with more Deke’s Techniques.

Look for 51 free episodes in 2012. (Cuz, you know, I’ll have to take another week off.) As well as one very special episode! These are my Holiday Gifts to You.

Next entry:Learn How to Mask Hair, Down to the Final Fragile Follicle, in Photoshop

Previous entry:Photoshop Masking & Compositing: The Free PDF Companion

  • Happy holiday Deke!!!

    Deke..posted my comments on Youtube.
    I need to understand this smart objects stuff more.
    Am a member of lyndadotcom so will go hunting for your excellent tutorials over there during our break here in the UK.
    Hope you have a good rest Deke and thanks for your tutorials as I now do stuff for our company in Photoshop and illustrator. A most relaxing diversion from my daily tasks in Engineering.
    This time last year I was a dunce at Photoshop..So thanks Deke for all your help!! Just goes to show a great tutor can be inspirational.

    Happy holidays/Happy 2012 to everyone!!!

  • stained glass leading patterns

    Hi Deke—love your tutorials, courses, weekly updates and all!

    The stained glass window bit was wonderful. My one problem (not with the tutorial, but as a Photoshop thing) is how stereotypically “Photoshoppy” the stained glass pattern looks—ironically, it is both too “random” in how it relates to the image (in terms of how a real stained glass window image would look) and also too “regular” in the shapes and sizes of the invididual panes.

    I’m wondering if there might be a way to take an image that has stained-glass-appeal potential and somehow “divide” the image up into patterns (maybe with the “cutout” filter coupled with maybe a “find edges” process or that mysterious “high pass” thingy?) in order to get the individual panes to “line up” with the overall shape and color of areas in the image the way many “real” stained glass windows look. Thus the panes would follow the image better (ie, less “random”) and yet not all be so uniform in size and shape (ie, less “regular”).

    I could try to figure out a method myself, but I thought I would mention it here, in case it seemed like a good follow-on to the two stained glass tutorials you already have. I’m sure you would be able to come up with a far better looking and more efficient way of doing such a thing if it is possible.

    I look forward to future installments of whatever kind!

    All that is made seems planless to the darkened mind, because there are more plans than it looked for

    “, from “Perelandra” by C.S. Lewis,

    —Stanley Anderson

Be the first to drop some wisdom...