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Photoshop CS3 Photo Effects Cookbook by Tim Shelbourne

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Recipe 8.6. Glass effect

In this example, we'll create a decorative stained-glass effect. This effect can be used for realistic backgrounds in any Photoshop work—in a portrait or still-life composition, for example. This technique could also be used to create unusual and attractive greetings cards.

Essentially, the technique works by first building a framework representing the lead in a stained-glass window, and then filling the individual cells with color and applying Photoshop's own Glass distortion filter.

1 For this effect, begin with a new document. Go to File > New. Set the dimensions of the document—here I've chosen 8 inches by 5 inches. Set the resolution to 300 dpi and choose White for Background Contents.

2 Now, we need to establish the outline for the lettering in the stained-glass panel. Click and hold the Horizontal Type tool, and choose the Horizontal Type Mask tool from the fly-out. The Type Mask tool creates a selection in the shape of the type, rather than solid letters, which is what we need here. Add a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N) and click in the document. Type the line of text and adjust the font and size in the Options bar. Click the Commit checkmark to apply the type selection.

3 To begin creating the lead strips around the glass, go to Edit > Stroke

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