Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Transform a Photo into a Stained Glass Window!

August 11, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create a
beautiful, stained glass window from a photo. First, choose a photo you’d like to use for
your background. This will be the scene that you see through your window. Then, choose a colorful photo you’d like
to use for the stained glass. I downloaded this image from We’ll work on the background first. Let’s
protect it by making it into a Smart Object, so anything we do to it will be non-destructive. Click on icon at the upper right of the Layers panel and choose, “Convert to Smart Object”. Go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Blur it 5 pixels. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. Make a new layer above the background by pressing Ctrl + Shift + N on WIndows or Cmd + Shift + N on a Mac. When you see this window, type in “glass pane leading”. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. We’ll
fill the empty layer with white and since white is the background color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Click on the
foreground color and for Brightness type in 20%. This gives us a dark grey color, which will be the
color of the lead strips. Then, press Enter or Return. Go to Filter and Filter Gallery. Open the Texture folder and choose “Stained Glass”. The cell size
creates smaller or larger cells and the Border Thickness makes the leading thinner or thicker. I’m choosing 46 for the Cell Size and 8 for the Border Thickness, however, depending on the size and
resolution of your background photo, you may need to adjust these amounts to
get a similar result. Go to Select and Color Range. Choose Highlights. Make the Fuzziness: 100% and
the Range: 255. Then, click OK. Press the Delete key to delete the white shapes and deselect it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + D. You may see a subtle, white fringe surrounding the leading. To remove it, go to Layer Matting and Defringe. Make the Width: 1 pixel. Notice the white fringe is now gone. Next, we’re going to give the leading some dimension by giving it a bevel. Click the “fx” icon and choose Bevel and Emboss. The Style is Inner Bevel, the Technique is Smooth, the Depth is 100% and the Direction is Up. The Size is 5 pixels and Soften it: 0 pixels. The Angle should be anywhere between 120 to 135 degrees and the Attitude is 30 degrees. The
Highlight mode is Screen with an Opacity of 75% and the Shadow mode is Multiply also with an Opacity of 75%. Then click OK. Now, we’re ready to begin adding the stained glass to our window pane. First, click off the eyeball of the leading to
hide it. We’ll make it visible again after we create the colored, stained
glass. Open the photo of your image. We need to separate the subject from its
background by making a selection around the subject.
There are many ways to do this, so choose the method that’s the easiest
and most effective for you. For this example,I’ll use the Quick Selection Tool. If you’re using this tool as well, just
drag your cursor over the subject to select it selected and to add a selection over an inside area, hold down Alt or Option, as you drag over it. Since, white areas will ultimately become
white pieces of stained glass, it’s not necessary to fill in alll of the white
area’s if they’re small. Press Q to see it as a quick mask. If
there are areas you need to retouch, open your pencil tool and keep the
hardness at a hundred percent to reduce the size
of a pencil tipped press the left bracket key now we touch those areas press Q again to revert it back into a selection press Control command J to cut the
subject from its background and copy it to its own layer Press lead
to open your move tool and track your image arch the tap if
you’re staying class document without releasing your mouse or pan
track it down onto your document and release to reduce or in larger image to fit in the
document hoping your transform tool by pressing Control our command T if
your image is too large as in this case you may not be able to
see the transforms bounding box to see it press Control our command 0 go to a corner and when you see a
diagonal double arrow hold down shift and alt on Windows or
shift and option on a Mac as you drag it and once you’re happy with its size and
position Press Enter or Return to fit it back onto your
screen press Control our command 0 converted into a smart object and control click or command click on it
to make a selection a bad shape click the layer mask icon to make a layer mask the selection click the thumbnail your stain glass
subject to make it active go to filter and shelter gallery this time we’ll choose a smaller cell
size and border thickness change the blend mode to multiply next will surround the stain glass
contours with the let’s strip to do this click the FX icon and choose stroke make a size 8 pixels and the position is outside then click OK or press Enter or Return as you can see the stroke is too thick
and bumpy so we need to fix it click the layer
mask to make an active and go to select and we find mask track smooth all the way to the right as well as the contrast then click OK now that the surrounding let’s strip is
smooth we still need to make its thickness match the thickness of the
leading in the stain glass pieces to do this double click on the stroke effect and
for the science type in an amount that match the
thickness at the leading in the stain glass right down the amount because we’re
going to refer to this number later then press Enter or Return the next bunch of steps will give the
leading dimension click the background to make it active
and make a new layer above it type in white then click OK or press Enter or Return well fill the empty layer with white and
since white is the background color press Control
our command plus delete next we need to temporarily remove the
color pieces leaving just the leading to do this double click on your smart object to
open your original image we’re going to fill it with white
assuming your background color is still white press Control or command plus delete
then press control or command ass to save it
however do not close the document normally we
would close the smart object to affect those changes however in this case don’t close it open back up
your stank last document and you’ll see that the collar is now
gone hoping your channels panel if you don’t
see it go to window and channels control-click or command
click on the RGB thumbnail to make a selection up its shape then in
front the selection by pressing Control or command shift II open back up the Layers panel and make a
new layer name it leading fill it with your foreground color by
pressing alt or option plus delete the selected and click back on the table too smart
object to open it go to the history panel if you don’t see
it go to window and history there should be
only two levels in history panel open and fill layer click open and your smart object reverts
back to its original state click the small acts on the right side
up the tab to close the smart object and when you see this warning click yes
to save the changes immediately the stain glass colors
reappear because the smart object has been updated from a white background to
the original fish now let’s set the devil to the
leading click the FX icon and click devil and boss will keep the same settings as
before then Press answer or return height the white layer and under the
smart object height the stroke effect this instantly
cleans up your stain glass place your cursor on this icon and
double click it to at the shelter blending options at the smart object this window will appear change the blend
mode to scream then click OK next will increase its contrast and
vibrancy to make the stain glass really come
alive click the adjustment layer icon and
choose brightness contrast go to your subjects layer mask hold down alt or option and Rec a copy of it hot
topic the adjustment layers layer mask if you see this warning click yes click the adjustment layer icon next to
the layer mask and adjust the brightness and contrast
I’ll increase the brightness to 20 and a contrast to 100 quickly adjustment layer icon again and
this time choose vibrance as before go to the layer mask all down alt or option track a copy on top up the vibrance layer mask and quick yes click a vibrance icon and slide the
vibrance and saturation all the way to the right the final steps will place abstain glass
onto the clear glass panels make a top layer active on topic this
layer well-placed a composite snapshot of your
image to do this press control shift alt E on Windows or command shift option he on a Mac control-click or command click on the
layer mask to make a selection ovett shape go to select modify and expand expanded by the same amount of pixels
you wrote down earlier for the leading that surrounds
your stain glass image in my case it’s four pixels then click OK the selection should be
flush with the outer edge of the leading press Control or command J to cut your
stain glass from its background and copy it to its own layer now we can trash the composite snapshot
since we don’t need it anymore make your glass pane leading discipline
again to complete your stained glass window this is Marty from Blue Lightning TB
thanks for watching


  • Reply Blue Lightning TV Photoshop July 2, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Photoshop CC 2014 tutorial showing how to create a stunningly beautiful, custom, stained glass window surrounded by individual, clear glass panes.

  • Reply balkbron July 2, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Great video. Awesome channel!

  • Reply balkbron July 2, 2014 at 4:27 am

    By the way, could you make a tutorial on how to make the Apple wwdc 2014 wallpaper? I mean the rainbow oye with little tiles and the White Apple logo. I would really apreciate it

  • Reply Adrian Willis July 2, 2014 at 4:33 am

    thats awesome, it looks real tbn. hey, have you ever thought about showing video editing? just an idea :3

  • Reply MoreChannelNoise July 2, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Your videos are top-notch.  It would be great if you also did some for the Gimp(maybe redo some of your photoshp ones) as there are  few good quality tutorials using it.

  • Reply Marcin Smektała July 2, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Awesome! Thanks for video 🙂

  • Reply ren booth July 2, 2014 at 7:43 am


  • Reply Wavy Lone July 2, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Blue lightning can you do a vector art tutorial I'm a photoshop newbie I have art work uploaded on Instagram if you want to check it out. But I want to learn vector art. There isn't good tutorials they are all speed art. I also love how simple and easy your vids out. My Instagram is @http.cristian if you want to see my art. Or if any one wants to see it and give me tips

  • Reply Sandvink July 2, 2014 at 10:40 am

    How do you come up with these great ideas? Awesome.

  • Reply DannyPat123 July 3, 2014 at 5:49 am

    does anyone have a good background picture

  • Reply Matt R. July 3, 2014 at 5:58 am

    impeccable explanation, thanks!!!

  • Reply fisnik ajredini July 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    First id like to thank you. I would like to know can i make my photos like gopro like egg like i see the world like ball i don't know how to explain this
    Sorry for my english

  • Reply Sunil Mahnoori July 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Dear Marty, can u plz do a tutorial video on double faced illusion…Thx

  • Reply Robert Neill July 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    thnx again Marty for a great tutorial…cheers…:)

  • Reply Nevine M Berthet July 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    this channel rocks !

  • Reply Thomas Newbury July 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Hey Marty, I just wanted to say ‘thanks’ for the tutorials. I've been working away at them for the past month, they are by far, the best PS tutorials on the net. Easy to follow, beautiful concepts and fantastic results. A donation coming up real soon. More power to you. And once again, THANK YOU.

  • Reply Altaf Ahmed July 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm


  • Reply Dean Shepherd July 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    When I retire, I'd love to be able to do this like this.

  • Reply hakam soufan July 5, 2014 at 9:47 am

    great  lesson thank you

  • Reply Burkhard Kniepper July 6, 2014 at 11:18 am


  • Reply Jon Shell July 7, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Hey Marty how do I make cars look really small? Or make motorbike riders look small ?

  • Reply Susy Maes July 7, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Hi Marty,
    What program do you use to create these magnificent Photoshop lessons ?

  • Reply Monique Bats July 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    again I succeeded!!!!
    thank u your super!

  • Reply Smart Productions July 9, 2014 at 7:25 am

    An amazing tutorial….thank you so much. Exactly what I need for a forthcoming documentary. 

  • Reply Christian Aron Rabo July 9, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Hi Marty! Please make a cartoon effect tutorial. 

  • Reply Arnold Singh July 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Again, you made me speechless.

  • Reply fRo0tLo0p July 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

    In Color range at 2:22 my Fuzziness and Range sliders are grayed out when Highlights is selected.

  • Reply OORVOKKI July 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm


  • Reply Crazyminer66 July 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I love your tutorials. Just great for learning new stuff. Great job Marty!!! Thank you.

  • Reply Karl King July 19, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Really cool, I love your tutorials! 

  • Reply Hankey Camping August 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

    In Color range at 2:15 my Fuzziness and Range sliders are grayed out when Highlights is selected.
    how can i change this?? 
    Photoshop: How to Make a Custom, Stained Glass Window

  • Reply gjb kkd September 3, 2014 at 12:58 am

    good demonstration

  • Reply Yasmine Ze Unicorn February 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    marty u are amazing!!!

  • Reply Miguel Teran-Raful March 18, 2016 at 3:30 am

    can you make it live now? meaning the stain glass.

  • Reply WindowReplacementAgencyWisconsin May 17, 2016 at 10:14 pm


  • Reply Linda Bigbee June 9, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    What a concise video! Very nice, thank you!

  • Reply Stephan Petion December 7, 2016 at 2:57 am

    This a solid tutorial, thanks !

  • Reply Bama Boy Buck December 22, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Nice. Where did the stain glass leading come from? I just saw it appear.

  • Reply Chuy Gonzalez January 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Just what I needed for my college final! Thanks!

  • Reply Erika Erika February 9, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Thank you!!!

  • Reply Witerbo Maximo Cavalcante March 21, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Não entendo nada na parte em que se deixa tudo branco só com o traçado. Muito ruim!!

  • Reply Tyler Dare May 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    this may be dumb, but when you double clicked to make the original image its own layer. how do you do that? because when i double click it keeps bringing up layer style

  • Reply Sourav Das June 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

    This video is the ideal one for me . Thank you for this video…..

  • Reply Unlimited Art August 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    awesome !!

  • Reply Kent Thompson January 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Amazing video production and pedagogy! Thanks for taking the time!

  • Reply Andrea Swiedler March 2, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    So here I was looking for a way to do exactly this, googled it and this video came up first. I should have known that you would show me how to do this!!! Thank you! Can hardly wait to get started with this.

  • Reply Shwiru Fine Art October 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Incredible video. Feels overwhelming but I'll give it a try.

  • Leave a Reply