For this Paint Shop Pro 5 tutorial you will need some form of simulated glass. There are glass samples available at Spectrum Glass, Link to Spectrum Glass but genuine glass does not always look as authentic as simulated glass. Eye Candy or Blade Pro give very realistic glass effects. If you right click on the left thumbnail image below and use Save Image As you can use the same texture file for your glass that I have used in this tutorial
For those who do not have either of the plugins, if you right click on right thumbnail below and use Save Image As you can download a glass block file which will give you a good simulation.
The files you will download are each 640x480 pixels. The one on the left, glass, gives your glass some texture. Use a copy of it as the background layer for your image. If you are using Eye Candy or Blade Pro, apply the plugin glass preset in whatever colour you require to a copy of the glass texture. If you applied the glass on a separate layer use Layers/Merge/Merge All (flatten), and then go straight to the section of the tutorial below the asterisks.
THIS SECTION IS ONLY FOR THOSE NOT USING BLADE PRO OR EYE CANDY.
Download the left file and use a copy as the background layer for your image.
The file on the right is the glass block effect. If you want coloured glass, such as I have used here, make a copy of this image and use Colours/Adjust/Red,Green,Blue and make it a rather deeper shade of the colour you want. Use Colours/Adjust/Brightness & Contrast and adjust the settings, probably by increasing the contrast though you may need to alter brightness too, to get the highlight back if you have lost it in the colouring.
Then use Edit/Copy to put it on the clipboard. Click on your background glass to make it the current image, and use Edit/Paste/As a new layer.
Open the layer control palette (View/Toolbars and check Layer Palette). You will have Background and Layer 1. Click on Layer 1 to make it the current layer and draw its layer slider back till you can just see the texture showing through, but not so far that you lose the highlights. (If necessary use Colours/Adjust/Brightness & Contrast again.) The slider will probably be between 50% and 60%.
When you are satisfied with the effect you have, use Layers/Merge/Merge All (flatten).
Your block of glass should now look something like the one below, except that I have reduced this one to 50% of the height and width of yours, to save downloading time.
To make your etching, you will need a picture something like a woodcut, but it must not be too heavily detailed. The picture of the cat that I am using is ideal. It has a good balance of light and dark areas, and there is not too much detailed cross hatched shading.
The original of this picture is very much larger than this. If yours is big too, zoom out so that you are viewing it at something like the size it will be in your picture. It should still have a good balance of light and shade and plenty of detail. If at the reduced size it looks very dark or blurred and you can no longer really see what it is, that is how it would look in your finished etching and it is not suitable.
This picture is from the IMSI Masterclips 202,000 collection, which contains several thousand woodcuts. Not all are suitable for etching, but there are hundreds which are. You can scan a woodcut from a book or picture, or if you would like to use this cat, click here. Download the cat pattern The zip contains the full size TIFF image.
First, the picture must be reduced to fit the glass block. Use Image/Resize/. Check Resize All Layers and Maintain Aspect Ratio. Set Resize Type to Smart Size. Use Pixel Size, and for the cat pattern, set the width to 580 pixels. The height will be set automatically. If you are using a different pattern, set the longest dimension to fit well within that dimension of the block. Unless you rotate the glass block, a tall picture must be no higher than about 420 pixels. When the program sets the other dimension, check that it will also fit the block, and if it will not, adjust the settings. Click OK.
With the cat picture still the current image, use Colours/Increase Colour Depth/16 million colours. (If your picture is already at this depth 16million will be greyed out and you can skip this instruction.)
Now use Masks/New/From Image, with Invert Mask Data checked, Source Window this window and Create Mask From source luminance. Use Masks/Save to Alpha Channel and click OK twice. Do not close the cat picture because the mask is associated with it, but it is no longer needed so you can minimize it.
Click on your glass block to make it the current image. Use the eye dropper tool, and left click somewhere on the long highlight across the top of the block, to make your foreground colour lighter than the main body of the glass, but not as light as the bright highlight on the corner. Right click on the bright highlight to make the background colour either white or a very light shade.
Use Selections/Load from Alpha Channel and bring your woodcut selection into the glass image. Use the mover tool (cross with arrowhead points), right click on the selection marquee and move the selection into the centre of the glass. It will look like the picture on the right, except that again, yours will be much larger and the selection more detailed.
Now use Image/Effects/Cutout with these settings: Fill interior with colour unchecked. Interior colour does not matter. Shadow colour foreground colour. Opacity 100. Blur 10.6. Both offsets at 4. Click OK. There should be only a faint shadow effect.
Use Image/Effects/Drop Shadow with these settings. Colour background colour. Opacity 100. Blur 1. The offsets may be at 1 or 2. Experiment with them to see which looks best with the picture you are doing. I have used 1 with this cat, but you may prefer the effect you get with 2.
Use Selections/Select None. If you are going to keep your picture this size, now use Image/Sharpen. If you are going to put the picture on a website, you may wish to reduce it. Mine is resized to 80% of the 640x480 size we started with. If you resize it, sharpen after the resizing.
That is all there is to etched glass. The key to success lies in choosing the right picture. Enjoy!
© Carol Brooksbank 2003