Software: Ulead PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: Stained Glass Images
Skill Level: Beginner

Additional Files:
Stained Glass Pattern
Stained Glass Tiles

Description: This tutorial will show you a quick and easy way to create stained glass images. You may use the pattern provided or one of your own. A small selection of stained glass tiles have been included for your convenience. You may use your own if you prefer. The idea is to learn the technique so you can apply it to other patterns.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


If you wish to use your own tiles, skip this section and go to Preparing the Image below.
  1. Click on the Stained Glass Tiles under Additional Files and download the .zip file. This set of tiles includes enough color variations to get you started. They were created in PhotoImpact and exported so all you need do is import them and they're ready to use.

  2. Create a permanent folder for your stained glass tiles and unzip the attached file into the folder. The folder will contain a selection of .jpg files and one .smp file.

  3. Open PhotoImpact and the Easy Palette. Click on the Galleries tab, then click the little "house" icon. It will display the following menu:

    Select Load from the menu.

  4. Navigate to the folder where you unzipped the stained glass tiles and click on the .smp file. Click the drop-down arrow and select My Gallery. This is the group where your stained glass tiles will be loaded.

    Click the Open button. Now look at the last group in the Gallery and you should see a new group with your tiles.

There are a number of sites on the internet that offer free stained glass tiles. Two very good ones are: Spectrum Glass Tiles and Warner Crivellar


Now we're ready to begin the fun part - creating a stained glass image. This is where you can be creative and try the various colors until you get your image to look exactly as you want it.

  1. If you're using the provided image, pattern-00.jpg, click on the link under Additional files to display the image. Right-click on the image and save to your hard drive. Open the stained glass image in PhotoImpact. Press CTRL D to make a duplicate and close the original. We will work with the copy. Note: If you're using your own black and white image, make sure it's in RGB 24 Bit True Color format (Format/Data Type/RBG True Color).

  2. Click on the Standard Selection tool (see below) and select the Magic Wand tool. Be sure the Plus sign on the Mode (on the menu bar) is depressed and Search Connected Pixels is checked. This is important.

  3. With the Magic Wand, click on each of the outer petals of the flowers. This will put selection lines around each area.

  4. Right-click and select Expand/Shrink from the pop-up menu. Set the options as shown below:

    This will expand the white area out to make it a slight bit larger. Don't worry if it covers up the black lines. We will take care of that when we make the leading.

  5. While the petals are still selected, double-click on a color of your choice from the stained glass tiles. If you don't like the first color, simply click another one. Notice that all of the areas you selected will be colored at the same time. When you are happy with the color, press the ENTER KEY to de-select the petals.

    Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 until all of the areas are filled with color.

  6. Using the magic wand, click on the white areas around the outer edge of your image. Right-click. On the pop-up menu, select Invert. Right-click again and select Convert to Object. Click File\Save and Save your image as a .ufo file. This completes the coloring. You may close your image or minimize it while we make the leading


The leading is what gives the image a finished look. You can experiment with different colors to see what looks best.
  1. Open the stained glass image, pattern-00.jpg, press CTRL D to make a copy and close the original.

  2. Click on the Standard Selection tool and select the Magic Wand tool. Be sure the Plus sign on the Mode (on the menu bar) is depressed and Search Connected Pixels is UNchecked this time.

  3. Click the Magic Wand on a white area in the pattern. This will select all of the white parts. Right-click and select Invert from the menu. This will cause only the black parts to be selected.

    Optional: The included pattern is fine, however, if you are using one of your own and the selected outline looks very thin, Right-click, Select Expand Selection, and expand by 1 or more, depending on your image. This will increase the thickness of the leading.

  4. On the menu, select Edit, Trace, Selection Marquee:

    When the Trace menu displays, accept the defaults and click Okay. When the trace finishes, notice the Mode on the menu has changed to Horizontal Deform: Click the drop-down arrow and select 3D object.

    The result of the trace is a 3D path object. At this point, you may leave it as it is or apply materials from the Easy Palette Material Gallery. You may want to adjust the path border size down to 2 or 3 if you apply materials. Samples of other colors:


Now we'll put it all together and finish our stained glass masterpiece.
  1. Open your stained glass .ufo image once again. You now have the colored image in one window and the leading in another.

  2. Using the Pick tool, drag the leading into the stained glass window. Right-click and Select All Objects.

  3. Click the Pick tool again and click on the Centering box to align the two images. The leading should fit perfectly over the colored part.

  4. Right-click and Merge as Single Object. Save your finished image as either a .jpg or .gif. It should look similar to the one below:


Included are a few extra patterns you can use to practice your stained glass techniques. They are from Dover Publication Books 162 Traditional and Contemporary Designs for Stained Glass Projects and Flowers and Fruits Stained Glass Pattern Book. There are a number of places on the internet that offer free stained glass patterns. Use your favorite search engine to find them (shown 50% of actual size).

Pattern 01

Pattern 02

Pattern 03

You're invited to join the PIRC Fourm! This is an active PhotoImpact Forum where you'll find a wonderful group of warm, friendly, talented, and knowledgeable people who are ready and willing to share their expertise with you. There are creative activities for all levels of PhotoImpact users. This forum is 100% free and everyone is welcome.

Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.