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

Title: Stained Glass Tiles
Skill Level: Beginner

Description: Learn how to create realistic looking stained glass tiles that you can use as fill patterns in your stained glass images and other projects. You will also learn how to add the tiles to your Fill Gallery in the Easy Palette and as a little extra, how to export them for sharing.

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.


You will create a dozen tiles using the initial settings and once you see how the bump and reflection work together, you can create an endless number of tiles in a variety of colors and textures.
  1. Before you start making tiles, you should create a folder on your hard drive so you have a specific place to store them. A good name might be StainedGlass.

  2. In PhotoImpact, Open a new image, 300x300 or larger with white background.

  3. Click on the Path tool icon and select the Path Drawing Tool. This will activate the associated attributes on the menu bar.

  4. Click on the color box to bring up the Ulead Color Picker and select a color of your choice. Click on the Shape icon and select Rectangle. Click on the Mode and select 3D Round.

  5. When you use the Path tool, it activates an additional Tool Settings Panel where you can select even more options for the Path tool. Set the Width to 1. Draw a rectangle across the new image. Make it large enough to completely cover the white area. Make sure you push the path object up under the edges. This will eliminate an ugly border on the top and left sides that is caused by setting the width to 1.

  6. Open the Easy Palette. On the Gallery side, click on the Material Atrribute Group. Click Bump, then double-click on M21. This will add texture to your image.

  7. Move down to the Reflection category and double-click on R19. This adds the shine to the image. It should look similar to the one below:

  8. If you prefer a smoother tile like those at the top of the page, click the Material Folder on the menu bar, click on the Bump tab and reduce the Density down to about 10%.

    This completes your first tile. Now we'll turn that one tile into a dozen.

  9. Press CTRL D to create a duplicate tile. While you're at it, make a total of 12. With the Path tool still active, click on one of the duplicates, then click the Color box and pick a new color. Repeat for each tile.

  10. When you're finished making tiles, click on each one, right-click and Merge All.

  11. To save the tiles, click on Web\Image Optimizer. On the Optimizer window, click JPG as the type and accept all other defaults. Navigate to the folder you created in the beginning and save your tile. A good way to name them is to use your initials in the event that you want to share them: Ex: ml-glass-01.jpg. Close all files.

You can make dozens of tiles just by changing the bump and reflection. Not all combinations work well so this is where you will need to experiment. Open a new image and Try these combinations:

    Bump M43, Reflection R19, bump Density 35%
    Bump M43, Reflection R02, bump Density 20%
    Bump M33, Reflection R31, bump Density 50%
    Bump M19, Reflection R07, bump Density 50%

You can also achieve different looks by changing the Shininess and Strength on the Shading tab (Material Folder). When you're through experimenting, go to the next step. It's a good idea to make your Stained Glass tiles at least 300x300 so the pattern won't repeat when you use it. Making them seamless ruins the colors around the edges.


Now that you have a great collection of tiles, it's time to add them to your easy palette so you can use them in your stained glass images.
  1. In the Easy Palette Galleries, you should have a category called "My Gallery". Right-click on My Gallery and select New Group from the pop-up menu.

  2. Type in a name for your group such as My Stained Glass. This is where you will store all of your various tiles.

  3. Right-click on your new group. From the popup menu, select Add Fill Thumbnail.

  4. Navigate to the folder where you saved your tiles and select a tile. Click Open. This will bring up a box showing two pictures of your tile. Accept all the defaults and click Ok. This will activate the Add to Easy Palette menu. Look at the sample below. In the Sample Name box, it will show the entire path to your hard drive as the name. If you plan to share your tiles, you might want to delete out the first part and leave only the file name showing. The Gallery/Library should say My Gallery and the Tab Group should be whatever you named your group in step 2. Click OK to add the tile to your gallery. Repeat for each tile.

You can use this procedure to add other tiles to your gallery too. Just make a new group and start adding. To use a tile, create your object and double-click on the tile. NOTE: These tiles are not seamless and may show an "edge" if used on larger items.

If you've gotten this far in the tutorial, You're welcome to use 24 of my tiles if you wish. Click Here To Download.

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.