Stain Glass Pattern

Stain Glass Pattern from Vector Shapes

This tutorial will teach you how to create a stain glass pattern from a vector shape. You can create the same pattern with raster shapes, but by using vectors, it’s much easier to resize your shape and your end graphic can be resized as a whole (more on that later). This tutorial will teach you how to create the stain glass pattern I used for the header graphic on this page.

  1. Create a new white graphic 550×300 pixel.
  2. Set your gridlines to size 25, color light gray.
  3. Turn on gridlines (View>Grid).
  4. Set the foreground color to black and the background to white.
  5. Set the Preset Shapes tool to Rectangle, Stroked and Filled, Line width 5, Antialias checked, Create As Vector checked.
  6. Starting at 25, 25, draw a rectangle to the lower right corner an equal distance from the right and bottom edges as the top and left edges.
  7. Starting at 50, 50, draw another rectangle.
  8. Switch the Preset Shapes tool to Square and set the Style to Stroked & Filled.
  9. Starting at any grid intersection draw a square two grids by two grids (50×50 pixels).
  10. Hover the cursor over the handle in the middle until you see the two round arrows (see example on left below. Grab the handle and rotate the square until it is in a diamond configuration (see example on right below).
  11. Move the diamond shape into the top left corner and align so that the outside handles line up with the outside of the graphic (see example below). You can move the graphic one pixel at a time by holding down the shift key and hitting an arrow key in any direction.
  12. Copy your vector diamond (Ctrl-C) and paste it as a Vector Object (Ctrl-G). Line the copy up with the lower left corner.
  13. Paste two more copies (Ctrl-G two more times) and align in the other two corners.
  14. Click on the Draw tool and set to Single Line, Stroked, Antialias and Create as Vector checked.
  15. Starting at the bottom of the top triangle, hold down the Shift key to constrain your line to a straight line and draw a vertical line until you meet the top of the bottom diamond (see example below).
  16. Copy this vertical line, paste it as a vector object and move to align with the diamonds on the right.
  17. Create a horizontal line between the inside diamond points. Copy and align the copy with the bottom points.
  18. Turn off your grid lines and make sure everything lines up evenly. To move a vector object, click on the Vector Object Selection tool and each vector object with the mouse and move (at this point I recommend the Shift-Arrow key move method).
  19. If you find your lines are too long, just click on the line to activate it, click on either end and push inwards to shorten the line. Then align.
  20. Your expanded layers palette should now look like the following.
  21. Save as a .psp graphic to preserve the layers and vector objects.
  22. Now, make sure the Vector Object Selection tool is active and that you are on the Vector layer. Choose Selections>Select All. You will now see that the entire vector graphic is enclosed as one vector selection. If you right-click and hold on to the lower right corner handle and push inwards, you will scale the graphic down proportionally. You can increase the size of the graphic by pulling out on the lower right handle. Right-clicking and pushing or pulling on a corner proportionally resizes the vector graphic. Since it is still a vector graphic, you will retain your sharp edges and the clarity of the graphic.

Using your Vector Pattern

I created the stain glass header graphic by using the graphic as a mask for selections. I used stain glass textures from Spectrum Glass for the fills and I used a gold Blade Pro preset for the “leading”.

  1. Open the vector stain glass pattern. Make a copy and work from the copy.
  2. Flatten all layers (Layers>Merge>Merge All (Flatten).
  3. Add a new layer and flood fill with a background color and name it Filled.
  4. Go back to bottom layer with the stain glass pattern and choose Masks>New>From Image, This Window, Source Luminance, Invert Mask Data checked.
  5. Then choose Masks>Save to Alpha Channel then Masks>Delete and don’t merge with layer.
  6. Add a new layer on top of the flood filled layer and name it “Leading”. Chose Selections>Load from Alpha Channel. Flood fill your selection and use a Blade Pro preset to create the leading. I have a leading preset available in my Quilting/Stain Glass tutorial.
  7. Add a new layer and drag it under the leading layer and name it Diamonds.
  8. Turn off the Leading layer and the flood-filled layer. Click on the bottom stain glass pattern layer and using the Magic Wand tool, click in the four diamonds holding down the shift key while clicking to add to your selection. You should now have all four diamonds selected. Choose Selections>Modify>Expand and expand by 2. Choose Selections>Save to Alpha Channel.
  9. With the selection active, click on the diamond layer. Flood fill your selection with a stain glass texture. Or, as an alternative, copy a stain glass texture large enough to encompass all four diamonds and paste onto the Diamonds layer (Ctrl-E). Then choose Selections>Load from Alpha Channel, Selections>Invert and hit the delete button. You should now have four diamonds filled with a stain glass texture.
  10. Add two new layers for the outer and inner pattern areas. Make sure all the “glass” layers are under the leading layer.
  11. Turn off the top layers and go back to the Stain Glass pattern layer. Choose the outer areas of the pattern as instructed above. Fill as instructed above.
  12. Repeat for the inner area.
  13. I beveled the “glass” layers using my Blade Pro preset “stain glass” (you can find it at my Quilting/Stain Glass tutorial.

As you can see, by the use of vector objects, you can create many different stain glass patterns using the various shapes available.

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