Sunday, August 06, 2006

Makin' Glass!

Today, I made glass!

Well, not real glass; faux glass for the Bella/Pella project.

In order to do the faux stained glass windows, (which we make in Photoshop,) we have to have faux glass to drop into the faux leading (which we make in Illustrator.) When I was first approached about this project, I was just going to use Spectrum Glass (which is allowed, if you credit them.) But when I realized the scope of the thing, I also realized that I couldn't use their images. For one thing, I couldn't figure out how to credit them correctly. And for another, the images were just going to be too small to use.

So I decided to photograph glass; or rather, to ask my boss (who had the right kind of setup) to photograph glass for me. But, due to a number of technical problems, that didn't work out either.

Eventually, I decided to make my own glass, in layers, so that I could easily change the colors, and have an unlimited supply of exactly the kind of glass I wanted. Which sounds great, huh? For some of the types of glass, that was very easy to do. Textured glass, for instance, was simple. All I had to do was use the Texture tools in Photoshop.

But some of it was much more difficult. Translucent glass, for instance, which looks like it has clouds and strands of different, slightly blurry, colors proved to be ... ummm ... challenging.

So challenging, in fact that I've been trying to figure out how to do it without spending a week on each piece since last November!

I'm delighted to say, after only 10 months, I think I have it figured out. :D

Take a look. The glass on the top is the stuff I just made; the glass on the bottom is photographs of real glass, courtesy of Spectrum Glass. (Ooooh! They have a new type of glass! I just saw it when I was making sure the link worked. If you do glass, check it out! It's called "Spirit".)

picture of the shirt

To do this, I used a combination of hand drawing and two filter packs; the Twisting Pixels PixelCreation filters, and a couple of filters from the Corel KPT Collection.

While I was at it, I made several colors. Besides the green and red shown above, I did five more. From these I think (I hope) I can make a lot of other colors in a fraction of the time, by adjusting the Hue and Saturation of various layers of strands and clouds. (I hope so, because these puppies took about an hour each to do, since they are fairly large, and the some of the filters take a while to run.) As an example, I made the brown on the bottom by changing the H&S of the orange.

Here are some details of the glass.

6 colors of faux glass

So, that's what I've been up to today! Tomorrow, I plan to make .jpgs of these, and any other glass I get done by "quittin' time," and package them all up to send to Bella so that prospective customers can choose the type of glass they want in their windows.



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