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The Stained Glass filter which is part of the Texture filter group is going to need some help from you if you're going to get a good result from it. Part of the problem is that it's just going to create an image that is too complex. So we need to start with a simple image and then chances are we're going to need to simplify that image further. Here I have a picture of a water lily. The original image looks like this. Fairly simple, but there is lot of stuff going on in the background.
Now when I run the Stained Glass filter on this image, it looks like this and this is I think the best result I can get from it using these settings. The Cell Size determines exactly that, the size of each of these individual cells that it makes up. The Border Thickness is the amount of lead between the panes of glass and the Light Intensity is going to cost a highlight on the image, but you have very little control. We have no control over where exactly that goes.
So I tend to prefer to put that down to 0. Something to bear in mind is that the color that is used for the borders for the lead is determined by your chosen foreground color. So you need to make sure you have the right foreground color chosen before you run the filter. Well, that was the result I got from applying the filter to the whole image. Let's now see how it works out when I simplified things. And I have a result that looks like that which I think is preferable.
I'm not crazy about it, I'm not going to put it on my wall, and I don't think I'm going to win any design awards for it, but let's see how this is done. So I'm going to come to the beginning version of the file and in this I have created and saved a path and I'm going to turn that path on and we're going to make that path into a vector mask. Now in order to do that I need to unlock the background which I'll do by double-clicking on it, and then I'll come down to the add vector mask icon, or it becomes the add vector mask icon if I hold down my Command key or Ctrl key, I want to add beneath that a layer of solid color and I want that solid color to be black.
I'll drag it down underneath and my image now looks like this. I would like to convert my image layout for Smart Filters so that I can revisit that filter if the filter is not applied, if I need to. Then I'll come to the Filter menu and down to the Texture group and to Stained Glass. I mentioned that it uses my foreground color as the border color, so I have this gray color which I done actually once.
That's because that blue gray is my foreground color. So I'm going to set my foreground color to black and then go back to the filter. So we now have black as my border color. I want to introduce a little bit more detail than I currently have. So I'm going to reduce the Cell Size. I'm going to reduce the border thickness and I'm going to take Light Intensity all the way down to 0. If I want to add any extra light to it I can do that myself with a gradient overlay or some sort of lighting layer, but I don't want any light intensity on that.
There is my result. So here we seen another example of a filter that is really going to need to think about how you're using it and maybe apply it in differing degrees to different paths of the image, and here I have chosen to not apply the filter at all to the background, but rather simplify things by making the background of solid color and I think that give a much more pleasing result.
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