In this lesson you will learn to create an incredible effect of imitation of window glass.
By the end of this tutorial, you will have a ready action (operation) that fully automates the process of creating this effect with just one click.
I will try to explain everything as detailed as possible so that each of you can do all the steps, even if you are dealing with Photoshop for the first time.
If you want to create a similar effect with just one click, but do not want to spend time creating your own actions (operations), then maybe you will be interested in ready-made action games by reference. With them, you can add the effect of imitation window glass to your own image in just a few seconds.
What we will create:
To create an action, we need two images, one main and the second one, which will be reflected in our window glass. As the main image, we use a photograph by Ryan Holloway.
In fact, you can use any photo you want, but to obtain the most optimal result, it would still be preferable to fulfill one condition – that the photo has a dark background.
For the reflected image, we can also use any photos, but it is preferable that it still be urban landscapes, different views of the city. Specifically, in our case, we use this photo from Pixabay.
1. How to add a brush in Photoshop
We go to Editing – Sets – Set Management (Edit> Presets> Preset Manager). In the Dialing Management dialog box, select Type of set (Preset Type): Brushes (Brushes) and press the button Download (Load).
Follow the path to the folder where you unpacked the additional materials, select the windowAction.abr file in it, and then click Is done (Done).
Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)). Make sure that the values Opacity (Opacity) and Pressure (Flow) equal to 100%.
2. Customize our Document
First, open the photo file you are going to use in your work. To do this, select the command in the main menu. File – Open (File> Open), select the image we need and click Open (Open). Your photo should be background layer (Background). If not, then go to Layer – New – Background from layer (Layer> New> Background from Layer).
Place an image of the cityscape above the main image; for our action, name the new layer “reflection” (“reflection”). In order to properly position our urban landscape, we can translate Blend mode (Blending mode) on Overlap (Overlay).
Add a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) above the “reflection” layer. Name this new layer “area”.
Now, take the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)), select a soft brush, adjust its size, and paint your main subject, i.e. image of a man. You can use any color, it does not really matter.
3. Create Action
Since our images are placed and positioned, we are ready to begin recording our action (operation). We will place it in a separate set for easier management.
Choose a team Window – Operations (Window> Actions) or simply press Alt + F9 on the keyboard to open the palette Operations (Actions). Then click on the icon. Create a new set (Create new set), name this set Fake Windows Action, and click OK. We will put our action inside this set.
Click on the icon Create a new operation (action) (Create new action) and name it “Fake Window”. Click the button Write down (Record) to begin the process of recording all subsequent steps in Photoshop.
From now on, everything you do will be recorded, so be careful and watch the palette. Operations (Actions). If you made any mistake, click on the icon Stop playback \ recording (Stop playing / recording) and remove (Delete) an unnecessary step from your action (operation). Then click again on the icon. Start recording (Begin recording) to continue.
4. How to start recording operations (action)
Hide the “area” layer by clicking on the eye icon next to the layer thumbnail in the palette. Layers (Layers). Then press the “D” key on the keyboard to set the default colors (the main color is black, the background color is white).
After selecting the “area” layer, right-click on the thumbnail of this layer and select Highlight pixels (Select Pixels). Then go to background layer (Background layer) and hit Control-J to copy the selection to a new layer.
Then go to Layer – Rename Layer (Layer> Rename Layer), give it the name “BGblur”, then lower opacity (opacity) of this layer to 30%.
Next, go to Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set the value Radius (Radius) 5 pixels and click OK.
Select the layer “reflection” and create a copy of the current layer through the command Layer – Duplicate Layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer) or simply using the Control-J key combination. Then go to Layer – Rename Layer (Layer> Rename Layer), give it the name “reflection1”.
After that, we change Blend mode (Blending Mode) for the “reflection1” layer on Light replacement (Lighten) and lower Opacity (opacity) up to 40%. Hide the original “reflection” layer.
Next, go to Filter – Blur – Blur Gaussian (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set the value Radius (Radius) 10 pixels and click OK.
Now, let’s go to Layer – Duplicate Layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer (Control-J)) to duplicate the “reflection1” layer. Change Blend mode (Blending mode) on Multiplication (Multiply) and lower the level Opacity (opacity) to about 30%. Next, go to Layer – Rename Layer (Layer> Rename Layer), give it the name “reflection2”.
Now, it’s time to add texture to our window glass. We go to Layer – New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) to add a new layer. Call it “Dirt.” Next, go to Selection – All (Select> All (Control-A)).
Now, activate the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M)). Then, right-click on the image and select the option Create work path (Make Work Path). Enter Tolerance (Tolerance) 0.5 pixel and click OK. Activate the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)) and select the previously loaded brush “dirtglass1”.
Press “D” on the keyboard to reset the default colors. Then, press “X” to swap the Primary color with the Background so that the white color appears as the primary color. Press “P” on the keyboard to activate the tool. Pen (Pen Tool). Next, click the right mouse button on the image and select the option Outline the contour (Stroke Path), click OK.
Now, right-click on the image and select Delete contour (Delete Path).
Change Blend mode (Blending mode) on Soft light (Soft Light) and lower level opacity (opacity) to about 50%.
Select the “reflection2” layer, hold down the Shift and select the “reflection1” layer. Click Control-G to merge the layers in the group (Group). We go to Layer – Rename Group (Layer> Rename Group) and give it the name “Reflections”.
Hide the “Reflections” group and the “dirt” layer by clicking on the eye icons in front of the corresponding thumbnails.
Choosing a palette Channels (Channels), right click on Blue (blue) channel and select Duplicate channel (Duplicate Channel).
We go to Image – Correction – Levels / Ctrl + L (Image> Adjustments> Levels) to bring up the settings dialog Levels (Levels). Change Backlight level (Highlight level) at 217 and Shadow level (Shadow level) at 61, click OK.
Select a copy of the blue channel, hold down the Control and click on the layer thumbnail.
We make the RGB channel visible, and the copy of the blue channel, on the contrary, is hidden.
Back in the palette Layers (Layers), now we use the created selection to create a layer mask for the “Reflections” group.
We go to Layers – Mask Layer – Show Selected Area (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal Selection). Press the Control-I key combination to invert the mask layer colors. Make the group “Reflections” and layer “dirt” visible.
5. Finish the action recording.
Finally, our action is over. Therefore, in the palette Operations (Actions), you can press Stop (Stop) to complete the recording.
All is ready!
Now you have your own action window effect simulating window glass, and you can easily create incredible images in just a few seconds.
I hope you enjoyed the lesson and learned something new for your future projects.