Pixelmator tutorial glass

Simulate Shimmering Glass with the Pixelmator Effects Browser

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Intro

In this Pixelmator tutorial we will create a beautiful textured glass effect over an image and add some style with angled typography cut out of the glass to reveal the original image underneath. You can click on any image in the tutorial below to see the larger size, than use your browsers back button to go back to the tutorial. Let's get started!

Resources:

Biking Photo

Step 1 - Textured Glass Effect

To get started we first drag our image onto the Pixelmator icon in our dock to quickly open it.

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Duplicate the image one time.

Tip: You can duplicate layers several ways -

  1. Right or control-click on the layer and choose Duplicate
  2. Hold Option and drag the layer up or down one level in the layers panel
  3. Go to Edit > Duplicate
  4. SHIFT > Command > D
  5. Hold Option and drag the layer on the canvas.
  6. Drag a layer in the layers panel down to the plus symbol and drop to duplicate

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If you don't see the Effects Browser go to View > Show Effects or hit Command > 3. Choose the Levels and drag it onto your canvas or double click it to open.

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Set Black to 0%, Gray to 21%, and White to 89%. This will brighten and prep the image for the glass effect.

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With the same layer selected, drag the Motion Blur from the Effects Browser onto the canvas and set it to about 60px and the angle at 45 degrees.

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Next find the Glass Effect and drag and drop it onto the canvas as well.

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Set the Glass Effect till it looks good to you, in this case I went all the way to 500px.

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Step 2 - Angled Typography

Next we'll add some angled type across our effect that we'll use to cut out the glass and reveal parts of the original image below. Choose a font you like and make sure the size is large. To rotate the text simple hover your cursor over one of the bounding box handles around the text and hold down Command then drag the text at the same time to see it rotate. Hold SHIFT at the same time to have the text "snap" to a 45 degree angle.

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Using the same method, choose a different font and a smaller size and rotate the text to 315 degrees.

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Continue to try different fonts and sizes rotating them to 45 or 315 degrees and placing them around the canvas as shown. Feel free to fill the whole canvas if you like. When your done select all of the text layers and put them in a group.

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To create a selection from the shape of all of our text you can Command-click on the Text Group thumbnail to activate the selection or "marching ants" around the text.

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Step 3 - Cut out the Glass

With the selection active, go to Edit > Invert Selection. Then select the glass effect layer and right or control-click and choose "Add Mask".

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When we shut of the text group we can see the mask hides that part of the Glass Effect and reveals the original image below it.

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Step 4 - Glass Edge Highlight

We are going to add a slight highlight on the edges of the "cut out" glass. To do this start by Command-clicking on the text group layer thumbnail again to get it's selection shape. Add a new layer and fill this election with white using Option > Command > F.

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Command > D to turn off the selection. Next turn down the opacity of this new layer so we can see what we are down. Switch to the Move tool and using the keyboard arrow keys move this layer down 1-2px and right 1-2px.

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Command-click on the Text Group layer thumbnail one last time to grab the selection shape and with the same white highlight layer selected, hit delete. As you can see this leaves a subtle highlight on the edges of the cutout portions of the glass.

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Conclusion

That's it! I hope you enjoyed this simple Pixelmator tutorial and learned a few techniques to add to your workflow and a neat textured glass effect using Pixelmator's Effects Browser.

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