The Glass House – a Photoshop Tutorial

Brent Adrian Balasbas, based in the Philippines and studying Architecture, has kindly shared his latest tutorial on his Photoshop techniques with us. He uses a V-Ray rendered output  image of a SketchUp model (original subject, Glass House by Philip Johnson). Brent places the image in a new background, editing it to the extent whereby he ends up with a very convincing final creation.

1. This my output render of a SketchUp model, the Glass House by Philip Cortelyou Johnson. Its a PNG file. Open the file in Photoshop.

Output Render - PNG File

2. After sourcing a suitable background image, lets start work on it. Use Polygonal Lasso Tool to select and cutout the area that isn’t needed. Right click and select Inverse.

Select Inverse

3. Duplicate the Layer. The image below shows how it will look. Next Delete the original Background Layer (the locked one).

Duplicate Layer

4. Erase the selected surface with the Eraser Tool.

Erase Selection

5. Erase the outline using the Quick Selection Tool.

Erase Outline

6. Expand the sky , using Clone Stamp Tool + click (ALT) then select the sky. Do the same thing on the trees, Clone Stamp Tool + click (ALT) select the trees.

Expand Sky and Trees

7. Try this link to download some brushes. You can use it as a Clone Stamp Tool brush for the trees to make it more realistic.

Use Brush for Clone Stamp Tool

8. Now erase the grass from the image, using the Eraser Tool.

Erase the Grass

9. Now place the glass house into the background image.

Place Glass House in Background Image

10. Resize the glass house using the Rectangular Marquee Tool , right click Free Transform to make it more proportional to the image. Erase the outline (Step 5).

Resize House

11. Erase the unnecessary light.

Remove Unnecessary Light

12. Insert the next sourced image to build up the scene.

Build Up Our Scene

13. Resize the image, change the Opacity to about 88%. Warp the image to make it proportional and fit in nicely (Edit >Transform >Warp ).

Resize and Transform Image

14. Erase the area highlighted by the red line.

Erase Area Highlighted

15. This is how the image looks so far after erasing unnecessary parts.

Image So Far

16. Next some image adjustments. These are the settings that were used: Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask, Amount: 38%, Radius 31.1 Pixels and Treshold: 109.

Image Adjustments

17. Next the road was edited (removed some of the grass and fixed the edge on the left) using the Clone Stamp Tool.

Edit the Road

18. Go back to the other image used (Step 12), flip it horizontally by going to Image > Rotate Canvas > Flip Canvas Horizontal. The result below.

Flip Image Horizontal

19. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to make an outline as shown in the image below, then cut it (use the Move Tool).

Cut a Section Out

20. Paste the cutout into the image or drag and drop it in.

Paste in Cutout

21. Place the layer on top of the Layer stack, resize (Step 13)  and warp by going to  Edit >Transform >Warp. Finally erase the outline.

Resize and Warp Cutout

22. Use Clone Stamp Tool to edit the road and grass as done before in Step 17.

Edit Road and Grass

These are some examples of the brushes used.


23. After that, create a new Layer, then click ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ and then Solid Color. The Pick a solid color selection panel will appear.

New Fill Layer

24. Set the blending mode from Normal to Overlay and it’s Opacity to 25%.

Change Blending Mode to Overlay

25. For further enhancement, use the Brush Tool and add some fog effect. Settings used: Opacity:4%, Blur Tool Strength 37%.

Tip: don’t add too much fog!

Add Some Fog

26. Save the image as a  JPEG file, then open it again in Photoshop to add some lighting effects to the image, I used the Knoll Light Factory plug-in. You can try it out for free if you wish.

Save as JPEG and Add Some Lighting

Final image.

Final Image

Thanks for reading this tutorial. Hopefully you will be able to use some aspects my techniques in your very own creations.


2 Responses to “The Glass House – a Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. Ronald EM on May 22nd, 2013 4:38 pm

    So many thanks, i really like your tutorial
    Managua, Nicaragua

  2. HomePlansIndia on June 10th, 2013 6:09 pm

    Very helpful and informative. Just a simple house plan is getting transformed with easy elements added to it through photoshop.


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