Can Glass Eye 2000 convert my photo to a stained glass pattern?

Glass Eye 2000 is a great tool for helping you to convert a photograph into a pattern. For example, most of the designs in our Glass Menagerie collection were based on photographs.

If your photograph is stored as a file on your computer, in JPEG or a variety of other image formats, then start by using the "Add Background" feature to bring it into Glass Eye 2000. Alternatively, you can import your photograph directly from your scanner or digital camera using the "Acquire TWAIN Image" command. Either way, you'll end up with a background image representing your photograph.

It's called a background image because your design lines are drawn in a foreground layer on top of that image. Use the drawing tools (curves, arcs, etc.) in Glass Eye 2000 to draw your design lines exactly where you want them, interpreting the photograph in any way you wish. As you draw, you might use the "Show Background" command to toggle the background image on and off so that you can see your lines with and without the photograph behind them.

You might wonder if the AutoTrace Background command, found in the Professional Plus and Enterprise editions, could automate the process of converting a photograph to a line drawing. In general the answer is no. No consumer software package can automatically convert a photograph into a usable pattern. The AutoTrace Background command is intended to convert images containing lines into a Glass Eye 2000 design. For example, if you've drawn a pattern on paper, you can scan it in, AutoTrace it and then be left with a set of lines that have all the characteristics of lines you would add yourself using the Glass Eye 2000 drawing tools. The computer can accomplish this task because it is simply converting lines it detects in the background (a "raster" image) into a set of design lines (a "vector" image) and no artistic interpretation of the background is required.

The conversion of a photograph is a substantially different process that requires many aesthetic judgments. A photograph contains too much ambiguous information. There are rarely clear divisions of light and color, so ten artists interpreting the same photograph would likely produce ten very different patterns. As computers have no aesthetic sense, a computer doing the conversion is unlikely to produce a satisfying pattern. Undoing its mistakes would take longer than doing a manual trace. Fortunately, the tools provided by Glass Eye 2000 are just what you need for creating a design based on your photograph.