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How to Make Cool Glass Effects in Photoshop (With 3 Actions)


Fancy creating some cool, glass-like effects on your photographs? Try these stylish Photoshop actions from Envato Elements to bring new life to your images.

In this tutorial, you'll see how to create wet glass, shattered glass, and plexiglass looks with your image using actions. All of these actions are available as part of an Elements subscription.

Look 1: Wet Glass Photoshop Action

Wet Glass is a realistic effect that easily adds a hot-and-humid, rainy day look to your photos in just a few clicks. As an added bonus, you can also write or draw ‘onto’ the glass in the style of a finger drawing. There are three wet glass images to choose from and ten colours.

Wet Glass Photoshop Action
Wet Glass Photoshop Action

Before You Get Started

You’ll need to download and install the action.

This is the image I’ll be using to demonstrate.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Run the Action

This one doesn't require any prep, so you can go ahead and open the image and run the action. The action process will stop and tell you to add one of the images included in the download.

the action will stop and give you further instructions
the action will stop and give you further instructions

You may need to resize it to fit the dimensions of your image, but it’ll give you the chance to do that.

after the action has run
After the action has run

Make adjustments

There are ten colour adjustments to choose from. Which you select will probably be based on the colours already in your image. I’ve gone for a mix of 09 and 06 at low opacities (around 25%) each, just to even out the colours and make it look a little starker.

Under Blurred you’ll find three options so you can make your background more or less focused depending on how wet you want the image to look. I increased it a little to make the road look smoother.

Write on the Glass

Next, you’ll want to write your message on the window. There’s a layer called Write/Draw here and it’ll come as no surprise to you to hear that this is where you write your message.

If you’re struggling to see it on your image, there’s a layer above called Write Overlay. If you lower the opacity on that slightly, it’ll bring some black through onto your writing.

write on your window
Writing on the window, with layers

Finished Result

finished result
Finished result

Look 2: Shatter Glass Photoshop Action

Create a realistic broken glass effect with Shatter Glass Photoshop Action. As well as the action itself, the pack comes with some textured photographs to layer over the top of your image.

Shatter Glass Photoshop Action
Shatter Glass Photoshop Action

Before You Get Started

You’ll need to download and install the action.

This is the image I’ll be using to demonstrate:

Photo by Diego Rosa on Unsplash
Photo by Diego Rosa on Unsplash

Run the Action 

Create a layer called brush and brush over your subject using a hard, round brush. Hit play on the ShatterGlass action. Ignore Finalize for now.

brush over your subject
Brush over your subject

The process will stop and ask you to place one of the included texture images.

choose a picture
Choose one of the provided texture images

When you’ve chosen and placed it, the action will continue.

Make Adjustments

after the action has finished
After the action has finished running

You can see that the image has been reflected in the pieces of glass, and some global contrast has been added.

There’s a little too much ‘glow’ on the glass, so to change that, head to the Glass folder and change the Opacity (or hide altogether) on some of the Glow layers and also the L1, L, S… and so on, layers. I’ve highlighted them for you below.

glow layers
Hide or reduce the effect of some of the glow layers


Once you have the image the way you want it, you can go back to the Actions tab and run Finalize. This will flatten your image, so make sure you’ve saved it somewhere first! 

Doing that will add extra contrast and give you three Curves options to choose from to add further colour and contrast to the image.

finished result of shatter
Shatter - finished result

Look 3: Plexiglass Abstract Effects

Add abstract and unique effects to your photographs with Plexiglass for Photoshop. There are 15 options to add colours and borders, brightening up dull images.

Before You Start

You’ll need download and install the action.

Run the Action

Hit play all and you’ll find the various options in your History panel rather than Layers.

the options appear in History rather than Layers
The options appear in History rather than Layers

The effects range from the cutely coloured:

a pink and grey gradient
A pink and grey gradient applied to the image.

To the bold and more graphic design oriented:

A bolder design
A bolder design

There isn’t much in the way of adjustment here, but each effect does at least have the option to adjust the gradient colour used and also to remove the border.

More Stylish Photoshop Actions

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