Creating Reflection with Photoshop

This tutorial will show you how to make a reflection with your Photoshop. I used Photoshop CS2 when creating this tutorial, but I guess it does not make any difference even if you do it with Photoshop CS.

Picture used on this tutorial is Australian Parliament House in Canberra, by Free-StockPhotos.com

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step1: Open your image, copy your background layer, and fill your background layer with white

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step2: After you open your image, go to image>canvas size and lock the anchor at top centre, type in a new figure for height. Mine is 600 pixels.

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step3. Right click on image layer in your layer palette, and duplicate your image layer

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step4. Click on your new layer then edit>transform>flip vertical

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step5. Position it very carefully so it looks most like a reflection of the building as shown on this image below. You can shunt it up and down with the arrow keys to get its position pixels-perfect.


Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step6. Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. We’re looking to create the softening, stretching effect characteristic of reflections in large, slightly rippling bodies of water.

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step7. Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. No we need direction of the blur to be at right-angles to the Horizon, so set Angle to 90 degrees and move the Distance bar, experimenting with various values until you like what you see in the previews.

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step8. Go to Filter>Distort>Ripple. By moving the slider we can select the degree of wave movement on the surface of our lake. Aim to create the effect of a light breeze, so keep the waves Medium sized and don’t go overboard on the amount of ripple.

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step9. Change the perspective a bit by edit>transform>perspective

Photoshop CS Tutorial

The reason of doing this is that Real water has an effect on an object’s perspective. Reflections tend to spread slightly when they hit the water, so we’ll try and recreate this in our Parliament image.

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step10. Let’s apply some more motion blur to make that water look even more realistic, but this time, we’ll make it parallel to the horizon. Again, be subtle to make it as effective as possible.

Photoshop CS Tutorial

Step11. Now we’re going to boost the blues by adjusting the appropriate slider in the color balance window (image>adjustments>color balance)

Photoshop CS Tutorial

You’re done!

Here’s my final image:

Photoshop CS Tutorial


See also: Photoshop Tutorials





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22 Comments »

Comment by yasserxp
2005-10-28 22:30:00

iam sorry i think that there is one page only
iam sorry man
thanks for this lesson

 
Comment by trevor from oz
2005-11-04 00:14:31

i’m sorry, but there’s no water directly in front of our parliament house.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-07-10 13:28:57

hehehe..

 
 
Comment by Looie
2007-03-13 04:29:47

So? They’re only using it as an example. Thanks for the guide.

 
Comment by koolkain
2007-07-10 12:17:13

not enough detail. Bad tutorial

Comment by xxx
2008-04-24 23:52:50

you bad boy. this is good tutorial

 
 
Comment by Nakagawa
2007-07-16 04:15:33

no way.. i was looking for a basic reflection like this for some of my Anime backgrounds, and this effect is great!. domo arigato.

Out.

 
Comment by Patty Adams
2007-08-26 18:13:45

I liked it. Very useful.

 
Comment by abelfattah Chekroun Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-03 04:06:55

thank you very much for this tutorial,
the image , object to this tutorial ,has a horizontal basis;wich makes it easy
to clone a reflection
the problematic situation such as a man standing on a any surface that needs reflection is not such easy , please try to make a tutorial with
such an image

 
Comment by nihal
2008-02-02 19:33:40

nice article ,,,,,,,,,,, but i want to know reflection 45 angle images.

 
Comment by davnenko Subscribed to comments via email
2008-04-10 16:29:25

Nice tutorial article – I always wanted to create something like this. But the thing is that it’s better not to make the reflection so blurry. It will much better if you put little bit of opacity to your reflection, let’s say 57%.

 
Comment by joe bloggs
2008-04-24 06:10:30

I’m also trying to figure out how to create a reflection of an object that is sitting at an angle… can’t simply invert image. E.G. a bike standing in water, with front wheel closer to camera than rear wheel. Flipping image won’t do it.

 
Comment by Ashish Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-06 03:25:29

Heyy bro thnxx alot for publishing this nice tut…no words for thnxxx……carry on for new babies..;-)

 
Comment by thePeoplesProgram
2009-01-25 00:05:36

AWESOME is all I can say. This is one of the best CS2 tutorials I’ve seen. Hooked up a FAT ship in 10 mins (the time it took to follow your instructions). Thanks for the great post!

 
Comment by sam
2009-04-25 15:53:12

excellent tutorial – precisely what i was looking for ..

 
Comment by Rob Wallace
2009-05-23 16:20:42

SEM sez I liked the finesse of the motion blur part and I never knew about the perspective tool. So waht if I didn’t — bite me you effetist CS snobs.

So all in all it was a good tutorial, I picked the wrong image it was oriented hroizontal. Sucked.

 
Comment by Najwa
2009-05-25 03:49:23

It helps me a lot in my digital assignment for a new user for Photoshop like me. Thank you very much.

 
Comment by brian
2010-03-12 14:18:06

Worked beautifully for a quick project. Thanks!.

 
Comment by corkytoadhall Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-07 04:52:43

Good project, I think you have overdone it a little with the end blur but still a good tutorial. Thanks.

 
Comment by ThierryD
2010-11-16 18:33:42

In the link below
http://rienquepourlesyeux.free.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8
you can see a tutorial for water reflexion with photoshop with real water.
It is a good completion for this tutorial

 
Comment by cardbaba
2011-09-27 12:02:54

great tutorial…thank you for sharing!!!

 
Comment by Andre
2011-10-20 23:38:28

Photoshop classes were fun in college, but I didn’t retain much. This was very helpful in regards to the things that I’m trying to do.

Thanks again!

 

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