Photoshop Technique: Create a Realistic Glass Reflection

In this tutorial I will run you through some very simple methods to create a realistic refection of someone as if they were in front of a glass window.

First download this picture

Start a 822X542px document and place the picture of the girls face in the right side of the canvas.

Now duplicate the face and drag it to the left side of the canvas

Flip the image on the left horizontally. With that layer chosen hit the keyboard shortcut ctrl+t on a windows keyboard to transform the object. Right click on it and click flip horizontally.

You should have something similar to this

I want the left picture to touch the right picture so it looks like she is leaning her head on a glass window.

On an accurate reflection if her head is against the glass it will be the closest thing in the reflection since it is touching the glass. Her chin will be the furthest away in the reflection since it is not touching the glass.

So first I am going to rotate and scale the image down a bit so it will look accurate
in the reflection.

There is a little white gap at the top and a big white gap toward the bottom so I am going to fix this with the warp tool.

With the image chosen hit ctrl+t on your keyboard to transform the layer. Then click

On the top gap just grab the very top right square and drag up and right.

The bottom gap grab the bottom right square and drag.

Now there are some other gaps that I need to cover up, the one on the top left and the other on the bottom. So first I will get rid of the top left one by using my crop tool and just crop the whole image to get rid of that.

As for the bottom gap I am going to copy a portion of the image, paste it back in the canvas and use the warp tool to manipulate it.

So copy a part of the image…

Copy and paste it back in the image

Line it back up to its original position.

Now use the warp tool on that copied piece to cover the gap.

It does not have to look perfect and can look a little stretch, since this is for the reflection it will look a lot different later in the tutorial.

I am going to do the same concept with the bottom gap.

After that I merged the layer together and use the smudge tool to make it look a little

To lighten up the image to make it look like a reflection I will use the levels on the image. Duplicate your layer and hide it so you have a backup in case you need to go back.

Hit ctrl+L for the levels control and set them similar to this

Then set her opacity to about 80%.

Here is what I have so far

That looks OK but it needs some outside reflection like of a city so I am going to use this picture of a city:

Open that picture take any part of it and place it over your reflection layer

Cut off the part that overlaps the right image.

Add some motion blur to it by going to filter>>blur>>motion blur and use these settings

Set its opacity to about 70% and its blending mode to overlay.

I hope this gives you a basic idea on how you can make a realistic glass reflection of someone. Thanks for reading.

Based off of some comments I received I modified the tutorial a bit to make it look more realistic. All I did was take a regular picture of the city without blurring it, put it below your reflection layer, and set the opacity to about 46%. Then I changed our reflection layer blending mode to hard light. Hope this looks better. Thanks!

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