Realistic Reflections

This tutorial will show you how to create a realistic way to add reflection’s to your images. The reflections will look highly realistic but it is still very manageable to achieve.

Open up a new document with the photo that you are going to add the reflection. Make sure that the image is on its own layer and that the background of the image has been removed fully. Now name the layer. In this case, I am naming the layer Screen1.
name your layer

To create the reflection we are going to copy the same layer that we have just named. Press Ctrl-J (Mac: Command-J) to do this. Now we need to go in to the free transform mode to flip the image over.
Press Ctrl-T [Mac: Command-T) to enter free transform. Now that we are in the free transform, right click on the image (Mac: Control-Click) so that the bounding box appears. When the bounding box has appeared, select Flip Vertical.
copy and flip the layer

Now that we’ve flipped the image, we need to move it. Get the move tool (v on keyboard) and place it underneath where the images would meet on the surface.
move tool

Once we’ve aligned where the reflection shall go, we need to lower the opacity so it looks more realistic. On the layers palate, there is a slider called opacity. Move this down to 15-20% for best results.

Next we’ll add a bit of motion blur so that the reflection happens to be that much more realistic then the last step. Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and add these settings.
motion blur
Now what we need to do is shorten the reflection a little bit. It is a bit too big and demanding at this moment in time. So we are going to add a layer mask to the reflected layer. To do this click on Add Layer Mask in the layers palette.
add layer mask

Next we need to make sure that it is set up so that we use it. Get your gradient tool by pressing G on your keyboard. Open up your gradient settings and make sure that the settings are set to black to white. This will enable us to use the masking effectively.
gradient settings

Finally, we have set up the mask so that we can now use it. As you already should have the gradient tool selected and set black to white, draw a line starting from the bottom of the reflection to near the top of the reflection.
final result

It’s not hard as you might have thought to add realistic reflections to your work. This tutorial can be used on any image you want to add a reflection to.

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