Sunday, April 8, 2012

Using Photoshop Tools To Fake Reflections

Here's the thing; when you manipulate a photo you want it to look as if it has not been changed. You can achieve this effect by using Photoshop to change an image in big ways. When you manipulate an image you want the people looking at it to appreciate it for the composition and content.

You can be a pixel-pusher and add an entire new element to the scene but content and composition come first.

The image below is rather boring but you can add some
dynamics to it by choosing the Marquee Tool to select the
top section of the image.

You will want to include the base of the bridge aw well.

Copy and paste this into a new layer and then go to Edit>
Transform>Flip Vertical.

This will create an upside-down version of the bridge. Then
you can click[V] and this will allow you to use the Move
Tool to position the bridge as shown.

Now you have an image that has a reflection that looks
unrealistic because it is too perfect.

Let's change that. Select the reflection layer and you can
give the refection a sense of perspective if you go to
Filter>Blur>Radial Blur.

Try different values until you achieve one that is pleasing
to you. Try a setting of 23 and see what you think. What
you are going for is a special effect that does not overdo
the filter value.

When you are trying to get the perspective of the blur so it
looks natural you can move the Blur Center so it matches the horizon in the image.

Imagine a real reflection; you can't see it in the
highlights of a rippling surface. You can fake this effect
by using the original image's highlights to break up our

Choose the reflection layer and change the blending mode to Overlay. When you do this the reflection that was created with the filter will be blended with the highlights of the layer that is underneath. You may also want to reduce the opacity of the reflection to 77% to achieve a more subtle effect.

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