Sunday, January 4, 2009

Simple Reflection with photoshop

New to Photoshop CS3 is the Clone Source panel with the ability to clone or heal from 5 different source points. Using that same Clone Source panel, here is a quick way to create a mirrored reflection without relying on manual transformations.

Step 1 – Open Image

To begin, copy/paste the following image into Photoshop. Or right click; choose Save Image from your browser context menu. Save it to a location on your computer. Then in Photoshop, File > Open and browse to the previously saved image to open it.

Step 2 – Convert the locked Background Layer to a free floating layer

Double-click the Background Layer to convert it to a free floating layer.
As captured below, the double-click action prompts you to give the New Layer a new Name, I kept it at the default of Layer 0 and clicked OK to commit changes.

Step 3 – Resize Canvas to twice the original Height

To make room for the reflection the Canvas size will need to be modified.
Go to the Image > Canvas Size menu command:
- Double the Height value of the document (was 289), so now it will be 578
- Tick the Top/Center Anchor option so that when the change is applied the current image content (Layer 0) will remain in the same position as intended, creating the extra space needed below it.
Click OK to commit Canvas Size command changes. As captured lower right, you can see the document is now twice the Height.
Note: If you ignored Step 2 – converting the Background Layer to a free floating Layer, then the new extended area will inherit the Canvas extension color property. This is not what we need for the remaining process, so make sure step two is applied.

Step 4 – Open Clone Source Panel and set source Layer

Next, with Layer 0 in the Layers Panel still active:
1. Go Window > Clone Source to bring its panel to the foreground.
2. Activate the Clone Stamp Tool (S) from the Toolbar.
3. Then Option + Click (PC: Alt + Click) ONCE just at the center edge where I have captured below.
The clone source sample information in the panel will update (encircled in red) with the target document: Layer.
Next, change the H (Height) value from 100% to a minus -100% as captured below (encircled in blue).

Step 5 – Set Clone Tool Options and clone on a new Layer
Next, create a new empty Layer (in my case Layer 1), and make this the active Layer.
1. With the Clone Stamp Tool (S) active on the Toolbar, set the Options Bar properties using your choice of Brush Tip/Size, with Aligned active and Sample from Current and Below.
2. Then brush (Clone) directly onto the document.
3. Once complete an exact mirror reflection will be created on the current Layer (Layer 1).

A nice way to simulate reflections using the new Clone Source Panel, apply your favorite method of blending the lowest edge for a more realistic blend.
As captured below, I added a solid color fill (black) as the underlying Layer, then applied a Gradient Layer Mask (Black to Transparent), starting from the bottom of Layer 1 and going up. Then I bumped its Fill percentage down to 81%.


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