Monday, September 27, 2010

How to create subtle reflections using PSE 9?

It's so easy and cool to create reflections using PSE 9. It is one of the new guided edit features which is easy to follow with the instructions laid through the workflow. I am also following the steps described in the workflow to demonstrate the creation of a reflection :

1. Open any image in PSE 9 Editor that you want to create reflections of. I picked this image as when i clicked this one, I felt there was a lake missing the the silhouette.

2. Click on Guided Edit tab>Fun Edits> Reflections.

3. Click on the first button : Add Reflection. Here is the output you see after that :

4. Click on the Eye dropper tool and select one of the colors to be filled as background for the reflection. For this image I chose the mustard color as you can see from the color swatch by clicking on one of the areas with this color on the image. And as I click Fill background, I see an output as follows :

5. In the next step, you get an option to select either Floor, Glass or Water reflection. I chose Water Reflection for this particular image.

It will prompt for adding Ocean Ripple filter, followed by Motion blur to give some realistic effect.
I tried in 768 % of amount for Ocean ripple effect and 7 as distance in Motion blur.

6. Adjust the Reflection intensity as per your needs. I increased it from 80 to 90.

7. Click on Add Distortion. I clicked it twice to make my reflection shorter that the actual image.

Rest of the area after shortening of reflection gets filled by your foreground color in the color swatch(the background you selected for reflection earlier)

8. Now crop this extra area in the next step using the next button Crop.

9. Once cropped you can add gradient to give more realistic look to your image. here is my final output.

If you are not satisfied with the gradient applied with this button, you may go to full edit and select the top most layer, edit the gradient itself choosing gradient tool and selecting Edit button from top bar.

One more example of the reflection created using this feature :


  1. Is this possible in PSE8 or do I need to run out NOW to get PSE9 cause I LOVE this?

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  3. In PSE 8 also, you can get the reflections created. However it is quite easier in PSE 9. Just few button clicks in PSE9 replace the manual steps for creating reflections in PSE 8 like resizing canvas, inverting the image in a new layer, add ocean ripple filter, motion blur, gradient etc.
    However in PSE 9, it is too simple as it is a part of the new fun edit features. So everything is taken care of by few buttons in the workflow.
    I am really loving PSE 9 for my editing. Lots of other additions like layer masks, style match, fun edits etc. In my personal opinion, it is worth buying :-)

  4. I's this thing possible in PSE 7? I think it is really cool but but I haven't got that reflection guide...

  5. I've long recommended that people seeking to have a very good understanding of this specific topic spread their research across several blogs so as not to deal with wrong information. You have provided so many areas for people like me to start with. But this can be puzzling for some. Let's take into account the only real enemy here's not being focused. This will happen to some. So my advice is: Stay focused. Thank you

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  7. What a nice tutorial . Thanks for sharing.