Adding a reflection to a window is easier than you think with Photoshop and once you've mastered the basics you could transport your window to anywhere in the world!
|Software used: Photoshop CS4
Time taken: 15-25 mins
Step 1: Duplicate your layer
Always, always duplicate your layer so if something does go drastically wrong you can just start again on with your original image. Go to Layer>Duplicate Layer then rename the new layer.
Step 2: Open the image you want to reflect
Open the image you want to reflect and go to Select>Select all (Ctrl+A) then go to the Edit>Copy (Ctrl+C). Then close this window and return to the image of the window and go to Edit>Paste (Ctrl+V) to paste the image into the window.
Step 3: Flip the reflection
As reflections are always mirrored, we need to flip this image. To do this go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontally (make sure you're in the right layer when you do this).
Step 4: Shrink to fit
We want to make the soon to be reflection fit the window panes so go to Edit> Free Transform and shrink the image to the right size.
Make sure the image you want to be the reflection is sitting under the image of the window before you move to the next step.
Step 5: Remove the glass
Pick the Rectangular Marquee Tool, hold shift and start selecting the next pane; holding shift as you start the next selection will add the selection to your previous one, so all the panes will be treated as one selection. Do the same for each pane in your image, and when you have them all selected. Make sure all the panes are selected and that there are no gaps before you proceed to the next step.
Make sure the window layer is selected then press the Delete key to remove everything but the window panes and remove the selection. Select the reflected image layer and lower the opacity of the layer so the reflection looks more natural. We lowered it to 55%. You may also need to move the image slightly to make it fit. You can do this with the Free Transform option easy enough. If the image isn't quite light enough to look like a reflection open up the Layer Style window, click on the Gradient Overlay option and apply a gradient. A grey to white gradient that has an overlay blend mode works well. You can find out more about creating and applying gradients here.
Once this is done you're image is complete.
You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.