In this tutorial you will learn how to create a very modern and attractive mirror image effect which can be used with text and images. The effect will replicate that of an object sitting on a spotlessly clean reflective surface.
The first step when creating your mirror image effect is to choose what you want to reflect. For this tutorial we’ll show you how to do it with text. The exact same principles can be applied to an image, so don’t worry about any differences in approach as there are none!
To start with, create your blank canvas of any size you fancy, and type out a line of text (just to pick up on the technique). In this, we will use the TutorialBlog text and make a reflection from that. You should have something looking like this:
The next step is to duplicate your layer and flip it vertically. This gives you the first step towards constructing the actual reflection effect. To do these two small tasks all you need to do is duplicate the text layer. Navigate your way to the layers window, left click and drag the text layer onto the new layer button which can be found here:
…and then release the mouse click. You should have two layers of the same text now. The next step is to flip this vertically. In order to do this you must go to the top menu and select Edit > Transform > Flip Vertically. You should end up with a canvas that looks like this:
Shift the layer that you just flipped down so that the top of that layer is 2 pixels in height away from the bottom of the original text layer, so that it looks like this:
Now that we have all the layers we need, we can proceed to learn about layer masking and how it plays a large part in creating this reflection effect.
Now that we have both of our subject layers, we need to add a layer mask to the upside-down layer, so that we can carry on adding the reflection effects to the image. The “Mask Layer” icon can be found at the bottom of the layer window, which looks like this:
In order to mask a text layer, all you need to do is simply left click and drag the upside-down text layer onto this icon in the layers window, and release the mouse click. You now have an active layer mask on that layer of text. You may notice that the edges of the text get brought in a little bit. The mask trims off the less visible edges of any image or text, making it clearer and easier to edit without degradation. Another little trick that those pesky programmers at Adobe thought of.
Ok so now you have a layer of text that has an active mask. It’s time to explain how layer mask work.
Layer masks basically provide a layer with certain additional values, that allow it to be closely modified in detail or in general, with the added bonus of being easily able to hide certain parts of that image from physical view. This is done by using black and white colors. Let’s experiment with our masked text layer and hide some of it!
Select the gradient tool, making sure that black is set to your foreground colour, and make sure that your attributes for the gradient tool look like this:
Now that your tool is set and your layer is in the right place, all you need to do is click and drag the gradient from just below where the masked text starts (the bottom) to the exact point where the masked text ends (the top). Do this four of five times and then set the layer opacity to 40%. You should have an image looking like this:
Easy as pie! Now you can experiment with your new found reflection skills and make things spiffier than ever! Have fun, and enjoy.
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