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How to Create a Water Reflection with Photoshop

使用ソフト: Photoshop CC 2020  

In this article, I’ll explain how to create a realistic water reflection using Photoshop!
*The following values are just for reference.

1. Open your image in Photoshop

It’s a nice night view photo, but this time I’m going to add it water reflections.
Night view

2. Add a new layer

Change the new layer name to “Light” and set the Blending mode to [Overlay].
Add a new layer

3. Paint the water surface in black with the Brush tool

Select the layer “Light” and use the Brush tool to fill the white areas on the water with black.
Fill the white areas on the water with black
At this time, you can naturally remove white areas because the Blending mode is set to [Overlay].

*What is Overlay?: This is a Blending mode that makes light areas lighter and dark areas darker.

I’ve finished painting all.
The result of painting the white areas with the Brush tool.

4. Duplicate and flip the background layer

Select the background layer and duplicate it. Changed the layer name to “Reflections”.
Duplicate the background layer
With the layer “Reflections” selected, choose [Edit] > [Transform] > [Flip Vertical].
Flip Vertical
Then check the border of the reflection by adjusting [Opacity] and so on.
Image after flipping the background layer

5. Create a selection of reflections

Create a selection in the reflection area of the layer “Reflections” using a tool such as the [Rectangular Marquee] Tool.
Create a selection
Then, create a layer mask.
After creating a layer mask
It’s looking good.

6. Adjust the layer “Light”

Select the layer “Light”.
Change [Fill] and adjust it to look more natural. In this case, I set [Fill:70%].
This is after changing the [Fill] setting.
After changing the [Fill]

7. Adjust the layer “Reflections”

Select the layer “Reflections”.
Select the layer
Choose [Filter] > [Blur] > [Motion Blur].
Apply Motion Blur
Set [Angle: -5°] and [Distance: 5px] in [Motion Blur] panel.
Motion Blur panel
This allows you to create realistic ripples.


Now it’s done!
Final image
How was it?
We were able to create a Water reflection in a simple way.
Please give it a try!

Photo of night view in Singapore using this technique.
Photo of night view in Singapore

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