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How To: Photoshop CS4 Text Reflections

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In this Photoshop text effects tutorial, we’re going to create a simple text reflection effect. This effect has been used everywhere in advertising, and as we’ll see, it’s very easy to do. When we’re done you’ll end up with something like this.

Photoshop Reflections Finished Product

Photoshop Reflections Finished Product

Step 1: Create A New Photoshop Document

Create a new blank Photoshop document by going up to the File menu at the top of screen and choosing New. Enter the dimensions you need for your document. For this tutorial, I’m going to enter 600 pixels for my document’s Width, and 200 pixels for the Height, and a Resolution of 96 pixels/inch. Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box. Your new blank document will appear on your screen:

Photoshop New Document - Dimensions

Photoshop New Document - Dimensions

 

Step 2: Set The Background Color

You can make the background color anything you like. I chose to make mine black, why ? because reflections look good with a black background. Alright, lets do it… In the Layers Panel, Double Click on the Background Layer. You’ll get a pop-up, Click on OK

Photoshop Layers Panel

Photoshop Layers Panel

Photoshop New Layer Confirm

Photoshop New Layer Confirm

Here’s what we just did, we created an editable Layer from the background layer. Now we need to change the background color from white to black.To do this select the Paint Bucket Tooland make sure that your foreground color is set to black and then click inside of the white rectangle, your background color should now be black.

 

Step 3: The Main Text 

Photoshop - Character Window

Photoshop - Character Window

 

Now that we have our background color set, we can move on to type some text that we want to use for our reflection. I chose to type chris-fletcher.com I used the font Myriad Pro with a point size of 36 and a blue shaded color with a Regular Style.

To do this, select the Text Tool and Open the Character Window, set your font type, style, size, etc… You can copy my settings if you like.

 

 

Once you have your text setup the way you like you can click anywhere inside the black rectangle. A new layer will automatically be created and a typing cursor will be placed around the area where you clicked. You can now being to type.

picture-12

 

 

 

If you’ve done everything according to the tutorial so far you should have something that resembles the image to the right. The next step will cover duplicating the Text Layer that we just created as well as flipping it and correctly positioning it.

 

 

Step 4: Duplicating, Rotating, and Positioning

The first thing we need to do is duplicate the text layer we just created. For that we need to right click ( Control Click for a Mac ) on the Text Layer and then click on Duplicate Layer. You’ll get a pop-up, click on OK. The new duplicated Layer should be highlighted by default, if it isn’t then you need to select it.

Photoshop Right Click On Layer

Photoshop Right Click On Layer

Photoshop Duplicate Layer Confirm

Photoshop Duplicate Layer Confirm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we need to modify this layer and by modify I mean we need to Flip it Vertically. To do this make sure the layer is selected then click on Edit -> Transform -> Flip Vertical

Photoshop - Edit - Transform

Photoshop - Edit - Transform

Photoshop Flip Vertical

Photoshop Flip Vertical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should now have something similar to the image below.

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Flipped Vertical

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Flipped Vertical

 

What we need to do now is move the duplicated layer down below the original layer. The move tool should be selected by default. If it isn’t then you need to select it. Make sure that the duplicated layer is still highlighted then start pressing the down arrow until you have something similar to the below.

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Positioned

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Positioned

Yay, we are done with Step 4 of the Tutorial, In Step 5 we will cover the importance of masking and how we can use it to create the reflection effect.

 

Step 5: Masking To Create The Reflection

The first thing we need to do is make sure that our Duplicated Layer is still highlighted / selected. After you’ve verified that the correct Layer is selected you can click on the Mask icon. Which looks like thisPhotoshop Mask Icon

You then need to select the Gradient Tool from the toolbar.

Photoshop Gradient Tool

Photoshop Gradient Tool

After you’ve selected the Gradient Tool, move your mouse cursor to the middle right in between the 2 layers. Click and draw a line down, almost all the way to the end of the text. Sort of like this.

Photoshop Draw Gradient Line

Photoshop Draw Gradient Line

That should do it, you should now have a reflection similar to the one below. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that it was helpful. If you have any questions or there is something you didn’t understand, feel free to leave a comment. I also accept requests for tutorials if there is something you’d like to know how to do, just ask. :)

Photoshop Reflection Final Product

Photoshop Reflection Final Product

 

You can download the PSD file here. Photoshop Reflections Tutorial

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Comments

8 Responses to “How To: Photoshop CS4 Text Reflections”
  1. Jimmy says:

    Hi
    Thanx for your tutors, it was helpful and very handy for me to follow the instructions.
    I have a request about how to create an ecover for ebook with photoshop cs4……please let me know if you have made tutors about the subject.

    Thank you…..

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  2. Chris says:

    You’re welcome, I’m glad you find them useful. Could you show me an example of a finished product, so I can better understand what it is you would like to see a tutorial for.

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  3. Wency says:

    Thanks! This tutorial is very helpful. Not like other tutorials which omit crucial steps thinking it should be common sense to a photoshop user. There are several out there who appreciate people like you who spend time in making sure us dummies get it :). Thanks!!!!

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  4. JohnCanon says:

    Nice to see useful Photoshop tutorials on your site. Thanks. I have a quick question. A true planar reflection of a non-infinite-distance object would converge ever so slightly as it got closer to the viewer’s eye. As a guideline the reflection should never extend outside a theoretical line from the viewer’s eye to the widest extremities of the object in the distance. Unless it’s on an episode of Doctor Who.
    P.S. I am a self-taught Photoshop artist ever since Photoshop 5 LE.

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  5. Chris says:

    Wency,

    Thanks for the kind words, they are always appreciated…

    Chris

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  6. Nelle says:

    Chris,

    This was very helpful. I especially appreciate the inclusion of a psd file.

    Best,
    Nelle

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  7. Chris says:

    Nelle,

    No problem, glad you found it useful.

    Chris

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