Blog

Using the Clone Stamp Tool to create fake reflections in Photoshop

You can create a reflection or a mirror image of the subject in a photo using a variety of techniques and different tools in Photoshop. Creating a perfectly mirrored reflection of the subject is very easy.  In this post I will show you how to quickly create a faked mirror image of your subject in a photo using the Clone Stamp tool.

This is our starting image. Please feel free to download and use for this tutorial...

We will create a reflection on a separate layer so you can adjust the opacity and blending options as needed. Depending on the subject / product you are processing and its angle of view, your fake reflection could be convincingly realistic.

Click Window and select Clone Source to open the Clone Source panel.

You can change the offset values in the Clone Source panel to change the distance of the reflection from the subject. You can also vary the angle of the reflection by clicking and dragging the angle icon or typing a set number of degrees in the Clone Source panel.

Click the Clone Stamp tool.

Make sure you Sample All Layers from the tool option bar. 

Click the New Layer button on the Layers panel to create a new empty layer.

In the Clone Source panel, click to uncheck Clipped, Auto Hide, and Invert if these are selected. Also make sure Show Overlay is ticked and the Maintain Aspect Ratio link is not selected. Click and drag the Clone Source panel so it does not touch the image window. Click Flip Vertically. Click Opacity and drag it to be reduced to around 50%.

Now Press Option (Mac) / Atl (Windows) and click at the bottom of the subject to be mirrored to sample it.

Move the cursor away from the image window. The reflection appears as an overlay on the image. Click and drag using the Clone Stamp tool and a large brush to paint in the reflection. Make sure you paint close to the spot you originally sampled. 

Click the Layer Mask button to add a White layer mask. Reset the foreground and background colors to white and black by pressing the D key (default) and make sure the foreground color is White. 

Now click the Gradient tool and select a Linear gradient. Once done, drag from the bottom of the original subject to the bottom of the reflection using a white-to-black gradient. The reflection appears to fade away from the subject.

If need be click Opacity and drag to make the reflection appear realistic. 

That's it! Now it's your turn to try. Good luck.