Paint Shop Pro
Creating a surface reflection is relatively easy with Paint Shop Pro
Photo X2 and you
can create some stunning results. And darn - it's just flat
When you have completed this technique you will
have 4 layers plus the background layer. If layers make you
tremble with fear - well - just go to your happy place and follow
along. By the time you are finished you will no longer fear
This is nice straight forward 6 step process.
1 - Choosing Your Image
and Removing It From The Background
Choose an image for your surface reflection. It's best if
simple image with nothing in the background.
you have a lot of "stuff" in your background then you will need to do
some selecting to isolate the portion you want to reflect. As
matter of fact, getting the selection correct may be the most difficult
part of the procedure.
The Selection Tools you can use include ...
- Freehand Selection
- Edge Finder
- Point to Point
- Smart Edge
- Magic Wand (because you can select the appropriate
match mode for your image)
Once your image is completely selected make a copy of it for the next
2 - Create A
a new file about 1/3
longer than your original image file (the longer part is
where your surface reflection will be). What
you have now are two files - the original image you will be working
with and the new file.
This image is 300 pixels by 357 pixels so my new file will be 300
pixels by 477 pixels. The height does not have to be exact
but you want room for the reflection.
Make the new file active and paste in your copied image as a New Layer
will give you a white Background layer and the pasted image layer you
Resist the inclination to Merge Down the layers because you want the
image all by itself on its own layer.
Now we are ready to start building up the necessary layers to create a
great surface reflection.
- Create a Gradient on a New
the white Background layer and create a new Raster Layer.
layer will be the background Gradient that you will be creating.
The gradient will be behind the surface reflection.
If you don't know how to create a Gradient with Paint Shop
well - here is how you do it ...
You select or create Gradients with PSP in the Materials Palette.
down the little menu bar under the current color and select the middle
icon - this is where you will find the Gradients in PSP.
Click on the Gradient that is visible in the Materials Palette and the
following screen will appear.
is a very useful screen - you can change the Horizontal and Vertical
position of the center point and choose the kind of Gradient you want.
In this procedure we will create a Sunburst Gradient
and for the final step later a Linear
You can see in the image above that the Sunburst Gradient is selected.
PSP has a whole whack of Gradients available
and you can see them by clicking on the Active Gradient. If
see one that fits your image then simply select it and you are done.
If not then you will need to create your own Gradient with
You might as well learn how to create a
Gradient now because you will need a Black to Transparent Gradient
later and it is not included in the pre-set PSP Gradients.
Click on the Edit button directly below the active Gradient to bring up
the Gradient Editor.
to create your unique, and probably stunning, Gradient - give it a
the middle portion of the Editor (where it says
Gradient), click on the little Marker at the left end of the gradient
(the left facing red arrow)and then move your cursor over the image
and it will change into the eyedropper.
a color from your image and you wil see this color on the left end of
the gradient in the editor.
Now click the Marker on the right end of
the gradient (the right facing red arrow) and select the second color
from your image and it will appear on the right end of the gradient in
Now you have a gradient that is all your own!
If you move the little diamond on top of the Gradient
left and right you can change the appearance with the colors you have
selected. When you are satisfied then click Close.
The final step to complete your reflection needs a Black to Transparent
Gradient and this is how to make one.
the editor, make the left end of your Gradient black. Do this
either selecting the left Marker and use the eyedropper to pick up
black from your image or click on the Custom Color box (the big red
arrow) and select black from the choices.
Now select the right Marker and make it white.
Go down to the Transparency section, select the right Marker and lower
the Opacity to 0.
Now you have a very useful Black to Transparent Gradient.
The following video explains these procedure in detail ...
creating a surface reflection
you have the Background layer and two additional layers.
the new layer you created (below the image and above the Background),
select the Flood Fill
Tool and click on the image to put your gradient on this
|New Layer Added
This is starting to look good with just the addition of the Gradient!
- Make The Reflective Surface
Create another Raster Layer above the Gradient Layer and name it
shiny surface. Select the Rectangular Selection Tool and make
selection about 1/3 of the way up the layer. Make sure the
selection goes part-way up the image.
Make the foreground color black, select the Flood Fill Tool and click
on the selection -
This is how your layers will look now ...
|New Layer Added
||Black Surface Added
And this is how your surface reflection image looks now ...
5 - Make The
comes the fun part - we're going to
- flip a copy of the image (the badge
in this case)
- move it down and then,
- apply a Black to Transparent
Activate the Image Layer (Badge Layer), right click on it
and select Duplicate.
You'll see a new layer created above your image layer named
Copy of ...(Copy of Badge).
Select Image >
to turn the image upside down.
This is where we are now ...
sure the Flipped Layer is activated, select the Move Tool and then
either use the down arrow key to move the image down or move it down
with the Move Tool.
In my case I want the flipped image to be just underneath the original
image like this ...
To get your flipped image exactly where you want it zoom in
and use the arrow keys to move it left/right or up/down.
6 - Fine Tune
The Surface Reflection
This step will use another gradient to tone down the reflection.
With the Flipped Image layer activated, add a new Raster Layer (at the
top of the stack) - this
is for the Black to Transparent gradient.
a rectangular selection from left to right and from the the top of the
flipped image to the bottom
of the image
- Open the Materials Palette and go to the Gradient
Selector once again - choose a Black
to Transparent (Liner or Circular) Gradient
- select the Flood Fill tool and click on the
- you may have to undo and re-do this step until you are
This will appy your Black to Transparent gradient over the
This is the end layers palette ...
And the final image!
And that, my firiends, is how to create a reflection with Paint Shop
Pro Photo X2!
One More Thing
Someone suggested (as a comment on the YouTube video)
is unusual for a surface reflection to be absolutely perfect.
He was right, of couse!
After everything is finished and the layers are all
merged together then it may be educational to add some distortion to
the finished reflection.
I tried it with Effects
> Distorion > Ripple and it seems to be a
reasonable suggestion. Select only the reflection and apply
whatever filter you want to it.
This is the result ...
You decide if you like the effect or not.