In this tutorial, I will explain how to add a mirror effect in Photoshop, which you can use to imitate reflective surfaces and enhance your pictures and graphics.
This effect is very popular because it adds a strong sense of depth and polish to images.
Step 1. Preparations
First of all, you need to choose a photo for this project. Every photo can be reflected, but the result depends on the picture you choose.
As a general rule, it’s always better to start by choosing a good quality image (minimal noise, good contrast, etc.) You can improve the looks of your photos with Photoshop’s editing tools.
Step 2. Duplicating the image
Open your original picture in Photoshop. Duplicate the image on a new layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer). Change the layer’s name to “Reflection” to differentiate it from the original image.
Step 3. Flipping the duplicate
Select the newly created layer. Use Flip Vertical from the transform tools (Image>Transform>Flip Vertical) to mirror the image.
Step 4. Making space
You need to make some space at the bottom of the image for both the original picture and the reflection to show.
To achieve this, you need to enlarge your canvas (Image>Canvas Size). In the Canvas Size panel, set the anchor to the topmost center and enter the desired value — this depends on the original size of your image. Click OK.
The new pixels are now added at the bottom of your document.
Step 5. Moving the flipped image
Now you can move the flipped image and fill the blank area at the bottom of your document with the image. Select the “Reflection” layer and use the Move tool to reposition it.
Step 6. Adding a fade
To make the reflection more realistic, you can add a fade to it. Go to the “Reflection” layer and add a layer mask to it. Select the layer mask and select the Gradient tool.
Set the gradient to linear and color to black to white. Drag the Gradient tool over the flipped image to apply the fade and adjust opacity if needed.
You can add a colored background by creating a layer filled with your desired color and moving it underneath all of the other layers.
Art reflected back
Not only can this mirroring effect be used for photos, but it can also be used for other kinds of graphics like logos, text and so on. Use it to add that special something to the graphics you use in your projects.
Sample image by SarahharaS1. Edited in Photoshop CC.