Realistic Glass Window Reflection Effect | Photoshop Tutorial

Hi, I’m Jesus Ramirez from the Photoshop Training
Channel. In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you
how to create a window reflection effect in Photoshop. You’re going to learn a lot about compositing.
We’ll discuss blending modes, depth of field, perspective, and the camera raw filter.
Let’s get right to it. These are the images that
I’m going to work with. I’ll place a link down below in the descriptions,
so you download ’em from Adobe Stock if you want to follow along.
The goal here is to make it seem as if there is a window reflecting the street in front
of the women. You can actually get a very good result right
away by selecting the street layer and simply changing the blending mode from normal to
screen. The name says it all, right? But unfortunately,
the composite is not complete. It still needs a whole lot of work.
We still need to work with the smaller details, a lot of the things that most people don’t
worry about. Things like the amount of reflection, depth
of field and perspective. Let’s start with the reflection on the window
first. The Screen Blending mode uses the luminosity
of the layer to create the blend. It makes black pixels invisible and the darker
a pixel is, the more transparent it becomes. So, if you adjust the brightness of a layer,
you adjust the blend. Go to the Adjustment Layer icon and select
either Curves or Levels. I’ll select Levels, since it’s easier for
beginners to understand. And I’m going to clip the layer to the Street
layer by clicking on this icon. This simply means that when I adjust the image,
it will only adjust the Street layer and not the layer below.
So let me click on that. Then you can control how the layer below blends
by adjusting the luminosity. Click on the Black Point and drag it to the
right to make more pixels darker, which makes ’em less visible, or you can click on the
White Point and drag that to the left to make more pixels brighter, which makes them more
visible. In this case, what you probably want to do
is click on this point here, which determines how bright the brightest pixel of the image
is. So, I’m just going to drag it to the left,
so that the brightest pixel is no longer white. It’s now this shade of gray and the layer
is more transparent. And the reason that this is happening, is
because the Street layer is set to Screen. The Screen Blending mode makes dark pixels
invisible and bright pixels visible. So, when we adjust the luminosity of the layer,
we also change how it blends. So, in this case, we’ve made the brightest
pixels a little darker, therefore they become more transparent.
So, you can drag on this point to control the amount of reflection.
And then you can adjust these points to control the contrast and how they blend with the layer
below. And even though we have a great reflection,
the image still doesn’t look right. And the reason is that we haven’t taken a
lot of things into consideration for this composite, so let me show you what I mean
by that. If I bring back that Street layer and set
it to normal, you’ll notice that this image does not have the same depth of field as the
image of the women having lunch. Notice how, basically, the only thing in focus
is this woman here, the one sticking her tongue out at us, and everything else is somewhat
blurry. And in the street image, everything that’s
in focus is in the background, so this is not going to match.
But we can easily fix it by applying a filter. Go into Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and adjust
the blur accordingly. About four pixels will work in this case,
and I’ll press Okay. So that fixes that issue. But we have another problem, which is the
perspective in the scene. Remember, this is a composite, and the perspective
of all that elements in the scene have to match in order for the composite to look realistic.
If you don’t what I mean by perspective, then don’t worry, I have a video that explains
it all. I’ll place a link right below in the description.
But for now, I’ll give you a brief explanation. No matter what kind of composite you have,
you will have a ground plane where an object or a person stands on.
Where the ground plane meets the sky, that’s where you’ll have the horizon line for the
scene. Any object that you place must have the same
perspective. You can find the perspective by drawing parallel
converging lines on your object or background. Where these lines meet, that’s where you will
have the vanishing point. And the vanishing point sits on the horizon
line, so that’s how you can find it. That’s why this cube looks like it’s really
sitting on that ground. But if I randomly place a cube, it will no
longer look realistic. So, I will need to find the vanishing point
of this cube, and place it accordingly, so that the vanishing
point sits on the horizon line of the composite. Obviously, perspective is way more complex
than this, but even with this minimum understanding of
it, you will be far more advanced than most people. For this project we need to make sure that
the horizon line for both images matches. Let me show you how to do that. Click on the Background layer and select the Line tool. Then I’m going to look for parallel converging lines in my image and I’m going to follow
them and see where they meet. So, I’m’ going to click here and drag along
this parallel converging line, all the way off to the end here.
Then hold the space bar and pan back to the center of the image,
and look for another parallel converging line. We can use the line that the yellow seats
make in the background. So, click and drag and follow that line, all
the way, until it meets the previous line. I’ll go back into the Layers panel, hold shift,
and click on both layers to select them so that I can see ’em at the same time.
And where these two lines meet, that is where the vanishing point is.
And the vanishing point lays on the horizon line.
And that is very important. So, what I’m going to do now is create another
line from this vanishing point, going across to the other side, so that I
could know exactly where the horizon line for this image is.
And I do want to mention that the reason that I’m able to hold the space bar and click and
drag to pan and go off frame like so, it’s because I have an option that is not
usually enabled by default. It’s called Overscroll, and the way to enable
that is by pressing Ctrl K on Windows, Command K on the Mac.
Then, in the preferences panel, under Tools, make sure that you enable Overscroll, otherwise
you won’t be able to do that. But anyway. Now that I know where my horizon line is, I can use this line as a guide.
You can now delete the other two layers if you like, we don’t need ’em anymore.
You can delete them by pressing the backspace key on Windows, or the delete key on the Mac. Next, I’m going to enable the Street Layer.
And I need to make sure that that line is above that street layer so that I can see
it. Next you have to find the horizon line for
the Street layer and start by analyzing the image.
Look for parallel converging lines. I think that the lines here in the street
will work, so we can start there. Click and drag a line that follows that line
all the way to the other side, then hold the space bar and pan back to your image.
And I think we can use the lines on the building here, so I’m going to click and drag this
line to the other side until it meets the previous line.
So, this is where the vanishing point is, right above this guy’s head.
The vanishing point lays on the horizon line. So, let me draw a line that will represent
the horizon line for this image. Next, I’m going to delete the layers that
we don’t need. And it looks like I created two lines in the
same layer, and that’s okay, no worries. I’ll double click on the Hand Tool to fit
the image to screen, and I want you to pay attention to the two lines that represent
the horizon line. Clearly, they don’t match, and that’s why
the composite was looking off. What we need to do, is we need to make these
two images have matching horizon lines. And that’s what we’re going to work on next. You have to keep in mind where the horizon
lines are. Just remember that the horizon line for the
street image is right above this guy’s head. That’s going to be really important.
Next, I’ll delete the other two shape layers, because we don’t need them.
The only important shape layer is the horizon line for the image of the women having lunch. To match the horizon lines first, select the
Street layer and enable the Move Tool from the Tool bar, and click and drag the street
layer up, so that the red line, which indicates the horizon line of the background image is
right above this guy’s head. And that will make it so that the horizon
lines match and that the image is in perspective. Then you can push Ctrl T/Command T to transform,
press okay, and click and drag this Pivot Point to that line.
If you don’t see that Pivot Point, you can enable it by clicking it on this check box.
Then hold Alt on Windows, Option on the Mac, and click and drag to scale.
Depending on your settings, you may need to hold shift to keep them as [constrain] and
just make sure that the image fills the screen like so.
And you can click on check mark to commit the changes.
Then I’ll double click on the Hand Tool to fit the image to screen.
And I can just delete this Shape number three now, because I don’t need it anymore.
Everything is in perspective. I’m going to then, change the Blending mode
back to Screen, and enable this layer, and the image is much better.
Everything is in perspective. At this point, all you need to do is make
any adjustments to the blend. And once you’re happy with that, what you
can do is select the layer on top, hold shift, click on the layer on bottom, just like them
all, then right click and convert it into a Smart Object.
Then, go into Filter>Camera, Raw Filter and you can apply some final effects.
For example, you can adjust the overall exposure of the image and you can also go into the
Split Toning tab and add a green tone to the window to make it a little more realistic.
So, I’m going to click and drag this hue lighter over to the greens and I’m going to increase
the saturation. You don’t want to go too far, obviously.
You’re going to have to fine tune it accordingly, just to get a slight green tint on that window
reflection. Then go into the FX icon and add a little
bit of Grain. And the reason that you want to do that is
because in areas that you blur the image, the pixels are going to look too smooth.
That, to me, looks very digital. So, I like to add just a little bit of Grain
so that it doesn’t look so smooth and it looks more realistic. Then I’m going to right click and select Fit
in View and I’m also going to adjust the Amount slighter, to add a Vignette to my image.
And I’m going to go pretty far, but I’m also going to increase the Highlights,
so that the Highlights, like in this area, they pop through and they’re
not hidden by the Vignette. And actually, that Vignette’s a little strong,
so I’m just going to minimize it a little bit. Next, I’m going to press OK. And this is our result. If you need to make an edit, you can double
click on the Smart Object to open it up in a new tab and make an adjustment.
Once you apply your adjustment, you can close the tab and save it.
And the Smart Object will automatically update the contents and it will apply the Camera
Raw Filter to it. And let me know down in the comments below
if you found this tutorial useful. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to click on
that like button and share it with a friend. Also, if this is your first time at the Photoshop
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Thank you so much for watching. I’ll talk to you again in the next video.

51 Replies to “Realistic Glass Window Reflection Effect | Photoshop Tutorial

  1. I enjoy your tutorials, but I think to be totally realistic, the reflection needs to be reversed to make a mirror image.

  2. Thank you for this! The vanishing point and the horizon is a very important reminder for designers to make their composition look realistic thank you for this!

  3. NIce tut! Some minutia, the cheaper the glass the greener the tint. Think Coke bottles. Also, you could use some backlight on your hair and shoulders to separate you from the background, IMHO.

  4. To me, the SCALE of the overlaid image (reflection) is more important that the perspective as the perspective is pretty much imperceptible. To me, the reflection seems like everything is really close to the window which would not be the case. The technique itself is wonderful though. Just my $0.02.

  5. Very enriching tuto Jesus. However, as a beginner , I can hardly understand how the inverted image of the street reflecting on the glass can have the same perspective as that of the main image, in our case the 2 girls.

  6. Thanks for these very useful tutorials, they are pretty good and you explain everything so nice. Thanks to you I got all A-s in photoshop.

  7. Your videos and expertise in photoshop has taught me to scrutinize my editing much more intensely. I can't thank you enough for all that you have taught me.

  8. Hello, I want to wish you a very happy Christmas and a happy new year 2020 for you and yours.
    And very especially I want to thank you for all your tutorials that you upload to the channel with which I learn from a great teacher like you.
    I hope this new year can continue to enjoy and learn from your knowledge in this exciting world of image

    Receive a big hug.

  9. You have made a very useful video, so here you have my like. Now I see the real use case scenario for the vanishing points.

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