How to Create a Reflection Using Photoshop

Here is the end result of this tutorial:

Here I have a scenic photo that I’ll add a reflection to:

The first thing I’ll do is extend the canvas where I want to add the reflection. I’ll go to Image / Canvas size:

Here the Canvas Size dialog box comes up. I’ll click on the top arrow because I want the added canvas to be at the bottom of the image. Where it shows the Height, I’ll add a few inches. The Height I’ll make 18. Here is the box when it first opens:

Here is the Canvas Size dialog box after the adjustments. Then I’ll click OK:

Here is the image with the extended canvas:

The next thing I’ll do is use the Magic Wand tool to select the white canvas:

I’ll click once on the white canvas to make the selection:

Now I’m going to pick a greenish color straight from the image. I’m using a greenish color, because it just happens to suit this image to give the water a greenish, murky color. I’ll use the Eye Dropper tool from the tools palette. I’ll just hover the dropper over the color I want, and click. I’ll be able to see the color I choose in the color picker box:

The next thing I’ll do is use the Brush Tool to paint in the color green into white canvas:

Here is what the image looks like so far:

Now I’ll hit CTRL+D to deselect the green section of the canvas:

Now I’m going to make a copy of the background layer. I’ll hit CTRL+J on my keyboard. Here’s what it looks like in the layers palette:

The next thing I’ll do is use the Rectangular Marquee tool to select the top part of the image. I will not be selecting the solid green section of the image. While using the Rectangular Marquee tool, I usually start at the bottom left or right corner and drag up to the opposite corner, then release the mouse:

Now I’ll go to Edit / Transform / Flip Vertical:

Now I’ll use the Move Tool to drag the flipped image down so that it covers the extra green canvas:

This is what it looks like at this point:

In “Layer 1” I’ll lower the Opacity to 60%:

See the results:

Next I’ll use some filters. The first filter I’ll use is Gaussian Blur. Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur:

Here the Gaussian Blur dialog box comes up. I’ll use a Radius of 3.7 pixels:

The next filter I’ll use is the Wave filter. Filter / Distort / Wave:

Here the Wave dialog box comes up. The settings I used for this are: Number of Generators: 24, Wavelength: Min. 6, Max. 29, Amplitude: Min. 6, Max. 20, and Scale: Horiz. 6%, Vert. 6%. The Type I’ll keep at “Sine”, and the Undefined Areas I’ll keep at “Repeat Edge Pixels.” Then I’ll click OK:

Now I’ll add a layer mask to “Layer 1”. I’ll make sure that “Layer 1” is selected and then I’ll click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette:

Next I’ll go to the Gradient tool in the tools palette. I’ll choose the Linear gradient. I’ll set the Opacity to 50%:

Now I’ll drag the Gradient tool, starting at the top center of the reflection and ending at the bottom center of the reflection:

Here is the end result:

Using Topaz Adjust in Photoshop

Above is an example of what you can expect from following this tutorial.

Here I have a photo I took recently in Kauai. Its ok, but I can get artistic with Topaz:

Topaz Adjust is a program that installs right into Photoshop as a plug-in. Once you install the Topaz Adjust program into Photoshop, it will go into the Filter menu. To open, I’ll go to Filter/Topaz Labs/Topaz Adjust 3:

This is what the interface looks like:

I can pick one of the presets that are on the left side of the screen, or I can use the control panel at the bottom of the screen. I prefer to use the controls:

With the first example, I’ll give this image a grungy HDR look. Here are the Exposure settings for this image:

Here are the settings for Details. The details controls are what really gives the grungy look:

Here are the settings for the Color:

With this photo, since I’m going for the grungy look, I won’t use the last tab — the Noise tab. When I’m finished and I like how the photo looks, I’ll click OK. The photo will open in Photoshop, where I can make more adjustment if I want to.

At any time, if I should change my mind about a setting, all I have to do is hit the Reset Tab button. This resets only the individual tab like the Exposures, Details, Color or Noise. If I were to hit Reset All button, all the tabs that I used would be reset to the original photo:

Here is the before and after:

Now I’m going to take the same photo and give it a painterly effect. Here are the Exposure settings:

To give this image a painterly look, I’ll use the Details tab opposite of the way I used it to give the image the grungy look. I’ll bring the Strength slider to the left, giving the image less details, and the same with the Boost. Play around with all the sliders and see the effect it has:

Here are the settings for the Color tab:

Next I’ll use the Noise tab. This tab gives an extra soft look. When I use the Noise tab, it zooms in on the photo. To look around the photo, I’ll just hover my mouse on the image, then click and drag the photo to see effect on different parts of the image.

Here is the setting I used for the Noise tab:

Here is the before and after of the painterly look:

Here are other examples of what can be done with this photo in Topaz Adjust:





Topaz has 30 day unlimited trials on all of their products, if you want to try this out.

Surrealism – How to Create a Scary Skull Using Photoshop

This will be the end result of this tutorial:

Here I have a picture of a fake skull that I took during Halloween:

And here I have a picture I took of a bloodshot eye. A bad allergy day for him, but a good shot for me. It’s hard to find a good bloodshot eye like this one so I’ll make it available for download at the end of this tutorial along with the original skull.

Now, what I need to do is to “clone” the eye into the skull. I’ll choose the clone tool from the tools bar:

On the clone options bar at the top of the screen, I’ll make sure my clone brush hardness setting is 40%:

I’ll go to the skull image and create a duplicate layer by hitting CTRL+J on my keyboard:

I’ll rename the “Layer 1” layer to “Right eye” by double clicking on the words “Layer 1”:

Now I’ll go back to the eye image and proceed to clone over the pupil of the eye. I’ll hover the clone tool over the pupil of the eye and hit the ALT key at the same time to capture the clone:

Now I’ll go back to the skull image and clone in the right eye.

Next ‘ll make another duplicate layer and call it “Left eye”. This is what the image looks like so far:

This is what the layer palette looks like at this point:

The next thing I’ll do is go to the burn tool in the tools bar. I’ll darken the bottom teeth just a little:

Now I’ll go to Filter/Liquify:

The Liquify dialog box comes up. This is where I’ll use the smudge tool to create the fangs and to drop down the forehead just a little to make the skull look a little scarier:

This is what the skull looks like at this point:

Now I’ll go to the brush tool in the tools bar and select a “crack brush”, #1547. I’ll include thirteen crack brushes, for you to decide what to use, with the images at the end of this tutorial.

Here is the brushes dialog box with the brush:

Now I’ll go to FX at the bottom of the layers palette to add a layer style. I’ll name it “Cracked Effect”:

This is where I’ll add a “Drop Shadow” and a “Bevel and Emboss”:

Here’s the image at this point:

The last thing I’m going to do, is to take the burn tool from the tools bar and burn most of the left eye out. I’ll make it where you can barely see it, and darken some spots around the right eye to make it look more sunken in. I’ll also darken a few little spots around the skull and by the tip of the right tooth to make it look broken off:

Here’s the end result:

Here’s a ZIP file with the skull image, the bloodshot eye image, and a brush file with the 13 crack brushes.

Have fun!

How to Create a Fisheye Lens Effect Using Photoshop

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here I have a photo of the Boston skyline, taken with a 18-200mm lens at 18mm:

The first thing I’ll do is select the elliptical marquee tool from the tool bar:

As I’m making my selection on the photograph, I’ll hold down the Shift key on my keyboard to keep the circle proportionally round. I’ll try to make the selection as big as I can without extending outside the photo. Then I’ll center it over the portion of the photo that I think is most interesting. While I’m centering the circle, I’ll make sure that I still have the elliptical marquee tool selected:

The next thing I’ll do is reverse the selection, so that I’m selecting everything in the photo except the circle so that I can get rid of the background. I’ll go to Select/Inverse:

Now I’ll hit the Delete key on my keyboard. The background will turn white:

Now I can use the move tool to center the circle:

Now I do the Select/Inverse again, because I want to make the background black:

I’ll use the paint bucket tool from the tool bar to fill the background black:

Now for the last time I’ll do a Select/Inverse:

The next step is to give the circle the fisheye look. Here I’ll go to Filter/Distort/Spherize:

Here the Spherize dialog box comes up. I’ll make the amount 100% and I’ll set the Mode to “Normal”:

I’ll hit CTRL-D on my keyboard to deselect. Then I’ll just crop out some extra black background.:

Here is the finished photo:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and have fun playing with Photoshop.

How to Turn a Photograph Into a Cartoon Effect

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here is a photograph of some flowers I took in my backyard:

The first thing I’ll do is go to Filter / Sketch / Photocopy:

When the Photocopy dialog box comes up, I’ll make the image viewable at 25% by clicking on the (-) at the left hand bottom part of the dialog box. This way I’ll be able to see the whole photo, not just part of it:

In this dialog box, I’ll take the Detail slider all the way to the right, which is 24, and I’ll bring the Darkness slider to about 20. Then I’ll click OK:

The next thing I’ll do is hit CTRL+J on my keyboard to make a duplicate copy of my background layer. I’ll name it “Flowers”. In the History palette I’ll also check the history marker next to the “Open” stage in the history palette.

This is what the palettes should look like at this point:

Next I’ll pick the history brush from the tool bar:

I’ll go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and change the mode from Normal to Multiply:

Using the history brush, I’ll start painting back the color of the flowers at 100% opacity. I’ll put the green background on another layer so that I can change the opacity separately. Using the multiply brush brings out any color cast that might be in the image, and exaggerates it. So, in the layers palette, I lower the opacity to 74%.

Here’s the image so far:

If you need to clean up any edges, you can use the eraser tool in the tool bar:

Here, I show the opacity lowered to 74%. Here’s the finished layers palette:

The good thing about being in multiply mode, is that with every paint stroke you can make the colors richer. I recommend using a soft brush when using this mode.

Here’s the “before” and “after” shots:


Try this out and experiment with different modes. They all do something unique.

Have fun!

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