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Mirror Reflection

Having said that you should avoid using mirrors to create reflections, here’s one way you can do it with a single image and without sacrificing reality—unless that’s what you want to do, of course.

  1. Open an image of a reflective object. A car’s rearview mirror is a good choice, and it’s easy enough to go out and shoot one if you don’t have anything else to work with.
  2. Convert the background layer of the image into a regular layer by double-clicking it and clicking OK in the resulting dialog box.
  3. Open an image with a scene that you want to show reflected in the mirror. Drag the image layer from this image onto the image with the mirror in it. Then close the second image.
  4. When you look at objects through a mirror, they’re reversed, so you should flip any image that has text (street signs, for instance) that will look wrong otherwise. Click the layer that you want to flip, and choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Hide this new layer for now by clicking its Layer Visibility icon.
  5. Click the bottom layer to make it active. Make a selection around the area where the second image should appear inside the mirror. Feather the selection a little by choosing Select > Feather and applying a small feather value to soften the edge. With this selection in place, click the Layer Visibility icon for the topmost layer so it’s visible again.
  6. Click the Add Layer Mask icon at the foot of the Layer palette. Immediately, a layer mask will be created that automatically places the image inside the mirror.
  7. Notice that the layer mask is a black-and-white image. Where the image is black, that part of the image is hidden; where it’s white, that part of the image is visible. A final touch is to darken the inside edge of the mirror as it was in the original image (see Figure 5).
Figure 5

Figure 5 This simple reflection is created by placing a scene inside a reflective object, such as a car mirror.

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