Photoshop Tutorial – Text with Watery Reflection


I recently saw a photoshop tutorial on this little trick, and I personally have a different way of creating this effect…so…a post was needed!

Firstly, you have your image of water, or whatever you will be placing your text on, and reflecting the text onto. Add your text. I gave it an outer glow just for interest and to stand it out from the water a little more.

Rasterize your text, (Layer > Rasterize). Now, time for the reflection text.
I like to use shortcut keys in Photoshop, so here is how to duplicate the text you have already made pretty quickly and easily.

Click on the text layer, hold down “Alt” and you should see the double arrows show up. Still holding “Alt”, hold down “Shift” and drag the new layer below the text. (If you don’t like to use shortcut keys, go to Layer > Duplicate Layer). Now we need to flip the text vertically to create the reflection.

The quick way, is to click on the edge of the layer (you must have the checkbox “show transform controls” checked) and right click (ctrl + click on a Mac) and click on “flip vertical”. Hit the “Enter” key or click ont the “check” mark at the top of your toolbar to confirm this transformation.

You should have something like this:

Now we need to give the reflection some work to get it to look like a real reflection on a water surface. First thing to do , is remove the layer style (outer glow) from the layer. (Layer > Layer Style > Clear Layer Style)

Now, reduce the opacity on the copied layer. Make sure you still have this new copied layer selected, and all you have to do is type the number “30” on the number pad on your keyboard. This reduces the opacity of the layer to 30%.

So, we have the reflected text in place with a nice amount of opacity. I like the transform the angle of the reflection rather than just leave it be as it is now. So, free transform again, and select the center bounding box area to reduce the vertical size of the copied text layer.

It now looks like this:

Finally, we “Liquify”. Appropriate name for this tool eh?
Filter > Liquify (in CS3, I can’t remember where it is on older photoshop versions, sorry!)
Select the “Forward Warp Tool” at the top left of the Liquify tool interface, or hit “W” on the keyboard.

I used brush size of “7” , density “50”, pressure “37”.

Now , with your brush, just go nuts, click and drag your brush over the entire layer, left and right, continually until you get a nice “wave” like effect. Hit “Ok” and you will see your creation!

Mine looks like this:

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