The basic reflection technique has become a go-to move in graphic design. It should definitely be in everyone’s repituar. It’s really an easy thing to pull off and because of that, there are many different ways you can accomplish the basic reflection effect. I’m not sure how other people do it, but this is how I do it.
Here I started by giving my document a basic gradient for a background. I’ve always liked how simple gradient backgrounds look with reflected objects on them.
For this tutorial, I’m just going to take some plain white text and give it a reflection. Easy as pie! So, throw down some text, or whatever object you want to give a reflection to.
Now copy your object layer. One way to do this is to select the layer in the Layers Palette, and then go to Layer > Duplicate Layer.
Hit command+T (ctrl+T on a PC) to enter Free Transform mode. Right-Click the object and select Flip Vertical. Hit enter on your keyboard to exit out of Free Transform mode.
With the Move Tool (V) selected, move your object copy so that it’s 1px below your original object. It’s easiest if you move your object copy down with the keyboard arrows so it stays horizontally centered as you move it down.
Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Give the selection some feather. The amount of feather will depend on how big your object is. In my case I added 5px of feather. Make a selection as I did, giving the object about ¼ of itself untouched by the selection.
Right-Click the selection and hit Select Inverse.
Then, in the Layer’s Palette click the Add Vector Mask button.
Take the opacity of your object copy layer and jack it way down. The opacity level will depend on the contrast in colors between your background colors and your object’s color. In my case, I put the Opacity down to 15%.
Voila! Like I said, easy as pie!