Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating realistic reflections and shadows


Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

with Bert Monroy

Video: Creating realistic reflections and shadows

Today, we're going to talk about reflections and shadows. Now let's go in there and see how this was done.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 9m 33s
    1. Easter basket: Creating the basket NEW
      9m 33s
  2. 25m 4s
    1. St. Patrick's Day card: Creating a shamrock and a pot of gold
      9m 13s
    2. St. Patrick's Day card: Adding the details
      8m 13s
    3. Creating a 3D Easter egg
      7m 38s
  3. 36m 43s
    1. Making a piece of candy: Adding the jelly filling
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a Valentine's Day card
      10m 10s
    3. Turning a daytime scene into night
      8m 24s
    4. Using Photoshop's Displace filter to create a waving flag
      7m 18s
  4. 45m 43s
    1. Using the Photoshop Flame Generator
      6m 53s
    2. Creating a mountain scene
      8m 24s
    3. Creating reflections in water
      6m 8s
    4. Making a diamond-encrusted type
      12m 11s
    5. Making a piece of candy: Creating the chocolate base
      12m 7s
  5. 27m 47s
    1. Mapping video onto a 3D object in Photoshop
      5m 50s
    2. Creating a wintery scene
      7m 36s
    3. Making a New Year's 2015 card
      14m 21s
  6. 33m 21s
    1. Three Dimensional type with extruded neon: Making the letter forms
      12m 29s
    2. 3D type with extruded neon: Adding the neon
      11m 48s
    3. Creating a Thanksgiving card
      9m 4s
  7. 47m 25s
    1. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Building the star field
      9m 23s
    2. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Adding color and effects
      10m 19s
    3. Creating a campfire scene: Adding the campfire
      12m 34s
    4. Creating a campfire scene: Adding trees and lighting
      8m 3s
    5. Creating a superhero type treatment
      7m 6s
  8. 46m 32s
    1. Making a desk nameplate
      12m 6s
    2. Illustrating a campfire from scratch
      9m 35s
    3. Creating realistic stains on bathroom tile
      9m 9s
    4. Creating a distressed windowsill from scratch
      15m 42s
  9. 45m 16s
    1. Increasing precipitation: How to make a rainy-day photo look rainier
      9m 34s
    2. Retouching techniques: Improving a picnic scene
      9m 28s
    3. Retouching techniques: Moving an object in a scene
      9m 29s
    4. Retouching techniques: Improving a real estate photo
      8m 53s
    5. Adding a billboard to a photo
      7m 52s
  10. 28m 56s
    1. Making a book: Perspective
      9m 53s
    2. Making a book: Adding pages
      9m 27s
    3. Using paths and layer styles to create logo text
      9m 36s
  11. 42m 42s
    1. Theater curtain: Animating a rising curtain
      7m 23s
    2. Creating a chalkboard
      12m 48s
    3. Creating a manila envelope
      12m 50s
    4. Turning a regular donut into a jelly donut
      9m 41s
  12. 48m 47s
    1. Creating net fabric for a veil
      15m 39s
    2. Animating a spotlight against a brick wall
      7m 1s
    3. Damen Station: Using Blend in Illustrator to create intricate details
      4m 34s
    4. Theater curtain: Making a braid and tassels
      9m 53s
    5. Theater curtain: Creating the curtain
      11m 40s
  13. 34m 22s
    1. Oyster Bar: Creating a canvas texture
      7m 53s
    2. Creating realistic reflections and shadows
      11m 0s
    3. Creating water droplets on a surface
      7m 42s
    4. Wrapping a pattern around a 3D wine goblet
      7m 47s
  14. 29m 7s
    1. Damen Station: Creating realistic rust
      6m 56s
    2. Oyster Bar: Creating puddles
      6m 15s
    3. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
      5m 3s
    4. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
      10m 53s
  15. 38m 48s
    1. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
      13m 57s
    2. Magazine cover: Creating a wood floor
      13m 29s
    3. Damen Station: Adding multiple train cars
      5m 26s
    4. Damen Station: Creating bolts
      5m 56s
  16. 36m 9s
    1. Red truck: Creating a headlight
      7m 17s
    2. Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim
      7m 37s
    3. Red truck: Creating realistic metal perforations
      7m 5s
    4. Red truck: Creating wear on metal
      6m 18s
    5. Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room
      7m 52s
  17. 31m 44s
    1. Oakland Theater: Creating lightbulbs
      15m 33s
    2. Changing photo contents with Auto-Align Layers
      6m 36s
    3. Creating a metal grill
      9m 35s
  18. 47m 14s
    1. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding details
      10m 49s
    2. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding a third dimension
      10m 10s
    3. Oakland Theater: Creating stone walls
      14m 11s
    4. Oakland Theater: Creating neon
      12m 4s
  19. 40m 9s
    1. Animating a 3D starfield
      7m 6s
    2. Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop
      13m 1s
    3. Creating a custom brush to draw hair
      7m 57s
    4. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: First steps
      12m 5s
  20. 21m 8s
    1. Using a Fibonacci spiral to create a tattoo
      4m 19s
    2. Body shaping with Puppet Warp
      4m 1s
    3. Type effects in Photoshop: Pillow
      6m 46s
    4. Type effects in Photoshop: Clouds
      6m 2s
  21. 42m 37s
    1. Recreating magazine clippings
      7m 31s
    2. Creating realistic scales for a dragon tattoo
      6m 27s
    3. Creating spikes for a dragon tattoo
      10m 35s
    4. Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo
      10m 55s
    5. Creating a flower tattoo
      7m 9s
  22. 29m 24s
    1. Creating a custom brush
      7m 28s
    2. Using displacement maps to create shadows
      7m 27s
    3. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
      6m 37s
    4. Creating a dog tag
      7m 52s
  23. 23m 36s
    1. Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop
      6m 39s
    2. Filling an empty glass with liquid
      2m 51s
    3. Using an alpha channel to create a 3D object
      6m 53s
    4. Creating a 3D coin
      7m 13s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
13h 32m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Mar 27, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Design Photography
Illustrator Photoshop
Bert Monroy

Creating realistic reflections and shadows

Today, we're going to talk about reflections and shadows. Two things that are crucial, to make something look like it actually belongs in the environment we're putting them into. Like, this particular neon sign right here, which I created quite some time ago, let's zoom in. And we have a neon tube. That's being placed right on top of this piece of leucite. This piece of leucite right here. Now, leucite is reflective, so we see a reflection of the tube inside. And, we also see a shadow being cast by the tube. Now let's go in there and see how this was done.

So I'm going to go, right here to where I have just the L and the apostrophe. Just those two letters, because it is one continuous tube. That's going up, and around, and back, and in. There you go. So, now when we look at the layers for this, we see that on top here we have the composite layer. That's the layer that's going to get brought over to the main file, where all the individual pieces are assembled. I turn that off and we see, that here we have, all the pieces that went into creating that neon. Now I'm going to start turning them on. You see the depths, a little grime, the shadows, the bottoms, the grime on that.

And there's the little orange edge. Am getting real close so you can see that. That orange. And then, this is the same file, but colorized differently and, sent over just a little bit to the side, which gave us that little edge of the leucite. Keep going, and we start seeing a little highlight, and then get into the grime, and a little shadow being cast by the leaves and there we see the reflection, I'm going to turn that one off for now. Then we see a little link reflection, and we can turn that one off also.

Now we have the, tubes, the shadows, we're going to turn that one off. There's some rust, there's some wire holder reflections right there, and there's the screws and some grim on the screws, and here's another group, which is the neon itself. The neon reflection the, the connectors reflection, that's right there, which is just a que, question of. Taking the actual connectors, which are right here, and I just skew them over a little bit, moved them over, and brought down their opacity, creating the effect of the reflection.

A little rust, this tube link. That's just the bottom parts of the tubes, the wire holders themselves, and you could see their reflection was there before, and the tube reflections that are reflected on to these little, plastic areas. There's the tubes themselves, and let's pull back, so that we can see that there's the paint on the tube, a little inner glow, and some dirt, the wire shadows, and finally the wires themselves. There they are. So now, we've got everything in place except the shadow and, the reflection.

So now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to come down here. And, I'm going to look at the list of places where I left them out. So, what I'm going to do is right here. Right above the trees here, I'm going to create a new layer, right? And I'm going to turn the tube, into a selection. So, I come up here to the tube, and I, command click on it, to make it a selection. Alright? And this right here is going to be the reflection. Alright? So, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to go ahead and fill that, with white. So I'll say, fill it, with the foreground color, 100%. Okay.

Now, on top of that, I'm going to create another layer, and this one is going to be the shadow. Now I want the shadow to be a little thinner. A little thinner. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to come up to selection, and contract. Modify, contract. I'm going to contract it by say four pixels. Click Okay, and as you can see it got a little narrower. And, I'm going to go ahead, like switch to black for my foreground, I'm going to go in there and fill it with the foreground, click Okay. And now deselect. Now, I'm going to take that reflection, and move just this layer, and move it over in to position where I want it, right about here.

Okay, let's go a little further over. There, alright? That's looking good. Let's turn that off for now, and then, here is the shadow. I move the shadow over, and put that in position where I want it. Let's go down here, about like that. Okay, so now. What's going to happen here, is that I have to go in and modify this a little bit. I'm going to blur it a little bit. A little Gaussian blur. Soften it up. About four. That looks about good. There we go.

And I'm going to bring down its opacity a bit. Bring down its opacity, so it's just a little soft shadow back there. That's looking good. This little part right here, that's not looking right. So let's go in there and, simply erase that part that, we don't need to see, this little part in here. Or, it should continue all the way across, that's what it should be doing. So we get a little closer over here. Let's just see what we got here. What I could do is, just bring that opacity back up to 100% here. And I'm going to take a black paint brush, which is at the black right now, make it little bigger, and I got I soft the edge, so I'm just going to kind of throw some black in there, there we go, just to continue that shadow all the way across.

That's looking good. Alright, so, I come back. There's our shadow, let's bring that opacity back down to about a 50%, and that, there's my shadow. Now, what's wrong now is we need the reflection. So here's the reflection. Now, the reflection needs to be modified a bit. Now, we have it in a good place. That's, about where we want it. We're going to bring down its opacity a bit. Bring it down. Not the shadow, gotta be in the right. There we go, there's the reflection. Bring that down.

To about like that. There we go, that's looking good. And, we see it. Everything's looking good except right here. This does not look right. So, we're going to have to go in there and change this a bit. So now, the thing that happens here is that the reflection should be going straight across like this, and straight up. So, this part here, shouldn't even be there at all. This part should not be visible at all, except maybe a little hint of it, right in there like that. Now, looking at the reflection here, we can see that our reflections is a little off right now. So, lets take this reflection and move it over.

Let's move it over some more. About like that. That's looking better. Just like that. So now, we can see that this piece of it is off. So, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to take this, I'm going to take this section of our little reflection right, in here. I select it with lasso, and I'm going to give it a little flip horizontal. There we go, that's starting to look a little better. Starting to, but not quite right. So let's just go in here and put it where we want it. Right about here like this. That's where the reflection's going to go.

Right about there. Like that. And we turn to make that happen. Now we can deselect it, and now, I have to make this little curve here. So what I'm going to do here, I'm going to erase the parts I don't want. I don't want any of this stuff right here. And then I'm just going to kind of curve this out, just a bit like this. Just to give it that little curve that we're seeing along the top right there. So this can all go away. So there, that's starting to look good. Now it's still not quite right, so what I'm going to do, is with white, and a hard edge, because that's what we have, the tube. I'm going to go in there and just kind of round this out, and I need the white, I'm going to go in there and just kind of round this out.

There we go. So that's starts to look a little better. Now we got this little piece right here. Bring that opacity you back up. This little piece right here. We're going to have to go in here and connect that, but wait. That doesn't look right, because what's happening here, is that the tube is coming down and then it goes down, closer to the leucite or the, or the plexi, to go underneath this tube here. So the reflection should come down, and then come up. Seems like it's getting up, it's getting closer to itself. So this is off right here.

So what we're going to do, is we're going to take this. We're going to take this whole section right here, and we're going to send that to a new layer, via cut. Now it automatically broke our link here, so we're going to relink it, there we go, get everybody back in, in place, and that guy we just cut off, we're going to go in there and do a little Flip Vertical on him. There it is, and now that we've got that, we're going to rotate him. Rotate him into position, so he goes back to where he belongs. Right here, about like that. And maybe stretch it out a little bit. Stretch it out. And let's move it up a little bit.

You got this guy, and we just move it up, just so it matches that bottom part, right there. Now it's still a little off. So we're going to go in there, and stretch it out. We're going to stretch it out. So it starts to have more of the sense of what this thing really looks like. Move it down just a little, make that happen. So now, what we need to do here is, to eliminate some of this stuff here. Now, it's going all the way across, that's good, and we have to reclaim this little part that got broken off. So we're just going to go in there and fill that up, get in real close, real accurate and, get a small brush and just kind of fill that up, and fill this up right in there.

Make it all match up. There we go. Now, we need to go in there, and do a little erasing. So we're just going to, soften this up. Just, bring it off, about like that. There we go. Just like that. Now, this guy should be blocking most of the reflection so we could, theoretically, just erase the piece We'll just let it go for now. But there we go. So now we're starting to see the reflection. So that reflection, can now get a few things. Let's take this down. And, move it down, so that matched up to that bottom reflection. I did a merge.

I hit command E to merge it down. And there. So, we're going to give this an inner glow, just an inner glow. Now what we're going to do, is make it a dark tone. And change that to a, Multiply. See, now we got this little dark edge, right alongside. Make it a little bigger, because we're looking at the back side of these tubes. Right? And, bring down the capacity a bit, just so we get this little hint of a little tone back there. And then what we're going to do is bring down the opacity for that, and there we can see that now we have a shadow, and a reflection for our tube inside, that are trapped inside of the plexi glass area here.

Making it look like the tube is actually there. Now, these are things to consider when you're compositing images together. Are they going to be against a reflective surface? Are they themselves reflective? And, are they going to cast a shadow? These things are determined by what's in the current scene, and the lighting of the current scene. So, this is something you have to figure out, once you're putting an object into the current scene.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.