Photoshop Tutorial: Reflection in four easy steps.

If the old adage, “if it's on the internet, then it's true”, is to be believed, then we can safely assume that today, reflections are the new drop shadows.

Okay, okay. Back to serious talk. Reflection is great, but like pretty much everything else in this world, it would bring no good when overused. Personally, I love this effect, so use this technique wisely and don't let it be the next lens flare.


First, you will need to duplicate the layer that contains your object. The keyboard-free way to do this is via the Layers subwindow: find the layer to duplicate, and drag it to the little 'Create a new layer' at the bottom of the subwindow. The mouse-free way is to choose the layer, then press Ctrl+J (or Layer > New > Layer Via Copy).

Here, my object is a star. The gradient background is irrelevant. Now, I have duplicated my star, but since I haven't done anything with it, the duplicate remains right on top of the original star, and therefore only one star is shown.

Second, flip vertical the duplicate layer we just created few seconds ago. To do this, Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. Next, pick the Move Tool (press V), and drag the duplicated object several pixels down, until it is located right below the original object.

Now, it looks more like a reflection already. If this is what you want, you can leave now. But the rest of you, follow through.

Third, we want to make the reflection be a bit more transparent, because currently it looks like we're placing our object on top of a mirror. To do this, add a layer mask to the reflection's layer. The easy way is to click the little 'Add a mask' button on the Layers subwindow. The more boring way is Layer > Add Layer Mask > Reveal All. If you're doing okay, you should that the layer now shows something like this (notice the arrow):

Fourth, pick the Gradient Tool (press G, but it may also show Paint Bucket Tool, so use your mouse to pick the Gradient Tool if that happens). Make sure the selected item on the Layers subwindow is the Layer Mask we just created (if you didn't mess around with the Layers subwindow after we add the layer mask, everything will be fine). Now, pay attention. Your job is to make a vertical gradient, from the topmost area of the reflection object, down about half of the object size. This is merely a matter of need and taste, though. Play around with the Gradient (just use Undo over and over). The general idea is to make the gradient from top to bottom.

Ta-da. The result would be as follow:

Now this is what I'm calling a reflection. We're done. As an bonus step, you can alter the Opacity of the reflection. This is what happened when I set the Opacity to 45%:

Looks better to me, but of course it would depend on the effect you're trying to achieve. Anyway, that's it. I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Enjoy!

posted@8:33 AM

Focus. Focus.

Since yesterday, I've been practicing on one thing. Focus. Part of it is inspired by the chat at SVN about watching Tiger Woods in person, while playing a competitive golf game. Me, I believe that your mind can alter things. And most importantly, I believe your mind can alter *yourself*.

I've gotten to the point that I came to think, "wow, I guess I just modded my brain." You see, I exercised focusing while driving. And to help myself focus, I break everything I saw into two things: safe path (the road I should take to return back home safely) and obstacles (everything else I should not bump into). I kind of decided that safe path should look green, obstacles are red.

And after a certain point, I actually saw green and red things, moving frantically, updated real-time. My brain actually translated all I saw into red and green objects. I don't know if it helps me focusing; but it did feel both weird and interesting at the same time.

Oh, and I think I've found a solution about a long-standing problem. I've been looking for a way to store my ideas quickly, whenever I am, whatever is happening. I've been thinking about using note books, or maybe on a cell phone, or laptops, or whatever. But now that I think of it, nothing can beat the Kottke way (I'm too lazy to find the actual blog post, so I link to the main page instead): a piece of paper

Bring a piece of fresh A4 paper everyday, fold it so it fits into your pocket, get a pen, and you're set. This is the first day I'm doing this: everything seems working well. I've scribbled notes about what I'm going to write here, my ideas on building intranets, blog design realign, and whatever.

Been fun.

posted@8:39 AM


My! Very educated morons just screwed up numerous planetariums. And various other new mnemonics to remember the planets now that Pluto is gone.

I am currently looking for a good, *updated* JavaScript book. The goal: AJAX.

posted@12:18 PM

Drop shadows not bomb.

Could've been a better looking shirt.

But still, damn strong words.

Oh, and on a completely unrelated topic, 25 best license-free pixelfonts.

posted@2:39 PM

If I die today..

..what would happen then? What have I done today?

I will have met a friend and, at least, left a good memory.

I will have, at the last day of my life, struggled to keep a good relationship with a certain someone.

I will have left my parent in confusion. I've forgotten to inform my parents where I'm going today. I'm out now and they don't have any idea where I am.

I will have fulfilled my responsibility to a client; but will not be able to do the revision he'd asked.

I will remain a very thin guy; Won't be too heavy for anyone carrying my dead body to the cemetery. Good. I don't want to burden others while I'm already dead.

I will have left ala-id unchanged, 3 articles only. I have more translations ready, but I won't have the chance to post them.

I will die young, a 21 years old guy trying to be a good person in general. I know God is watching, I don't know if I've already put a good enough show.

Those are the things that came across my mind. What about you? What if you die today?

If I die tomorrow, I'd be alright / because I believe that after we're gone / the spirit carries on (The Spirit Carries On -- Dream Theater)
Truly, I love death more than a baby loves his mother. (Ali bin Abi Thalib)
Death is a resting time for a Muslim. (Ali bin Abi Thalib)
posted@12:51 PM