Shiny Surfaces – Part 4

In this post we’ll see yet more uses for one of Steve Caplin’s go-to filters, Plastic Wrap, and create a view through a glass bowl.

A Massive Block of Ice

Once again Steve Caplin uses a Friday Challenge as the basis for one of his Tutorials in How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed.   This time he has his readers turn plain text into an ice sculpture:Massive block of ice_bOTHCaplin reported in his book that most people were able to make the lettering sufficiently icy looking. It is accomplished by duplicating the layers, offsetting them – to produce the effect of a 3D object – adding some shading and then the Plastic Wrap filter. The trick that most people didn’t get during the Challenge was making the background distort though the ice, giving it more realism.  That effect is added by using a displace filter, as shown in the result above.

Getting the Glazing Bug

After 5 tutorials using the Plastic Wrap filter, Caplin finally has his readers wrap something in plastic.  In this case a scarab beetle: Glazing bug BothThis plastic effect is very simple. First, start a new layer and fill it with 50% grey. Next, use the Dodge and Burn tools to create highlights and shadows around the insect. Add a few random highlights and shadows to make the wrinkles. Then, apply the Plastic Wrap filter and set the layer’s mode to highlight. Instant polythene!  To make the beetle really look as if it is behind glass, create a reflection. It’s always the little details that complete a scene.

Glass: RefractionGlass refractionBoth

Caplin must be a very observant person. Most people would understand that making the image of a glass bowl look realistic should include a background visible through it. However, most people wouldn’t know to add the distortion, which is the key to making a photomontage look real:First, Caplin walks readers through using the Spherize filter to create the refraction distortion. However, glass is reflective as well. So, to achieve that effect, readers simply adjust the sliders in the Blending Options panel until the highlights and a bit of the reflection are visible. These sliders are found under the Layer drop down menu, much like the techniques used in the two tutorials in Hiding and Showing: Blending 1 & 2. And that’s it – your opaque bowl is now all clear. The only other thing to add is a layer mask on the stem and with a low opacity brush, reveal a little of the background.

Next: Shiny Surfaces – Part 5 – More Reflections and A Bridge Too Far

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