Are these reflections real or Photoshopped?

Started Aug 16, 2014 | Questions thread
richardplondon Forum Pro • Posts: 10,799
Re: 5 flipped and transformed areas of the real scene

Mark K W wrote:

richardplondon wrote:

Taking the image with the archway as an example, this is how I believe it is done: I make it five different sections of the pictures extracted, differently moved and vertically scaled, and then the changed overlaps cloned to conceal these changes. There will have been some other postprocessing and cleanup too, of course, e.g. the reflection will have been darkened a little.

Within each of these 5 areas, the reflection is an exact copy of part of the main scene, with no change of real viewpoint visible within that (though there may be a slight extra warping on the archway, since that was a little more difficult than the others to get very close to an exact match).

Just to explain the animation below: I masked out took different areas of the reflection as labelled, colourised them so they could be distinguished from each other, changed them to 50% opacity, then flipped and transformed each one to overlay the relevant part of the main scene, so demonstrating where it will have been taken from.

Hmm... in case that animation does not play, here is the composite:


Richard, agree this is a way to do it (I did not doubt that) and obviously you have the skill and time to be able to do it.

Couple of questions around the method you have employed:

- if this is the way the actual photographer is doing it, do you think he is using a real reflective surface placed at the scene to provide a template image that he then overlays his perspective-manipulated image onto, recreating the basic relative positioning as you have done?

There's no need to have done so in this example, IMO.

And if you were setting yourself the challenge of simulating a non-existent reflection as convincingly as possible, wouldn't you seek to do so in PP alone?

Wouldn't using physical assists at the scene undermine the impressiveness of that feat? (and these certainly ARE impressively done, I am not disputing that for a moment - it is just, it was an impossible feat to pull off 100% by these means).

I have no way to know whether these photos were even specially taken with this PP treatment in mind, or not. I'll guess at yes, but only the photographer can say for sure.

That could be even be as simple as a large sheet of cooking foil since it does not have to be a good reflection, just one that provides enough reference.

- and how do you think he makes the actual pool outline, especially the edges where it is clear the reflection is bending around a meniscus? The same with any surface ripples (some of his images have that)...

One way would be with a Displacement Map, referring to a custom painted mask corresponding to whatever surface "bulges" and "ripples" you wanted to simulate. That mask could have been drawn first as if flat and head-on, and then perspective distorted to "sit on" the ground-plane believably.


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