There are a bunch of filter types provided by GIMP you can use to create certain effects. In this tutorial, I am going to demonstrate how to use the Ripple filter to create water reflection effect.
I will use a car as the object example, but you can use any object if you want. To make the water reflection looks real, I will also use a water image.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Bonus: Most essential GIMP shortcuts
- Launch GIMP and go to File -> Open to open the object image (car in this case)
- Go to Image -> Canvas Size. Change the height to give a space for the reflection. In this tutorial, I double the height value. Select the All Layers option before you click the Resize button.
- Duplicate the object layer by going to Layer -> Duplicate Layer.
- Select the duplicated layer and click the Rectangle Select Tool on the Toolbox panel to select the object.
- Once you select the object, go to Edit -> Copy.
- Create a new transparent layer by going to Layer -> New Layer. On the appearing pop-up dialog, select Transparency option.
- With the new transparent layer selected, go to Edit -> Paste Into and then go to Layer -> Anchor Layer.
- Still on the transparent layer — which now contains the object –, click the Flip Tool on the Toolbox panel. Set the flip type to vertical and click the object.
- Move the flipped object beneath the original object using the Move Tool. Following is the example.
- Go to Layer -> Anchor Layer.
- Select the top layer and go to Filters -> Distorts -> Ripple. On the appearing pop-up dialog menu, check the Vertical option on the Orientation section and Smear option on the Edges section. Set the Period value to 70 and Amplitude value to 2.
- Go to Filters -> Distorts -> Ripple one more time. This time, check the Horizontal option on the Orientation section and Smear option on the Edges section. Set the Period value to 8 and Amplitude value to 2.
- Still on the top layer, go to Colors -> Hue-Saturations. On the appearing pop-up dialog menu, set the saturation value to -50.
- Go to Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur. Set the Horizontal value as well as the Vertical value to 3.
- Duplicate the top layer by going to Layer -> Duplicate Layer.
- Select the new duplicated layer go to File -> Open as Layers to open the water image.
- Use the Move Tool to set the position of the water and scale it if needed. Make the water covers the flipped object.
- Go to Colors -> Desaturate. On the appearing pop-up dialog menu, select the Lightness option.
- Lower down the opacity to about 30 or lower until the flipped object is visible.
Done! Following is the example of the water reflection I created.
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