Adobe Illustrator: Creating a Reflection Surface Effect

On Adobe Illustrator CS6

Here’s step-by-step guide to produce a simple reflection surface effect with any image on Adobe Illustrator.

Here are the initial images before the effect has been applied:

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1) Using the Selection Tool, select all the images you want to apply the effect to.

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2) While all images are selected, press Cmd/Ctrl + C to copy the images, then Cmd/Ctrl + V to paste those images to create a copy of each of them.

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3) While the copy images are selected, on the top menu go Object > Reflect.

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4) Set the Axis to Horizontal and press OK.

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5) Using the Selection Tool move the images right underneath their counterparts

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6) On the top menu go Window > Transparency

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7) With the Selection Tool, select a single image and on the Transparency panel and click on the area next to the image

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8) Make sure Clip is not ticked

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 9) Select the Rectangle Tool in the side Toolbar or press M.  Then draw a rectangle around the image, which should then appear lighter.

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10) Now open out the Gradient panel by going Windows > Gradient.  When the panel is open, click on the button on the top left-hand corner and select the default black and white gradient.

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11) Select the Gradient Tool in the side toolbar or press G.  Then click onto the top of the image and drag 2/3 of the way down it while holding the Shift key on the keyboard.  You should have handles that you manipulate the gradient with.

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The results should look like this:

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12) Back on the Transparency panel, click onto the image thumbnail and set the Opacity to 30%

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13) Repeat the entire process again for the rest of the images/objects

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