Creating tin can reflections?

Posted on 2007-03-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I'm having a difficult time trying to create realistic-looking mirror reflections on rounded objects like tin cans. Anyone know of any tutorials or tricks to make this work? Thanks!
Question by:ESSGroup
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Expert Comment

ID: 18797714
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:David Brugge
ID: 18802478
You don’t find many tutorials on how to show a cylinder with a reflections because it is just so darn hard. ‎The usual approach to showing a reflection assumes that the object is rectangular and that you are looking ‎at it streight on.‎

If you use this method for making a reflection you end up with this: ‎http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/dbrugge/wrong.jpg

What you want is this:‎

The hardest part of rendering this is the fact that you have to create a curved object from a different ‎perspective and to make it a mirror (reversed) image at the same time. ‎

As you can see, it’s not just a matter of flipping an image over, it has to be redrawn as if it is viewed from a point of view within the mirror.

David B

Expert Comment

ID: 18802756
oh i think i misunderstood the question;  would the warp tool help?  i thought i saw a tut on this guy warping a label onto a cylindrical can over at photoshoptv.com once.
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

David Brugge earned 200 total points
ID: 18805071
The ideal program to use for this is Illustrator, then export to Photoshop. It can be done with the warp tool, but I always find it very difficult to control any of the liquefy tools over a large area. A better choice I believe would be a displacement map, but even then, you don't get a good "wrap" at the edges.

The advantage of illustrator is that you can draw the top of the can in perspective and the top of the reflection at the other end in a perspective and use the blend tool (specifying steps) to draw perspective guide lines between the two. You can simulate this in Photoshop by hand on a separate layer that you can later delete.

If you like, set some type for the label. Set it straight across and make a copy of it. Then use the arch tool to match it to the guide line. Then paste a new copy of your type, flip it vertically and use the arch tool to give it the same amount of arch in the opposite direction. You will then have a line of type curved to match the can, and a mirror image, curved to match the mirror image of the can.

Like I said, it's pretty darn hard, but a great way to learn.

David B.

Author Comment

ID: 18847489
Thanks D_Brugge! I haven't had a chance to try your suggestion but on merit I'll go ahead an award you the points.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:David Brugge
ID: 18848111
I expect you to run into a snag or two. It's on the higher end of the difficulty scale, that's why there are so few tutorials. Post your questions here so that anyone looking at the question in the future can get some additional insight.

good luck and have fun,

David B.

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