I have touted the benefits of using the free graphic program Paint.NET for a while as it gives a surprisingly wide array of options for a freeware program. While GIMP may still have more effects, it is in my opinion a steeper learning curve for somebody who comes from Corel Draw, Painter or another paint program. I always enjoy freeware and you can even open Photoshop files in Paint.Net which makes working with the program even more useful.
One artistic effect that can’t be accomplished easily with Paint Dot Net without a plugin is a Water Reflection Effect. This effect where it appears something is hovering over a pool of water with a distorted wavy mirror of the object above it.
With this plugin I was able to reproduce an effect in an image like this in less than 30 seconds:
Fortunately, you can download this water reflection plugin that does a nice job and has some decent customization options.
Unzip this DLL into your Effects folder in Paint.NET and then start or restart the program.
All you have to do is click on Effects –> Distort –> Water Reflection
Here you get to customize the distance, waves, blur, angle and more of the effect that happens. One word of advice is to put whatever image you want “reflected” on a separate layer from your background layer or else you will reflect everything in the image.
The Water Reflection Effect for Paint.Net is a very useful and helpful plugin for increasing your artistic options at your disposal.
In addition to this water reflection plugin for Paint.NET I compiled a pack of several other effects plugins for Paint.Net that you can download and read more about, this plugin is now included in that combined effects pack as well.