photoshop creative

How to make a movie poster in Photoshop, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
April 23, 2014

Learn how to manipulate a dramatic, spooky movie poster using blending techniques in Photoshop

Download all the files you’ll need for this tutorial here (select ‘Cinema poster’ from the list)


Start by creating a new document in Photoshop (230mm x 300mm at 300ppi). Go to Edit>Place and select the ‘forest.jpg’ image from the resources section for this tutorial. Position this into your document, resizing it to fit the canvas.


To convert the forest to a night scene, apply the following adjustment layers and settings: Hue/Saturation with Hue 215, Saturation 25, and Lightness -10 (ensure Colorize is checked). Levels at 15, 0.88, 255, and lastly Exposure with Exposure -2.33, Offset +0.0026, and Gamma Correction 0.82.


The ground in the original forest photo doesn’t suit, so find a suitable alternative. Download the ‘hill.jpg’ image from the resources for this tutorial and Edit>Place it into the bottom half of the canvas, resizing it to fit.


Use the Perspective Transform tools under Edit>Transform to give it a more natural perspective. Squash it to around a quarter of its original height. Then apply a layer mask and use a soft black Brush to mask off the sky area of the hill photo, so it blends more naturally into the forest.

STEP 05 

To blend the hill photo with the forest, apply similar adjustment layers used to turn the forest into a night scene. Tweak the settings as necessary, and add a clipping mask to your adjustment layers by Opt/Alt-clicking between them. Then create a new layer called ‘Vignette’ and use a large, soft black Brush to paint around the edges and corners of your canvas.


Find ‘woman.jpg’ (by Belovodchenko Anton) on the supplied resources and extract her from the background using the Pen tool. Paste her into your main document and resize her accordingly. Place her centrally amidst the forest floor.


The woman’s right hand is holding something, which isn’t relevant to the piece. To fix this apply a layer mask to the woman’s layer and mask off her right forearm and hand. Then copy and paste her left arm onto a new layer and flip it horizontally. Move it to fit as a new right arm. Mask the join between the arms to make it appear more natural.


To blend our woman with the rest of the scene we must apply these adjustment layers and settings. Hue/Saturation: 224 (Hue), +15 (Saturation), -16 (Lightness) and tick Colorize. Now Exposure, -1.36 (Exposure), +0.0026 (Offset), and 1.00 (Gamma Correction). Lastly, add a Levels with settings 0, 0.84, and 255.


To make the photo manipulation believable the lighting must be correct. In this instance the woman needs correcting to fit with the main light source coming from the right of our canvas. Use the Dodge and Burn tools to add highlights on her right and shadows on her left. Cover the left of her hood with black, to fit with the shadowing.


Download the optical flares pack from Brusheezy for free. Start by applying one of them over the right part of your canvas. This particular flare evokes an eerie and unnatural happening in the forest, and the lights could be an alien ship.

  • Wow! pretty simple task but impotent idea shared for learner.

  • Karren Barlow

    Great info! I have also found some tips on how to make a poster using Lucidpress and it was pretty helpful! Give it a try!

  • BakSBanny

    Amazing! As for me, hard a bit to create something, i prefer better this software: RonyaSoft Poster Designer, here the link

  • Image is like movie poster this is really awesome. How human creativity level is working this post is prove of that. Every part over here shown in a very clear way, which can be very helpful for beginners, who actually want to make this kind of graphic work. Very nice job man.

  • So amazing tutorial about how to make a movie poster in Photoshop . This is so helpful tutorial. I appreciate you sharing this blog article.