Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, The Ghastly Eight, has long been anticipated by movie buffs. From the time of installation and before the release of the film, a series of movie posters was released, using brushes taken on the Spoon Graphics website, as well as thanks to James White (https://twitter.com/Signalnoise) who posted information about them!
Considering that we have the exact same brushes that were used to create official posters and also available for download, I decided that it would be interesting to show you how to use them, including other techniques, to create your own poster in the design style. poster “Abominable Eight”.
The official posters for the film “Abominable Eight” were used dry grunge brushes, which can be downloaded from the link to show the eight main characters of the film. All posters have a dim snow background with portraits of the main characters. Each character is marked with a corresponding brush stroke.
Translator’s Note: In the archive, in addition to the basic materials, you will find an alternative version of the images for the lesson.
In this lesson, I will show you the process of recreating the design of the poster for the movie “Abominable Eight”. We use a series of source images to imitate the characters and the background, then we use my brushes to repeat the brush strokes as the key design element. In conclusion, we will add the effect of falling snow, as well as add text.
First we need to create a snowy landscape with wild nature. I took a photo with snowy nature on Shutterstock. Open the original image with the background in Photoshop and use the tool Cropping (Crop tool) stretch the canvas to create a portrait look.
Using the selection tool, select the empty space in the image, and then go Editing – Run Fill (Edit> Fill). Select an option In view of the content (Content Aware), this will allow Photoshop to reproduce the background, which in color will match the original photo.
If a Fill based on content (Content Aware fill) will reproduce the unwanted parts of the image, then create a rectilinear selection around the area you want to use as a sample, and then paste it onto a new layer and reapply Fill based on content (Content Aware fill) to this layer. Thus, only specific colors that will be processed by the program will be used.
Now merge the filled layer, taking into account the contents and the layer with the background (Ctrl + E) or right-click on the top layer and in the appeared window select the option Combine with the previous (Merge Down).
Next, add an adjustment layer. Black and white (Black and White) to remove any color shades present in the image, and then add an adjustment layer Levels (Levels). In the settings window of the adjustment layer Levels (Levels), move the shadow correction slider to Output values (Output Levels) to the right to blur the image, and then slightly shift the white slider to the left to add light gray tones. Adjust the top sliders in the main histogram window to change the overall image contrast.
Create a new layer on top of all other layers, fill this layer with black color. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light) to add a gray overlap to the image, so the snow effect we create later will be clearly visible against a darker background. Add a layer mask and then hide the gray overlap over the main landscape so that the gray background shading only the sky.
The key design element is the eight drawn brush strokes. Download the Grunge brushes from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Next, paint brush strokes, following the design of the layout of the brush strokes, as on the original poster. Using the settings panel Brush (Brush), change the angle of the brush to the vertical direction of the brush. Each brush stroke should be painted on a separate layer, so they can be shifted and edited separately.
On the original posters of the “Abominable Eight”, brush strokes are thicker and more distinct than the original brushes. Therefore, use other brushes from the set, while slightly reducing the size of the brush to paint over the already drawn strokes.
For the first brush stroke, apply a layer style. Color overlay (Color Overlay). In the settings window of this layer style, set the midtone red tint, for example, # b82122. Copy / paste (Copy / Paste) This layer style to another brush stroke.
Select one of the brush strokes to change the color of the layer style. Color overlay (Color Overlay) at # 505050. A gray brushstroke will be responsible for a particular character.
It was very difficult to find the original cowboy images for this movie poster project, but I managed to find some good images on Shutterstock. In my design I used images that you can download from the links at the beginning of this tutorial.
Open the original cowboy image in Photoshop. Using tool Pen (Pen tool), create a contour around the image of a cowboy, while drawing a pen around a few pixels inward from the edge of the contour so as not to circle unnecessary areas of the background when selected.
Once you have created a contour around the object, right-click the created contour and select the option in the window that appears. To form selected region (Make Selection). Add a feathering to soften hard edges when highlighting. I used Shading radius (Feather Radius) 0.5 px, although a radius of about 2 px + would give the best result.
Copy / paste (Copy / Paste) selected image of a cowboy on our working paper with a poster. Apply scaling to the cowboy image (Ctrl + T). While scaling, hold down the (Shift) key to keep the image aspect ratio.
Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the cowboy layer to load the active selection around the cowboy image. Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance). The selected area will be automatically reflected on the mask of the adjustment layer, thus, the correction will affect only this fragment of the image. Play with mode settings Shadows (Shadows), Mid tones (Midtones) and Sveta (Highlights) to give the image a colder tone to match the snowy scene.
Create a new layer. Select a gray tint from the background and use a soft brush to paint over the cowboy’s legs to blur the image.
Next, we need to add a snowstorm effect to enhance the snowy atmosphere. There is an interesting technique for creating a realistic snow effect in Photoshop. Create a new layer, fill it with white. Next, go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). In the settings window of this filter, set Effect (Amount) 100%, According to Gauss (Gaussian), Monochrome (Monochromatic).
Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Set a blur radius of 1 px to soften the effect of noise.
Press the keys (Ctrl + L), or go Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) and in the window that appears, move the shadow slider to the right almost to the end, until you reduce the noise effect of white snowflakes.
The snow created at the moment is too small, so press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the transformation mode, and then zoom in by 200%. Increasing the scale of the raster content is the reason for its blurring, but this is actually the effect that we want to get when we try to recreate the snowflakes.
Change the blending mode for the snow texture layer to Lightening (Screen) to hide the black background, and then add a layer mask to hide any snowflakes in the cowboy face area with a soft brush.
Create a new layer, and then repeat the whole process of adding noise, blur, correction levels to add snow. This time, zoom in on the snow texture by 400% to recreate large snow flakes.
Create a third layer with a snow effect, repeating the previous steps. This time move the black slider further to the right so that there are very few snowflakes. Scale up to 1000% to create large flakes of snow falling next to the camera lens.
Using tool Text (Type tool), add text to your design. I used the font Drone Ranger, which fits the western style. Align the text as well as the size of the text to line the text vertically.
The text about the actor is divided in the center with a decorative pattern. This pattern can be created using the selection tools or lasso, and then grayed out on separate layers.
Draw only one half of the horizontal pattern, then simply duplicate the layer and flip vertically to get the second half of the pattern.
Merge the layers with the details of the pattern, and then duplicate the combined layer with the pattern. Place the duplicate pattern on the opposite side, centering the created horizontal patterns.
To add a snow effect to the text, group all the text layers, and then add a layer mask to the created group. Holding down the (ALT) key + click on the mask to enter the mask mode, and then paste some textures, I used the Particles textures, which can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Use textures to close text elements.
To enhance the texture effect, duplicate the layer with the group, and then right-click on the layer mask of the duplicate layer with the group and in the appeared window select the option Remove layer mask (delete layer-mask).
Create a temporary layer, and then merge it with a duplicate of the layer with the group to convert the text into a raster layer with text.
Now hold down (Ctrl) + click on the thumbnail of the merged layer with the text to load the active selection, and then go Selection – Modification – Compress (Select> Modify> Contract) and in the window that appears, set the value to 10 px. Then come back Selection – Modification – Feather (Select> Modify> Feather) and in the window that appears, set the value to 5 px.
Delete the selected selection from the text layer, creating an outline around the text.
On the original posters there is a beautiful grain effect, therefore, all we have to do is press the keys (Ctrl + A) to select the entire image, and then press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + C) to copy the combined data. Now paste the copied data onto the new layer to get the merged layer on top of all the other layers, and then go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise) and in the appeared settings window of this filter set Effect (Amount) approximately 3 px.
The final result perfectly recreates the original posters for the movie “Abominable Eight”, because we can use exactly the same brushes that professional designers used, and also try using this technique on their own.
Meet the “Magnificent Four”
I created my series of posters using this art style. Forget about the Tarantinov’s “Disgusting Eight”, better look at my “Magnificent Four”!