Create a poster with knights in Photoshop

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Final image

Step 1. Create a new document sized 27×41 inches with a resolution of 72 ppi. The reason why we set the resolution to 72 ppi is that the file can become very large, and some readers of the lesson would not be able to handle a file as big as this one. I wanted to create a large enough canvas to see all the details while editing. Make sure that Content background (Background Contents) selected White (White).

Step 2. Download and open image Knight 1. Pressing Ctrl+T and holding the key Shift, Stretch and rotate the image as shown below.

Step 3. We are going to remove the background using Layer Masks (Layer Mask), pre-gently highlighting the knight with Pen (P) (Pen Tool). As soon as you create a contour around the knight, close it by connecting it to the first point of the contour. Right-click on the contour and select To form a selected area (Make Selection), set the following settings and click OK.

Once the selection is made, click on the icon. Layer Masks (Layer mask) to Layers menu (Layers Menu), and you will see that we will have a neatly selected knight with no background.

Personally, I always use Layer Mask (Layer Masks) no matter what image I am editing, because, it is so very easy to correct errors without spoiling the image itself.

Step 4. Repeat steps 2-3 for the knight in the upper right corner (Knight 2), the result should be an image, as shown below.

Step 5. For the upper left knight, we are going to use similar methods, but with one exception; we are going to disguise his beard. Always work out the greatest amount of detail, while viewing your work this will be noticed! Upload an image Knight 3 open it in Photoshop. Do not move it to our canvas yet. AT Layers menu (Layers Menu) go to Channels (Channels).

For masking you need to select the channel with the highest contrast, in this case we will have to choose Red Channel (Red Channel). Right-click on this layer and create a duplicate, the original Red Channel will be selected by default, but you must select the copied layer.

Step 6. Go to Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) and add contrast by moving the sliders. If you want to go the easy way, then copy the settings shown below and click OK.

Step 7. Choose a tool Pen (P) (Pen tool) and create an outline around the knight. Once the outline is made, create a selection and fill it with black. The fastest way to do this is to use a very large soft round brush. For a beard, use a smaller sized soft round brush with a blending mode for the brush. Overlap (Overlay). In mode Overlap (Overlay) filling areas that you want to leave, will be softer.

Step 8. We need to remove the background so that only the image of the knight remains, for this we go in the menu again Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) and move the sliders, but watch the small details of the beard if you do not want to lose them.

Step 9. You see that there are still some large areas that need to be removed. Take a large soft round brush, set the foreground color to white and change the brush mode to Overlap (Overlay). On the selected Masked layer (Layer Mask), carefully paint over the background of the image.
If you did everything right, you should stay in black and white. Click on the RGB channel and return to the layer menu. Go to Selection – Load Selection (Select> Load Selection), a menu appears. Choose in Channel (Channel) copy of red, check the box to invert the selection and click OK. Inverting the selection, you select the white area.

Click on the icon Add layer mask (Add Layer Mask) at the bottom Layer menu (Layer Menu) and voila! We have a knight without a background.

Step 10. Drag this image onto our canvas and place it below the central knight layer. Rotate, scale, and flip the image horizontally, as shown below.

Step 11. Download and open the image. Taskan Hill, but don’t drag it in our poster yet. We will only need part of the landscape in the foreground, since we are going to use it to create our own landscape. Switch to Channels (Channels) and make a copy Blue channel (Blue channels), because this channel has the highest contrast. This step will be slightly different from the steps that we have already used to highlight the bearded knight, as the landscape has more details that we don’t want to lose.

Stand on a copy of the blue channel and go to Image – Correction – Automatic tone correction (Image> Adjustments> Auto Levels). Photoshop will automatically change the contrast, sometimes it is very useful and saves time.

Step 12. We need to darken the foreground a lot more to get a cleaner selection. Go to Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) and move the sliders until you are sure that you have achieved the desired result, or simply enter the following values ​​and click the OK button.

Step 13. Take a big soft round brush and start blackening the foreground with black. Careful in this process and do not come close to the trees. To darken the trees you must have a lot of patience, because this part is very tiring. Change the brush mode to Overlap (Overlay) and start darkening the trees very slowly and carefully. Resize the brush and see what you are masking by simply switching between the RGB channel and the channel with a copy of Blue.

Step 14. A good trick, to facilitate masking, is to use the menu. Curves (Curves). Go to in Image – Correction – Curves (Image> Adjustments> Curves) and try to find the best balance to contrast the landscape.

Step 15. After you have darkened the foreground of the landscape and are happy with the result, we should start drawing on the part that we want to end up hiding. Use the same soft brush and blend mode, but change the foreground color to white. Paint over the areas you don’t need and carefully walk around the trees. Keep doing this until you have something like this:

Step 16. Click on the RGB channel and go back to Layer menu (Layer Menu). Go to Selection – Load Selection (Select> Load Selection), select a copy of blue in the channels, check the box Invert (Invert) and click OK.

Step 17. Drag the image onto our canvas and scale it as shown below.

Step 18. We are going to make a background, so we should have a clear idea of ​​how the composition will look. Download and open the image. Heaven. Place a layer below all layers and position it as shown below:

Step 19. Download and open the image. Mountain valley and place it under the hill as shown below. The mountains are highlighted in red, which we will edit later.

Step 20. Now the fun begins! We are going to manage two images with landscapes, mixing them together. Disable temporarily image The hill, thus we will have a clearer idea what to edit on the image Valleys. In addition, we are going to use not only the mountains, but the land itself.
First of all, we need to clone some pieces of land to get rid of the sheep and the fence. Take the tool Stamp (Clone Stamp) (S) and enlarge the image by 300%. Clone the earth by holding Alt next to the sheep you want to remove, and then just click on the sheep and, if done correctly, it will disappear.

Once you are done with the sheep, remove all the pillars and farm houses. If everything is done correctly, ultimately you should be like this:

Step 21. Select image The hill and click on Layer mask (Layer Mask) to highlight it. Now we are going to blend two landscapes together. Take a big soft round brush, as this will help to mix much better. Increase the lower part of the hill and just start drawing over the entire area of ​​the earth. An increase of 300% will allow you to get detailed detailing (trees, fences, etc.), adjust the brush size as well. I lowered the opacity of the hill for better viewing, the red line shows a shaped border that you should not cross!

Step 22 We need the land not to look separate from the mountain, so let’s apply a color correction. Select the image of the Mountain Valley, take the selection tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Selection Tool) (M) and select a piece of land. Right click and make a copy.

Stand on the copied layer with the ground, go to the bottom Layer menu (Layer Menu) and add Correction layer (Create new fill or adjustment layer) Color balance (Color Balance). By default, the layer settings open in Middle tone (Midtones), but we have to correct in all.

Step 24 Select the original Mountain Valley layer and add Layer mask (Layer Mask) to the image. Take a big soft round brush and paint over the entire right side of the clouds and sky.

You noticed that the central knight’s shield turned out to be cut off, but this is not a problem, since in the next steps it will be removed from our field of view altogether.

Step 25. Download and open image Battles in Photoshop and cut left and middle knights with the tool Pen (Pen) (P). This image is a bit problematic, as the legs of the knights in the grass, and she, in turn, does not give us the opportunity to create a clean selection. Just circle their legs, as there is no way for a perfect selection. Scale the image as shown below.

Step 26. Now we are going to add small armies on both sides of the battlefield. First upload and open the photo. Knightly Tournament 1 . Cut knights with the tool Pen (Pen) (P) and place on the left side of the poster. Repeat this step with a photo. Knightly Tournament 2, but place them on the right.

Step 27. Click at the bottom Layer menu (Layer Menu) on icon Create a new adjustment or fill layer (New Fill / Adjustment Layer) and select Colour (Solid Color). On the color palette you need to enter the following parameters:

Step 28. The composition is beautiful, but we also need to add a black area at the bottom of the poster as a transition from image to typography. Create a new layer and name it “Black Base”, place it above all layers. Using a big soft round brush (yes, I love brushes!), Carefully paint over the lower part of the landscape and the fighting knights in the form of an oval.

Step 29. If you have not done so already, then in this step we have to start the organization, since then you can get confused. Simply create folders for each group of items (knights, landscape, sky, etc.). For even better organization, you can make each folder in a different color by right-clicking on the layer’s visibility icon, and then choosing any color.

Step 30. Select the central knight layer and add Correction layer (Adjustment layer) with Curves (Curves) so that he is above all the layers with the main knights. Try to simulate the settings for each channel, as shown below.

By placing this adjustment layer above the main knights, the effect will only be on the sky and the knights.

Step 31 Create an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and position it above the central knight, right-click and select Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Go through each Channel (Channel) and lower saturation level:
Green (Green) Blue (Cyan) and Purple (Magentas) to -100,
Blue (Blue) to -45,
Red (Red) and Yellow (Yellow) feeds must be intact. This will add a silver knight to the knight and will distinguish it when we add our last adjustment layer with Curves (Curves).

Step 32 It is very important to convey the mood due to color correction, so create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and place it on top of all layers. We have a central knight as a reference, so try creating your own color scheme in which you think the poster will look better. These are my settings:

Step 33 Return to the central knight. To make the top knights really stand out, we’re going to create an almost majestic look for the glow around them. Create a copy of the central knight, name the layer “Majestic Light” and make the image white with Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), increasing Brightness (Lightness) to +100. Go to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur), set the angle to -90 degrees and offset to 775 pixels. Make a copy of this layer and you will notice that it becomes much brighter.

Go to Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) and set a radius of 45 pixels, this will soften the effect a bit after the motion blur.

Step 34 Create a new adjustment layer with Levels (Levels) and enter the following parameters in the appropriate channels. This layer must be placed above the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation), which we did earlier for the central knight, and add to it Clipping mask (Clipping Mask).

Step 35 We are going to add to our knight a little radiance, majestic brilliance. Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) and position it above the adjustment layers that we have already made. By default, the new adjustment layer will be white, but for this effect to work properly, just fill the canvas with white and highlight the mask. Take a round brush and install Opacity (Opacity) brushes for 20%, change the foreground color to white. Change the size of the brush as many times as you think necessary. You must process the area highlighted in red below.

Step 36 All images have very clear outlines, because when selecting we used the tool Pen (P) (Pen tool), but you can get rid of it using the tool. Blur (R) (Blur tool) on Masked layer (Layer mask).

Step 37. Repeat steps 31, 33, 34, 35 and 36 for the right and left knights, but I hope at the moment of the lesson you will apply your own color variations and methods. Remove what you do not like, or add something else that will improve the composition. I added several adjustment layers with Color balance (Color Balance) for all three knights and this is my result at the moment of the lesson:

Step 38 I added an adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance) with the following parameters:

I also added Fill layer (Color Fill) (color 004762) at the top of all layers so that there is a good idea of ​​where the main part of the poster is. Layer order:

Step 39. Above these layers create a fill adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill) and click OK. Set layer blending mode Color tone (Hue) and Opacity (Opacity) 20%. Double click on the window Gradient (Gradient) and change the gradient with Continuous (Solid) on Noise (Noise). Press on Another variant (Randomize), to see the various options for the gradient, select which one you like, and click OK. Thus, we get a gradient with a huge number of colors.

Big change, right? The middle of the poster looks very dark, but we are going to fix it now.

Step 40. Select the knight fighting layer and add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), increase Brightness (Brightness) to + 55% and click OK. Right-click on this layer and select Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Use the same methods we used in step 35 to make the image look the way you want. Using tool Finger (Smudge tool) create strands of hair from a long-haired knight.

Step 41 At the moment, I think the image of the Hill looks too dark and the colors are not very interesting. Select a hill layer, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) and set the value Brightness (Brightness) at +32, and The contrast (Contrast) at -10 and click OK.

Only the landscape should be affected by this adjustment layer, but this is not the case at present, although we can change this by painting the upper part of the layer mask with black, as shown below.

Step 42 We are getting closer to what we want, but I still don’t like it, since I want more flowers. Add adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance) and play with the sliders to get the desired shade or enter the parameters shown below.

Once you have done this, paint over the layer mask as in step 41.

Step 43 It’s time to work on a small army on the left. Since the image is much brighter below, we can easily change this with the tool Dimmer (Burn tool). Take Dimmer (Burn Tool) (G) and make sure the brush range is set to Halftones (Midtones) and Exposition (Exposure) by 50%. Now you can begin to darken the bottom of the knights.

Step 44. Make a copy of this layer and make the image black using the menu Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Drag it below the knights, it will be a shadow. Click Ctrl + T, right-click and select an option Distortion (Distort). Try dragging one of the dots to create a believable shadow, if necessary, apply a small effect. Gaussian Blur (Gaussian Blur), adjust the effect to your liking.

Repeat steps 43 and 44 for the army on the right. Apply adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance), make sure that the color tone of the knights matches the background.

Step 45. I want to make our composition more spectacular, download and open the image. Fireballs, drag it into our work and set the layer’s overlay mode Lightening (Screen). Resize and split three cars one at a time into separate layers. Since the blend mode of these layers was set to Lightening (Screen), they will look better on a dark background, so I put all three cars on top of the central knight’s shield.

If you are satisfied with the location of all three layers, go ahead and combine them. Photoshop will automatically change the blending mode to normal, but you will have to change it to Lightening (Screen). We will return to this section.

Step 46 Now it’s time to get down to work on the name of this fictional poster. For this type of work I decided to use the font. OldEnglishTextMT, which really fits well with the medieval style. If you followed each step of this lesson, then you probably used the original resolution, as shown in step 1, so enter the text Infictus 405 pixels.

Since the lesson is quite lengthy, but we need to apply several layer styles for the desired effect, then do so, double-click on the text layer and in the style menu, apply the following styles:

I used a simple gray-white gradient to give a bit of 3D look. This should only be for the text layer!

Step 47. I already wrote the lesson “Creating a list of actors on the movie poster in Photoshop,” so go ahead and apply it in our composition.

Note translator – write the text you want to see on your billboard and give it a 3D view with the tool Chasing (Repousse tool). On the 3D palette, select “3D embossed object” (3D Repousse Object) and click “Create“(Create), a window opens in which you can see a three-dimensional object created on the basis of this text. In addition to the extrusion depth, the three-dimensional model can also be deformed by bending it, pulling and twisting in different directions.

You can also study this tutorial on creating 3D text in Photoshop.

Step 48 Now that the text is ready, we can concentrate on the strokes. Download any photos of the sparks and basically repeat the methods we used for the cars in step 45. Although this step may seem shorter, do not be fooled because there is still a lot of work to individually rotate and change each spark. Use the same spark to create a track for cars.

Final result

Author: Paul Poppenburg

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