Making a retro poster in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a bright retro poster in Photoshop using stock images, textures, and filters. In this lesson, we will look at the Pen tool technique, including working with the Isohelium correction, to separate the main image of the model from the background. You will also get a lot of positives from using the Gradient Map to add a vintage effect to your artworks using Photoshop.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP 1. New document

Let’s first open the Photoshop program and create a new document. I selected A4 format (2480 x 3508px), the background color is white.

STEP 2. Add texture to the background.

For the background, I used the Darkroom texture. The Darkroom IV texture set can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Once you have downloaded the texture set, open one of the textures and then transfer to our working document. To scale or rotate a texture, use the tool. Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T). Name the texture layer “Darkroom Texture”.

Next, we will add an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) to the texture layer, I use Photoshop CS4, so I used Gradient Map (Gradient Map) through the tab in the layers palette. The gradient colors are blue and green. Next, convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask for the texture layer (right-click on the adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map) and in the window that appears, select the option Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask).

If you are using a previous version of Photoshop, just apply a correction. Gradient Cards (Gradient Map) to the texture layer, let’s go Image – Correction – Gradient Map (Image – Adjustments – Gradient Map).

STEP 3. Model

In this step, we will add a model image to our scene. Download the stock image of the model from the link at the beginning of this lesson. Open the model image in Photoshop. Next, separate the image of the model from the background, using the selection technique with which you prefer to work, when selecting the model, I used the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P).

Once you have created an active selection around the model image, move the selected model image onto our working document using the tool. Move (Move). Next, apply scaling (Ctrl + T). Name the layer with the model “Model”. Create a duplicate image of the model, hide the appearance of a duplicate layer, we will need a duplicate of the layer with the model in the next step.

Next, we will add an adjustment layer. Map Gradient(Gradient Map) to the model layer. The addition technique is the same as in Step 2, the gradient colors are the same.

STEP 4. Add isohelial correction

Turn on the visibility of the duplicate layer with the model. Place this duplicate layer on top of all layers, name this layer “Isohelium Model”.

Next, apply a correction. Isogelium (Threshold) to duplicate the model layer, let’s go Image – Correction – Isohelium (Image – Adjustments – Threshold). Install Threshold brightness(Threshold Level) is approximately 100.

Next, we will delete the white areas on the model image, for this I used the tool Color Range (Color Range Tool) to highlight the white areas and then delete them, so go Highlight – Color Range (Select – Color Range) and select the white area, then click on the button (ok), and then click (delete).

STEP 5. Text

Next, I added text in the upper left corner of the image. I used a font called Damn Noisy Kids. You can download this font from the link at the beginning of this lesson. Download the font and then add the text to your poster, I typed the text RNELdotNET using 3 separate text layers.

STEP 6. Motion Blur

In this step, we will create a motion blur effect that will take place behind the text and the model. First, select the group with text and the “Isohelium Model” layer, and then press the keys (Ctrl + Alt + E) to create a merged layer. Name this layer “Blur Model + Text”.

Next, apply a filter to the merged layer. Motion blur (Motion blur filter), let’s go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Motion Blur). Set the following settings Angle (angle) 0, Bias (distance) 425px. Place this layer below the “Model” layer, and then reduce the opacity of this layer to 50%.

Finally, add an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) to the layer with blur, the gradient colors are the same as in Step 2, but this time tick the box Inversion (reverse) in the parameters of the tool gradient.

STEP 7. Sparks

Create a new layer, place this layer below the “Blur Model + Text” layer.
Name this layer “Spark”. Next, select a soft brush. Draw sparks on the poster. I changed the diameter of the brush several times to create the effect of depth.

Next, add a correction layer to the sparks layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map), the gradient is the same as in Step 6, also tick the box Inversion (reverse).

STEP 8. Texture of the old book

Next, we will add the texture of the Old Book, I used the first texture from this texture set. Download the texture you can link at the beginning of this lesson. Download the texture, open it in Photoshop, and then move the texture to our working paper. To scale and rotate the texture, use the tool. Free Transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T), name the texture layer “Paper Texture”, lower the opacity of the texture layer to 50%, and also change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply).

So, we have created a beautiful retro poster. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

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