Retro poster design for a fantastic film.

The author of the lesson likes to look at vintage movie posters, especially on the subject of science fiction. Often, such posters are much more interesting films themselves. In this tutorial, the author suggests creating your own movie poster for a fantastic film in Photoshop.

Final image

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1. Inspiration

In order to get inspiration and some information, the author used the Google search engine to view vintage sci-fi posters. There are plenty of them there and you can also see them in order to feel the spirit of that time.

Step 2. Create a background.

We will prepare a background for our poster, it will help to create a suitable mood for it. Since the action takes place in space, we will take into account that it is dark.
Create a new document size 558? 837 pixels and 72dpi resolution. Such dimensions will be sufficient, since the author does not plan to prepare this work for printing. If you have a desire to print your poster, then prepare for it dimensions 11? 17 inches and 300 dpi.

In the new document, fill the background layer with black. Create a new layer, also with black color, and go to the menu Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter | Render | Clouds).

Now apply a radial blur in the menu. Filter – Blur – Radial Blur (Filter | Blur | Radial Blur). Set this layer Opacity (Opacity) 75%.

Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) is above all other layers in the palette and set its blending mode Overlap (Overlay). For gradient use colors from # 0e3e63 before # fd7c00.

To create an environment of stars and the effect of nebula, the author used the image from the resource DeviantArt.

Copy and paste the nebula image into your document below the gradient map layer. Set this layer overlay mode. Screen (Screen) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 75%.

The background looks pretty good, but we’ll add some more stars. To do this, create a new layer, this time above the gradient map. Fill it with black. Then go to the menu Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter | Noise | Add Noise). Set the settings as in the screenshot below.

Adjust the created layer. Go to the menu Image – Correction – Levels (Image | Adjust | Levels). Move the extreme engines so that a small number of stars remain from the noise.

Set the star layer to overlay mode. Screen (Screen).

Step 3. Create a frame.

Now let’s add borders around the background. To do this, the author created a selection, slightly departing from the edges of the poster, using the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marque). Then you need to invert the selection Ctrl + Shift + I and fill the resulting area with color # e8cfbd on a new layer above the gradient map.

Continue to create the frame. Create a new layer, make a selection and apply a stroke to it in the menu. Editing – Stroke (Edit | Stroke). Select the same color for the stroke as for the previous frame.

Now the author suggests adding something like a scuff to the poster. To do this, add a texture from the archive to the topmost layer, and set it to blend mode Screen (Screen).

Step 3. Flying saucers.

In this step, add the flying saucers. The author used the image from a paid photo stock.

Select a ship with a top view, move it to our document and place it above the layer with the gradient map. In the screenshot below, the author has temporarily turned off the visibility of the gradient map layer, so you can clearly see all the actions applied to the ship.

To remove the white background around the ship, set this layer overlay Multiplication (Multiply).

Apply Filter – Sharpness – Sharpness (Filter | Sharpen | Sharpen) to display some details. Now, using a light gray color, draw a little light on the new layer under the ship to hide the stars and nebula in this area. Then on a new layer, above the ship layer, with a soft white brush, draw a glow behind the ship and on top of the flashlights, and set its blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).

Group all the spaceship layers and duplicate the group as many times as you want to see the ships on your poster. Change the size and location of each copy until it looks like a fleet of flying saucers.

Step 4. Add the inscription.

Of course, each poster must have an inscription with the name of the film and other text information. Let’s start with the name. For him, the author used the font League Gothic. Type the name in large letters and place this layer below the corrective gradient map. Apply the following layer styles to the text:

Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Use gradient from #373636 before # e3e2e2

Shadow (Drop Shadow)

Click on the layer with the right mouse button and select the item Rasterize the text (Rasterize Type). Now go to the menu Editing – Transform – Warp (Edit | Transform | Warp) and warp the text as shown in the screenshot.

Create a new layer above the finished label and use a soft black brush with an opacity of 30% to draw the shadow of the ship as if it is flying over the letters.

Now below the main title, add more textual information. The author simply copied the finished labels from another poster and edited them using Levels (Levels) to enhance contrast.

Place a label layer below the gradient map layer and set its blending mode to Screen (Screen).

Now add labels to the top of the poster using the same font. League Gothic, and apply layer styles.

Step 5. Final Correction.

Finally, in order to adjust the lighting, duplicate the adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map), place a copy above all other layers in the palette and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 50%. This method will help even more mix colors on the poster.

And here is the final result!

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