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Create A Horror Movie Poster For Photoshop Tutorial

Create a movie poster, spooky card, or something that you would like to try.
We'll use Image - Adjustments together with Smudge, Burn, and Dodge tools for this work.

Sources used:


You can download the images by going to the links provided for you.

End result:

Step 1

Pxleyes provided the image of "Lady On Stairs" for a contest. It is where I got the idea of making a kind of horror scene that can be used as a poster, Halloween card, etc.

You can download the picture of "Lady On Stairs" that I am posting here. Click over the picture, with the right side of your mouse. When window opens, Save Image As, give the name you want, and put it in a folder where you can have access to the pics we will use during the making of this poster.

Step 2

We'll start masking or erasing the background around the lady, as we will be using her as our main character. If masking is a hard for you, just erase the background. After the lady is by itself, rename the Layer, instead of "background", name it, "Lady".

Step 3

After you have the lady by herself, you can hide the layer visibility, by clicking over the eye located to the left of the layer.

The following image was created using Aphopysis a program that renders these kind of flames, we will be working with this image, that we'll use for our background.

Download the image from the following step, as you did with the lady.

Step 4

This is the image to download.

Using the right side of your mouse, click over the image.

When window opens, Save Image As.

Save it in a place where you can have access to this picture, and name the file, "Background", as it will be used as our background.

Step 5

Use the Smudge Tool (R), with a Spatter 27 px size brush, and a strength of 60.

Start smudging from the center around the black spot. Make kind of half circles or less, just to give the idea of movement. Use Ctrl + Alt + Z to delete mistakes.

Step 6

Continuing with the smudging process.

We are working to the right side of the background. Continue making your lines around the circle in the middle, but as you can see, the direction of the lines will change when you get to the bottom of the background.

Step 7

Now work to the left side of the background. When you work on the center of it, there by the dark hole, make kind of circular smudging. The center will not be so clear at the end.
This layer will remain, "Background".

Step 8

You should have something like this now.

Step 9

This is the picture of the dog we will be using.

The picture was provided by ReapRevenge from Pxleyes stock.

If you did not download the pic from the link provided at the beginning of this tutorial, you can do it by clicking with the right side of the mouse, over the image of the dog.

When window opens, Save Image As.

Save the image in a place where you can have access to it, as we'll work with it, in the following steps.

Step 10

Name the layer, "Dog".

Start masking around the dog, taking out the background.

Step 11

The dog is masked now. You can click over the link to unlock the link to the main picture. Put the mask link into the trash can to delete the mask. Click Apply Mask, before removing it. If for any reason you missed some little spots around the dog, use the eraser tool to remove them.

Step 12

Open a New Layer and fill it with Black color. Place the layer below the Layer, "Dog".

In this way you can see the changes given to the dog.

Step 13

Use a 65 px soft brush, with an opacity of 50%, start masking around the dog, enough to soften the edges. You can do some burning around the eyes, using the Burn Tool (O), 24 px hard brush and an opacity of 50%.

Step 14

Making a copy of the eyes of the dog.

Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L), make a selection of one eye first, then, hold Shift and select the other. (Both eyes have to be selected).

Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V) your selection. Name New Layer, "Eyes".

To darken the dog. Layer, "Dog" has to be active.

Image - Adjustments - Curves.

Input: 60
Output: 20

Step 15

Give the dog a redish look.

Image - Adjustments - Color Balance.

Color Levels.

Midtones: Red + 100
HIghlights: Red + 50

Remember we have a copy of the eyes, we will use this copy later.

Step 16

Place the Layer, "Dog" over the Layer, "Background".

You can see now how the blending looks, if the edges look to sharp, use a mask again with an opacity of 40%. Set the blending mode for this layer to "Hard Light".

Step 17

Open the Layer, "Eyes" and place it on top of the Layer, "Dog". The eyes have to match the original image eyes.

Erase around the circle of the eye.

Step 18

Give some highlights to the yellowish area of the eyes.

Use the Dodge Tool (O).
13 px soft brush, and exposure of 50%.

Add color balance to the eyes.

Image - Adjustments - Color Balance.

Midtones: Red + 100
HIghlights: Red + 50

Darken the eyes.

Image - Adjustments - Curves.
Input: 60
Output: 20

Step 19

Open the Layer, "Background" and place it on top of Layer, "Lady".

Leave the blank space as it is.

Step 20

Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Make a rectangular selection of the area shown in this step. Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V) the selection. Do not name the new layer. Merge the layer copy down. The layer will remain, "Background."

Step 21

Using the same technique we used for the blending of the background before. We'll do the same smudging here. Blend the edges where the two images connect, doing the same lines, from center to the top.

Use the Smudge Tool (R), Spatter brush 27 px and a strength of 60.

Step 22

Smudge the center of the background.

Circular smudging will work well.

Step 23

You can download the picture of the tree by clicking over the picture provided for you.

Click with the right side of your mouse.

When window opens, Save Image As.

Save this image in a secure place, where you can have access to it. Name the layer, "Tree".

Step 24

Erase around of the tree, as we'll use the tree by itself.

Step 25

The tree is by itself now. We'll add some color.

Step 26

Use Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) to make the tree a little bigger. Position the tree to the right side of the frame.

Add some color.

Image - Adjustments - Color Balance.

Midtones: Red + 100

Highlights: Red + 50

Step 27

Darken the tree.

Image - Adjustments - Curves.

Input: 65
Output: 20

Step 28

Give some highlights and shadows to the tree.

Highlights: Use the Dodge Tool (O), soft 100 px brush, exposure of 50%.

Shadows: Use the Burn Tool (O), soft 100 px brush, exposure of 50%.

Step 29

Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L), to make a copy of the bottom of the tree.

Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V),the selection.

Duplicate the copy to make two copies, then merge the two layers down to make only one. Merge the layer again to the layer, "Tree". You will have only one layer, "Tree".

Step 30

Erase the edges of the copies of the bottom of the tree to form kind of rocks.

Add a yellowish color to the tree and rocks.

Image - Adjustments - Color Balance.

Midtones: Yellow -60

Step 31

Read the following suggestions for this step. It is very important to know about the highlights and shadows.

Add the lady to the picture now. Place the layer, "Lady" on top of the layer, "Background".

Add some highlights to the lady.

Image - Adjustments - Color Balance.

Midtones: Red + 100
Highlights: Red + 50
Yellow - 60

Open a new layer, name it, "Shadow".

Use a 21 px size brush, 75% opacity, and draw a shadow at the feet of the lady.

Step 32

Add the dog image to the main picture.

Bring the layer, "Eyes" back. Use an Opacity of 80.

Merge the layer "Eyes" down to the layer "Dog". Name the new layer, "Dog".

Step 33

This is the final image. I do hope you enjoyed the thrill of making a horror scene. As you read the story,at the beginning of this tutorial. This is an eerie situation. Well, practice makes good artists. Do not hesitate, always ask somebody to guide you, if you have any problems understanding how to make a nice design. You'll be happy to know, that there will be people wanting to help. Thank you for your patience.

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