PSDFan Extra

Design a Dark, Moody Movie Poster

Design a Dark, Moody Movie Poster

Final Image

Here is a preview of the image that we are going to be creating:

Step 1

Start by creating a new document (600X650px).

Fill your canvas with 343030.

Paste in your ‘foggy city’ photo, positioning it at the bottom of your canvas:

Now apply a layer mask, and use a large, soft black paintbrush at around 20% opacity to mask off the top of your city photo, blending it into your main background:

Now apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer to your cityscape layer (using a clipping mask).

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Step 2

Now repeat step 1, but add some cloudy sky (see the resources section for this tutorial) to the top of your canvas:

Step 3

Now download the rust texture found in the resources section for this tutorial. Paste it onto a new layer called ‘metal texture’.

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 10%. Then apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

This should add a subtle extra level of detail to your background:

Step 4

Now download the watercolor brush pack from the resources section for this tutorial.

Create a new layer called ‘watercolor brushes dark’. Apply several brushes from the set, using a black, 20% opacity paintbrush:

Now repeat this technique, applying the brushes using a white paintbrush on a new layer called ‘watercolor brushes light’:

Step 5

Now paste in your photo of an elderly man, positioning it to the left of your canvas:

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 80%. Apply a layer mask and use a medium sized, soft black paintbrush to mask off the edges of your man:

Now apply a hue/saturation and levels adjustment layer:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -90
Lightness: 0

Level Adjustment Layer Settings:

14 / 0.93 / 235

Step 6

Now repeat step 5, adding a second man to the right half of your canvas:

Step 7

Now create a new layer called ‘light source’.

Drag out a white to transparent radial gradient from between the two men.

Now reduce your light source layer’s opacity to 50%, and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 8

Now paste in the ‘gangster man’ photo from the resources to this tutorial.

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 90% and mask off the bottom of your man to blend him into the main background:

Now apply a hue/saturation and levels adjustment layer (each one having a clipping mask):

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -85
Lightness: 0

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

9 / 0.87 / 221

Step 9

Now apply some text at the top of your canvas. I made up some names for my cast:

Text Settings:

Font Face: Mrs. Strange
Size: 60pt
Kerning: -50
Color: ffffff

Step 10

Now create a new layer called ‘vignette’. Use a large, soft black paintbrush at a low opacity and paint round the edges and corners of your canvas.

This should help draw the attention towards the center of your composition:

Now create a new layer called ‘center lighting’. Drag out a white to transparent radial gradient from the center of your canvas.

Then reduce this layer’s opacity to around 7%.

Step 11

Now add some text to the bottom of your composition. You want to duplicate the credits found at the bottom of real life movie posters.

Use the same text settings as your top text, but obviously a fair bit smaller:

Then download the globe icon from the resources section for this tutorial. Paste this just to the bottom right of your bottom text. Reduce it’s opacity to 20% to make it more subtle:

Step 12

Now apply your main movie title text.

Title Font Settings:

Font Face: Egypt 22
Size: 92pt
Kerning: -50
Color: ffcb03


Now apply some layer blending options in order to achieve a gold like text effect. You’ll need to apply a drop shadow, outer glow, bevel and emboss, gradient overlay and stroke. You can see the settings for each of these below:

Drop Shadow Settings:

Blend Mode: Multiply
Color: 000000
Opacity: 100%
Angle: 90
Distance: 2px
Spread: 0%
Size: 5px

Outer Glow Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 20%
Noise: 0%
Color: ffffff
Spread: 0%
Size: 46px

Bevel and Emboss:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 171%
Direction: Up
Size: 0px
Soften: 2px

Angle: 90
Altitude: 30 degrees
Highlight Color: ffefc7
Highlight Opacity: 75%
Shadow Color: 000000
Opacity: 75%

Gradient Overlay Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%
Gradient: 63532d / e3cfa0 / e3cfa0 / bca864 / efe2b4
Style: Linear
Angle: 90 degrees

Stroke Settings:

Size: 1px
Position: Inside
Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%
Gradient: d0bc8e / 9d8c54 / 463f28 / 463f28 / 9d8c54 / d8c495
Scale: 100%

Step 13

Now create a new layer called ‘overlay lighting’.

Drag out a white to transparent radial gradient in the center of your canvas:

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 15%, and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 14

Now create a new layer called ‘dodge/burn’. Go to edit>fill and fill your canvas with 50% gray. Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’. This will hide your 50% gray fill, but will let you dodge/burn your image non-destructively.

Use a soft black paintbrush at around 10% opacity for your shadows, and a soft white paintbrush for your highlights.

The images below show your dodge/burn layer at ‘normal’ blend mode and then ‘overlay’ blend mode:

Step 15

Now apply 3 final adjustment layers. Do not apply clipping masks to these adjustment layers, as you want the adjustments to effect your entire canvas, not just the underlying layer:

Gradient Overlay Adjustment Layer Settings:

Gradient: Ranging from 094b9c to ffd200
Opacity: 3%

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

3 / 0.95 / 246

Curves Adjustment Layer Settings:

(see settings below):

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Download Source File for this Tutorial


Get more of our great design content direct to your inbox
Join our newsletter and receive our best weekly content by email. Also get access to hundreds of free design resources via your Designer Toolkit area.

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment

7 Comments:

  1. Like, man, that is so totally Noirsville!!

    A tip of my dirty old battered shot-up fedora to the hippest illustrator currently skulking around the mean streets of Last City!! : )

  2. manfred says:

    really nice. thanks mark!!!!

  3. Ahmad says:

    Awesome tutorial and very professional!

  4. Martin says:

    Simply amazing, you’re so talented! Greetings from Denmark!

  5. laddi says:

    awesome tutorial—– i enjoyed

Leave a Comment:

Related Posts

Subscribe to PSDFAN and Get Your Free Designer Toolkit

Have every post delivered to your inbox and get access to hundreds of useful design freebies.

Your Design Work, But More Awesome:

Do you know the basic tools in Photoshop but feel that your work is still looking average? Join our creative community at FanExtra and get the direction you need to take your work to the next level.

JOIN OUR FANEXTRA COMMUNITY TODAY