PSDFan Extra

Design a Retro Futurism Space Scene Poster

Design a Retro Futurism Space Scene Poster

Final Image

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

Step 1

Create a new document (600X700px).

Fill your canvas with 213a50.

Step 2

Paste in your crumpled paper texture, resizing and positioning it to cover your entire canvas:

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 85% and change it’s blend mode to ‘multiply’.

Step 3

Paste in your nebula texture image, again, resizing and positioning it to fit over your canvas.

Apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer, ensuring that you create a clipping mask for your adjustment layer. The clipping mask means that your adjustments only effect your underlying layer (in this case the nebula layer) rather than your entire composition.

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Now change the opacity of your nebula texture layer to 70% and it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’.

Step 4

Create a new layer called ‘background lighting’. Using a large, soft white paintbrush apply several light marks over your background:

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 5

Create a new layer called planet. Use your elliptical selection tool to create a large oval selection in the bottom of your canvas.

Drag down a white to transparent linear gradient:

Apply a layer mask, and use a large, soft black paintbrush to mask away the middle area of your planet.

Then reduce the main opacity of your layer to 35% and reduce the FILL opacity to 30%.

Apply an inner shadow blending option to your planet layer.

Inner Shadow Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Color: ffffff
Opacity: 41%
Angle: 90
Distance: 2px
Choke: 0%
SIze: 5px

Step 6

Create a new layer called ‘shape’.

Using your marquee tool create a white rectangle spanning right across your canvas, that’s roughly 150px high.

Go to edit>transform>warp. A warp bounding box should appear over your shape. In your tool bar you should see a drop down option for your warp settings. Click on this and select ‘flag’ from the drop down. Leave the default settings (bend: 50.0%).

Now apply a gradient overlay blending option to your warped layer.

Gradient Overlay Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%
Gradient: a0de11 to 21550a
Style: Linear
Angle: 0

Now duplicate this warped layer several times, moving each duplicate to fit with the upper/lower shape, until you fill most of your canvas.

Once you’ve done this, change the gradient overlay colors of your duplicate layers to create a cool rainbow effect.

I’ve laid out the colors for each gradient overlay below:

Purple: d855bf to 371a30
Blue: 0373b3 to 04124f
Green: a0de11 to 21550a
Yellow: fdef06 to cf7505
Orange: e86f1c to 870102
Red: d6292b to 790c07

Step 7

Group all of your colorful warped layers into a single layer folder called ‘rainbow dodge’.

Then select the group (which will select it’s contents – all the rainbow layers) and resize it, until it sits in the center of your canvas:

Each of your rainbow warped layers has a gradient overlay blending option. We want to also add an inner shadow blending option, to help give more depth to our composition. Apply this inner shadow to each of your warped layers:

Inner Shadow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Color: 000000
Opacity: 20%
Angle: 90
Distance: 2px
Choke: 0%
Size: 5px

Step 8

One useful trick you may not be aware of is that you can apply a layer mask to a layer folder, not just to individual layers.

Ensuring that your ‘rainbow dodge’ layer folder is selected, apply a layer mask. Then download the halftone brush set from the resources for this tutorial. Apply several of the brushes from the set, using a black paintbrush, which should mask off your rainbow area in a creative way. Try to especially mask off the edges of this colorful area to let them blend into your main background.

Now change the blend mode of this layer folder to ‘color dodge’ and reduce it’s opacity to 50%:

Step 9

Create a new layer called ‘light lines’.

Use your pen tool to follow the contours of your rainbow warped shapes. Create a path along each contour of your rainbow shapes, and then with a 2px white paintbrush selected, right click on your path in your paths palette click ‘stroke path’.

Repeat this technique until all of your contours have been stroked. Then merged all of your 2px lines into a single layer called ‘light lines’.

Step 10

Change the blend mode of your ‘light lines’ layer to ‘overlay’. Then apply a layer mask and use a soft black paintbrush to mask off the edges of your light lines, blending them smoothly into your backgorund:

Step 11

Apply an outer glow blending option to your ‘light lines’ layer:

Outer Glow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Overlay
Opacity: 100%
Color: ffffff
Spread: 0%
Size: 5px


Step 12

Create a new layer called ‘clouds’.

Using your lasso tool (30px feather) create a rough selection over your rainbow area.

With your selection in place go to filter>render>clouds and create some black/white clouds:

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 13

Create a new layer called ‘lighting overlay’.

Using a soft, white paintbrush apply several light spots over the center of your rainbow area:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 70%:

Step 14

Repeat step 13, but create a new layer called ‘shadows’. Use a soft black paintbrush to create a series of dark spots around the edges of your rainbow area:

Change this layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’ and reduce it’s opacity to 40%:

Step 15

Paste in the photo of the astronaut from the resources section for this tutorial.

No need to cut out the astronaut precisely. Simply apply a layer mask and mask away the edges of this photo using a soft black paintbrush. Because the backgrounds of your astronaut photo and your main composition are similar you won’t get any hard edges:

Apply a levels and color balance adjustment layer to your astronaut layer (remember to create a clipping mask for each):

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

23 / 1.00 / 241

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Highlights: -1 / +2 / +5
Midtones: -13 / +1 / +11
Shadows: -6 / +1 / +1

Step 16

Create a new layer called ‘cloud trail’.

Use your lasso tool to create a rough curved selection arking around your rainbow area. Ensure that your lasso tool is set to 30px feather, in order to give a nice soft edge.

With your selection in place go to filter>render>clouds.

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘color dodge’.

Now duplicate your curved clouds layer and change the duplicates blend mode to ‘overlay’, reducing this layer’s opacity to 40%. This gives an extra emphasis to your lighting effect:

Step 17

Apply some text to the bottom-center of your canvas.

Text Settings:

Font Face: PT Banana Split
Size: 72pt
Kerning: -50
Color: ffffff

Now copy the layer text styles from Step 12 of our tutorial:

Design a Dark Moody Movie Poster

This will give your text a cool gold text effect:

Use the same technique to type out some ‘.’s in the top center of your canvas using a large font. Apply the same layer styles:

We want to give an extra glow to our text. In your layers palette option+click on your text layer. This will select the shape of your text.

With this selection still in place, create a new layer called ‘text highlights’.

Then drag out a white to transparent radial gradient from the center of your text:

Now change your ‘text highlights’ blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 40%. This should create a subtle highlight effect over your text:

Step 18

Create a new layer called ‘lens flare’. Fill this layer with black and then go to filter>convert for smart filters. This will allow you to apply your smart filter non-destructively.

Then go to filter>render>lens flare. Try to position your lens flare over the helmet of your astronaut.

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’ and reduce it’s opacity to 70%. The screen blend mode will hide the black fill of your lens flare layer, meaning that only your lens flare shows, allowing the rest of your composition to be visible:

Apply a hue/saturation adjsutment layer to your lens flare layer (remember to create a clipping mask).

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -60
Lightness: 0

Step 19

Download the stars brush set from the resources section for this tutorial. Apply several of the brushes over your canvas:

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’. This makes the light effect more subtle. Also apply a layer mask, and mask off areas of your star lights that you don’t want:

Step 20

Apply a final couple of adjustment layers to add that extra ‘wow’ factor to your composition:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: +40
Lightness: 0

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

11 / 1.09 / 235

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

3 Comments:

  1. Chris says:

    Very cool poster! I love your brush effects in Step 8 and how they break up the colors. I could see that in something else where it is more prominent. And I didn’t know that you could use a layer mask on a layer folder. Great tip!

  2. George says:

    Space and Retro, my two favourite things.

  3. sheryl says:

    I learned alot about photoshop with this poster design thakn you got putting it on here.

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