Design a Stunning Stargazing Poster in Photoshop
WHAT WE’RE CREATING:
Hey there Design Cutters! Renee here with a tutorial for a stargazing night poster. We’ll create everything in Photoshop using a mix of textures, layer masks and blend modes.
Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating:
Follow along with this tutorial: Download the freebie files
The freebie pack includes textures and patterns from Blixa 6, Daily Texture, Eclectic Anthology and Mix Pix Box.
This freebie pack is just a small sample of the large number of resources available in The Gigantic Textures and Patterns Bundle for just $29 (that’s an incredible 99% off). Set your work apart with the world-class textures and patterns available in this, our biggest texture bundle yet.
We’ll be using the fonts Bellisimo and Local Brewery Four from a previous pack. If you don’t have Bellisimo, a loose handwritten font like RofiTaste by Alit Suarnegara will work as a replacement. For Local Brewery Four, you could substitute a tall, sans serif font with a very slight hint of vintage style like HermanoAlto by Levi Szekeres.
We’ll also be using a photo by Dan Musat available on Unsplash. Download it here.
Step 1: Background
Open Photoshop and go to File > New. In the New Document dialog box, enter a document name, a width of 12 inches and a height of 18 inches. Set your Resolution to 300 ppi and your Color Mode to RGB.
Click OK to create the document.
Save your file.
We’ll start with a base background and slowly build up more complex textures. Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to DailyTexture_Ocean-and-Sea-13 in the freebies folder. Press Place.
Hold Shift and pull the corner handles to increase the size until it fills the entire artboard. Press enter to complete the placement
Step 2: Photo
Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to the photo downloaded from Unsplash. Press Place.
Hold Shift and pull out on the corner handles to increase the size of the photo to about 16 inches wide. Press Enter.
Click on the photo and drag it down until the guy’s feet are about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the artboard.
At the bottom of the Layers palette (Window > Layers), click the Add Layer Mask icon.
Switch over to the Magic Wand tool (w). Click once on the silhouetted figure.
Select your Lasso tool (L). Hold Shift and draw a line across the top part of the selection, then outside the artboard until you loop back to the original starting point (see image below).
This will add the entire area we drew around to your selection.
We’ll give our image a dreamy effect by keeping our edges soft and letting textures bleed through.
Go to Select >Modify > Feather. In the dialog pop-up box, enter 100 pixels and click OK.
Now go to Select > Inverse.
Press X to make sure your foreground color is black and your background color is white.
Press Option + Backspace. Then press Cmd + d to Deselect.
Our last step on the photo will be to clean up the area around the figure a little bit. We want to keep it soft, but the bleeding colors look a little too dramatic.
Switch to your Brush tool (b). In the Brush Preset Picker, select the Soft Round brush. At the top of the artboard, change the Opacity to 30%.
When using layer masks, black is used to hide areas. White is used to show areas. Since the current foreground color is black, click a few times around the edges of the silhouette to clean up a little of the bright halo around the figure. Then run the brush lightly over the edge where the waves meet the water.
If you overdo it, you can press X to switch your foreground color to white, then brush over the areas you want more opaque (that you want to see).
Step 3: Text
At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Create a New Group icon. Double click the name and rename it Text.
Select your Type Tool (t). Click once in the top middle of the artboard and type: A Night of. Press enter, then type Stargazing.
In your toolbar, select your Move Tool (v).
Open your Character palette (Window > Character) and change the font to Bellisimo Regular at 300 pt. Set the Leading, the vertical space between lines, to 195 pt. Click the Color thumbnail to bring up the Color Picker and enter RGB values of 255/255/255 (or simply select white in the color field).
Lastly for the headline, open the Paragraph palette (Window > Paragraph) and select Center Text.
Select your Type tool again. Click once below the headline and type: Experience the wonder of nature.
Switch to the Move tool (v).
In the Character palette, change the font to Local Brewery Four at 30 pt.
Center under the headline.
Select your Type tool again. Click once in the bottom left corner and type:
Saturday, Nov 12
From dusk to dawn
At Carson Beach
Use the Type tool to select just the top line and in the Character palette, change the font size to 48 pt.
Select the second and third lines and change the font size to 36 pt.
Switch to the Move tool. In the Paragraph palette, select Center Text.
Step 4: Stars
It’s hard to stargaze without stars, so let’s add some to the poster.
Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to Blixa6_Stars_MidnightWC in the freebies folder. Press Place.
Hold Shift and pull out on the corner handles to increase the size of the image until it’s large enough to reach from the top of the artboard to the place the waves meet the water. Press Enter.
In the Layers palette, drag the star layer down below the photo layer.
At the top of the Layers palette, change the Blend Mode from Normal to Multiply. Change the Opacity to 75%.
We’ll soften the appearance of the stars with a layer mask. At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Add Layer Mask icon.
Select your Brush tool (b). Press the right bracket key on your keyboard several times to increase the size of the Brush to about 2500 pixels.
Press X to toggle your Foreground and Background colors, making Black the Foreground color.
Brush along the bottom edge of the stars.
Next, brush over a few random areas – like the top corners and edges.
Go to File > Place Linked and select MixPixBox_StarClusters_2 in the freebies folder. Press Place, then press Enter.
Switch to the Move tool (v) and position the gold stars under “Stargazing”.
In the Layers palette, drag this layer just below the Text group.
Step 5: Additional Textures
Go to File > Place Linked and select EclecticAnthology_Vintage_Effervescent-13 in the freebies folder. Press Place.
Use the top and bottom handles to stretch the image until it covers the artboard. Press Enter.
In the Layers palette, drag the Effervescent texture layer just above the photo layer.
At the top of the Layers palette, change the Blend Mode to Divide and reduce Opacity to 80%.
The photo looks a little washed out, so let’s add an adjustment.
In the Layers palette, select the photo layer to make it active.
Open the Adjustments panel (Window > Adjustments). Click on the icon for Levels.
In the Levels Adjustment panel, click the middle slider on the histogram and change the location to 0.80.
To apply this adjustment to the photo layer only (and not every layer below it), click the icon on the far left of the levels adjustment panel.
The levels adjustment has made the text at the bottom left a little hard to read, so we’ll add a subtle darker area behind it.
In the Layers palette, click the Create A New Layer icon.
Switch to your Brush tool. Click once on the foreground color swatch to open the Color Picker. Hovering over the image area will automatically activate the Eyedropper tool. Click once on a dark blue area of the waves to sample the color, then press OK on the Color Picker.
Click once or twice on the area under the text in the bottom left corner. This should be enough to create some contrast and make the words easier to read.
Our last touch will be to add some comets and falling stars.
Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to MixPixBox_DigitalPapers_4 in the freebies folder. Press Place.
Hold Shift and pull out on the corner handles to increase the size of the image until it covers the artboard. Press Enter.
At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Add Layer Mask icon. Press Opt + backspace to fill the entire mask with black, making the entire new texture invisible.
Select your Brush tool. Press X to toggle your Foreground color to White.
Press the left bracket key on your keyboard several times to reduce the size of the brush to about 1800 px.
Click once at the top right of the artboard to make part of the “comet” from the texture visible.
Click again in the top left corner, middle left and middle right. Experiment until you find a look you like. Remember, if you want to make something less visible, just toggle the foreground color to black and brush back over the area.
In the Layers palette, drag this layer just above the EclecticAnthology_Vintage_Effervescent-13 layer.
And we’re done! We’ve created an eclectic, bright poster by layering lots of images and textures.
Remember that whether it’s your outcome for this tutorial or something new you’ve made, we’d love to see your designs on our Facebook page.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I always look forward to hearing from you!
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