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Creating a Frozen Movie Poster in Photoshop
Martin Perhiniak on Wed, December 12th 0 comments
Go for the icy look by creating this eye-catching movie poster, with a distinctly wintery feel, in Photoshop. Martin Perhiniak shows you how to create something so stunning it'll freeze your screen.

This time we are going to design a sexy movie poster. I choose a cool a photo of a girl lying on ice and tried to find another photo with ice stacked up so I can create a portrait composition. With these two images and clever use of typography we are going to create an eye-catching poster. On the way we are going to use retouch tools, type effects with layer styles and as always do everything professionally, completely non-destructively. Let's get started!

Final result.

Step 1 - Collecting the images for the composition

I used the following photo of the girl on the ice, which you can use for following the tutorial:


Here is the photo of the ice:


Step 2 - Setting up the document

First of all, we need to prepare a document for the movie poster. Most of the time posters are in portrait format so I'm going to set up the aspect ratio accordingly. Go to File > New Document in Photoshop's menu and use the following settings:

New Document settings

Step 3 - Placing in the images into the document

Now we need to get our two photos into this document. I use Adobe Bridge to do this. If you never used Bridge, you can easily start it by going to File > Browse in Bridge. This is a file management application specifically designed for Photoshop and the other Creative Suite applications. It is worth spending time to get used to it as it can save a lot of time in the long run and make working with images much more comfortable and efficient.

In Bridge, locate the folder where you have the two images and select them both. You drag a lasso around the two files or select one and Command/Control click on the other one. Once having both of them selected you can drag and drop them into your Photoshop document. This way they will become Smart Objects automatically. The way you drag and drop from Bridge to Photoshop is to hold onto the files while pressing Command/Alt-Tab to switch between applications and then let them go once you are in Photoshop over your document working area. Alternatively you can also use File > Place in Photoshop from Bridge.

You will have to press Enter/Return for both images and thanks to having them as Smart Objects you can  always resize them without loosing image quality. The original resolution of the files are the only limitation.

This is what you should see so far in your document:

The project so far...

Step 4 - Aligning and positioning the images

All we need to do now is to put the two images into place. This time we can use the Free Transform tool (Edit > Free Transform) to move and scale the images. The only thing you need to careful is not stretch the images. All you need to do to keep an image in proportions while scaling it in Free transform mode is to hold down Shift. The ice image won't fit into the document, but it is not a problem if some parts are outside of the canvas.

Hold shift when scaling in Free transform mode

Step 5 - Adjusting the exposure of the ice image

We need to adjust the exposure of the images to match each other as close as possible. I use a Curves adjustment layer with the following options on top of the ice image:

Curves adjustment layer

You just need to add one point on the curve and you can copy my Input and Output values from the image above.

To make sure the Curves adjustment is only affecting the ice image, we will have to create a Clipping mask between them. To do this you can either select the Curves adjustment layer and press Command/Control-Option/Alt-G or click between the two layers in the Layers panel while holding down Option/Alt. A clipping mask will restrict the adjustment layer to only affect the layer directly below it.

Clipping mask

This is how it looks after adjusting the exposure of the ice image:

Our image after adjusting the exposure of the ice image...

Step 6 - Retouching the edge between the two images

Even though we adjusted the ice image's exposure we still need to blend the two images together to make the effect believable. For this we need to create a new layer on the top of our layer structure. Let's call this empty layer Retouched edge. Now we can select the Clone Stamp tool (S) and set the Sample option on the Control bar to All Layers. This makes the retouching completely non-destructive. All you need to do now is to sample with Option/Alt clicking on the ice from the image on the top and paint over the line between the two photos. Repeat this step by sampling from the photo at the bottom. This way you can quickly create a perfect, seamless blend between the two images.

Our project so far...

Step 7 - Adding the title

I used a big and bold font for the title and I place it at the bottom third of the image to emphasize the depth of the ice.


This is the free font I used:

I used 100pt size with the following pure white for the color.

Step 8 - Creating the icy effect on the title

The icy effect is very easy. Double-click on the title layer and add the Satin effect with the following values:

Satin effect settings

Thanks to the cracks of the font itself, it already looks like it has been made of ice:

Ice font

Step 9 - Adding the credits and the tagline

A movie poster won't be a movie poster without a tagline and some credits. In this example I decided to place the tagline on the top. The same reason as before is to keep the middle part empty for keeping the deep layers of ice visible. The tagline font is Bank Gothic.

Tagline and credits

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and well done for your hard work :)

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