Published on December 17th, 2012 | by Adrien de Broglio1
Create a Mix Retro and Vector Poster in Photoshop and Illustrator
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Hey Guys, here’s a new Photoshop and Illustrator Tutorial on SupercolorTuts.com. In this Tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a Vector and Retro Mix Poster that would look great on canvas prints, using some stock image, textures and creating some vector shapes in Illustrator.
Here are 10 incredible Rat Pack album and poster designs which you can use as inspiration for your custom posters.
A few days ago I created a Poster mixing light effects and vector shapes; I was thinking it could be nice to write a tutorial to share the creative process and techniques I used.
Step 1 – Model Stock Image
For the poster we’ll use a stock image I found on deviantART called I Look Just like Buddy Holly 1 by ~LL-stock, you can find the link to download it in the Resources Needed Section, when you’ve downloaded the image, drag it into Photoshop, we’re going to modify it before using it for the poster. I wanted the model to be exactly symmetric, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and make a selection of the right half part of the model and delete it, Downsize the height of the left part we still have using the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T). Next duplicate the layer (where you’ve got the left part of the model) and flip it horizontally using the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) or Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal, move it on the right to recreate the model. Save the new image we’ll need it for the next steps.
Step 2 – Vector Hair
Next I used Illustrator; you can use photoshop to create the vector parts of the model if you don’t have Illustrator. Open Illustrator and create a new document with the A4 Paper format, then drag the model image we saved in step 1 into the document. Let’s now create the vector hair of the model. I used the Pen Tool (P) to create the hair in black, just take you time and create some nice hair.
I wanted to add some colour highlights on the hair using the Pen Tool (P) again, create some pointy shapes on the hair to recreate some highlights. When that’s done add some gradient on those shapes, I used the same gradient for all the shapes with purple colours.
Step 3 – Glasses Part 1
Let’s now use the model to help create some vector glasses with highlights and shadows, its better if you keep the shape of the glasses from the model. Select the Pen Tool (P), and create the left part of the glasses, I created them in red in the tutorial so you can see the details better. When you’ve done the left part duplicate it, flip the new one vertically, Object – Transform – Reflect – Vertical. Move the right part so it looks like you have glasses on the model, next select both glasses parts and Unite those 2 shapes using the pathfinder.
Duplicate the glasses shapes and change the colour of the one to white, we’re going to use this shape to give an highlight effect of the glasses, when you’ve got your new shapes of glasses in white, select the Pen Tool and create a shape on the glasses of the part you don’t want to keep for the highlight. When that’s done select the white glasses and the new shapes then Subtract them using the Pathfinder. Change the opacity of the white shape to 10%.
Select the Pen Tool and create a shape in the middle of the glasses to give more depth, when you’ve created this shape place it behind the glasses in the layer panel.
Step 4 – Glasses Part 2
Next we’ll create the lenses, select the Pen Tool (P) again and create the left lens in the glasses with a black colour, when that’s done, change the opacity of the lens layer to 50%.
Duplicate the lens twice, change the colour of both new layers to white and the opacity to 20%, then select one of those new white lens, and move it a little bit in the bottom, some part of this lens is going over the glasses, select this lens and with the pen tool create some new points on the path then with the Direct Selection Tool (A) move the new points on the glasses shape, repeat the same process with the other white lens shape, but this time move it on the top. Make sure the 3 lens layers are behind the glasses layer.
Duplicate the 3 lens layers, to create the lens on the right part of the glasses, flip those 3 duplicated lens layers Vertically, Object – Transform – Reflect – Vertical.
Step 5 – Details
Next I created a few details of the model, eyes and wrinkles using the brush tool, start by creating the eyes outlines on a layer, then the wrinkles on an other layer, then create a new layer behind the outlines and wrinkles and with the pen tool create a shape for the inside of the eyes.
When all that’s done, just hide the model layer, we’ll wont need it anymore to work on illustrator, select all the vector parts we just created and copy them, Edit – Copy then save the document and go back to photoshop.
Step 6 – New Document and Background
Now we’re back in photoshop, let’s start the poster. Create a new document; I used the A4 format with 300dpi, that’s if you want to print the poster after otherwise just choose 72dpi, make sure the new document as a Transparent background. Next fill the only layer with black, Edit – Fill – Black and rename the layer Background.
Step 7 – Background Texture, Vector and Layer Mask
Next we’ll use a texture from a texture pack called Darkroom Texture Pack by =cloaks, we’ll use texture number 3 from this pack for this step and texture number 1 for a next step. Drag texture number 3 in photoshop, place it on the top part of the poster and use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) to resize and rotate it. Rename the texture layer Darkroom Texture; place this layer in a new group named Top Part – Vector.
Next paste the vector hair and glasses we created before in Illustrator on the poster, rename the layer Hair and Glasses.
Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a selection that looks like a torn paper edge, when you’ve created this selection, select the Darkroom Texture layer and create a layer mask, Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal Selection. Apply the same layer mask on the Hair and Glasses layer.
Step 8 – Model
We’re going to use the model image we saved in Step 1, open the model image in Photoshop and drag it into the poster document. Use the Free Transform Tool to resize it, rename the layer Model and place it in a new group named Bottom Part – Photo, Place this group between the background layer and the Top Part – Vector group. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to Make a selection around the model then create a layer mask on the model layer to cut out the model form the background, Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal Selection.
Duplicate the Model layer, Rename the new layer Model Desaturate 50%, then Desaturate the new layer, Ctrl+Shift+U and fade the desaturate, Edit – Fade Desaturate with a 50% value.
Duplicate the Model layer again, rename the new one Model Desaturate, Desaturate this layer, Ctrl+Shift+U then change its blending mode to Overlay and its opacity to 50%.
Duplicate the Model layer one more time, place the new one on top of all the other model layers, rename it Model High Pass and apply a High Pass filter on it with a 7px radius, Filter – Other – High Pass. Change its blending mode to Overlay and its opacity to 50%.
Merge all the model layers when you’re finished, rename the merged layer, Model Merged.
Step 9 – Model Gradient Map
Next let’s add some grey tone to the model, create a Gradient Map Adjustment going from white to black, place it in front of the Model Merged layer, then create a Clipping Mask, right click on the Gradient Map Adjustment layer and select Create Clipping Mask. Change its Blending Mode to Color and the opacity to 50%.
Step 10 – Background Texture and Colour
Let’s use the texture number 1 from the Dark Room Texture pack we used in Step 7, open texture number 1 in Photoshop, then drag it into the Poster document. Use the Free Transform Tool to rotate and resize it. Rename the layer Darkroom Texture and place the layer under the Model Merged layer in the Bottom Part – Photo group.
Create a new layer, place it in front of the Darkroom Texture layer, fill it with a purple colour, Edit – Fill – Color and choose the color you like. Change its Blending Mode to Screen.
Now let’s add some stars on the background, I used a texture called Starfield by ~TBH-1138, you can find the link to download it in the Resources Needed section. Open the texture in photoshop then drag it into the document, resize it with the Free Transform Tool, when you like the result change its blending mode to Color Dodge, Duplicate this star layer and with the Free Transform Tool resize it a little bit to make the stars bigger. Rename both layers Stars 1 and Stars 2. Place all the background layers in a new group named Background.
Step 11 – Custom Vector Shapes Part 1
Let’s switch back to Illustrator, we’ll create some Colorfull custom shapes to give a little bit of colour on the poster, I’ll just explain quickly how I did those shapes, be creative and create yours if you want. Create a new document or create a new artboard on the document we created before. Select the Pen Tool in illustrator and create five triangles shapes of the top left quarter of the canvas, next duplicate those 5 shapes, flip them Vertically, Object – Transform – Reflect – Vertical and move them in the top right of the canvas, select all the triangles duplicate them, then place them on the bottom and rotate them 180°, Object – Transform – Rotate – 180°. You should have something like this:
Step 12 – Custom Vector Shapes Part 2
Next we’ll use the shapes we created in Step 11 and cut them out using circles, the better thing to do for this process is to duplicate the original shapes each time you need to work on them, duplicate the original triangle shapes, then create 100x100px perfect circle using the Ellipse Tool (L), you’ll one circle for each triangle so duplicate this circle 19 times to have 20 circles. Select one of the triangles and a circle, then press the Intersect button in the Pathfinder panel. It can be a long process but the result is nice, repeat the same process for each 19 other triangles.
When that’s done, put all the small triangles we just created in a new layer or group and rename the layer 100px, duplicate this layer, rename it 200px, select all the duplicated triangles from the 200px layer and resize them to 200x200px to finish rotate them 180°. Repeat the same process to create triangle 300x300px, 400x400px, 500x500px and 600x600px. Duplicate the original big triangle we created at the beginning and place them behind the 100px layer.
Step 13 – Custom Vector Shapes Part 3
Now let’s delete some parts of the triangles, use the Direct Selection Tool and have fun just delete parts of the triangles and play with the colours.
When you’re done select the shapes you want to put in the poster, copy them, Edit – Copy and save the illustrator file.
Step 14 – Shapes in Photoshop Part 1
Switch back to Photoshop on the poster document; paste the custom vector shapes we just created, rename the layer Lines v1, and place the layer in the Top Part – Vector group between Darkroom Texture and Hair and Glasses layers. Add the same layer mask on this layer that we added on the two other layers in this group.
Step 15 – Shadows
Let’s add some shadow between the top vector part and the bottom part, create a new layer between both Top Part and Bottom Part groups, rename this layer Shadow 1. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to create a horizontal rectangle selection in the middle of the poster and with the Brush Tool (B), a soft rounded brush of about 300px and black for the colour paint with the edge of the brush in the selection to give a nice shadow effect.
Duplicate the Shadow 1 layer, rename the new layer Shadow 2 and use the Free Transform Tool to resize it a little bit.
Step 16 – Shapes in Photoshop Part 2
Paste the custom shapes we created in Illustrator again, rename this layer Lines v1 and place it in a new group named Lines, then place this group in the Bottom Part – Photo group behind the Model. Duplicate the Lines v1 layer, add a Radial Blur filter on it, Filter – Blur – Radial Blur, with an amount of 45 and Zoom for the blur method. Rename this layer Lines v1 Radial Blur, change its Blending Mode to Screen and place the layer under the original Lines v1 layer.
Duplicate the Lines v1 layer again, rename it Lines v1 Gaussian Blur 1, next apply a Gaussian Blur filter on it with a 55px radius, Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur. Change its Blending Mode to Overlay and place this layer under the Lines v1 Radial Blur layer.
Duplicate the original Lines v1 layer again, flip it Horizontally, Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal, then apply a 45px radius Gaussian Blur on it, rename the layer Lines v1 Gaussian Blur 2, place it under the Lines v1 layer and change its fill to 40%.
Step 17 – Light Lines
Let’s add some light lines on the shapes and the model to give a more futuristic feeling. Select the Pen Tool and start creating some lines on the bottom part custom shapes, the better thing to do is opening the Paths window while you work on the lines, and each time you want to create a new line reselect the same Path. When you’re done select the Brush Tool with a soft rounded brush of about 3 to 5px, then reselect the Pen Tool, make sure you’re using white for the color and that you’ve created a new layer, right click on one of the lines and select Stroke Path, check the box next to Simulate Pressure and click OK. Rename the layer Light Lines 1, place this layer in a new group named the same and change the Blending Mode of the group to Color Dodge.
Add some layer styles on those lines to give some color. I added the Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, Inner Glow and Color Overlay layer styles, double click on the Light Lines 1 layer and enter those values:
Add some other light lines on the models shirt; repeat the same process that we just used.
Step 18 – Old Paper Texture
I really like adding a texture at the end of each poster I create; this time we going to add a texture called Grungy paper texture v.5 by ~bashcorpo, you find the link to download it at the beginning of the tutorial in the Resources Needed section. Open the texture in Photoshop, drag it into the poster document, place the texture layer on top of all the others, rename the layer Retro Texture, change its Blending Mode to Multiply and its opacity to 50%.
That’s it for this Tutorial, I hope you had fun creating this poster and learned some new tricks; you’re now one step closer to becoming a Photoshop Ninja. Leave me a comment if you’ve got any questions or need help, also send me a link to your posters, I’ll posts them at the end o the tutorial. You can download the PSD File if you need help: