Create a dark, creepy movie poster

In this tutorial we are going to create a movie poster based closely on the movie poster from The Last House on the Left. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple yet effective movie poster with a photo and some typography.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 1

First grab this house image and open it up in Photoshop. To give it proper credit, this photo was originally from Image After, but I have edited it for this tutorial. Now we want to duplicate the house twice, so push control + j twice. We are going to do this so we have the original just in case we make a mistake.

Take the top layer and go to filter>other>high pass and change to 8px. Change that layer’s blend mode to overlay.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 2

Click on the second layer (the house photo) and do control + u to open up the hue/saturation. Drop the saturation all the way down to -100.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 3

Now we want to go in and burn the bottom of the image and the sides where the trees are, so that when we bring it into our final document it will blend with the black.

The reason why we are burning it instead of using a black gradient is because the gradient would flatten the photo out.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 4

Using control + L, open up the levels and adjust them as I have below.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 5

Link the top two layers and merge them together.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 6

Since this is a movie poster we are going to set it up as if we were going to print it. I am going to make a 6.5 x 10 in poster (this works best because of the size of the photo) with a dpi of 300 and CMYK for the color.

Fill the document with black.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 7

Bring the house into our new document.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 8

Now we are going to create a cloud brush to blend the edges of the house photo. Create a new document 1000x1000px. Using the circular marquee tool, create a circle with a feather of 75px. Go to filter>render clouds.

Using control + a to select the entire document then go to edit>define brush preset.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 9

Go back to the poster document and take the brush that we just made and use it to paint on the edge of the house photos until the edges are gone, changing the opacity between 20 and 50% to get a smooth transition.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 10

I want to give the house a little more contrast, so using control + L, open up the layers and adjust like so for the house layer.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 11

To get the bottom part of the poster you can go to this movie’s home page (http://thelasthouseontheleft.com/) and do a print screen.

Create a new document and paste (control + v) the screen print. Using the marquee tool, click and drag a square around the credits. Click on the arrow tool in the toolbar and click and drage the credits into our document.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 12

Using the Trajan font type out the tagline at the bottom of the poster above the credits. “If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?”, or make up your own.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 13

Now using the same font, create the headline. “The Last House on the Left”

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 14

You can go and download this blood/grunge brush to add the subtle spatter on the title. Use red on the red letters and use white on the white letters. You can also change it to black and pant a few spots to give it a grungy-er look.

Movie Poster Tutorial

Step 15

Go to filter>noise>add noise and change the setting to 15. That’s it, you’re done. Be sure to play around with it, us a different title, maybe a different photo. Good luck!

Movie Poster Tutorial

Final

Movie Poster Tutorial

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113 Comments

  1. [...] Create a dark, creepy movie poster | Denis Designs | Denis Designs (tags: design Tutorials) [...]

  2. RK
    22/05/2009

    Turns out great :)

  3. Create a dark, creepy movie poster…

    In this tutorial we are going to create a movie poster based closely on the movie poster from The Last House on the Left. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple yet effective movie poster with a photo and some typography.

  4. [...] Create A Dark, Creepy Movie Poster [...]

  5. Ryan
    23/05/2009

    The cloud brush is a cool idea.

  6. tomyches
    24/05/2009

    this is great man¡¡¡

  7. Michael
    25/05/2009

    Wow very cool. I like it because it really looks like a real movie poster. Great job dude

  8. Todd Kling
    29/05/2009

    Very nice dude but either you forgot to put in a first quote or to delete the one at the end!! ;)

  9. 30/05/2009

    Oh yeah! Thanks for the catch

  10. 01/06/2009

    it is awesome…I have in my mind a creepy house around my neighborhood. i’ll take a pic and make this effect.

  11. [...] Create a Dark, Creepy Movie Poster [...]

  12. [...] Create a dark, creepy movie poster [...]

  13. 05/06/2009

    Very very nice! I did it, just with some differences.. :)

  14. 06/06/2009

    Hey very nice, going to feature in http://www.toptuts.com tomorrow I’ll let you know when it’s up

  15. 08/06/2009

    the remake was horrible. *#&$ing horrible.

    nice tutorial.

  16. Stunner
    11/06/2009

    haha, trajan! please be advised about trajan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t87QKdOJNv8

  17. 11/06/2009

    thank you!

  18. 15/06/2009

    very nice tutorial. I will be trying this one immediately. Thanks for some good tips and tricks too

  19. Very good indeed.

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  21. 19/06/2009

    NICE tutorial…Once the poster is done, you could also add to fake blood to it for an even creepier effect!

  22. [...] Create a Dark, Creepy Movie Poster [...]

  23. Eily
    08/07/2009

    Thanks, beautiful idea, but I don’t succeed in proceeding after the step 2 because the image remains me always accented and it doesn’t become clear as in the step 2. What passage misses.

  24. Thanks for this tutorial!

  25. 23/08/2009

    v.very good lesson
    thank you friend go next

  26. 24/11/2009

    This Was A Very Good Poster The Cloud Was A Good I Dea
    I Have A Little Trouble With Makeing It But I Did It =]

  27. 30/11/2009

    That’s awesome. I did one and got it printed at posterburner.

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  32. 06/01/2010

    good i like it . i hope to learn alot of tutorial from u. thanks

  33. 27/01/2010

    its really great.very good job.keep it up :-)

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  41. 08/06/2010

    me encanta!!! que chido….. buen trabajo…. :)

  42. 15/07/2010

    Very nice information.

  43. Don
    07/08/2010

    is it Possible But to Get Instructions. to do This in PhotoShop Elements 8 ?

  44. 10/08/2010

    It isn’t impossible, but I think most people that have the experience to write tutorials usually have the full version of Photoshop.

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  52. 28/01/2011

    Great tutorial thanks

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    26/05/2011

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