Design the Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Poster
Movie posters and films are great sources of inspiration for graphic designers. With the success of Tron Legacy and its awesome light effects, we have seen several tutorials on how to realize these effects in Photoshop. Today I decided to reproduce the logo of one of my favorite film series: Pirates of the Caribbean. We are going to see the 4th chapter to the cinema, so let’s celebrate captain Jack Sparrow and his friends with this cool photo manipulation!
*Note for Mac users: ctrl=cmd
Create a new 1920×1200 pixels document in Photoshop, with 72 pixels/inch as resolution. Select the Paint Bucket tool and fill the background with black (#000000).
After downloaded our 3rd volume of Grunge Textures, select an item from the set and paste it into the Photoshop canvas. Press ctrl+T to activate the free transform tool and re-size the texture, then shift+ctrl+U to desaturate it.
Set the layer blending mode to overlay with opacity 45%. You will obtain again a black canvas. This is due to the layer blend mode, which doesn’t affect black areas.
Create a layer between the background and the texture. Grab a large, soft white brush with hardness 0% and paint over the center area. You will notice that texture’s details will appear where you paint on with the brush. If you reduce the opacity of the light effect layers, the difference between the light and the dark area will be more subtle.
Let’s change the background color: go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map… and add a gradient layer going from blue #0b5a88 to green #00601b. Set the layer to overlay.
Download the free font Captain Kidd, which looks similar to the one used into the original movie poster.
With the Type tool, write the title of the poster. As you may notice from the screenshot, I used different sizes for the first P, the C of Caribbean and the rest of the letters.
We will play with blending options to add style to the text. Right-click on the thumbnail of the “P” layer and select “blending options”.
Let’s add a gradient overlay going from grey (#a6a6a6) to a lighter grey (#e4e4e4) and a color grey near to white (#f1f1f1):
Play with Bevel and Emboss options to add depth to the text:
Select Satin to add that kind of metal reflection effect that you see on top of the letter:
Use Inner Shadow with the right settings to darken the top area of each letter:
Finally add an Inner Glow, set on color dodge, to make more evident the white borders of the Bevel and Emboss effect:
Now that the effect is complete, right-click on the “P” layer and select “copy layer style”. Then right-click on the other letters’ layers and select “paste layer style” to add the same style to the entire logo.
Here is my result:
The text is almost complete, but there’s another detail we can add. Select all the text layers from the layers window, and press alt+ctrl+E to merge them into a new layer. Move this layer below all the text layers.
Move two pixels down the layer by pressing twice the down button on your keyboard.
Finally add a red color overlay. In this way we’ve created even more depth, and the text now looks in 3d.
Group all the text layers and hide them. We are now going to enrich the background with the classic pirate skull! So we need space to create the scene which is behind the text
Download this free photo of a skull and open it in Photoshop. With the pen tool, carefully extract the skull from the background, and paste it into the main Photoshop document (press ctrl+T if you want to resize the skull).
Desaturate the skull by pressing shift+ctrl+U. Duplicate the layer (ctrl+J), and set the new layer to overlay with opacity 40%.
Duplicate also the new layer (set to overlay). Then go to Filter>Other>High pass and put in a radius around 6 pixels. Increase the opacity to 100%. In this way we’ve enhanced the details of the image.
Add an inner glow to the original skull to lighten its edges:
Don’t forget that our skull is a dead pirate. He needs a bandan! I found this free image that we can use to extract the bandan. Always with the pen tool, carefully trace the contours of the bandan, then press ctrl+enter to activate the selection and copy (ctrl+C) and paste (ctrl+V) the selection into the main document.
To make the effect more realistic, add a soft drop shadow below the bandan.
In order to switch the bandan color from green to red, press ctrl+U to open the hue/saturation window, check “colorize” and move the color picker arrow to the red area.
You can add lots of details to the skull. I used this free image of a pirate to extract some details, like the 2 beard locks. Remember to desaturate a bit (ctrl+U) all the new elements of the composition.
After extracted the object, as always with the help of the pen tool, scale and rotate it (ctrl+T) and put it below the skull.
Duplicate the sword (ctrl+J) and flip horizontally the duplicated layer (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Finally each sword was duplicated again, with the duplicated layer set to overlay to increase the color contrasts. Also these elements were desaturated a bit to better match the composition.
Here is the result:
Now we need to modify a bit the skull and the swords. To do it, select all their layers and, as we did with the text effect, press alt+ctrl+E to merge them into a new layer. You can hide now the visibility of all the skull and swords layers, since we will work only with the merged one.
With the burn tool in “shadow mode”, paint over the eyes concavities to darken them.
Duplicate the skull, title it “shadow” and move it below the original one. Add a black color overlay, press ctrl+T to activate the anchor points and enlarge it. Our light source is frontal.
Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur to blur the image.
Finally reduce the opacity to make the effect softer.
Make the text visible. You can see how the composition looks nice at this point! All what remain to do are a couple of corrections.
First of all, Use the same technique applied with the skull to add a shadow effect to the text:
Create a new group and title it “light effects”. Switch the group blend mode to color dodge and create a layer inside the group. To create the light effect, I’ve used one of our Energy Light effects brushes. Simply set white as foreground color and click once to realize the effect. Reduce the opacity if the result is too strong. If you want to enhance other areas of the text/skull, use a white brush of your choice and just paint.
A gradient map layer is helpful to give harmony to all the objects of the composition. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map… and add a gradient going from purple (#290a59) to yellow (#ffcc00). Set the layer to overlay with opacity 35%.
The last touch is a metal texture from our Scratched Metallic Textures set. Paste it into the canvas and set the layer to overlay with the opacity around 40%.
And here is the result of our hard work. W Jack Sparrow!
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