Making a Superhero Movie Teaser Poster

Making a Superhero Movie Teaser Poster

In this tutorial I will give you an example of how to create a movie teaser poster. It will show you how to draw a mask for your character using the pen tool , blend modes and textures.

Also, I will be talking about usage of color for your environment, how to make your images sharper and I will give some tips on how to add more detail to your work.


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Step 1

Start out with a dark canvas #080808 of 1600×2300 pixels (300dpi). I like to work on a high resolution so you keep your images sharper, more flexible and optimal for printing purposes if needed.

Step 2

To make the background a little more interesting and give it some “body” I used this free stained paper texture. Desaturate the texture, set your blending mode to hard light and pull the opacity down to 30%.

Step 3

Add the Nebula image in a new layer on top of the texture, flip it and use Hue Saturation (192, 26, 0). It should give a blue color as shown. Now use your mask tool to blend the image in the background. Only left, right and bottom should be masked (see image).

Step 4

Next up is adding the horizon image. Just like the steps before, desaturate the image and use soft light on your blending mode. I duplicated the image to make it show a little more detail. Use your gradient tool to mask the image from the top. We only need to see the mountain / rocks and a small piece of the sky.

Step 5

Pentool out the woman stock and place it on the nebula. Use a soft brush with 30% opacity to make the marked parts softer and blend them a little more into the background. The lower part of the woman has to be removed. I also used the smudge tool 30% strength) to retouch the face and arm.

Step 6

Use your pentool to draw the shape on the cheek of the woman. Colors used and layer styles are shown in the image. The only thing left to do is give the shape a soft light blending mode and a drop shadow on the top with an opacity of 25%. To make the shape blend more you can make a mask and use a soft brush on the left side of the shape.

Step 7

Let’s add some more detail. In a new layer use a soft white brush (20%) to make the space marked in the red circle a little lighter. This gives more depth and makes the shape more shiny. Also add a brush stroke with your pentool to the top of the shape.

Use the scratched metallic texture pack to add some scratches to the shape. Place the texture in the canvas, desaturate it and clip it on the shape as shown in the image. Set the opacity between 20-40%.

Step 8

Now we added the metallic scratch texture we are going to add extra detail to the shape. Make a selection of the computer chips stock and place it on the shape (opacity 85%, blending mode: soft light). Use your mask tool to mask it in the shape. I usually use a soft brush around the hard edges to blend it in. Finally, I also added two layers where I drew blue strokes and sparkles to give it more depth. To make the stroke on the top of the shape even more shiny you can add a white radial gradient.

Step 9

Make new layers and draw two shapes with your pentool as shown in the image. As we did before again use a soft white brush to highlight some parts of the shape. Only the top shape needs a drop shadow on the bottom. You can make a mask on your shape and brush out the hard edges of your pentooled shape. The next texture based steps are the same as used on the blue shape.

Step 10

If you followed the steps of texture usage and detail placement again, you we have a similar result as shown in the picture. To make the character more “superhero like” I added a glow to her eyes. Just use a radial gradient on top of the eyes (color: #10bdee) and set your opacity to 50% and layer style to screen.

Step 11

Create a folder called color adjustments and place it on the top of all your layers. That way it will effect all the layers below it.

Color fill:
color: #020317, set layer style to screen

Selective color:
Reds: +37, -10, -33. +30
Yellow: +25, 0, -15, 0
Neutrals: +5, 0, +2, +2
Blacks: +20, 0, 0, 0

Brightness / contrast:
Brightness: 11
Contrast: 7

Finally add a level layer. This really depends on how dark or light you want the image to be.

Step 12

Select the layer of the woman. Use your marque or lasso tool to make a selection of the part you want to make a cut from. Copy the selection and paste it in the exact same place. Use inner shadow and you get results as shown in the picture. For the arm part I did it a little different. I made a selection and filled it with color: #705e53. Then gave it an inner shadow.

Step 13

For the arm part you can use the steps I explained for the head shapes. Only thing added here is the placement of an electric symbol. Draw this with your pentool and fill it with color: #FFFFC1. You can make it fall in the shape with a subtle inner shadow.

Step 14

The rest of this tutorial is really up to your imagination. For this piece, I added helicopters and used dazzling lightings vector set for example. Just let your creativity run free and add anything you like to the piece until you are satisfied with your result.

Step 15

To finish it up add the the text. I used lightning beams covering the text. To do this, just copy a beam on the canvas, put it on top of the text and set blending mode to overlay. I used a soft brush to mask bits of the text. The font I used it called “The Sans”.

To finalize the image and make it more crisp I used smart sharpen (filter -> sharpen). Set it to about 30%. Don’t overdue it.


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Patrick Monkel

I'm active in design for 7 years and worked for several great clients. Passion is the word for me when it comes to design. I love all kinds of design and (digital) art. In my daily work I try to keep evolving my style and am eager to learn about new things. At the moment I mix up my freelance activities with a job over at Talmon bv in Bilthoven.


(+add yours)
  1. Margalus

    Great tutorial, the outcome is very professional :)

  2. The result and the process to achieve it are simply AWESOME!

    Great work Patrick

  3. Awesome work Patrick! Thanks for sharing.


    Hi,Patrick Monkel sir great tuts only one word to say

  5. Simple techniques, great results! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for the great feedback!

  7. Sem

    Now that is brilliant !

    Really loved the outcome.

  8. Great tutorial, the outcome is very professional :)
    Lauri Kreutzwald

  9. Absolutely stunning! I’m going to have to try this technique.

  10. Great Tutorial and Techniques well explained!!
    Thanks for sharing…
    Featured in Tutorials of the week in

  11. very easy and amazing result ! thank you

  12. good work in this tutorial.

  13. wow

    a wonder woman ha….

    very cool

  14. amazing work.. Great tuts… Patrick Monkel is my freind… thumb up…

  15. Woody

    Well done, I learned alot

  16. Thanks for the great comments guys!

  17. Jerrie

    Ey Bro NIce Work

  18. Jolievin

    This tutorial is amazing i have a question is this :
    Share your tutorial results on our facebook page! The work with the most likes will win a Premium WeGraphics Account. If you are already a member, you will win $14 in cash (2 months of premium membership).

    still actual ?

  19. ????????

  20. Pedro Vinagre

    I have a question… You work on 300 dpi, right?
    And when you finish the project and save for the web? You downsize it for 72dpi?
    How do you make your designs so sharpen? it’s a result from all work, or you apply some effect later?

    Filter > Highpass > hardlight makes all design more sharpen… but I’d like to know your way!!


    • Hi Pedro,

      When you resize an image from 2000px width to 600px, you can obtain a great result and enhance the small details by going to Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen

  21. Mukesh Sahu

    Waw Great Tutorial

  22. Very impresive! Good tut!

  23. Yunn

    Wow! Amazing effect! thanks for this tuts!

  24. Wendy

    Thanks for this! I make award posters for student employees at my workplace and someone requested a Superhero theme. I’m not super proficient at photoshop yet but thanks to your tutorial I was able to come up with something fun!

  25. Very nice webiste with very nice tutorials.. thanks for this!!

    PS: Blonde girl is pretty. :D

  26. Fred

    This tutorial was misleading. The poster’s largest impact came from the girl photograph: but that was taken from stock footage?

    All the stuff layered around the girl was very low level: the techniques surrounding how the original photographer manipulated the girl image would have been the MOST benefit.

  27. It was Absolutely stunning! i followed this tutorial and outcome was too great my friends appreciated me.

  28. RJ

    Nice work. You did a great job.

  29. Rikz Farooq

    It’s ReaLLy Incredible Sir, Patrik Monkel ….. i’ve been trying learning tuts like this ….. well thnx sir for sharing ur tuts with us ……

  30. really great tuturial, very detailed and clean elements
    big thanks for sharing it!

  31. Karl

    the Hue Saturation doesnt work for me and doesnt show any colour, any help?

  32. the tutorial is nice bt not that cool, ever made big movie posters, something you would like to brag about?

  33. Beautiful artwork and an excellent tutorial. Great stuff, thanks for sharing this, lots of great tips!

  34. Anwar

    Wow!!! thank you ???

  35. Ku Zao

    nice tutorial dude!

  36. twiix kiinder

    woow amazing i love it thanks so much for the tuts

  37. sriram



    the maximum in hue & saturation is 180 so how did u get 192 ?
    thank you


    ah ok, it’s fixed :$

    • Dj Dylan

      How did you fix this i can’t seem to make the nebula blue

      • On the hue and saturation you have to click Colorize and it will go up to 192.

  40. eutim

    pls make a video tutorial

  41. bench

    very simple steps but great result! thanks for sharing.

  42. which software we should use to make this poster

  43. ovie

    Pls I want to know the type of photoshop you are using for this design

  44. I Love This Tutorial!!!! Inspired this image !

  45. Awesome tutorial, I’m going to try to get the same impact in some of my designs, regards

  46. SilasPRG

    What website do you do this on???

  47. Hi, i’m trying to make this cover but i have somes problems with effects.
    Somebody who succeed can give me the PSD please ?

    This is a great tutorial, but not for novice like me…

  48. Wow.. It’s Amazing…
    Certainly hard to make it, except for the professional.
    Thanks For Sharing Sir!

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  50. Chazman888

    Really great step by step tutorial, I am a little stuck on the hue/saturation part in the beginning, only lets me go to 180? Is there a way to set this to 192? Any advice greatly received.

    Also a tip on the masking tool would be helpful ;)

  51. Loly

    Hi, great lesson!
    may i use your ideas for a lesson? i will absolutely credit you.

  52. Looks great and amazing to make something like that!

  53. Matt

    It’s Amazing…

    Thanks For Sharing

  54. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I
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  64. I am doing Graphic designing diploma, and now making the final project , I have to design many things in my final project, Poster is one of them, i wanted to get some tips for making a poster and after searching in Google i came here. and thanks your tips really helped me.

  65. I am a Pro Photographer and using techniques in this Tutorial help me to crease some surreal photography. I love this tutorial.

  66. Great tutorial. Thank you. I’m working my way through it. Unless it’s just a misread on my part, you rotate the nebula 90 degrees counter clockwise, not flip it.

  67. surendra

    nice work…

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  73. crazy guy

    Awsome tutorial, Thanks for sharing ;D ;D

  74. R

    wow very impressive. Do you make posters on order? Say if I want to buy a poster?

  75. all the time i used to read smaller articles or reviews which also clear their motive, and
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  76. escape

    it’s not flip the image. it’s rotate the image!!!

  77. Lwin Htet

    I want to try this tutorial. But I can’t get the model image for free. Can you help me?

  78. Parm Masuta

    What Lwin Htet said. I also would like the photograph to try out this tutorial.

  79. gabe

    This is not a tutorial , I don’t even know how to *desaturate* it .. This is complete bullshit

    • reginald

      just google it you fool and dont complain its a fine tutorial

  80. kdwilson

    im stuck on step 6 dont know how to do that

  81. Rodrigo Cortat

    Man, no words!! Very good tutorial!! These techniques can be in Applied Other Works. This tutorial opened the my mind! I am from Brazil!! Thank you!

  82. Nah Jean

    can i have the image source? this is my teacher assign for me in my final project. yhanks and gobless

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