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Create a Colorful Aged Poster With Special Lighting Effects
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use texture and adjustment layers to create an aging effect on a colorful abstract poster design.
What we’ll be making
For a full size preview, click here.
Step 1: Create a new Photoshop Document
Open Photoshop and create a new document (Ctrl/Cmd + N). Fill the background with a dark grey (#191919).
Step 2: Create the Dark Background
Open the blending options of the background level and set a gradient overlay. Alternatively, you could create a new Gradient Fill layer. Use the default Black-to-white gradient set to 30% opacity, reversed, and set to Radial Gradient.
I prefer to create a gradient in this way because then I could change it without problems.
Set your foreground color to white, and your background color to black. Create a new layer and go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds. Press Ctrl/Cmd + L to open the level adjustments and make the image darker. Set the highlight output level in this dialog box to around 180. Finally, set the layer to “Soft Light” and reduce the opacity of the layer to 60%.
Step 3: Creating the First Triangle
Select the Polygon Shape Tool, and from the options bar, set the Sides value equal to 3. Create a black triangle while holding the Shift key (This places the triangle at an easy to modify angle—Photoshop by default will place a triangle in increments of 45 degrees, but will let you adjust the angle using the transform tool in easy increments of 15 degrees). When placed, the initial angle does not matter so long as you held shift. Once you’ve placed your triangle, use Free Transform Path (Control + T)
and rotate your triangle while holding shift until it is flipped base side flat down:
Step 4: Style the First Triangle
First, reduce the fill opacity (located in Blending Options under Advanced Blending) to 0%. We’re going to add an Outer Glow and a Gradient Overlay.
Outer Glow: set the Blend Mode to Color Dodge, increase the opacity to 80%, set the color option to white and increase the size to 80px.
Gradient Overlay: set the Blend Mode to Color and select the gradient called “Dark Spectrum”. Change the angle to -45° and reduce the scale to 70%.
You should get something like this:
Step 5: Creating the Second Triangle
Now, duplicate the triangle layer and, pressing Ctrl/Cmd + T, reduce its dimension. Place the triangle in the middle of the first triangle. Try to center the triangle to the best of your ability.
Step 6: Style the Second Triangle
We’ll change the layer style of the triangle to make it a bit darker; so, increase the fill opacity to 60%. Double click on the layer to open the layer style, and disable the Gradient Overlay. Then, change the Opacity of the Outer Glow to 100%.
You should get something like this:
Step 7: Creating the Third Triangle
Now, create a new white triangle smaller than the previous, and flip it vertically. Set the layer to Overlay.
Step 8: Style the Third Triangle
Finally, apply an Outer Glow to the shape.
You should have something like this:
Step 9: Light Effects
Now, create a new group and set it to Color Dodge. It’s essential working within the group to have the desired effect. Create a new layer in the group, and make a rectangular selection a littler larger than the outside triangle. Using a soft, white brush, brush along the top edge of the selection. Disable the selection. If any edges from the rectangle selection are defined from your brushing, use a soft eraser tool to fade them out.
Duplicate two times the layer with the first light, rotate them and place to the corners of the triangle.
Finally, on a new layer, create some particles with a white brush. David Leggett has explained how to build a simple particle brush in his Fireworks Tutorial if you’re not familiar with the concept.
Step 10: Creating Birds
Download and import the brushes of 123freevectors in Photoshop. On a new layer outside the group, create some birds of different sizes using a black brush.
Step 11: Create the Light on Top
Create a new black layer, then go to Filter -> Render -> Lens Flare and try to place the light at the top center of the document.
After, go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and use a value of 2px. Finally, set the layer to “Screen”.
Step 12: Apply the Texture
Download and import into the document the texture of Bashcorpo. Resize it to fit the document and go to Image -> Adjustment -> Invert or press Ctrl/Cmd + I. Set also the texture on Screen.
Step 13: Create the Clouds over the Triangle
Create a selection of the large Triangle shape layer (Ctrl + Click the layer thumbnail for this layer). Create a new layer and go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds. Set the layer to Overlay with a opacity of 65%.
Step 14: Adding two Gradient Maps
Go to Image -> Adjustment -> Gradient Map and create a gradient using two colors (#290a59 – #ff7c00). Set the Blend Mode of the layer to Color and Opacity to 20%.
Create another Gradient Map (#000000 – #FFFFFF) and set it to Luminosity: so you can accentuate the contrast of the image.
Step 15: Add a Photo Filter Adjustment Layer
Add a new Photo Filter adjustment layer and use the settings from the following image.
Step 16: Making the Image Sharper
Now we’ll use the Sharpen filter to make the image sharper. So, create a new layer above all the other ones. Then go to Image -> Apply Image and click OK. Finally go to Filter -> Sharpen -> Sharpen.
Open the full size image by clicking the preview below.