The horror genre has its big share of pretty amazing, simple and creepy looking poster designs. In this tutorial, we will teach you some of the basic tricks that you can use to create your own horror movie poster design using Adobe Photoshop. Read through on the steps below to get started.
To start our movie poster, we first process our main feature image. For this example movie poster, we are going to use an image of a church and graveyard. Once the main feature image is open in Photoshop, duplicate it two times. One will be for an extra effect, and the other a backup. Just press CTRL+J two times to duplicate our main image layer or right click on the original layer and choose “duplicate layer” in the context menu.
Next, select the topmost duplicate layer. Then go to Filter -> Other -> Highpass… In the window that opens, use a value of 8.0 for the high pass pixel radius. Once done, go to the layers panel and change the Blend Mode of this layer to “Overlay”. This will add the sharp light areas of the high pass unto the layer underneath.
Now, select the second duplicate image below this top layer. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation. Drag the “saturation” slider to the left, decreasing the saturation value to -100. This effectively desaturates the image, turning it into a grey scale or “black and white” type image.
Next, using the Burn Tool, we darken the edges of our image. This will help us with integrating the image later into our poster (which will be decidedly dark). The burn tool also helps darken the clouds and trees for a more eerie and creepy effect.
Now, Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels. Adjust the “Shadow Input Level” (the black slider on the left of the input levels to a 20 value. This darkens our image a lot more, darkening the ones we burned most of all.
Now, our creepy image is ready for export. Simply select both the top desaturated layer and our darkened layer and then right click on them to access the context menu. Select “merge layers” to combine them, ready for our poster.
Great! Now we press CTRL+N to create a new document. Take note that we have NOT closed the original image layer yet. In the new document, set the necessary poster dimensions for printing. Also remember to maintain a high resolution so that the quality of the poster remains high. Typically, you will at least want a 300ppi value.