How to Make a Movie Poster in Photoshop.

Introduction: How to Make a Movie Poster in Photoshop.

Today I'm going to show you how to make a movie poster. It is not an easy journey. It's like an adventure, explore what you do and don't like.

Step 1: Ideas.

Now to start your movie poster, you're gonna need ideas. This is mandatory. 

Note: I didn't have anything down on paper, this idea was on the spot. 

Step 2: Getting Started.

To start off, you're gonna have to start up Photoshop. The version of Photoshop doesn't matter, but I prefer CS5. The movie poster size should be realistic, so 24" by 36" is a good size for one. When picking the background contents, you're gonna want to pick Transparent. 

Step 3: Getting Started 2

The first thing you wanna do is use the paint bucket tool to fill in the picture black. 

Step 4: The Background

The background can be anything you want, but in this case, I chose a city type of background. 

First I started with a finding a city background on Google images. Pick one that you like, and go with it. 

For my background, 5 layers of the background were used. First find a large portion of the picture you like. This should be the structure of the background. Now for the black space, , find parts of the image that will go well with the base structure. Keep doing this until you get something you like. 

Erase to the bottom and the top to make it have that 'fading to black' effect.

Step 5: The Focal Point

The focal point is the most important part of the movie poster.  

The first thing you want to do is find a picture or render that you like. For importing your render, go to file, and use 'place'. This allows you to re size your render, and keep the quality good. Press control + T to free transform, and hold 'shift' to re size the render to appropriate size for the poster. 

Step 6: The Logo

The logo isn`t mandatory, because not all movie posters have one. 

For my logo, I chose The Dark Knight logo. 

The first thing you want to do is pick the magic wand tool. Next you want to click on the black background. Once you have this selected, you can either erase it with the eraser tool or use 'control + x'. Next erase the lettering below it and save it as a PNG file. Next, go to place under file, select your new render, and lace it into the file. Hold 'control + t' to adjust it to a size you like. Effects aren't particularly necessary, but it adds to the effect of the logo. 

Step 7: The Logo: Effects

Effects aren't particularly necessary, but it adds to the effect of the logo. The first thing you wanna do is select the layer with your logo. Next, press the little 'fx' button at the bottom of your layers list. A little menu will pop up. Select 'Inner Shadows' and 'Outer Glows', or experiment with whatever you'd like. 

For the 'Inner Shadows', you can play around with the blend mode, angle of the shadow, all that jazz, but I highly recommend a darker grey colour, and an opacity around 50%. Press the OK button once you've found something you like.

For the For the 'Outer Glow', I recommend a much lower opacity. You can play around with blend options and the colour you want to glow. Press the OK button when you are finished. 

Step 8: The Logo: Part 2

This part isn't necessary, but it adds a cool effect. Select the polygonal lasso tool on the side bar. If you can't find it, right click on the third button from the top, then select the polygonal lasso. Next you want use the tool to trace over the part of the logo you want. I traced over the part of the bat that wasn't on fire. 

Once you have the part you want traced, go to Layer at the top of the screen, and go to 'New', then go to 'Layer via Cut'. Once this is done place the copied part over the original. After this go to the 'fx' below the layers, and select inner shadows. For this inner shadow, you want a much darker colour than before, preferably black, with a higher opacity near 100%, and an angle that you like, with any blend option you think looks good. 

Step 9: Words.

Words, yo. For a movie poster, you're going to at least name your movie. Actors are not necessary, but make the movie poster look more official. You can use any of the default Photoshop fonts, but those are a little bland. 

If you go to, there you can download fonts for Photoshop, and spice up your movie title a little bit. 

First, pick a font you like, then click the download button. Next, open the folder and drag the font onto your desktop. Then right click the font, and press install. Now you can use that font in Photoshop. 

The effects on your movie title should go all out. Inner shadows, inner glows, outer glows, and even a black border if you want. Select the fx below the layers once again, and select the ones you want. Play around with them to see what you like. Proceed to do this with whatever other words you put on your poster. 

Step 10: Finish Touches.

If you want to add some special effects so to say, then I'll show you how. 

Go to the 'Layer' option at the top, then go to 'New Adjustment Layer' and then 'Gradient Map'. Here you can play around with whatever you'd like, and whatever colour combinations you want. Once you find something you like, Play around with the blending options and the opacity. This will give it it's effect.

Step 11: You're Done!

Well you've made it through your journey. Congratulations! Hope I taught you something new today. Have fun. :) 

Instructables Design Competition

Participated in the
Instructables Design Competition

3 People Made This Project!


  • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

    Game Design: Student Design Challenge
  • Make It Bridge

    Make It Bridge
  • Big and Small Contest

    Big and Small Contest



6 years ago

Nice Post.I Think Adobe Is Best.



7 years ago

wao, nice pic i like it


7 years ago

at last i am find a website which help me to leran movie poster design .

some topic discurssion in my website .just visit


7 years ago

<a href="">Telugu Movie Review Rating</a>


8 years ago on Introduction

As someone new to Photoshop, I need more details on step 4 (the background)'s hard to tell the specific steps of what was done there.