The following is my process for my previous Little Red Riding Hood Movie Poster. The instructions from my “client” were that there could be no true blacks or whites, the colour pallette had to be limited, and there could be no full depictions of any people or wildlife; however it had to contain the “key” elements of the story. In addition he mentioned that he was a fan of retro style movie posters. Before I started sketching out my thumbnails (those were an older post you can find them under “assets”) I did some research.
These were some of the posters that I used for reference and inspiration.
Here’s the website I got them from There are some other really cool ones here if you feel like checking them out.
it’s a pretty nice tree
Sometimes it can be hard to find the assets/pictures that you envision in your head, but those are the times when you put your creative thinking hat on and work with what you’ve got. So I went to Google and found this tree.
I meant to do that; no really.
After I found my awesome tree picture I wanted to play with the filters a bit. I had to make it so it wasn’t a clear depiction of a tree. When I was fooling around with the filters I accidentally clicked watercolour and messed up what I originally had, the funny thing is that I felt it looked a lot better than what I had before. You’ll get that sometimes when your designing; some mistakes can become your greatest assets.
I didn’t really want to try to depict a girl in my poster. Instead I took a picture of my hoodie and cut out a piece of it in Photoshop. Next I warped it a bit to try to make it look like it got torn off and was caught on the tree. This was perhaps the biggest problem I had with the entire poster.
Mistakes can become your greatest assets
This is another example of why mistakes aren’t always bad. I was playing with filters again to try to get the cloth to blend in with the tree better and I came out with this. Personally I think it looks awesome and am going to hold on to it. If you would like a file of it or something feel free to comment and Ask!
Now get to see the struggle of me trying to make a branch. It’s pretty funny what I tried doing now that I look back on it. I tried cutting out a piece of the tree with the marquee tool and making a branch out of it. It turned out terrible. I tried looking for actual pictures of branches but I didn’t find anything that could be useful so I scrapped the idea.
I wanted to give the tree a coloured tone to make it look more unique. To do this I played with the adjustments a bit so the tone would look a little different but the image would still keep its shape and texture.
This image is just more of me playing around with the tones. I also used an orange brush with a low opacity setting. By doing this I got rid of the “true” white in the sky, I also intentionally made it darker on the right side of the picture. I thought it made it look cooler.
I tried playing with the colour a bit. I expermented with the red but I reverted it because I felt that you wouldn’t be able to notice the red cloth. I didn’t find a picture of a branch but I did find some really cool pictures of splinted and broken trees. I took a piece of one and added it to my tree. As you can see I still had a lot of trouble making it look like it was caught onto the tree; I even tried playing with the opacity a bit, but it didn’t do much.
The next element I wanted to depict was the wolf. I had a bunch of ideas for this, you can check out my original thoughts on my “thumbnails” post. In the end I went with the claw marks in the tree. Just to clear things up for those wondering why I chose orange as my base colour; the deadline for my client was near Halloween and I thought the orange and black gave it a nice classic feel. To make the claws I made the initial shapes using the marquee/lasso tool. Next, I filled them with a pale orange colour, originally I thought it looked alright but I felt it needed more depth, literally. I looked up another splinted texture and filled my selections with it. As you can see it looks a lot more like someone (or something) actually clawed the tree. All I know is that I would hate to be in that forest.
In addition I wanted to add more to the atmosphere. To do this I looked for a moon PSD and threw it up in the left hand corner. In addition I rendered some clouds and added them up in the upped left and right corners of the sky to make the atmosphere more eerie.
The last thing I had to do was add my copy. I wanted to use a cool decorative font and found this one called “28 Days Later”. I also noticed that a lot of retro posters were either slanted or formatted in some way, yellow, or both. I decided to do both. I used the “arc” tool in the text panel to shape my copy around the tree. By doing this I felt that if someone were looking at this in a movie theater or something the high angle of the text would make those looking at the post feel more intimidated. Just a little something I picked up in my film class.
This is my finished product. I positioned that tear in the cloth so it would utilize the rule of thirds. I kinda like how peoples eyes will be drawn to it but I do feel that It looks a little out of place. I added some more copy in the lower right to fill some of the excess space and with that, I was finished.
I really liked this project. I’ve always liked working with Photoshop, I don’t consider myself a pro I am quite comfortable with the software. I learned some new techniques and will remember the mistakes I made for the future so I wont repeat them (maybe I will repeat them to try and get some cool assets haha). Just on a closing note I am aware of the random line of text in the middle of the poster. My client instructed me to leave that layer on top of everything else. However, if you would like me to post a copy without it leave a comment and let me know!