How to Create a Colorful Retro Poster in Easy Steps

How to Create a Colorful Retro Poster in Easy Steps
How to Create a Colorful Retro Poster in Easy Steps

Step 13

Now double click on your flattened layer to open up the layer styles, and jump down to gradient. We're going to do a rainbow gradient so create something similar by just choosing basic a basic red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple and place them however you choose.


Step 14

As soon as your satisfied with your gradient, duplicate the layer with all the styles and simply drag it downwards a tad.


Step 15

Duplicate the layer you just moved down (total of 3 "V" shape layers now) and on this duplicate, set the blending mode to "soft light" Now you'll start to see some highlighed areas.


Step 16

Duplicate the top layer that you just put in screen mode. Remove the layer styles, we just want it to be white. Now set the layer blending mode to "Linear Dodge" or "Add". Now you should see major highlights like below.


Step 17

The highlighting is very intense though, so we need to take it down a notch. We'll do this by making a layer mask on the layer set to "Add" mode. Create a mask by clicking the mask button in the layers menu and using a large soft brush with a lowered opacity, perhaps somewhere around 25%, paint blotches here and there similar to this pattern below. This just makes the light look more random.


Step 18

Now that the highlighting from the "Add" layer has been taken down a peg, you should see something like this. With bits and pieces of highlighting here and there. We want something kinda random so it looks like it's shiny and reflecting light. The shininess is a typical retro style effect.


Step 19

Duplicate the "Add" V-shape layer and set it's blending mode to "Overlay". Now invert the color from white to black. We're starting to give the shape a color contrast in the shadows now instead of the highlights.


Step 20

Duplicate the top "V" layer once more and set the blending mode to "normal". Then set the opacity down to 50% or so.


Step 21

Duplicate the top layer once more keeping the blending mode at "normal" and set the opacity at 100%. Don't be alarmed if a lot of the image has been blacked out at this point, we'll bring back some of it in the next steps. BUT: if it is completely black right now, we have problems, you'll need to play with your black "V" shape layers so that you see some color "V" layers underneath them.


Step 22

Now it's time for the lens flares... another trademark look of the retro style. Create a new layer on top of everything else, and fill it completely with black. Then take your lens flare brush and get it to an appropriate size and place a lens flare on the canvas where it will be overtop of the "V" shape. You only want to be placing flares on your shape, but you'll be able to move them around later.


Step 23

Now create a new layer and taking your marque tool, select a rectangular area on the top or bottom half (it doesn't matter which) of your flare. We're going to make a flare "burst".


Step 24

Taking a large soft brush, but not too large that it's bigger than your rectangular selection, create a white half circle like so.


Pages: 1 2 3 4

90% Off Cyberpunk Preset Bundle

Make your artwork look like they're from an alternate universe. These Cyberpunk presets work with Photoshop (via the Camera Raw filter) and Lightroom. Download all 788 presets for 90% off.

39 comments on “How to Create a Colorful Retro Poster in Easy Steps”

  1. I got lost pretty much step 8 then i tried to follow until step 16 then gave up as you make it quite complicated.
    "Duplicate the top layer that you just put in screen mode. Remove the layer styles, we just want it to be white. Now set the layer blending mode to “Linear Dodge” or “Add”. Now you should see major highlights like below."
    At what point did you change a blend mode to screen mode on one of the layers? I didn't see any step for that.
    The tutorial may be ok for regular users but for novices, it's just confusing.


  3. Sir I am unable to understand the step no 20 as after invert the color from white the black the result is quietly different so plz help me.

    1. Select the top layer then duplicate it by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+J. Remove the layer styles by going to Layer > Layer Style > Clear Layer Styles. Now, in the Layers panel, change the blending mode to "Linear Dodge" or "Add". Hope this helps!

    1. Step 21 is simply a repeat of step 20. You just duplicate that top layer one more time and then change the opacity from 50% to 100%.

  4. yo whadup your thang worked greaaat pardner.aye the feirce wind gods blow and wail outside yonder window

  5. First of all, thank you very for this tutorial. With the help of this, our presentation looks more shiny. Thank you.

  6. i did this work in photoshop CS but it did'nt work completely. very hard because i could'nt group it neither turn it to 40 degree or delete hard

  7. Which layer do you duplicate on step 20? The one with the “Linear Dodge” blending mode, the one with the mask or the one with the inverted mask colors?

    i duplicate the layer in which we inverted the colors (step 19), but i, on step 21, get a completely different result than you do.

    Any help please?

  8. Too complicated procedure to create Colorful Retro Poster, actually it was confounding way to make it sans instances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *