Photoshop tutorial: Create an amazing retro-style movie poster

In this tutorial, Sakke Soini guides you step-by-step through the process of creating this cool old school sci-fi poster image, based on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The tutorial includes tips on all the ageing effects you’ll need to make your poster art look as though it’s been in a garage for the last 30 years, not created on a computer last week.

The tutorial covers colouring and texturing layers, colour ful glow effects using the Render Clouds feature, and how to create stars using the Noise filter. When making a poster with a retro feel, try not to do too much research beforehand: instead, brainstorm childhood memories of similar posters and graphics.

Your memory isn’t perfect – and this can be a good thing for the creative process: rather than faithfully duplicating an old movie poster, you’ll be bringing your own flavour and creativity to the piece.

Step 1
Create a blank A4 canvas in RGB, at 300dpi resolution. Create a new folder and name it ‘Obelisk’. If you’re planning to print the image, make sure you have the CMYK Proof Colors checked (Cmd/Ctrl + Y). Open the images obelisk.tif and obelisk_ fragments.tif from the project files (which can be downloaded on the right), and drag them into the ‘Obelisk’ folder. Place them where they’ll appear in the finished piece, with the obelisk in the top layer, and the rock fragments beneath.

Step 2
Go to and download the large version of the metallic sheet texture; alternatively, use a suitable image of your own. Align it above the obelisk and select the obelisk by holding down Cmd/Ctrl and click ing on the layer. Invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl + I), delete the excess texture and set the layer blending mode to Overlay.

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