The Use of Color in Movie Posters and Film Marketing.
If you'll take some time just to look at your collection of movies and study
the cover art work, you'll start to notice several trends going on that you
should be aware of as a designer. You'll begin to discover that there are
industry accepted practices that just plain work. As a graphic designer
you'll want to duplicate these techniques through your own style and source
materials to end up with (eventually) the same quality of results.
One of the most common occurrences in film marketing and design is the use of
color. You really need to start becoming aware of these things and I'm
here to help you do that, but seriously everywhere you go, try and break apart
what is going on in really awesome designs because it will help you as a
Photoshop designer. Movie advertising will use color balance or hue
adjustments layers about 40% of the time.
You know that look that I'm talking about, where there's the "Hollywood" feel
to a poster because of the global color theme of (usually) red-yellow or blue.
One sheet designers will use color balance and hue adjustment layers all of the
time. Here is an example to let you understand the concept:
This is so common that the sooner you can learn to use it, the faster the
quality of your designs will become. In the first poster I've got the 3
"actors" in a layer set with a color balance adjustment layer as the top layer
in the layer set (so it will apply the same adjustment to all of the layers)
with the slider controls tweaked towards the "reds". On the second poster,
just the background has probably a hue adjustment layer (of blue) on top of the
background layers or and underlay layer (beneath) with some Hard Light or
Overlay blending modes of the layers above it (of buildings, mountains...).
You can also apply color by creating a color fill layer (ie. blue) or
colorized hue adjustment layer and changing the blending modes (or by the
technique in the last sentence) of the color layer to "bleed through" to the
layers below. Multiply gives a nice rich bleed if you have plenty of
lighter layers below. When you think you've got something good, fool
around with the blending modes and it will usually end up with a better quality
or "richer" impact than you already have. You can tell the sand dunes have
a blending mode going on (probably linear burn).
Note the global color theme. If you study movie posters and packaging
you will notice this a lot (probably in your favorite movie's design); this is
something you'll want to duplicate and can in Photoshop. It really isn't
that hard to do, so I hope you are pleased that I let you in on one of the
biggest "secrets". My
Total Package covers the
creation of these adjustment layers and their effect in great detail.
- Orion Williams copyright 2004