Sep 23

Design a High Intensity Video Game Cover

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 21:25 — julie

Design a High Intensity Video Game Cover

Final Image

Here is a preview of the image that we are going to be creating:

Step 1

Create a new document (600X700px). Fill your canvas with black:

Step 2

Paste in the photo of the abandoned warehouse, resizing and positioning it to fit your canvas:

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to around 10%.

Now apply a hue/saturation and levels adjustment layer, giving each one a clipping mask.

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

43 / 0.75 / 255

Step 3

Now paint in your old building photo. Position it in the center of your canvas and then apply a layer mask. Use a soft black paintbrush to mask off the bottom corners of your image, blending them more smoothly into your main background:

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 7%. Also apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer (with a clipping mask).

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Step 4

Now paste in your ‘space render’ images from the resources for this tutorial.

Position it so that the main light source of the render comes from the right side of your canvas. Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’. This will hide the images black background, letting some of your surrounding composition show through.

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 6%:

Apply a hue/saturation and levels adjustment layer:

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

26 / 1.11 / 255

Step 5

Time to start adding some lighting to our background!

Start by creating a new layer called ‘white lights’.

Drag out several white-transparent radial gradients:

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 6

Now create a new layer called ‘blue lights’. Drag out several radial gradients ranging from 37afee to transparent. You want to focus mainly on the right side of your canvas:

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Repeat this step on a new layer called ‘blue lights bright’. This time use radial gradients ranging from 9ddbfb to transparent:

Once again, change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 7

Now create a new layer called ‘angular’. Use your lasso tool to draw out a diagonal polygon shape. Fill your selection with 7% opacity white:

Now duplicate this angular layer several times to create a series of these shapes:

Step 8

Now cut out your swat team photo and position it in the bottom of your canvas:

Now apply an outer glow blending option to this layer:

Outer Glow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 15%
Noise: 0%
Color: 8bd8ff
Spread: 0%
Size: 18px

Now apply a levels and color balance adjustment layer (giving each a clipping mask):

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

28 / 0.88 / 255

Color Balance Adjustment Layer Settings:

Midtones: -28 / +8 / +9

Step 9

Now let’s apply some lighting effects over our swat team.

Create a new layer called ‘blue highlights over swat’.

Drag out a number of 9eddfe to transparent radial gradients over your swat team:

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 50%:

Repeat the same technique on a new layer, adding several white to transparent radial gradients over areas you wish to highlight:

Now reduce this layer’s opacity to 25% and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’:

Step 10

Now create a new layer called ‘dodge/burn’.

Fill your canvas with 50% gray (edit>fill>50% gray). Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’. This will hide your 50% gray fill, but let you paint over your composition using a black or white paintbrush – thus letting your dodge/burn your image non-destructively.

Use a soft black paintbrush to accentuate your images shadows and soft white brush for highlights. The images below show this dodge/burn layer at ‘normal’ blend mode, and then at ‘overlay’ blend mode:

Step 11

Now create a new layer called ‘noise’. Fill your canvas with 50% gray once again, and then go to filter>noise>add noise.

Add Noise Settings:

Amount: 40%
Distribution: Gaussian
Monochromatic

Now change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 20%. This will give your composition a subtle noise overlay:

Step 12

In the top of your canvas select the top 50px. Then fill this with a linear gradient ranging from dadada to f4f5f5.

Now apply a blue bar underneath this top gradient area:

Step 13

Download your Coalition font and type out your game title, right aligning it above your swat team photo:

Now download the FanExtra grunge splotches brush set. Create a new layer called ‘text splatter’ and apply a black brush from the set over your text.

Now apply a clipping mask to your splatter layer and the splatter will only show up where it overlaps your text. Also reduce this layer’s opacity to 70% to make the effect more subtle:

Step 14

To finish, download the ‘space age’ font from the resources for this tutorial as well as the free icons. Position this elements over the corners of your composition, trying to recreate traditional game box layouts:

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Download Source File for this Tutorial

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