How to make a Grunge Poster in Photoshop

There really is no greater pleasure than blasting apart an image to achieve an dramatic composition inside photoshop. Over the next few steps we will break apart an image into shards. We will combine images and textures for a cracked, graphic Grunge poster effect. There are no solid rules for creating this poster, you can make adjustments as you like.

Poster with grunge effect

Step 1: Open Image

Open Image

Open the image on which you want to apply the effect. Select the Magic Wand tool(W), set Tolerance to 71 and uncheck Contiguous in the Option bar. Now click once on the blue sky to select it.

Step 2: Copy Bird

Copy Bird

Go to Select > Inverse to flip the area, then use refine edge command to assess the quality of the selection. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the eagle to its own layer.

Step 3: Create new canvas size

Create new canvas size

Go to the Image menu and locate Canvas Size. enter 21cm as the Width, 30cm as the Height, hit OK, then set the foreground colour to dark blue (#455260).

Step 4: Enlarge the Bird

Enlarge the Bird

Click the background layer and fill this with blue and Using the move tool(V), drag the eagle up and enlarge it slightly with Free Transform(Cmd/Ctrl+T).

Step 5: Add Texture

Add Texture

Download the texture from Use File > Place to load this texture, reducing its Opacity to 50%. Resize the texture so the centre of the cracked area is over the eagle’s feet and it covers the canvas, then hit enter to confirm.

Step 6: Rasterise and select

Rasterise and select

With Opacity back to 100%, go to Layer > Rasterize > Smart Object (in Elements, use Simplify Layer), then hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to remove all colour from the texture. Set its blend mode to Overlay, select the Magic Wand tool and set Tolerance to 15 with Contiguous unchecked. Next, select a dark area of the texture to create a selection.

Step 7: Masked bird

Masked bird

Now click on the bird layer and hit Cmd/Ctrl+J. This will create a new layer containing a distorted version of the bird. Add a Layer mask to the original bird layer, then use the brush tool to paint away the wings and other parts of bird.

Step 8: Lighten things up

Lighten things up

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer) to the top of the Layers palette. Bring Brightness to +65 and Contrast to +10 to brighten the image.

Step 9: Break up the segment

Break up the segment

On the texture layer, use the Quick Selection tool to roughly select one of the cracked segment onto its own layer. Use Cmd/Ctrl+T to slightly rotate the segment. Use the Quick Selection on there parts of the texture, cutting, pasting and rotating them.

Step 10: Apply Drop shadow

Apply Drop shadow

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow and add a black shadow – with Size at 0px and distance at 5px to each layer as well as the main texture layer.

Step 11: Hide your layers

Hide your layers

To make the areas under the segments darker than everything else, hide all the layers containing the shards using the eyes in the Layers palette. Now Cmd/Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail of the texture layer and go to Select > lnverse.

Step 12: Fill the Layer

Fill the layer

Add a new layer and fill it with black by doing it with black by going to Edit>Fill and setting Contents to Black. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+D to remove the active selection, then lower the Opacity to 25% via the slider in the Layers palette.

Step 13: Combine selections

Combine selections

Reveal the shards by Clicking back on their eye symbols. Holding Shift, Cmd/Ctrl-click on each of the thumbnails to form a large selection, then select the black layer made previously and hit Delete. This will hide black parts under each segment.

Step 14: Edit the landscape

Edit the landscape

Go to File>Open to open mountain image. Go to Image > Adjustments > Black & White to convert the image into black and White. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the sky.

Step 15: Get a clear sky

get a clear sky

Press Delete to remove the sky from the landscape image. Go to Select>AlI and hit Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy the image. Go back to the main composition and hit Cmd/Ctrl+V to paste the landscape.

Step 16: Reorder your layers

Reorder your layers

Move the landscapes layer so that it’s just above the Background layer, then use the Move tool to position the landscape to cover just the bottom third of the canvas.

Step 17: Blend elements together

Blend elements together

Change the blend mode of the landscape layer to Luminosity and lower its Opacity to 60% to reduce its impact. On a new layer; paint black using the Brush tool along the base of the composition to balance the overall tone.

Step 18: Flatten and save

Flatten and save

When you’re happy go to File>Save As and save out as a PSD to keep the layers intact. Go to Layer> Flatten Image and save as a JPEG, setting Quality in the JPEG Options between 8 and 12.


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