Photoshop: How to Create “RED DEAD” Video Game Cover Art

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to recreate the
cover art of a “Red Dead” action-adventure, video game. The theme I’ll be using in this tutorial is
ancient Rome, however, you can apply the same techniques to whatever theme you’d like. I’ll be using photos of gladiators that I
downloaded from Shutterstock. I provided a paper texture, a font called,
“Chinese Rocks” that resembles the Red Dead font and a crisscross brush stroke, if you’d
like to use it. For your theme, open a high-resolution photo
of your main character that and another photo you’ll use for secondary action characters. The techniques we’ll be using this tutorial
will be the same no matter what theme and images you choose to use. First, we’ll create a new document by going
to File and New or by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + N. Make its Width: 1920 pixels…its Height:
1080 pixels and its Resolution: 150 pixels per inch. The Color Mode is RGB and 8 bits per Channel. Click the “Background Contents” box and in
the hexadecimal field, type in: B50824. Then, click OK and “Create” or you can press
Enter or Return twice. Next, we’ll separate our characters from their
backgrounds, by making selections around characters. There are many ways to do this and the method
you choose should depend on the characteristics of the particular photo your using. In this particular case, I’ll use the “Quick
Selection Tool”. If you’re using this tool as well, I find
that a radius of approximately 10 pixels generally works well for most images. Drag the tool inside the character to select it. To remove selections outside the character, press and hold Alt or Option as you drag over those areas. To check the selection, press “Q” on your keyboard. Then, revert it back into a selection by pressing “Q” again. The selection itself doesn’t have to be feathered, so there’s no need to use Refine Edge or and Mask.Select Click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer
mask of the selection. We’ll convert our image into a Smart Object,
so we can modify it non-destructively. To do this, click the icon at the upper, right
and click “Convert to Smart Object”. We’ll place it onto the red background document
that we created earlier by pressing “v” to pen our Move Tool and dragging it onto the
tab of the red document. Without releasing our mouse or pen, drag it
down and release. To resize and reposition it, open your Transform
Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. To reposition your subject, just drag it. To resize it, make sure the chain-link icon
is active between the Transform’s width and height. This links them together. Drag the “W” or the “H” to the right or left
to increase or decrease the size of your character. Once you sized and positioned it to your liking,
press Enter or Return. Go to Filter, Stylize and Oil Paint. If you’re using a version earlier than CC,
the Oil Paint filter is located here. If you’re using Windows and the filter is
grayed out, it may be because your Operating System and/or your version of Photoshop isn’t 64-bit. Another reason may be because your Graphics
processor isn’t being used. To check it, go to Edit, Predferences and
Performance. Make sure “Use Graphics Processor” is checked. Make the Stylization: 3.5…the Cleanliness:
5…the Scale: 3…and the Bristle Detail: 10. The Lighting is unchecked. Click the Adjustment Layer icon and click “Posterize”. Give it 3 “levels”. Because Adjustment Layers affect all the layers
below them in the Layers panel, our red background is also being affected. We want just our subject to be posterized
and not the background. To do this, click the Clipping Mask icon or
press Alt + Ctrl + G on Windows or Option + Cmd + G on a Mac. You can also tgo to Layer and “Create Clipping Mask. Open the “Adjustments” panel. If you don’t see it, go to Window and “Adjustments”. Click the “Gradient Map” icon. Click the gradient bar to open the Gradient Editor. Click the lower, left Stop and the color box. Pick black and click OK or press Enter or Return. Click below the bar to create a new Stop. In the “Location” field, type in 10. Click the box and type in: 882C13. Click below the bar again and for its Location, type in 20. Click the box and type in: BE001A. Click below the bar and type in 30. Click the box and type in: F86343. Click below the bar and type in 60. Click the box and type in: FAC28F. Click OK on both windows or press Enter or
Return twice. Clip the Adjustment layer to the subject. To save space in the Layers panel, let’s group
all the layers that comprise our main character into a folder. To do this, Shift-click the subject to make
it and the other adjustment layer active as well and press Ctrl or Cmd + G. I’ll name
it, “Main character”. Click the red background to make it active
and open the crisscross brush strokes I provided. Drag it onto the tab of our Red Dead cover
art and without releasing your mouse or pen, drag it down and release. Then, position it under your subject. Double-click the crisscross to open its Layer
Style window. Click “Color Overlay” and the color box. Pick a color for it. Keep in mind, you can always change it later. Since I already know the color I want, I’ll
type it in: FFC000. Open the paper texture I provided and drag
it onto the tab of the cover art. Without releasing your mouse or pen, press
and hold the Shift key as you drag it down and release. Holding Shift kept the texture centered over
the cover art. Change its Blend Mode to “Multiply”. Next, we’ll add the title of our video game. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. Open your Horizontal Type Tool. Since we want white to be our foreground color,
invert the colors by pressing “x” on your keyboard. Open your Type Picker. Assuming you already installed the “Chinese
Rocks” font I provided, find it in your list of fonts and click it. We’ll adjust its size in a moment. Make the aliasing, “Sharp”, and center alignment. Click on your document and type out the words,
“RED DEAD”. To adjust its size, highlight the text and
drag the size icon to the right or left. To reposition it, open your Move Tool and move it. Press “T” to open your back your Type Tool
and click just to the right of your last character. Press Enter or Return to start a second line
of text, and type out the name of the theme of your Red Dead video game. Highlight it and drag the size icon to adjust
its size. To adjust the space between your lines of
text, click the “Character/Paragraph” icon or go to Window and “Character”. Drag the “Baseline Shift” icon to the right
or left to raise or lower your bottom text. You can choose to keep a white color for the
name of your theme or to have the red color of the Red Dead game titles. If want the latter, click the box and type
in: B50824. Click the “fx” icon and click “Stroke”. The color is black, the size is 21 pixels
and the Position is “Outside”. For the words, “Rockstar Games presents”,
click above your text to create a new text layer. Drag it a little above the words, “Red Dead”. I’ll pick “Bebas Neue”. If you’d like to use it, I provided its link, as well. Drag the size icon to the left to make the
text smaller. Type out the words and open your Move Tool
and drag it into position. Click the “fx” icon and click “Stroke”. Make the size: 13 pixels. Reposition it if you need to. Highlight the word, “Presents”, click the box and type in the same red color as you used for the theme of your game. Then, open your Move Tool. Shift-click the bottom text to make it active, as well, and convert the two text layers into one Smart Object. We can close the character/paragraph panels now. Next, we’ll add texture to our text. Make the paper texture layer active and make
a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Drag it above the title and invert its color
by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + I. Clip it to the title and desaturate its color by pressing
Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + U. We’ll brighten it by clicking the Adjustment
Layer icon and clicking, “Levels”. Then, clip it to our title. In the Input White Level, type in 30. Make the crisscross active and make a copy of it. Trash its color overlay and open the Transform Tool. Press Ctrl or Cmd + 0 to fit the Transform’s
bounding box onto your canvas. Drag it under the title. To resize it, go to a corner and when you
see a diagonal, double-arrow, press and hold Alt or Option + Shift as you drag it in or out. To angle it, go back to a corner and when
you see a curved, double-arrow, just rotate it. When its sized, positioned and angled to your
liking, press Enter or Return. To fit your document back onto the canvas,
press Ctrl or Cmd + 0 or you can size it incrementally, by pressing Ctrl or Cmd and the “plus” key
on your keyboard. Lastly, we’ll add secondary action figures
to our cover art. Open the secondary characters. We’ll make a selection around our characters. In this particular case, since the background
is a solid color, I’ll use the Magic Wand Tool. If you’re using this tool, as well, make sure
the “Add To” icon is active to ensure that every area you click on will be added to the selection. Check “Contiguous”, which selects a shape
with contiguous pixels of the same color. This prevents most, if not all of the subject
from being selected. The Tolerance sets the range of contiguous colors. I’ll set it to 10. Click the background including the closed
off areas between the arms and legs. Invert the selection by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + I. Press “D” to revert your foreground and background colors to their default colors of black and white respectively. Make a new layer and fill the selection with
black by pressing Alt or Option + Delete. Reduce its opacity to 90%, so we can slightly
see the characters through it. Make a composite snapshot of your image by
pressing Alt + Ctrl + Shift + E on Windows or Option + Cmd + Shift + E on a Mac. Press Ctrl or Cmd + J to cut and copy the
characters to its own layer. Drag the layer to the tab of our Red Dead
cover, drag it down and release. Open your Transform Tool to resize and position
it. Lastly, we’ll fade out some areas of the characters. Click the Layer mask icon to make a layer
mask next to the characters. Open your Brush Tool and Brush Picker. Pick a soft, round brush. We’ll adjust the size in a moment. Make its Hardness: 0% and its Opacity: 50%. Its Flow is 100%. Press the right or left bracket keys to adjust
your brush’s size. Then, brush over some of the edges to hide. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  1. Md Monirul Hossain December 8, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Just wow

  2. Fernando Vázquez Dj Manitas December 8, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Amazing job grandmaster.

  3. Sumac22 December 8, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Very nice work Marty, was hoping for a tutorial like this

  4. NetTubeUser December 8, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    This is a really good idea, and very interesting! I love this tutorial. You are really unique, Marty. You are always very clear, precise, talented, and you're not a chatterbox like many YouTubers.
    Your videos are always well made. It's always a pleasure to watch your video tutorials — Thank you very much for that, Marty.

  5. Returning Shadow December 8, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Is there a way to get the Oil Paint effect for those of us WITHOUT that option in our versions of photoshop? I can't remember if you made a tutorial on that.

  6. TB Photoshop Tutorials December 8, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Superb as always Marty! Always clear and concise, great tutorial.

  7. LUIS FRANÇA December 8, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Incríveis e sensacionais teus tutoriais!!!

  8. Nelly Wasti December 9, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Wow amazing ..Thank you

  9. Janny Doe December 9, 2019 at 12:25 am

    omg yesss im trying this tomorrow! 😀

  10. Somebadmeme December 9, 2019 at 12:40 am

    You’re a legend

  11. azerbera kanat December 9, 2019 at 1:18 am

    you are the best among others

  12. Mohamed Abdelazez December 9, 2019 at 2:35 am

    Great as usual
    But ، when you added the texture to the text , why did you do all of that stuff
    And not added it as bg with multiply blending mode ??

  13. TURCO AR December 9, 2019 at 4:11 am

    Fantastic job. And excellently explained.

    I have a question, I would like to know if you can make a video tutorial on how to make a military patch or simulate embroidery, to do something like this:
    Thank you very much and greetings.

  14. uvraj nanaware December 9, 2019 at 4:36 am

    U r great teacher ❣️

  15. Pramudito Bagas Umboro December 9, 2019 at 4:59 am

    Love the tutorial.
    You explain it so well and easy to understand.
    Liked it, subscribed, love the video

  16. laddawan promtong December 9, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Hi ฉันอยากให้คุณสอน โปรแกรม illustrator ฉันชอบ แต่ทำไท่เป็น ขอบคุณ

  17. Saied Alasaad December 9, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Always with a great new job.Thank you.

  18. Kadir Dağdaş December 9, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Thank you so much for your detailed telling.

  19. احمد نت December 9, 2019 at 10:52 am

    ليش صعب الأمور في التحميل اول كان سهل

  20. Gun R.J December 9, 2019 at 11:07 am

    love it..leaned so much from you over the years

  21. Andrea Cicotto December 9, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Great tutorial as always!!! What a great communicator !!! thanks for all!!

  22. Vishwanath Benade December 9, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Can u make a video on how to make glossi balck background plz thank you I learn a lot from you

  23. JOSE LENIN ARCOS SALINAS December 9, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks, a great tutorial

  24. 로봉순 December 9, 2019 at 11:37 pm


  25. Osama Mahmoud December 10, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    The toturial is great but one driver didn't work so can u upload the files in another site plz 👌❤

  26. Lasr8 December 11, 2019 at 3:33 am

    Everytime I click the oil paint filter, I get an error. Photoshop has encountered a problem with the display driver and has temporarily disabled enhancements for this feature which use the graphics hardware. This issue can commonly be fixed by updating display drivers. I updated drivers to no avail.

  27. EB 3000 December 11, 2019 at 7:52 am

    4:49 I have no "clipping mask icon"
    I have a panel that says "learn"

  28. EB 3000 December 11, 2019 at 8:17 am

    How do I use the font file? I'm brand new to photoshop, I got the trial just to do this so far.

  29. wst75 December 11, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for this! A great tutorial and really easy to follow. Even I managed it! 🙂

  30. Jay Davis December 12, 2019 at 3:13 am

    Looks like I'm going to be changing the Facebook "Tình" banner, this is wicked cool!

  31. hussain mohammed. mahf December 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm


  32. London Punk December 13, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Now I can make Red Dead Redemption: OwO Edition

  33. Kevin Aleixo December 13, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Nice tutorial!!
    Can wait the see Driver San Francisco cover
    Do it plz

  34. Jack MonteCristo December 14, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Whit this color gradient my photo is ruined 🙁

  35. SimplyFlowy :P December 19, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    you're the best!

  36. Charles Martel December 29, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Marty's voice is very relaxing!

  37. Royal Life January 4, 2020 at 6:12 am


  38. Cricri January 4, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Hi Marty. Great tut as usual, but I wanted to ask you if you had a solution for a side effect of the photo to drawing technique which bothers me some. I see it in this vid, although it's not so bad here, but also in many "comic/cartoon/oil painting" type PS Actions sold out there and when I use trace in Illustrator to produce a vector drawing effect much the same as in this tut. The absence of a smooth transitions between different hues, and particularly skin highlights, results in what I think looks more like a topographical map with ridges and valleys, than a comic book effect. I have never found a decent way to get over that and wondered if you did (I don't remember it from your previous tuts). Anyway, very useful video nonetheless.

  39. Davie Thurston January 10, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Hello there! Nice job on the video!! 👍 I think that you should take a look at smzeus[.]com!! It could really help you grow your channel!

Leave a Comment

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