Create a Dynamic Poster Layout in Adobe Photoshop! Add Depth & Layering | Lindsay Marsh | Skillshare

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Create a Dynamic Poster Layout in Adobe Photoshop! Add Depth & Layering

teacher avatar Lindsay Marsh, Over 500,000 Design Students & Counting!

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Preview


    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Creating 3D Shapes


    • 4.

      Arranging Our Shapes


    • 5.

      Creating Depth


    • 6.

      Adding Typography


    • 7.

      Finishing Touches


    • 8.

      Student Project


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About This Class

In this class we will work together in Adobe Photoshop to create a dynamic art poster. The main goal for this project will be to practice adding depth to your designs but also to learn how to show movement by using shapes, objects, colors and lines.

We will choose our main focal point and use repetition and consistent color themes to really bring all the elements together.

We will get a chance to create 3d shapes in Adobe illustrator to add an extra polish to our poster design. This is an intermediate level class so familiarity with the layer system and layering masks will be helpful when tackling this project.

At the end, you will be tasked to complete a student project where you will get a chance to create your own variation of the class project. 

This is the perfect class to take if you are wanting to elevate your design skills and learn how to use both movement and depth to create rich, dynamic layouts.

See you in the first lesson!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lindsay Marsh

Over 500,000 Design Students & Counting!


I have had many self-made titles over the years: Brand Manager, Digital Architect, Interactive Designer, Graphic Designer, Web Developer and Social Media Expert, to name a few. My name is Lindsay Marsh and I have been creating brand experiences for my clients for over 12 years. I have worked on a wide variety of projects both digital and print. During those 12 years, I have been a full-time freelancer who made many mistakes along the way, but also realized that there is nothing in the world like being your own boss.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be able to take classes at some of the top design schools in the world, Parsons at The New School, The Pratt Institute and NYU. I am currently transitioning to coaching and teaching.

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Related Skills

Design Graphic Design
Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Preview: In this class will work together in Adobe Photoshop to create this dynamic art poster. The main goal for this project will be to practice adding depth and your designs, but also to learn how to show movement by using shapes, objects, colors. And we will choose our main focal point and use repetition and consistent color themes to really bring all the elements together. We will get a chance to create 3D shapes and Adobe Illustrator to add an extra polish to our poster design. This is an intermediate level class, so familiarity with the layering system in Photoshop and wearing masks will be very helpful tackling this project. At the end, you'll be tasked to complete a student poster design where you will get a chance to create your own variation of the class project. My name is Lindsey Marsh and teaching design theory is my jam. I had been a graphic designer for over 20 years and a design instructor to over 350,000 graphic design students. I'm excited to be able to bring this class to you today. This is the perfect class to take if you're wanting to elevate your design skills and learn how to use both movement and depth to create rich dynamic layouts. So I'll see you in the first lesson. 2. Getting Started: Let's go ahead and get started. We're gonna do this in Adobe Photoshop. And just another reminder, this is an intermediate level projects, so we're going to use lots of layering masks and lots of layers. It's gonna be a little bit more on the complex side, but hopefully you guys are prepared and can handle it and don't worry, I will move at a steady pace and not too fast and not too slow. So let's get started opening up a new document. We're gonna be doing a poster size. But for this, we're gonna do a little bit of a smaller poster just to kinda keep file sizes down because we're gonna be working with a lot of graphic elements. And so we're just going to keep it on the smaller side. So let's go ahead and get into Photoshop and open up a new document. I'm going to stick with a standard size of 8.5 by 11. But if you wanted to do like an a for document or an A2 document, whatever you wanna do. But I'm just going to stick with an eight-and-a-half by 11 just because I want to have a tall orientation. Alright, so with this, I really want to talk about a lot of things with layout design, with how to create a sense of movement and how to create a sense of depth. And both of those are really hard to do in static poster design because it doesn't move at all. But you have to create this sense of movement throughout a design. And so that's what we're gonna do with angles and curves and layering. And we're going to make a very active poster to create a lot of positive design tension and create something really colorful and awesome. So first of all, we need a focal point, a subject matter. So you can go on and just type in dance movement. You can go on other websites like Pixabay and just find a and locate somebody that has movement. And I suggest finding somebody where you have the whole person shown. You don't have anything cropped at the waist, just get the entire person they're going to be our focal point. We're going to build all of our elements around this person. And I found this person and what I liked about her. She had a nice smile on her face. I wanted this to be fun and energetic, but also how her arms go diagonal. And I think diagonal and having things away from the horizon are just straight vertical will really help add movement and a sense of dynamic pop. So I'm gonna go with this person, but you can have someone who is in the air dancing, jumping whatever you wanna do for yours. So now that we have our photo, Let's go ahead and isolate the woman completely from the background. So I'm just going to select the object and do a quick Select Subject. And I, for this project, I did about ten of these, ten different people dancing and moving and tried to find the right one. And when I did the object, I did the select object tool. Sometimes it did a good job, and this one it did an excellent job. But a lot of times you have to zoom in and make better selections. So let's go ahead and add a go down here and adding layering mask. So I just master. Now I'm just going to copy her or you can drag and then paste her into the document. So we want to make sure that it's a smart object. So I'm just right-clicking and just converting it to a smart object so we can scale her down to where we need. So we need to figure out how, what's gonna be our blocking, what's gonna be our layout. So we don't want to make her too big or too small. So let's kinda make her right there in the middle. We can always make her bigger or smaller. But I want to have some background elements, maybe some 3D objects that are around her that are moving, kind of creating that sense of movement. So I don't want to make her so big that we don't have room for some of these other 3D elements. So one thing I usually like to do when I have lots of pop of color, I want to just apply a black and white filter to her. And it kinda takes everything to black and white and really allows the color to show off on the other elements. So I'm just gonna make her black and white. I can always change that if I want to in the future, gonna go up to image adjustments and just do a black and white filter. And I might need to adjust it because she she's looking a little dark. So I just wanted to just kind of lighten that a little bit so she doesn't get sometimes you have to tweak this and rarely does it do it perfect by default. So now we have to think of blocking and shape and layout. So what shape? Usually putting something that really helped that focal point be grounded. And you could do this in a lot of ways with shapes and putting a shape in the background to ground the focal point. Because if I were to start putting all these objects around her, she could easily get lost if there wasn't another graphical element to draw your eye toward her. And what, we're gonna do that with a shape. So we can do that with a lot of different shapes. Let's try just the Ellipse tool. And let's add a super pop of color. And usually something that's really attention-grabbing is kind of a brighter yellow, but I'm going to put just a tiny bit of orange in there just to not make it like that greenish yellow. Just like that, and just bring it behind her. So already you are seeing your eye really be drawn to her and you don't want that shape to overpower her. So it's always a balance of sizing. So you want to get there right. Sizing and I like the idea with layers is to have a little bit of herself popping outside of the shape. So in this case, her hands and her legs are popping out of the shape. It's not completely encapsulating her shape matters. You could do all sorts of different shapes with this, we can even go into Adobe Illustrator and create a custom shape using the curvature tool. So we can go into Adobe Illustrator. I'm just going to get the ellipse tool. And let's go ahead and make that a solid color. Let's make it similar to the color we had earlier. And what we could do is I can get the curvature tool and create this abstract shape. And so you don't have to use just straight up circles. You can do all sorts of interesting shapes. And you can just toggle between these two to find the right one. So that adds a lot more movement than just a circle. A circle is very centering and this kind of oblong abstract shape gives more flow as well. But I want to do something that really compliments her movement. And her movement is very diagonal and sharp. So she has her arms and they're aligned. What is a good shape that I think would really help to make this really pop. And I'm thinking triangle, triangle just kinda gets into my head at the moment. So we're going to create a triangle. We're gonna make it the same color that we had. We already have it saved in our swatches. And what I wanna do, I'm trying with this project, I'm trying to create as much movement and layering as possible. That's just the goal for this particular project is movement. So instead of keeping the triangle to straight up and down, we're going to need to spin this thing. So let's go ahead and spin and see, and see how our arms are going out. Let I wonder if we can align, not perfectly aligned, but kinda go with the flow of design. So the flow is this diagonal shapes. So let's do the triangle and a similar manner. You can see already switching to the triangle instead of the circle, it just flows really well together. They're not fighting each other. They kinda work a little bit better together. So you can use whatever shape you want for your subject matter. As you can see, lots of different shapes work well, but I'm just trying to create the most dynamic sense of movement I can. We have some movement going on? We need to make sure we add depth because movement in depth or two goals for this design. So how can we add depth? We can add a simple drop shadow to give her placement with the triangle. It's not just a floating triangle, but she exists with angle and a 3D space. So there's gonna be some kind of shadowing That's happening with this to create depth, we can hand paint a shadow which I've taught and some other lessons, but we're gonna do it right here today. Or you can just double-click the layer and just do a drop shadow. But what I find with these, it's very limited, very generic. Not a fan. I really love hand painting shadows because you can add curvatures and your shadows and bending and your shadows, instead of just a perfect, everything is casted the same distance. So let's create a layer underneath. And we're going to name this shadow layer. And we're going to be at the point, we're gonna have tons of layers. By the end of this, I'm just going to delete anything that is not necessary and name those layers. And if I don't name a layer, I apologize because it gets, it's going to be intense. So here's shadow. So I'm just going to get the brush tool and I'm going to do a soft round brush. And what I really want to do is hand paint those shadows. And I want it to be a rather big brush. Let's try out 500 pixels. And I want to paint this on at 50% opacity. And the reason for that is I want shadows are complicated things. Rarely do they just cast at one strength the whole way, like it would when you do a Layer Style words generically does it. A real realistic drop shadow will have layers of intensity. So you have intensity that's closer to the subject matter and then it gets faded out as it moves away from the subject matter, especially when you have a soft light source. So understanding shadows and how they work are really critical. So I'm going to get black and I'm going to show you what I mean. So I'm gonna go ahead. I have 50% opacity here. So as I keep painting over the layers, I can make it darker. So I'm going to start off large and just paint where I think the shadows would be cast with her. And just a tiny bit on the other side just to get her grounded. That's it. Then we're going to make it smaller. And we're gonna go a little bit closer to her. So this will be more of the darker side of the shadow, kind of layering our shadows and making it whatever it's closer to her, a little bit darker and it looks like a mess now, but we're going to be erasing some of this later. So we can go back through, maybe even lower the opacity some more, make it bigger. We're just going back and we're layering the shadow where we think it would be and it can go along with their body as well. So you just make it curvier. It all really depends on the light source and I can spend an entire hour just talking about shadowing. Let's instead just erasing this. We can easily just erase this top shadow that we don't need. I'm going to make it non-destructive and I'm just going to add a layer mask. And as you know, with layering mass, if you paint with black, it will make it disappear. If you paint with white on the layer mask, it'll make it show up. We're gonna be doing a lot of layering mass. So I'm going to paint with black with the soft round brush tool on my layer mask, which is right here. And I'm just going to go ahead and delete and a mixture. I have full strength on this. Just going back and just fine tuning the shadows. Like I don't really need it down here because I'm casting light on the triangle. But when you get back here, there's gonna be depth. The background is going to be way behind her in the 3D space, so we don't need shadowing right here quite yet. Now I can go back and this is all just little small things. This is when a way com tablet is really helpful because you can go in, I'm just have the layering mask and I just have black and I'm just kinda slowly erasing it at a light opacity just to make it softer and more realistic. Now it feels like she's there on the triangle. So we need to add layering to the triangle. We have shadows on her, but we need to add shadows on the triangle. We really want to create a sense of place for the triangle because right now it's just floating on a white background. Let's go ahead and create a background. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just to create a simple backgrounds can be gray. It's gonna be very light gray. So I'm just gonna do the background. And I'm going to do a light gray. This will just help the colors pop a little bit. And I could just do something as simple as the paint bucket tool. And I'm going to bring that all the way down to the bottom. Now we want to create that sense of depth again. So let's go ahead and add another layer and put it behind the triangle so we can paint behind and we're going to paint on some shadows using the brush tool, soft round brush tool. Let's make it nice and big. And you want to create shadows that are going to show some distance. I want to create lots of depth. So you're gonna put more distance and your shadows are going to be longer and bigger if you're trying to create lots of depth. So it's not gonna be super close to the object. If I want it to be super close, I would just be taking a very small brush and making it look closer. Let me go ahead and get black. Change the opacity. So it would just be a very tight shadow. We want very loose long shadows. So let's make it nice and big. Maybe even, gosh, 1,400 pixels, maybe. I have my opacity set to lighter. I'm just going to click. And of course you see her shadows on the right side of her. So we don't want to draw shadows here that wouldn't make any sense with the lighting source. So if the lighting sources coming here, let's go ahead and do it to the right. I'm just going to click and just drag up maybe just once or twice doesn't take a whole lot, but it just adds a little more depth and click a little bit closer to create those deeper shadows. If you ever think it's too intense, you got it on its own layer. So you can just reduce the opacity. So we already starting to see a little bit of depth here. What I wanna do is with the background. And a lot of designers do this to add a little bit of detail. So you could do that by going up a filter and go to add noise, Noise, Add Noise. And this effect can really look awful if you do too much. So I only do just a little bit. Maybe seven, 7% is all you need. Because if you do too much, it starts to look very static. And also sometimes if you click monochromatic, so let's say I don't have monochromatic selected and I do a lot almost looks like TV static has all this color to it, but when you do monochromatic, it takes that color away. It makes it look less like a TV static. So let's go ahead and go back to seven. So clear, I'm going to do that to the triangle filter, add noise and just adds that texturing. And you see a lot of artists do this. A lot of illustrators do this with a little bit of texture, adds some richness. So we also need to make sure that her feet have a place because right now she is floating. She has a sense of place with the triangle. The triangle has a sense of place with the background. But what about her poor feet? She is floating. So we're going to once again need to create a new layer. We're going to have to title this foot shadow or whatever you want to call it. Let's do the same thing. And we're going to have to do a lot shorter of a shadow. And just we're gonna just add a little place for her feet. So it's going to kind of at the shadows to the right. Let's kinda make a right dominant. And sometimes I just click, click, click. It's hard, hard to get shadows right sometimes. So that at least gives her a sense of place on the ground. Now, we're gonna be ready to add lots of really neat elements to really make this pop. 3. Creating 3D Shapes : We're looking for a very dynamic piece that has a pop of color, a pop of movement, and a pop of depth. We're really trying to be more dramatic here. We need to have dramatic contrast in colors on the color wheel. And what is the color that's super high contrast with yellow on the color wheel is going to be purple. So that purple is going to pair so well with a yellow, It's going to feel like they belong together because it's a color harmony. So it makes a lot of sense to maybe work with purple. And of course, at the very end, we can tweak color and see what other color combinations may work. So This dress, it's a black dress, but right now we really want color. Let's change the color of the dress. So I have her selected. We need to isolate just her dress. So let's see if we can cheat a little bit and do the objects selection tool and just see how well it automatically exit for us. Thank goodness for these updates and tools. Of course, it's not perfect. So I'm going to have to go in with the Magnetic Lasso Tool and I'm going to be subtracting. I'm just going to subtract all of this selection and we do not want to select her hair in this. We're going to be very precise because we're gonna be changing lots of colors here and we can't have anything that's not actually a part of the dress. Okay. If I feel like I got her dress pretty well selected, what I'm gonna do is I'm going to create a copy of this. I'm just going to copy. I'm going to do some shortcuts, but let me do it the long way. I'm going to just copy this layer and paste it in place. It's going to paste it right on top of it. And this is gonna be purple dress. And there we have it completely isolated from the woman. So now we need, it's really hard to add color to black. So we're gonna do a little trick to help change the black color. So if I go up to Image Adjustments and humans saturation and I tried to change her color. You're not going to see it because there's no color there. There's no color to change, it's just black. We're going to have to change that. So we're going to have to go to Image Adjustments. And this is a little trick I discovered. We're going to have to go to selective color, which I use a lot in previous lessons and previous beginner level courses. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna go down to blacks. So we're going to try to select, That's the only thing here was black and maybe some white. We're going to go to black. So we're going to try to add just enough color, doesn't matter what color, as long as it changes color. So try to get where it's a color. So it's green, so we're going to click Okay, now we have color. So when we go to the hue saturation portion, It's got color now that we can change the hue of that green to whatever color we want. So you can see how it can change. So just a little tweak to kinda give it a little color. So then now you can go into the hue and saturation and be able to have an effect. So let's try to find a nice purple color that looks nice. Let's go on the other end. Probably, probably at the very end here. That looks great. Add a little saturation while we're here and click Okay. Of course we can always do some adjustments. We can go to exposure if we really want to bring out those shadows a little bit more so they're not so dark. They're just going to up the exposure just a tiny bit. You can really overdo exposure. We can go to the left of gamma correction. That's really going to bring out those shadows. So that hurt. Her dress is not so dark and drab. So we added lots of color very simply. So now I can easily toggle that on and off if I want to change the color. Super easy. So if I ever decide, Hey, I don't know, I'm going to do orange and blue. It's gonna be really easy to change all that and then change the color of your rectangle right here. Let's surround her with some kind of design element to really help draw the background and the foreground together. Because right now it's just her and a yellow triangle. Let's add some dimension and just something to look at, something to kind of go. Okay, that's really complimentary of the triangle shapes and everything like that. So what I'm gonna do is we're going to do a little bit of 3D work in Adobe Illustrator because I love illustrators, new 3D tools. We're going to pop into Illustrator. And we're going to create some shapes. And create, make a little bit of a 3D. What I like about 3D objects is they're going to add the highlights and shadows perfectly. Then you can bring it into Photoshop and really bring them out. It just adds a really nice polished look to designs. Instead of just doing flat. Of course, you could do flat shapes and still make it work. But we want depth. We went shadows, highlights, distance, and movement. I really think 3D shapes could help really make this look a little bit more polished than just flat, simple shapes. We wouldn't let say Swiss design style. Let's create some shapes. What indicates movement, what gives the eye, what draws the eye places? And that is arrows. Every time we look at an arrow, you're always gonna be looking toward whatever that arrow is pointing. So I figured that would be a really good selection as something to put around the woman to indicate that sense of movement and direction. Okay, So let's create an arrow. That's pretty easy. And Adobe Illustrator, Let's go ahead and make this black for now to make it a nice big stroke and around, we're just rounding the corners here. This is intermediate level, so hopefully you guys have already done this in the first masterclass or other lessons of mine. We're just gonna do a simple arrow. Put this together. Just like that. Maybe we'll make sure that's centered. Just do a center alignment. So I'm going to group these together because when you do 3D objects in Adobe Illustrator, if you don't group them, they'll do them as separate 3D objects. So we're going to group them and go to Effect 3D materials Extrude and Bevel. We might want to make this a different color just so we can see what's going on. So let's make it blue for right now. There we go. So now we can take this and let's go get the center point here. And we can just move this around however we'd like. So let's kind of what we wanna do is we want to get, we want to play with that sense of direction. So we have this diagonal kind of look to it. So let's kinda keep that going with our arms. So let's do it with along with her arms. So let's go, let's point the arrow in that direction, which is going to be two going to the right. Like this. And we want to have a little depth. So let's show the distance there by tilting it up. So let's bring this forward. It's kinda flat on the top. So let's add a bevel. And I love these new this, this is probably added about two years ago. And I'm just really loving the new tools. So I thought keeping with round would be nice, nice and round. Or there's lots of neat things you can do with this. So if I do step, I do repeat. So it's good to repeat that shape. Many times you can create some really detailed 3D objects. But let's stick with nice around bevel. And let's make it higher. So we want to add a little bit more height to the bevel and a little more width. And it's really a chunky arrow. So one way to change that as reduced the depth. So up here in depth, we can reduce that. Of course, it's really small, so it might not be able to let me drag it yet. Well, we're just going to make it a little bit smaller, just like we don't want it to be so chunky that can't really see the front of it. So let's go to materials. So we're gonna go to the materials object right here. It's just on the default, everything's on default, on the whites hidden so far below because it's so important. Roughness this, so this is how light is bouncing off the 3D object. We want to have a low roughness. So I want it to be shiny. And a little bit of metallic and metallic is really good to add. Of course, you could do so much metallic that it reflects all the light and it looks dark. But the metallic will give you that little bit of a nice gloss. So play around with the roughness and metallic. I was just looking for a little bit of gloss. Let's go to lighting. We could change the rotation of the light. How, where do we want the light to bounce off of? And we kinda have a light source on our picture on the top coming down. Because you want to be, you don't want to have too much gloss that you can't really see the detail that might not work out. So you kinda have it where it's shining on there, but it's not as intense where it takes away from the object. So once again, you're just going to have to tweak these things until you're happy with it. We can always add more contrast in Photoshop, so don't worry if it doesn't feel like it has enough contrast. You can do a lot of similar post editing in Photoshop. Okay, so what you could do up here, and this, this could be an entirely new section of the course, but you can actually render with ray tracing. So let's render with ray tracing what that's gonna do, it's gonna take its time and make it a higher-quality. So you're just gonna go down to the drop-down and go mediums. So it's going to render it. Let's go to really polish it up. That's all I'm doing is doing medium and clicking render. And it's going to kill your computer. Although with the small arrow, it's not actually so bad. But every time you make a change with this ray tracing on it, re-renders it. So sometimes you gotta get everything nice and then when you're ready to render, you can render it. When you're happy with your arrow, you can just drag it right on into Photoshop. And you have your arrow. We want to make it big enough to make an impact. And if you don't like how it looks, you want to add more contrast. You can go to hue and saturation, or you can do brightness and contrast and adjust it to add more depth or whatever you want to add. 4. Arranging Our Shapes : So we have our arrow. I went back and tweaked it just a tiny bit. But now we need to really think about coloring. We did this super bright yellow just because it was the brightest color. We just started a blank document. It's really the first color we picked, but now that we have this deep purple, Let's tweak this triangle just a little bit. Let's just make sure it's a smart object. I don't know how it got. I think when I added the grain, it converted it at rasterized it. So I'm just right-clicking, just making it a smart object. And so now I can do hue and saturation. I just want to tweak this a little bit. What I wanna do is I want to add a little more warmth to it. So I want to add a little more orange. I don't want to make it orange, but just a little bit more orange to help complement the purple. I'm just going to make it ever so slightly. Orange. Click, Okay, so now we have this arrow, but what, how many do we put around and how big do we make them, and what color do we make them? So let's take a, let's really think about our color palette before we move forward. So we have these high contrast colors like this, orange, really yellow, orange and this purple. What if we made, let's go ahead and do hue saturation on this arrow. So there's a lot of colors we can make this. And if you make them too close to that, as green as Really, it concerns me is the green and the purple and the orange. They're not really complementing each other very well. So you just have to find a color that's going to complement well. And what compliments well is analogous colors which are close together on the color wheel. So what we can do instead of making it the same exact shape of the triangle, because the arrows will just disappear and they'll just be these leftover elements. As we can make it slightly darker or lighter to have more of an analogous color. So I'm just making it slightly darker. So the arrow pops out at you beyond the triangle, but it complements the color of the triangle. We don't have ten different colors going on here. We're trying to be thematic with our color choices. So that's why I've decided to go with a dark orange. Now, let's have a, what we wanna do is we want to duplicate this layer. So I'm just going to duplicate the layer. And also before I duplicate the layer, just for the cleanliness of my design file, I need to name this arrow. So now it's gonna be really, Let's do orange arrow. When we duplicate it, it's already named for us. So I'm just going to duplicate the layer, just gonna do a copy and paste. So now we need to think about design repetition. Repetition and design is so important because you're able to kind of throughout the piece, see similar objects and connect them all together and having a sense of repetition. That's the key word there. So we want to repeat these arrows without being overwhelming. So we want to make these different sizes because once again, we want to add depth, depth and motion. Depth and motion as the two things we're looking for. So adding depth, we want to make these different sizes so they look like they exist on different planes in the 3D space. Meaning this one is really large and this one is really small. And they, they look like they're just different distance from my site, my eyesight. So let's take this and make it a little bit bigger. And so now we have to figure out where to place this. If we want to have a sense of layering and depth, we want to have them crossover other objects. So instead of having them all exists nicely like put like right here. If we have it cross over the arrow, it adds depth because now you have the object going behind or past a certain object. So what we're gonna do is we're to sprinkle a few of these about. We're gonna make some smaller. And the smaller ones are probably going to exist behind her. If you really think about how all of these layers are really existing in the 3D space. The smaller ones are gonna be further back. So they're probably gonna be behind the woman. So we're just going to drag this behind the woman. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to bring my layer panel out so you can see it a little bit better. Okay, so it's gonna probably going to be behind the woman right here. But I wanted to also cross over here. Let's zoom in so I can show you all these little small design decisions matter. So she's behind the woman, but also like having it crossed over the shape of the triangle to add depth. So it's crossing over an object right here. And it's also going behind the woman because it's smaller. Let's do one more. We don't want to do too many of these. We don't want to overwhelm with arrows. Let's bring this on top. This is when you're layering system, it starts to get a little busy. So here's what we wanna do. We wanna make one that's pretty big. And if we had it like this, and we kept it exactly how it is, kind of really becomes the focal point. And we don't want this to take away from the woman, the woman and the triangle or the focal point of this piece. The arrows are complimentary of the piece, but they're not, they're not the main attraction. So we want to be able to also create depth. So let's blur this a little bit so it takes away from the strength of the arrow and make sure it makes the focal point the focal point. So what we're gonna do is we're do a Gaussian blur on this. So we're gonna go up to Filter Blur. Just do a simple Gaussian blur to this. And we want to make it really blurry because it's really the front of the piece. And we don't want it too much close to who. We want it as a background element like this. Or we can have it up at the top. And it creates that sense of depth. We also want to have balance with everything we do. We want to make sure we don't have things heavily weighted on one side. So I don't want to have three arrows over here and one arrow over there because it's not, it's not balanced. You need to have okay, we have one here and your eye darts to the left or to the right darts to the left kinda have this centering, this balance that happens. And that's kinda what helps you determine where I placed the arrows. And that's going to be balanced. So it's just trying to figure out all these little small design decisions. Five to 10 min to just rearrange the arrows to make sure that we have some nice layering opportunities with some behind her son behind the triangle. So I'm in front of the triangle, just having a sense of balance. My plan for this is not just to have 50 arrows, but to have something different than just arrows, to maybe have another complimentary shape. So perhaps, let's bring out the theme of the triangle. We have the triangle, it's a very centered part of the piece. Let's incorporate that triangle and another additional shape that we can incorporate with the arrows. Let's go back into Adobe Illustrator. This goes back to repetition. We're trying to repeat similar objects to create a thematic presence in the design, which is really important. That theme really ties everything together. So let's just create a simple triangle. And let's make it 3D effect, Extrude and Bevel. Let's kinda do a similar angle. We can always go back to this original shape and find out what the angle was on this. Alright, so let's get the right angle here. Kinda match what we had before. We want everything to go in the same flow. That will help stay with the flow of design. Let's not make it so deep. Let's make it a little bit more shallow. And let's do some beveling. Wants to keep it around bevels. I'm just reducing the size of it. And we want to do the repeat this time because I think that's such a rich effect, adds lots of texturing to it. So what I wanna do is I've created, I think for maybe let's do three. I don't want to do too many where you lose the details. Let's do three and let's create a little more space between them. And what I wanna do is I want to round these sharp corners. Just think it'd be kind of a more polished looking 3D object if it had some rounded corners. So I'm going to take the direct selection tool and this is what's cool about the 3D elements in Illustrator as you can live, edit them. I'm just going to go and create rounded edges. Kinda helps to keep it a little bit more polished looking. Let's go to Materials and make sure we reduce the roughness. Maybe increase a little metallic so we can have a nice little shine to it. We can change our lighting, get the right lighting. There we go. And then we can also make sure we do ray tracing to give it that nice rendered look and maybe change the depth on it, just make it a little bit more shallow. We don't want to have this big chunky object. We want to have it be nice and simple just like this. So we can drag that into Photoshop. And I went ahead and applied hue and saturation to match the orange. So now we have two elements here. We have these arrows and we have these little triangle thing. So now here's where it does get a little bit more complicated. How do we balance all of these out and integrate both of these without having it be unbalanced. Like too many triangles are too many triangles on the left side or too many on the right side. But we're gonna do the same thing. We're going to try to find little spaces and opportunities to integrate these with the arrows and have everything seemed balanced. This is the tricky part because you don't want to overwhelm with too many objects which were starting to do. But one way to balance this out is I have this really close arrow object. We can also have a really close triangle object down here to balance out the design. So that's exactly what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go and do a Gaussian blur on this bottom-right triangle. There we go. Make sure that goes over that shape as much overlapping we can do over shapes, the better. 5. Creating Depth: I feel like I have enough triangles and arrows and I feel like I'm happy with the layering and the placement. But now we have some overwhelming colors happening now and we need to tweak it. We have too much of the same color, we have lots of orange elements. It's very busy looking. One way to change that is with color. So we're going to select a few of these arrows and triangles and do a balance of having some of them be orange and some of them bring out the other dominant color in this, and that's the purple. So I'm just gonna do simple hue and saturation for some of these and try to match that purple color. Okay, great. So now it's still seems a little bit busy, but I like the idea of having the dual colors. The theme is really starting to come together. But I think we need to add something else. And to create depth that's put something behind the woman. But in front of the triangle, Let's add another layer of fun and excitement. We kinda have a lot going on here and I want to have something to help really tie it all together to make it a super fun piece. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go over to Pexels and I'm going to find something with powder or smoke or fire, or probably going to go in the powder direction to have something look like it's exploding. Like you see those color battles where there's, they're just throwing that chalk, that colored chalk. So let me go locate an image now. I couldn't find what I want it on, but I did go to Adobe Stock. If you go to Adobe Stock and you search for free, they actually have some free photos that you can use in the Adobe stock. You don't have to be in Adobe subscriber to be able to get the free ones? I don't believe so. I have to double-check on that, but it just went too. Just went to Adobe Stock, typed in free than just typed in dust. And I was able to find one. I'll have to double-check to see if you need a subscription. I'm logged in. So I'm wondering if you need to be logged in to get the free, but if you don't have to be a paying premium stock member to get it. Okay, so I have this and this one's going to be a little bit tricky to isolate. So it has this black background and if you do any kind of objects selection tool, it's going to fail miserably because there's so many little details that it's going to leave out. So we're going to have to do some photo editing tricks to get this ready to isolate from the black background. If I were just to do a blending mode and blend it over the object, I wouldn't get a sense that the photo is actually they're just slightly transparent. So I'm not looking to just do a quick blending mode either. Let's cut this object out and get the blackout as best as we can. So what I wanna do is go to Select and go down to Color Range. Select color range, since this is just black, I could select black. Notice how it just selects all the black right here. And what we wanna do is we can adjust the fuzziness to get details or to not get details. And let's just go ahead and click Okay and see how it selects it. So you can also invert it. You want to invert your selection. So white would be what it selects and black would be what it doesn't select. It can invert it. So now I just clicked on the black to select the black and then I inverted that selection. So now we're selecting everything that's not black. So let's click on Okay and see how it does. And it left out a lot here. So we can tell if we go down and do a layering mask on this, you can see it's selection. Actually that's really good. That's actually really good. Maybe the selection to preview wasn't as good as the actual. I thought I think that's excellent. Let's go ahead and just copy and bring that over. To this. What we wanna do is we don't want this to overwhelm. This is not the focal point. This is a decorative detail. So we don't want to make it be overwhelming. So let's make it smaller. And let's bring this behind the woman. This is really going to help us with our color theme because it's gonna be able to add a lot of color for us. So let's make it smaller. We just want it to be some small details that are coming behind her and instantly it feels like that gap is filled in. Anybody know, the colors are a little jarring right now. It kinda helps take the busy-ness of the arrows and helps complement that as well. We want to make this a nice deep rich purple and we might want to turn this to get, we want to take that blew out of there because right now blue is not working, but Purple might work well. So what we need to do is make this a rich, saturated purple to complement or dress. So what we're gonna do is I'm going to go up to adjustments and I'm going to do a gradient map. Okay, So what we're gonna do, keep that black, keep the shadows, blacks, change this to purple. All the highlights are now going to be purple. We might need to slide this, so that's some of the mid tones become purple. We don't want this to be a dark blob behind her. We want this to be a very highly saturated purple. We might need to even add a lighter shade, maybe even white. So you're just gonna have to slide this around and figure out what result you want to have. This can even be a deep purple. So there isn't. But there's all purple but deep, deep, dark purple. Great. So we're going to click Okay. What would be really need is to somehow incorporate orange and this explosion too. So I'm going to copy and paste. I have another version of this. I'm going to turn it, so it's not an exact copy. Here's what I'm gonna do. I just want I want this to be orange. So I'm going to go up and do a, make sure that's a smart layer. And let's go up and add a gradient map to this one. And let's do orange. Instead. We're going to do orange. Now we have orange, but it's taken away from the purple. So what I'm gonna do, I just want orange to kinda be in small elements. I'm going to add a layer mask. It's going to paint and delete with black. Nice soft round brush, nice enlarge one, just deleting with black. Make sure I have 100% opacity. Just deleting all this stuff I don't need just keeping a little orange where I want to have it. Just a little pop orange and we can even go to hue and saturate. Well, let's see, Let's go back to Gradient Map. Well, here we go. I want a little bit deeper, orange. There we go. That's going to really help pop out against the purple. We're getting there. But I think we need to add our typography elements very soon or we're going to not be able to have a proper place for it. So let's add our typography elements and then we can adjust any of our elements or 3D elements around the topography. And really just kinda block this out and we start getting to the background and some final elements. 6. Adding Typography : Now we need our typography choice. For that, we're just going to have a very simple phrase in it to win. It could be, it, you don't have to use that phrase is something that was short and easy to use. You don't want to have a lot of words on this one. There's a lot going on. So it's really simple, short phrase. I picked out this typeface and it's a nice condensed typeface. So it's got these nice tall condensed letters. And I thought that would be really good in such a tight space. So let's go ahead and make this. Right now. Let's just make it white so we can see it, but we're gonna be changing some things. So let's go ahead and put our whole headline together and then we'll figure out the rest from there. So let's do n in it to win it or in it to win. It's trying to think of something that we can use it to win. So we have four different words here. What are ways that we can maybe condense or pack in a couple of these, what I notice, and this is how my design brain works, is I noticed these are very similar widths. So what if we were to stack these two? It should probably still be readable because it's a very popular phrase. And we can stack those two so that now we have less horizontal space that we're going to have to use for this headline. And I think it reads, okay, you always got to make sure it reads okay, in it to win. I think that works. So let's go ahead and make it smaller. Let's go ahead and get the sizing we need here. We do not ever want to overpower focal point, but this is kind of part of the focal point. You have some topography, have the woman, the triangle that's all kind of centered here in the beginning. And you notice that once I added the topography, some of the arrows and the other 3D objects, it just seems a little bit less busy because those words really center everything, really kinda anchor. So that's kinda planned on the words being here, whatever, whichever works for you in this case, I just decided to do the topography after the 3D elements so I can see what typography I needed to use that complemented the 3D objects. But whatever works for you, we want to do movement, movement and depth. So how can we make this not moving much at all. It's nice and stable. It adds stability to the design being horizontal. But what, but that's not the point of this project is point is to maximize depth and maximize movement. So let's add movement to the topography. We can select all the typography. I want to share it. I just want to add a diagonal movement to the typography. So I'm gonna go up to edit, Transform and we're gonna go to skew. We're going to skew the topography here. And we want to go with the movement of her arms, with the movement of the triangle. So let's just move it up. Just like this, this upward movement. We want to go with the flow of design. And there we go, just adds a little bit of a dynamic pop to it. This is more detailed than I would normally have in InDesign, but I want to make sure everything matches that detail. I just want to do some stylistic things. Maybe change some of the color and maybe add something to it. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna make this black. Here's what I'm gonna do. I'm just copying and pasting another version of this n. And I'm going to make it a stroke really quickly. So I'm gonna go up here. I'm going to add a string, a takeaway color overlay. I'm going to add a stroke. I just want to have a white stroke and I want to take away the fill. I talk about this in my first masterclass. We do it a few times. We're going to reduce the fill. And I'm just gonna do a stroke and I want to add, this, just adds detail and it's a stylistic choice. It's not a, not anything you have to do. It just adds a little bit of a more modern appearance to the topography. And we want to add layers here, right? So what if, what if we had part of the eye or the end go behind the woman? We can do that. We could do that. So what we're gonna do is we're going to add a layer mass to the black in it. Let's go find the black end. There's the black end and you're going to have to start naming these things or you're gonna get completely lost. And then this is the white light in outline. Black in. And we're going to add a layer mask. And I'm just going to take the brush tool and I'm going to paint away some of this. We want her arm to kinda go over the n. We do like an actual selection would probably be even better if I selected a little bit. Let's go all the way back to them when I do this, but I think that might be the best way to do it. I'm going to select the woman's go ahead and title or woman. Yeah, that's messy. So let me just get the polygons, do it. Old school. There we go. So now that we have that selection, we can go all the way back up to our black in there it is. Do our layering mask and paint on. Paint this off. So it looks like it's layered. Oop, I don't wanna go there. I just wanted you to the I might look a little messy. That's okay. You can just go in and clean that up. Alright, so now that's cleaned up, it kinda adds a little depth to her put kinda pushing her arm through. We're gonna keep the stroke on top just for readability. And let's see what we can do to make the win also different colors. White is not working with this because we have a lot of color to this. It's kinda washed out. So what if, what if we kept with our theme and made this orange and maybe a little bit of brighter orange. And right now it washes out, right? I can't see it. But let's keep our theme with the stroke that we have. Let's duplicate this and do a black outline it with the same style as in. And white kinda blends in. So let's do nice high contrast. Black with the stroke. Maybe even make it a five-point stroke. We're just going to offset it. I'm just taking my arrow tools and just kinda slowly off-setting it. We also want to make sure the fill on this is reduced. We just want the stroke. There we go. Perfect. And maybe let's go back and make that a four-point stroke. All these little details. I mean, if I included every single thing I did when I originally did this practice project, if I were to go step-by-step over everything I did to get there. It's a sick took me 5 h to figure all this out. It'll be a very long, arduous boring lesson. So some of this is not as detailed as I would normally have it in a project, but I don't want to have a five-hour project either and bore you guys to death. So we need to do something with it and two, and since there's a lot going on with color, Let's, I think it could stand alone as a stroke. So let's just make these some strokes. Going to have to do white to show up on our purple dress and reduce the fill. Let's do the same thing here. Reduce the fill. And we're just adding a stroke. Just like that. Oh, I think that's still reads really well. So let's go ahead and just fine tune is moving some topography around. Make sure I have everything, how I like it. We can even put all this into a folder because right now it's hard to put some of these into folders because I have some arrows on the very top and some errors in the very bottom. So it's kinda hard. You can guess, you can group or link them in a way. But what I'm gonna do is I'm going to at least take all the typography and put it in a folder. So I'm going to select all the typography we have here and just pop it into a folder. And now I have a place for type, which makes it a lot easier to go up here and do auto select by group. All this is kinda beginner stuff, but go ahead and select by group and then I can move it all together at once, find the right placement. 7. Finishing Touches: Okay, so now let's take some of these 3D elements that should be on top and put them on top. So this triangle should go all the way up at, up at the top in front of the type. And we might just need to jog. We don't want to cover up the bottom of the end, but just a little bit at the end would be neat to add more depth. Same thing with this arrow. This arrow most likely would be on top of the typography. So we can go even further and add shadows that cast on the woman from this triangle. You have right here. It just looked like the triangles floating. But what we can do is we can add shadows below it that cast on her leg. So we're going to duplicate this. Put it behind. I probably should a name, this is just a vector smart object or should name that arrow. I had a chance. I'm gonna make this smaller and put it where the shadow would be casts. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just going to double-click this and do a color overlay. Maybe do a little bit of a Gaussian Blur. Not too much, just a little Gaussian blur. And then I'm going to reduce the opacity on this layer. So it's gonna look like it's casting a shadow on her leg. But the background is further behind in the 3D space, so it wouldn't, that little part wouldn't be there. So what I can do is I can create a layering mask and just simply erase that part away. Just keep it casts on her leg. So being able to study shadows and highlights is so important in design to know like how they operate in real life, how our shadows cast in real life. So now it looks like the shadow is on her leg. It just adds more depth and realism. Maybe back-off the shadow just a little bit, maybe 20%. Great. Same thing. And some of the other areas, if we wanted to cache, if we wanted to cast a shadow here, Let's bring that below. And do the same thing. We're just going to make it a color overlay. Do a Gaussian Blur, reduce the opacity, and make it a little bit smaller. And then do a layering mass. There's a lot of steps. I know it can be overwhelming for some of you somebody be like, Oh, I know how to do all this, but some of you guys may be like this is a lot of steps. But that's why this is an intermediate project and not a beginner level project or there's something incomplete about this. She's still kinda floating. There's nothing bringing her really centering her. I mean, she's centered. But I think the background can help to further exaggerate the sense of movement. And I want to create some little background elements that'll be in the very background. And it's not just a white space. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to just create a, Let's do like a not quite all the way black because I want to add color to this. So I'm gonna do a little bit of a dark gray. So as little color that we can use are a little bit lighter colors we can use to change the color. I'm just going to make a rectangle shape. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to bring this in the very back, all the way in the back and make sure there's not a stroke on this either. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to add more sense of diagonal angle and direction and movement. So I'm just going to angle this and having this darker color helps to bring everything together. So it was she just floating in a whitespace and now she's gonna be more grounded. And so I'm going to duplicate this, bring this on the bottom to kinda continued to anchor this. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just going to do, add a little bit of that noise, a little bit of that grain kinda adds texture. Convert to smart object and click. Okay, so just add a little bit of texture to it makes a difference, in my opinion, could do the same down here. A little bit of nice texture. Then I'm going to make sure that this has a little hint of our color theme in it. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go to Hue and Saturation, see if I can't bring out a test, a tiny bit of purple. And why might need to do what I did in the beginning, which is go to my Selective Color and go ahead and get to black and add a little color that way. There we go. It'd be great if I can go ahead and add purple this way too. Right? So now I can go to hue saturation and be able to have an effect. Here. I can also, since this is, let's go ahead and do a quick Dodge Tool, lets rasterize this. Let's make it big. I just want to add a little bit of highlights to this, this at the top. And that needs a lot more saturation. So just all these little tiny things in here at a lot of people leave out. But I'm just showing you my whole process because it's, it's messy. There's a lot of activity happening when you do design like this. I'm going to zoom out. I'm going to take a look what feels unbalanced here. What about this top right? Is that too much orange? Especially when you have this orange here, is it almost too jarring? Maybe. Let's switch that to purple and see if it makes a difference. That looks much better. It's not as jar doesn't bring my eye to the upper left. I don't want my eye to be the upper left. That's a detail, a small detail. My eye to continue to be centered. And there's all sorts of tweaks we can make. Let's, let's say, okay, the triangle. How can we tweak this to make it a little bit better so you can go to brightness contrast. Can we add more brightness to it? Orange. What can we do to make that a better color? So you're just going to continue to do this over and over and over again. This is what I ended up in the end, of course, this is the one I did before the project. I don't think they're too different. So this is the one that we did in the class together. And everything's going to come out different. You can't recreate it exactly the same. And this is the one that I did as a teaser, kinda figuring out what project we're going to do. A lot of you might go, oh, this is really busy. But this is more, less of an ad and more of an artistic piece. Just crew and just kind of creating depth and layering and practicing. That's what this is about. You don't have to have it be this busy, you can have it be really clean. I did another version of this where it was just a little bit more clean. There's not as much detail, but it still had a lot of the basic elements and use different shapes for your project. I'm gonna go ahead and give you your project in the next lesson. And it'll be really fun. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. 8. Student Project: So for your project, I want you to create an artistic poster that has one nice centered focal point and have expressive things around it. Let's say 3D shapes or flat shapes, or some type of graphical little element or illustration or something around the focal point. I want you to put a shape behind it that compliments that person. And after that, you can choose anything you want to do. You can choose your own color theme. Whoever you want to feature doesn't have to be someone who's dancing or moving. But I want you to have two goals in mind. I want you to have something that shows layering, lots of layers and depth. And I want you to have something that shows lots of movement, lots of dynamic movement and expressing that through this art poster that you're going to create. Those are the only rules as long as you're doing a few of those things, you can do whatever you want with the shapes and illustrations and focal point that you want to choose for your design. You could do a different background. You could do something more clean. You could do something that's more Swiss style, more clean and elegant with your typography, I would like you to incorporate one piece of typography in here, but if you really don't want to, you don't have to. But just as an added bonus, if you can work in a word, a very short, short, short phrase. We don't want to get too busy with this very short phrase or one word that helps to express whatever it is that focal point person is doing. But once again, not required for the project. You could do it in any color theme you want. You don't have to do high contrast in colors. So it's really up to you what you want to come up with some really, really looking forward to seeing your work. Make sure you tag me on my Instagram at Lindsey marsh design. I would love to share whatever you guys put on there. I'd like to do that often, so please do that and make sure to post in the project section if you want to get some feedback on it or in the student Facebook group as well. So excited and hopefully you've been able to stick with this. It was very complicated. Lots of layers, as you can see, just layer after layer after layer. It can get a little complicated, but in the end it's just a few shapes. It's just repeated and copied layers and it just makes it a little bit more complex, but nothing that you intermediate designers can not handle. So anyway, looking forward to, and hopefully you've enjoyed this little additional project. There's one more thing I want to talk about, and that is color. So we picked our colors. Some of you may be like, I don't like the orange or I don't like the purple advice I want to change at all. So I'm gonna go to Export, Export As and save it as the max quality. And here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to zoom in a little bit so I can see the details. I'm going to double-click on lock this layer and I'm going to go up to selective color. As you can see, this is like my favorite color selection tool that I use a lot. So what I'm gonna do is this, Let's say I just want to change the yellow. Let's say I'm like, I don't want I don't want orange, yellow. So we're just going to go down to yellows. We're gonna tweak this. We're just going to tweak the color. You can completely change the color and it completely changes the look and feel of the piece as well. So that has a much more softer look to it, having the peach color, right? So let's do peach. And then what we could do is we can go and get the magentas, change those as well, and also make that a different color. What you could do is if we want to find out how much of an effect it has go to black. And you'll see, okay, well I have no greens in there, so it's not going to have a whole lot of been effect. Now I'm on blues and I would love to make this instead of purple. Love to make it blue. I might just need to go back to magentas. There we go. There's some blue. So that whole different feel to it, doesn't it? Very different. And then you can see kind of how you can keep going and get lots of different color variations. And you can find out what color color combinations you like. And you can do that really quickly just by editing the jpeg, instead of having to go back and edit all those little layers. You could do that quickly with selective color.