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Creating NBA Basketball Motivational Poster in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will use multipe layers to creat a basketbball motivational poster with photoshop.The main idea behind this photoshop poster tutorial is to use multiple images and get used to the way layer stacking works. Working with one image is great, but things get much more useful when you start bringing multiple images into one Photoshop document. There are going to be plenty of times where you want to take a layer from one image and add it into the one you’re working on. A great example would be blending multiple photos together to create some type of collage.

nba all star showcase poster

STEP 1: OPEN SEVERAL PHOTOS THAT YOU’D LIKE TO COMBINE

First off, open the photos that you’d like to combine into one image. Click on the File menu and choose Open. Then navigate to each photo aand click Open. Here, we’re going to combine three photos, so I’ve opened all three and can see them in my workspace.

basketball player shooting

Note: If you’re a Mac user, you’ll notice that I have the Application Frame turned off (Window> Application Frame) for the tutori- als in this book. I’ve also turned off the Open Documents as Tabs interface preference (Command- K [PC: Ctrl-K]), so that my image windows don’t appear tabbed.

STEP 2: CREATE A NEW DOCUMENT TO HOLD YOUR NEW IMAGE

Now let’s create a brand new document to hold what we’re about to create. Click on the File menu and choose New. For this example, we’re going to create a promo card for a basketball team. I want my new document to be 7" tall by 5" wide, so change the unit of measurement to Inches (when you change the width it’ll automatically change the height, too), then enter 5 inches for Width and 7 inches for Height. Since we’re just display- ing this onscreen, change the resolution to 72 ppi. If we were going to print this, we’d probably use something between 240 ppi and 300 ppi. Click OK to create the new blank document.

creat new document in photoshop

STEP 3: COPY-AND-PASTE ONE OF THE PHOTOS INTO THE NEW DOCUMENT

We need to get the photos into the new blank document now. There are a couple ways to do this and each have their place. First, let’s try the one I use the most— copy-and-paste: Click on the photo of the half-basketball to bring it to the front and make it the active document. Click on the Select menu and choose All to select the entire image. Copy this selection by choosing Edit>Copy. Now, click over to the blank document and paste the copied photo into it by choosing Edit>Paste. By the way, we’re not going to use the Edit menu for these anymore. The key- board shortcuts for Copy and Paste are Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) and Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V), respec- tively, and they work a lot faster.

photoshop-edit-copy

STEP 4: NOTICE THE NEW LAYER IN THE BLANK DOCUMENT

Right after you paste the image, you should see a new layer called Layer 1 appear in the Layers panel right above the Background layer. By default, Photoshop automati- cally creates a new layer when- ever you paste something into an image. This is a good thing because it forces us to work on multiple layers. Now select the Move tool from the Toolbox (or just press V), click on the pasted image, and drag it toward the bottom of the document.

TIP: While dragging with the Move tool, you can press-and- hold the Shift key to keep the layer on the same vertical or horizontal line.

photoshop-layer

STEP 5: BRING ANOTHER PHOTO INTO THE NEW DOCUMENT

Let’s bring another photo into the new document. Before, we used copy-and-paste, but there’s another way: you can also click-and-drag images into other documents. Position the new document window and the photo of the basketball player so you can see both next to each other. Click once on the player photo to make it the active document, and with the Move tool, click on the player photo, and drag it over into the new document (that’s why you need to be able to see both of them). Once your cursor is over the new document, release the mouse button and your photo will appear as a new layer. Use the Move tool to center it in the document.

drag-photoshop-layer

STEP 6: MOVE THE THIRD PHOTO INTO THE NEW DOCUMENT

Go ahead and bring the last photo (the basketball photo with the flames) into the new document. I recommend the copy-and-paste method, since it’s easier for me, but feel free to use whichever way works best for you. Once it’s there, use the Move tool to move it to the top left of the image.

photoshop-layer-panel

STEP 7: REARRANGE THE LAYERS IN YOUR NEW DOCUMENT

Close the original three photos. We don’t need them open any – more because we’ve copied their contents into layers in our new document. (The layers in our new image are not connected to their originals. No matter what you do here, you won’t affect the originals.) Now, notice how the basketball player on Layer 2 totally hides the basketball on Layer 1? That’s because Layer 2 is on top of Layer 1. Let’s swap them by click- ing on Layer 1 in the Layers panel and dragging it above Layer 2. Now, you’ll see the contents of Layer 1 on top of Layer 2. One more thing: we’re going to work on Layer 3 last, so let’s hide it by clicking the little Eye icon to the left of the layer’s thumbnail in the Layers panel (circled here in red).

rearrange-photoshop-layers

STEP 8: SELECT THE ERASER TOOL AND CHANGE THE SETTINGS

Now, we’re going to blend these layers together, so select the Eraser tool from the Toolbox (or just press E). In the Options Bar, click on the brush thumbnail to open the Brush Picker, and set the Size to something large (like 250 pixels) and the Hardness to 0% to create a large, soft-edged brush. Also, set the Opacity to 30%. By using a lower opacity setting, we’ll be able to lightly erase away parts of the photos that are on top of each other and give the illusion that they’re blending together, since you’ll see whatever is below them. If we used a 100% setting, you’d see some obvious seams and erase marks. The lower opacity will allow us to blend things better.

change-sittings

STEP 9: USE THE ERASER TOOL TO BLEND THE PHOTOS

With Layer 1 (the half-basketball) active in the Layers panel, start erasing away the left, top, and right part of the black background of the photo—just a few clicks with the Eraser tool should do it. Remember, though, you’re working with a tool that’s set to one-third strength (the Opacity setting), so you’re only erasing a little bit at a time. The more times you click, the more you’ll erase. So, just keep erasing and you’ll reveal the contents of Layer 2 (the basketball player), which is below it in the layer stack (press the Left Bracket key to decrease the size of your brush as you get closer to the basketball). This makes the two photos blend together.

blend-the-photos

STEP 10: BLEND THE LAST PHOTO

Go back and make the image on Layer 3 visible again (click in the little box where the Eye icon used to be to the left of the layer’s thumbnail) and do the same thing to the basketball with flames that we just did in Step 9 (be sure to click on Layer 3 in the Layers panel first to make it active). Make your brush size smaller and erase away the black area around the bas- ketball, along with some of the flames, so only the basketball shows over the net and not its black background. Since it’s on top of Layer 2 in the layer stack, wherever you erase, you’ll be revealing the photo on that layer. Again, this blends them together making it look like the photos were smoothly merged together.

blend-basketball-photos

STEP 11: OPEN A LOGO IMAGE

Finally, let’s bring in a finishing logo. Open the image that has the graphics and logo that you want to add. So far, we’ve been opening JPEG images and drag- ging them in, but you can just as easily open other types of files, too, including Photoshop PSD files. Here, I’ve got a PSD file that has a logo on its own layer.

basketball-logo

STEP 12: MOVE THE LOGO INTO YOUR IMAGE TO FINISH THINGS UP

Go back to your new image and make sure the top layer in your Layers panel (Layer 3) is active (this is important, because when you bring the logo over to this document, it will appear above whichever layer is active in your Layers panel. Save time by clicking on the layer you want it to appear above). Now, click-and-drag (or copy-and-paste) the logo from the other image. It’ll appear at the very top of the layer stack, ready to be positioned where you need it.

move-logo-into-image

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