View Full Version : Film Noir POSTER help
07-05-2008, 01:32 AM
hey guys, newcomer here!
i was wondering how is it possible to achieve a 1920-30's movie poster?
for a example here is a poster of casablanca.
what necessary elements must i use to have this effect?
im fairly new to this and im hoping to making alot of these in the future.
07-07-2008, 11:10 AM
Well, if you are looking to do it the same way it was done here: First you have to learn how to illustrate a likeness in gouche (i.e opaque watercolor). This particular one was painted on a pre-colored paper or canvas and then probably touched up with pastels and or charcoal. Then you will have to learn how to render type freehand. Some if not all of the type here was rendered by hand, I suspect as part of the illustration. Notice that the "a"s in Casablanca are all different. If you look closely at the original or a larger image, it would probably be the case with most of the type.
Ad/Poster composition was entirely different in the 30s than it is today. Its a lost art that few would be interested in going back to and fewer still would be willing to learn. Back then EVERYTHING was done by hand and then composed on illustration board as layers of black and white type or art elements on layers of acetate - one layer for each element (background art, shadows, knockouts, type, etc.). Finally, you had a tissue paper overlay onto which you wrote (again by hand) all the instructions for the printer in terms of color, separation, etc. This was a time when you really had to KNOW what the hell you were doing because mistakes were very costly and added days or weeks to the production time. There were no computers, photography was seldom used and any retouching was actually painted on the photograph or the film. A single project like this would involve the work of a half dozen people or more, all people specializing in a single aspect the of production.
BTW - typical turnaround time for projects such as this would be a couple of weeks or more.
If you want to REPLICATE this look, the style is mostly in the type. There are plenty of designers specializing in retro typefaces like Nick Curtis, Paul Lloyd, and Michael Doret. You can take a photo and with some deft use of filters make it look like a painted illustration, but to really get it right, have an illustration done by a professional illustrator.
07-08-2008, 06:50 AM
Did you mention...
You have to start with an excellent photo of the characters.
07-09-2008, 09:16 AM
Yes, that would certainly help, but since they are going to do some massive retouching on it, I don't think its a big an issue unless the person is totally unrecognizeable.
During that era the posters were actually painted. But the artist would work from a photo. These were portrait painters who posessed a highly developed skill for capturing the essence of people while injecting "STYLE" into the painting. Look at many of the war posters from the late 1930s through the early 1950s.
The Publishers' Warehouse in the Design Center has a substantial collection of samples of these posters as well as labels that beautifully illustrate the technique. You can also look at "Calendar Girls" in the tradition of Vargas and others who painted based on live sitting or photographs. Dig into Google (http://www.google.com/images?as_st=y&hl=en&q=vargas+girl&revid=1271197567&sa=X&oi=revisions_inline&resnum=0&ct=broad-revision&cd=3) and you can see photos of the artist in his studio painting such a portrait.
But the suggestion to START from a photo is very valid. If you look at the works of Michael Campbell (http://www.graphic-design.com/Gallery/campbell/index.html), you'll see a modern day "portrait" painter -- he is producing tutorial CDs that guide you through all the processes -- which DTG will have for $69 soon for both Painter and Photoshop.
This article (http://www.graphic-design.com/DTG/Graphics/painter_WOW/photo-painting.html) takes you through the process using Painter.
But expect it to be a LOT of careful work.
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