Photoshop: How to Create Classic Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Cover Art Graphics!

Photoshop: How to Create Classic Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Cover Art Graphics!

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how create the classic, retro-style cover art of the Grand Theft Auto video games. Before we begin, if you’re not already a subscriber
to Blue Lightning TV, click that small “Subscribe” button at the lower, right corner to let you
know as soon as I upload new Photoshop tutorials. I provided this image that you can use for
your background. Its link is in my video’s description or project
files. Feel free to use another background if you like. Just make sure it’s 72 pixels per inch to
ensure that your results will look similar to mine Open a photo of someone that you’d like to
use for this project. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. The first step is to separate the subject from its background by making a selection around the subject. There are many ways to do this and covered
them all in my tutorials. Because we want our subject to have perfectly
smooth edges, we’ll use the Pen Tool or, for versions CC 2018 or later, we’ll use the Curvature
Pen Tool. I did in-depth tutorials showing how to use
each of them, so to save time, if you’d like to watch them, I provided their links below, as well. Once you’ve drawn paths around your subject,
to convert them into a selection, place your cursor directly on a path and right-click
or secondary click on it to open the fly-out list. Click “Make Selection”. The “Feather Radius” should be 0 pixels. Click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer
mask of the selection next to your subject. To place your subject onto the background,
press “v” to open your Move Tool and drag it onto the tab of the background. Without releasing your mouse or pen, drag
it down and release. To resize and position your subject, open
the Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. If you’re using a version earlier than
CC 2019, 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. If you’re using CC 2019 or later, just press
Alt or Option as you drag it. To reposition it, go inside the Transform’s
bounding box and drag it. To accept it, press Enter or Return. We’ll convert our subject into a Smart Object,
so we can modify it non-destructively and modify or change the effects that we’ll be
adding to it at any time. To do this, click the icon at the upper, right
corner of the Layers panel and click “Convert to Smart Object”. First, let’s brighten the darkest values of
our subject. Go to Image, Adjustments and Shadows/Highlights. I’ll make the Amount: 70%, the Tone: 60% and
the Radius: 30 pixels. Feel free to adjust these amounts. I’ll leave the Highlights and Adjustments
at the their default settings. Go to Filter, Stylize and “Oil Paint”. Make the Stylization: 2, the Cleanliness:
10 and the Scale: 3. Make sure “Lighting” unchecked. The “Bristle Detail” is irrelevant, since
the bristles are only visible when Lighting is checked. Go to Filter and Filter Gallery. Click “Poster Edges”. Make the Edge Thickness: 0, the Edge Intensity:
1 and the Posterization: 3. To smooth out the texture of your subject,
go to Filter, Blur and Smart Blur. Make the Radius: 4, the Threshold: 25 and
the Quality: Low. Go back to Filter and Filter Gallery. Click “Cutout”. The Number of Levels is 8, the Edge Simplicity
is 1 and the Edge Fidelity is 1. Double-click the Blending Options icon next
to the top smart filter, which is the “Cutout” filter we just added. Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and its
opacity to 50%. Next, we’ll add a thin border and a soft inner
glow around its edges. Double-click an empty area of the subject’s
layer to open its Layer Style window. Click “Inner Glow” and the color box. In the hexadecimal field, type in FFB400. Make the Blend Mode “Linear Dodge” and the
Opacity is 40%. The Technique is Softer, the Source is “Edge”,
the Choke is 0% and the Size is 30 pixels. Click “Stroke”. Make the Size: 2 pixels and the Position: “Outside”. The Blend Mode is Normal and the Opacity is 100%. Click the color box. and pick a very dark
color that relates to the colors of your subject. I’ll type in 001D2C. Next, we’ll transform the background. Scroll to the bottom and make the background active. We’ll copy the Smart Filters from our subject
to the background. To do this, first make the background into
a Smart Object. Place your cursor on the word “Smart Filters”
and press and hold Alt or Option as you drag a copy of it onto the background layer. Click the arrow to open the list of Smart Filters and scroll down to see them. Double-click “Shadows/Highlights” and if you see this message, just click OK. Change the Shadow amount to 65% and the Tone
to 50%. Double-click “Oil Paint” and click OK. Make the “Stylization” 1 and the “Cleanliness”: 5. Click the eyeball icon next to this filter,
which will hide the “Poster Edges” effect. Many of the Grand Theft Auto covers have backgrounds
that have color casts to them, as well as have light contrasts. To re-create this look, double-click an empty area of the background layer to open its Layer Style window. Click “Color Overlay”. Make the Blend Mode: “Linear Dodge” and the
opacity: 60%. Click the color box and pick whatever color you like. For mine, I’ll type in: 0084FF. Lastly, open the Grand Theft Auto logo I provided. Drag it onto the tab of your cover art and
without releasing your mouse or pen, drag it down and then, release. Drag it to a location that works for your
cover. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Welp time to go make my own game but for real your tutorials are amazing and it’s quick plus free I love your videos and thank you for the help

  2. Very cool Marti, every time we are impressed by your work. I suggest some lessons on Illstrator if this is possible.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  3. Brilliant! I’d love to understand what each tab actually does in the filters, I just fiddle aimlessly!

  4. Great Marty as ever …i like the fhoto that guy …remind me the old movies mafia in América by the 50`s …like godfather …very good detailed comment over *** five stars !

  5. I'd love to get a tutorial for recreating the look of Twilight Creations's Zombies!!! cards, since they sell an entire expansion for that game that is nothing but blank cards and tile maps for you to create your own additions/expansions. Until then, this tutorial approaches that look, give/take an effect or 2.

  6. What really amazes me is how you know which filters do what and what you need to do to get that effect. It's one thing to know how it works. But it's another thing entirely to figure out how each one of them stacks up together to make the end picture look the way you want.

    Great job!

  7. Too good Marty! Will surely try out this one too once I am through with the last face on tree trunk tutorial. I have been using CS6 and it appears that some of the features are missing for which I am unable to get the desired results.
    But, no matter, all said and done, honestly I learn so much from your tutorials.
    Thank you and have a blessed day!

  8. Thank you so much Marty!!!! You are a God send for me bro. Keep doing your thing much respect ✊🏾

  9. Excellent Marty. I would love if you do some game of thrones or night king, ww, tutorial. Valar Morghulis my dear friend.

  10. Hello Marty, thanks so much for all those tutorials !!
    Could you please make a tutorial for create a patronus from Harry Potter ?
    I make one alone, he's beautiful and realist, but i'm not sure for my technics 🙁

  11. Dearest Marty,

    Today is my friend courtneys birthday. We are fans of yours from art class. It would mean a lot if you wished her a happy birthday!

  12. Thank you for this. I have been following and learning from your channel for years. I have a problem though, My Laptop doesn't Oil Paint Filter. Can you recommend any other filter thay can get the same look as Oil Paint filter?

    Thank you.

  13. You sound like them people in Dora, first we go over the troll bridge, then through marshmallow fields and that's when we find Diego, so remember, troll bridge, marshmallow fields, and then Diego, troll bridge marshmallow fields Diego, let's go

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