How I Made It: Friday Night Lights Posters

So, recently I created two posters in honour of one of my favourite shows of all time, Friday Night Lights, airing its final episode. These are those posters.

The idea for the posters started off a little different and in fact looked a lot different through the making of the poster - and only coming up to the finishing touches did I decide to change it up entirely.  The reasons for that will become clear in a bit. 

However, the first thing I did, as you probably always should, is brainstorm some ideas, draw out a couple thumbnails in your notebook of choice. Here are a couple of layouts/concepts I was thinking about.


The bottom right poster is probably the closest to the final piece but there are still some major changes between the two but again that's part of the process. After that, I made a final A3 sketch and scanned that in. Had to do it in two halves and stitch it back together in Photoshop due to only having a lowly A4 scanner/printer combo.

You can see the final idea I was going for in this poster. Two halves, one in the day, the other in the night - the football field in view and the helmet floating eerily over it. This didn't work so well when painting it in Photoshop. Once the scans were stitched together in Photoshop, I'd dump the source images I used as inspiration into the .PSD file and start creating vector paths using the pen tool for the source images to create the base layers for the things such as the helmet and the field etc.


Here's a crossfade between the pencils layer and the stock dump layer where I kept all the sources for reference.


Here's the football helmet with all the vector paths placed and to the right of that the paths panel showing all the paths I created for the poster.

And here it is with those base layers filled in.


Once I got past that point, all I did to add some depth and weight to the helmet was create a new layer and set it to overlay, select the brush tool and pick a somewhat fuzzy brush with a middling opacity and flow. Pick a light source in my mind, i.e. where the lights and shadows are going to appear on the helmet and brush away using my Wacom Bamboo tablet. White for the highlights and black for the shadows. I may have also used the dodge and burn tools - I don't honestly remember. 


Anyways, thats how I made these 2 posters. Hopefully the next one will be better.