This tutorial will show how we can create an impactful disco party poster. There are some new methods in making lighting burst and streak effects. We will also touch a little on using the settings in Brushes Panel, so let’s check it out!
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Create a new document of size 595×840 pixels. On the Background layer, make a vertical gradient with top color #1E0A3B and bottom color #000000.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Floor”. Make a rectangle selection to half of the document height and fill the same gradient again as shown below.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Spotlights”. Using the Brush tool, size 400px, Soft-Rounded and color #14434B, paint two big spots at the top left and right of document.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Color Overlays”. Using the Brush tool, size 600px, Soft-Rounded and color #1091B1, paint a big spot like the one shown below. Set the Blend Mode of “Color Overlays” to Overlay.
With the same method, make a green overlay at the top right corner.
Create a new layer and name it as “Circle”. Using the Elliptical Marquee tool, make a big circular selection similar to the one below. Fill the selection with white color (#FFFFFF).
With the “Circle” layer selected, change the opacity of this layer to 20%.
Create another new layer and name it as “Ring”. Similarly, make a circular selection slightly smaller than the earlier one you have made. Fill your selection with white (#FFFFFF). Keeping the selection active, go to Select > Modify > Contract. Set the radius to 10px. Hit OK and you can see the selection reduce in size. Press Delete and you will get a nice white ring like the one below.
With the same techniques for making a circle and ring, create more of them where each one is smaller than the one made before. You can also adjust the opacity to get a more random look. Align all the circles to center of the document. Merge these circles and rings into a single layer and rename it as “Circles”.
Select the “Circles” layer and go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. Set the radius to 40px and hit OK. Set the opacity of “Circles” layer to 60%.
Download the beautiful DJ girl from Shutterstock. Resize and position it to the center of the document.
Crop the DJ girl out from her background using the Layer Mask method. You can check out other extraction methods in this post.
Create a layer below the girl and rename it as “White Glow”. Using the Brush tool, size 30px, Soft-Rounded and color #FFFFFF, paint around the border of her.
Using the Smudge tool with size 20px, pull and drag the border irregularly so it looks like white smokes.
Repeat the same processes with other contrasting colors to live up the image.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Inner Glow”. Using the Brush tool, size 20px, Soft-Rounded and color #FFFFFF, paint along the inner border of the girl. Focus more of the lower body than the hair area.
Download the swirling water splash from Shutterstock. Open up the image and go to its Channel Panel. Click once to the Red Channel. Press CTRL+left click on the Red Channel to load its selection. Click once on the RGB Channel and go back to the Layers Panel. Go to Select > Inverse. Using the Move tool, drag the water splash into the design document.
Place the water splash behind the girl. Right-click on the “Water Splash” layer and choose Blending Options. Select Color Overlay and input the settings below.
Select Outer Glow and input the settings below.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Outer Glow”. Using the Brush tool, size 20px, Soft-Rounded and color #FFFFFF, paint along the outer border of the girl. Set the Blend Mode of “Outer Glow” layer to Color Dodge.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Burst”. Make a white rectangle as shown below.
Go to Filter > Stylize > Wind. Select “From the Right” and hit OK. Press CTRL+F several times till you get long streaks like I have.
Go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 CCW. Go to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates. Select “Rectangle to Polar” and you will get a nice set of circular streaks.
Resize the “Burst” layer to a smaller size and fit around the water splash. Make a Layer Mask on the “Burst” layer. Using the Brush tool, size 300px, Soft-Rounded and color #FFFFFF, hide some streaks by painting on the mask. Apply a blue outer glow to the “Burst” layer.
Repeat same processes for few more lighting burst effects with other contrasting colors and smaller sizes.
Create a brand new document with size 300×300 pixels. Using the Custom Shape tool, make a music note with color #000000. Select the entire document, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset.
Now select the Brush tool, go to its Presets Panel and find the music note brush created earlier. Open the Brushes Panel, select Shape Dynamics and enter the settings below.
Select Scattering and enter the settings below.
Create a new layer and rename it as “Music Notes”. Using the Brush tool, size 40px and color #FFFFFF, paint the music notes in a random fashion. Apply outer glow to the Music Notes layer and set its opacity to 70%.
Download the vector set of party people from Shutterstock. Open up the file using Illustrator, and copy (CTRL+C) on the middle set of vector people.
Go back to the design document and press CTRL+V to paste the vector people. Choose “Paste as Smart Object” and hit OK. Resize and position the vector people nicely behind the water splash. Right-click on the layer and choose Rasterize. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to 10px. Set the opacity of this layer to 50%.
Download the speakers from Shutterstock. Resize and position it at the bottom half of the design document.
Create a new layer above the speakers and paint some black to blend into the DJ girl.
You are now ready to fill in your text for the Disco Party poster! I hope you have fun with this tutorial. Thanks!