The Bourne Legacy Poster Effect

There are a number of tutorials out there that emulate the grungy, segmented effects used on The Bourne Legacy promotional posters—and that speaks to the adaptability of Photoshop. There are several different ways to accomplish the same effect, depending on the Photoshop tools you’re most familiar with. It’s like that old saying: There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Not that we’re skinning any cats or anything. I’m just saying.

step ONE: Open the image to which you wish to apply the effect. Go to lmage>Duplicate. When the Duplicate Image dialog appears, simply click OK (there’s no need to name the file since we’ll be discarding it).

step TWO: Make sure you’re working on the duplicated image and go to lmage>Adjustments>HDR Toning. When the HDR Toning dialog appears, enter -1.04 for Exposure, +300% for Detail, -100% for Shadow, -60% for Highlight, and -100% for Saturation. Click OK.

STEPTHREE: Using the Move tool (V) while holding down the Shift key, click-and-drag the duplicated image document directly onto the original document, which will add a new layer (Layer 1). The Shift key will align the duplicated image with the original image. Change the layer blend mode to Overlay near the top left of the Layers panel. You can close the duplicated image document, as you no longer need it.

step four: If you want the image to look a bit more grungy, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Enter 15% for Amount, set Distribution to Uniform, check on Monochromatic, and click OK. Use a higher Amount for high-res images.

STEP FIVE: Click ОП the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (Layer 2). Press D to set the Fore¬ground color to black. Choose the Gradient tool (G) from the Tool¬box. Click on the gradient thumbnail in the Options

Bar, choose the Foreground to Transparent preset, and click OK. Now click the Linear Gradient icon in the Options Bar, then click-and-drag a gradient from the left side toward the center of the document to darken the left side. Lower the layer Opacity to 75%.

step six: Create a new layer (Layer 3). Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the entire selection with black. Lower the layer Opacity to 0% (this is only a temporary setting so we can see what’s beneath Layer 3). Choose the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) from the Toolbox, and make a selection across the image about where the eyes are in your image.

step seven: With the Rectangular Marquee tool still selected, add more horizontal selections to the current selection by holding down the Shift key. Vary the height and length of the selections, and don’t forget to leave some unselected areas for text (bottom left and various areas from top to bottom in our example).

step eight: Raise the layer Opacity of Layer 3 back to 100%. Now, press Delete (PC: Backspace) to knock out the selected areas of the solid black layer. Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to deselect. Note: Knocking out the selected areas of a solid black layer is a very basic way to achieve the effect, but you can also use a layer mask or a vector mask, making the layer much easier to edit or change at a later time.

step nine: Click on the Foreground color swatch at the bottom of the Toolbox. Choose a gray color (R: 169, G:169, B:169) and click OK. Choose the Type tool (T) from the Toolbox and enter some text at the lower left of the document. We used Helvetica regular and Helvetica bold as the font. Right-click directly on the type layer and choose Rasterize Type.

step ten: With the rasterized type layer active, choose the Rectangular Marquee tool and make a thin horizontal selection beginning at the base of the letter Y (see example). Now, choose the Gradient tool, and click-and-drag a gradient from the left side toward the right side of the selection. Deselect.

step eleven: Click on the Add a Layer Style icon (fx) at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Gradient Overlay. Click directly on the Gradient thumbnail. When the Gradient Editor appears, choose Foreground to Transparent. Double-click the color stop on the left side under the gradient ramp, choose a dark-gray color (R:89, G:89, B:89) in the Color Picker, and click OK. Now, click OK twice to close the Gradient Editor and to apply the layer style.

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