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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Create an "I Want to Believe" Poster From The X-Files

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Read Time: 11 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an "X-Files I want to believe" poster in Mulder's office. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create the poster, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

Do you want to save time with a ready-made design? Check out this Sound of Machine Flyer on Envato Elements, where you can find over 1,000 awesome poster designs!

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If you would like to find out more about the origin of the "I want to believe" poster in Mulder's office, you can head on over to the X-Files Fandom Wiki to read more.

What You'll Learn in This "I Want to Believe" Poster Tutorial

  • "I want to believe" poster origin
  • How to design an "X-Files I want to believe" poster
  • How to remove a subject from a photo in Photoshop
  • How to add a subject to a photo in Photoshop
  • How to add a UFO to the scene
  • How to create the UFO light beam
  • How to make particles in Photoshop
  • How to add text to the design

What You'll Need

To recreate the "X-Files I want to believe" poster design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating the Poster

Step 1

First, create a new file. Go to File > New and set the Width to 27 in, Height to 40 in, and Resolution to 300 px/in.

creating new poster filecreating new poster filecreating new poster file

Step 2

Now go to File > Place Embedded, select the first photo from the link, and click Place. Then, transform and position the photo as shown below, and name this layer Misty Mountains.

placing photoplacing photoplacing photo

2. How to Remove a Subject From a Photo

In this section, we are going to remove the subject from a photo. Double-click on this layer thumbnail, and in the newly opened window, choose the Patch Tool (J), and make the selection around the subject. Then, click anywhere inside the selection and drag to the side to choose the source area for patching the selected area and removing the subject. After that, press Control-S on your keyboard to save the changes, and close this file. Feel free to use any other tool that you prefer for removing the subject in this step. Here is my result:

removing subject from photoremoving subject from photoremoving subject from photo

3. How to Add a Subject to a Photo

Step 1

In this section, we are going to add a new subject to a photo. Go to File > Open, choose the second photo from the link, and click Open. Then, make a selection of the subject using any tool that you like. After that, press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection, go to Layer > Matting > Defringe, and set the Width to 1 px.

creating new layer using the selectioncreating new layer using the selectioncreating new layer using the selection

Step 2

Now Right-click on this layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then, choose the Move Tool (V), click anywhere inside the canvas, and drag this layer to the main document. After that, press Control-T on your keyboard, transform and position the layer as shown below, and name it Subject.

transforming and positioning subjecttransforming and positioning subjecttransforming and positioning subject

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and set the Saturation to -50.

adjusting saturationadjusting saturationadjusting saturation

4. How to Add a UFO to the Photo

Step 1

In this section, we are going to add a UFO to the photo. Go to File > Open, choose the third photo from the link, and click Open. Then, make a selection of the UFO using any tool that you like. After that, press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection.

creating new layer using the selectioncreating new layer using the selectioncreating new layer using the selection

Step 2

Now Right-click on this layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then, choose the Move Tool (V), click anywhere inside the canvas, and drag this layer to the main document. After that, press Control-T on your keyboard, transform and position the layer as shown below, and name it UFO.

transforming and positioning ufotransforming and positioning ufotransforming and positioning ufo

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and set the Saturation to -50.

adjusting saturationadjusting saturationadjusting saturation

Step 4

Now go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and set the Midtone Input Level to 0.5 and Shadow Output Level to 50.

adjusting levelsadjusting levelsadjusting levels

5. How to Create the UFO Light Beam

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the UFO light beam. Press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush as shown below. Use the Eraser Tool (E) to further shape the light beam.

creating light beamcreating light beamcreating light beam

Step 2

Now change the Opacity of this layer to 50%, and name it Light_Beam_1.

changing opacitychanging opacitychanging opacity

Step 3

Select the UFO layer, press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush as shown below. Again, feel free to use the Eraser Tool (E) to shape the light beam.

creating light beamcreating light beamcreating light beam

Step 4

Now change the Opacity of this layer to 35% and name it Light_Beam_2.

changing opacitychanging opacitychanging opacity

6. How to Adjust the Lighting and Create Shadows

Step 1

In this section, we are going to adjust the lighting and create shadows. Alt-click on the Subject layer in the Layers panel, and drag below it to duplicate this layer. Then, while this new layer is selected, press Control-T on your keyboard, and use the Distort option to transform this layer as shown below:

duplicating and transforming layerduplicating and transforming layerduplicating and transforming layer

Step 2

Now Right-click on the Subject copy layer, and choose Blending Options. Then, select and check the Color Overlay effect and use the settings below. After that, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 25 px. Name this layer Subject Shadow.

adding color overlay effect and gaussian blur filteradding color overlay effect and gaussian blur filteradding color overlay effect and gaussian blur filter
The color of the overlay is set to #000000.

Step 3

Select the UFO layer, press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush around the top of the UFO. Then, press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask. After that, change the Opacity of this layer to 75% and name it UFO Lighting.

creating ufo lightingcreating ufo lightingcreating ufo lighting

Step 4

Now Double-click on the Levels filter of the UFO layer, and set the Highlight Output Level to 200. Then, change the Opacity of this layer to 80%.

adjusting levels and changing opacityadjusting levels and changing opacityadjusting levels and changing opacity

7. How to Create the Particles

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the particles. Select the Light_Beam_1 layer, press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, and press D to reset the swatches. Then, go to Edit > Fill, and set the Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100%.

creating new layercreating new layercreating new layer

Step 2

Now go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and set the Amount to 10%, Distribution to Gaussian, and check the Monochromatic option. Then, go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint, and set the type to Coarse Dots.

adding noise and mezzotint filtersadding noise and mezzotint filtersadding noise and mezzotint filters

Step 3

Go to Select > Color Range, and set the Select to Highlights, Fuzziness to 20%, and Range to 190. Then, go to Select > Select and Mask, and set the Smooth to 25, Feather to 0.5 px, Contrast to 25%, and Shift Edge to 0%.making and adjusting selectionmaking and adjusting selectionmaking and adjusting selection

Step 4

Now press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection. Then, select the Layer 1 and press Delete on your keyboard to delete this layer. After that, select the Layer 2, press Control-T to transform this layer, and set the Width and Height to 300%.

creating new layer using the selectioncreating new layer using the selectioncreating new layer using the selection

Step 5

Control-click on the Light_Beam_1 layer to make a selection of this layer, select Layer 2, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer and hides the rest. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and name it Particles.

adding layer mask and changing blending modeadding layer mask and changing blending modeadding layer mask and changing blending mode

8. How to Add Text to the Design

In this section, we are going to add text to the design. Choose the Horizontal Type Tool (T), and set the font to Noiche Black, font style to Regular, size to 1500 px, alignment to Center, and color to #f2f2f2. Then, in the Character panel, check the All Caps option, and set the Leading to 1250 px and Tracking to 50. After that, click anywhere inside the canvas, type the text below, and position this layer with the coordinates X: 4083.95 px and Y: 10012.75 px

creating new text layercreating new text layercreating new text layer

9. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make some final adjustments to the "I want to believe" poster design. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Lookup to create a new color lookup adjustment layer, and name it Color_Look_1. Then, set the 3DLUT File to FallColors.look, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Luminosity, and set the Opacity to 10%.

creating new color lookup adjustment layercreating new color lookup adjustment layercreating new color lookup adjustment layer

Step 2

Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer, and name it Color_Look_2. Then, set the gradient as shown below, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light, and set the Opacity to 50%.

creating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 3

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to create a new levels adjustment layer, and name it Overall Brightness. Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Shadow Input Level to 60 and Shadow Output Level to 50.

creating new levels adjustment layercreating new levels adjustment layercreating new levels adjustment layer

Step 4

Now press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer. Go to Edit > Fill and set the Contents to 50% Gray, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100%.

creating new layercreating new layercreating new layer

Step 5

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Grain, and set the Intensity to 50, Contrast to 50, and Grain Type to Regular.

adding grain filteradding grain filteradding grain filter

Step 6

Press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light, and name it Grain.

desaturating layer and changing blending modedesaturating layer and changing blending modedesaturating layer and changing blending mode

You Made It!

Congratulations, you've succeeded! You've now learned how to create "X-Files I want to believe" poster in Mulder's office. Here is our final result placed into the Wall Frame Poster Mockup:

final resultfinal resultfinal result

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