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How to Make a Billboard Mockup PSD in Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Need to make a billboard mockup in a hurry? Then look no further! In this quick tip tutorial, we will be creating a billboard advertising mockup in Photoshop. The billboard mockup template we create will be versatile, allowing us to switch to different advertisements on the fly.

Above, you can see what we'll be creating today! We'll be using a blank large billboard photo and lawyer advertisement, both from Envato Elements. That's also where you can find many different PSD billboard mockups for Photoshop, with downloadable mockup PSD files.

Billboard Mockups over on Envato Elements

Billboard advertising is a great way to reach people, but it can be difficult to envision what a design will look like in action. With this technique for creating a billboard design in Photoshop, you can not only get a glimpse of the final results, but also easily change the graphics.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

1. How to Make a Billboard Mockup Template

Step 1

Open up your blank billboard image in Photoshop. You can do this by going to File > Open or by dragging and dropping from a folder into Photoshop.

Billboard Mockup Template Start

Step 2

Now let's crop the image so that the billboard is in the center of the image.

Click the Crop Tool in the toolbar.

Billboard Mockup Template Crop Tool

Step 3

Use the transformation handles on the edges until you are satisfied with the framing. Click the Commit Crop button or press Enter to confirm the cropping.

Billboard Mockup Template Crop

Step 4

Now we have a nice blank billboard in the center of our frame! This will be a great starting point.

We could pull in a billboard image and adjust it to fit the billboard, but instead we're going to make a template so that the images we put into the billboard can be easily replaced later. We'll do this by creating a smart object!

First, we need to create a shape for our smart object. So let's make a rectangle by selecting the Rectangle Tool from the toolbar.

Billboard Mockup Template Rectangle Tool

Step 5

With the Rectangle Tool selected, click and drag so that the shape is similar in proportion to the billboard.

Note: It won't align up perfectly as the billboard isn't completely straight. We'll get to that in just a moment!

Billboard Mockup Template Create Rectangle

Step 6

Now that we have our shape down and the proportions are similar to the billboard, this will make a great base for our smart object. To turn our shape into a smart object, Right-Click the rectangle layer and select Convert to Smart Object.

Billboard Mockup Template Create Smart Layer

Step 7

Notice that the symbol has changed on the layer to indicate that it is now a smart object and not a shape. The benefit of this is that we can enter this smart object later and adjust anything that's inside.

The cool thing about this is that we can skew and change the shape of the smart object itself, while the graphics inside the smart object remain at a regular perspective. This will make it a lot easier to swap out graphics for the billboard.

Let's adjust the shape of the smart object. Make sure the rectangle layer is selected, and then go to Edit > Transform > Skew.

Billboard Mockup Template Skew

Step 8

The skew type of transform lets us transform the perspective of a shape. This works great for square-like shapes.

Place the cursor over the top-left corner's transform control. Click and drag so that the corner matches the closest corner on the board.

Tip: You may need to get closer for accuracy. Press Control-+ or Command-+ to zoom in. 

Billboard Mockup Template Skew

Step 9

Repeat this process for all four corners, until the shape of the smart object matches that of the billboard. Once you are satisfied with the transformation, click the Commit Transform button or press Enter.

Now your blank billboard PSD template is ready to go!

Billboard Mockup Template Finish

2. How to Add Designs to Your Mockup Template

Step 1

To edit the smart object, double-click on the preview image on the smart object's layer.

Billboard Mockup Custom Start

Step 2

We will now enter the smart object. Notice that, inside the smart object, the shape is still a flat rectangle. This will allow us to design anything, and it will display correctly.

From here, you can either design your billboard or you can copy an existing billboard into the smart object.

Billboard Mockup Custom Opened Smart Object

Step 3

In our case, we're going to going to use the Attorney Facebook Cover Template from Envato Elements. This will be a great starting point for a mockup design.

First, locate your project file and open it up in Photoshop.

Billboard Mockup Custom Open Ad

Step 4

Notice that we now have three different tabs open: the main project, the smart object, and now this advertisement template.

Now we want to transfer all of this imagery into our smart object. To do this, select all the layers except the background from the document.

Tip: Hold down Shift and then click the top and bottom layer you want to select all the layers in between.

Billboard Mockup Custom Select Layers

Step 5

Drag and drop the layers onto the smart object tab.

Billboard Mockup Custom Layers

Step 6

Now, all of the graphics are within our smart object!

Use the transform tools to fit the design into your space. As you will see, the proportions for these advertisements aren't exactly the same, but it gives us a great starting point. Make some further adjustments to your design until you are satisfied.

Billboard Mockup Custom Scale Ad

Step 7

I removed the text on the right and adjusted some of the imagery!

Now go to File > Save to commit these changes to the smart object.

Billboard Mockup Custom Save Smart Object

Step 8

Now click on the main document tab to see your mockup in action! Now, all you have to do when you want to replace the mockup is change the content in the smart object located in the billboard template PSD.

Billboard Mockup Custom Finish

3. Where Can I Find Billboard PSD Templates?

Envato Elements has many ready-made billboard mockups! Many of them even come with designs already set in place and with a large variety of different kinds of advertisements.

1. Billboard Mockup (PSD, JPG)

Envato Elements Photoshop PSD Mock Up

This billboard template comes at a cool, dynamic angle, with rounded corners. It really gives you a sense of looking up onto a billboard while on the highway! It comes with a mockup billboard template PSD and a JPG.

2. Subway Billboard Mockup (PSD)

Photoshop Mockup Billboard

Check out this subway style billboard! Billboards and posters come in all shapes, sizes, and locations, so it's a great idea to try out your designs in a lot of different settings! This one comes with a blank billboard PSD.

3. 3 Billboards Mockup Pack (PSD)

Photoshop Mockup Template 3 Kinds

This pack comes with three traditional billboards in various different weather conditions! The billboard Photoshop mockup PSD files are easy to open up so you can get to work placing in your own designs.

4. Urban Poster / Billboard Mock-up (PSD, PDF)

Photoshop Billboard Mockup Urban

Looking for something a little more eccentric and urban? This cool billboard Photoshop mockup uses a curved surface to produce a really eye-catching effect! 

5. Road Posters and Billboard Mockups (PSD)

Photoshop Billboard Mockup Store

Billboards are often seen at night in urban environments, so it's a great idea to try out some mockups which are lit up! This robust set of billboard PSD templates is a great way to add some richness to your mockups.

There You Have It!

If you have successfully completed the tutorial, now you know how to create your own mockup billboard design in Photoshop. This can be a huge time-saver for everyone involved in the design process. If you liked this tutorial on billboard mockups, then check out these other great tutorials!

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