I love working on movie posters! There is something cool about working on a campaign for a big block buster movie like the latest chapter in the X-Men series. Last Spring I had the pleasure of working on this character poster featuring the young and old Magneto for the ad agency Trailer Park.
For those not familiar with the long process for creating a movie poster there are many rounds of design involved where the designers for the ad agency work closely with the studio client to create the final design. (It’s not unheard of for these designs to involve over 100 rounds before they get approved.) Once the studio approves the “Comp” the file is then passes on to the “Finishing” stage where high end retouchers complete the process of creating the final high res image for the poster.
The Finishing process involves adding a little extra canvas for “bleed” to make sure there is plenty of room for cropping and the various frames the posters will be placed in. Then it comes down to scaling the image up to the final size, usually based on a 27×40 crop at 200ppi, and the painstaking process of going layer by layer by layer replacing the low res images from the comp with the highest res versions available while adding the necessary retouching, masking and color adjustments to make the final image look as perfect as possible.
As you can guess the Photoshop files for these posters can get pretty big. The final file for this one weighed in around 10Gb and had around 70 layers.