Dirty Grunge Poster

Other Tutorials, Photo Effects | August 4th, 2008

This tutorial will show you how to change your images into a cool dirty grunge design, which could be used for posters, prints, CD covers, etc.

Today We’ll be making this:

STEP 1: Open a new document in Photoshop

Make sure the Background contents is Transparent. I used 800×600 px size. You can use any size for this tutorial, but if you plan to make a printed poster I would recommend that you would use a much larger size.

STEP 2: Create your shade background

Fill your canvas with a dark gray, I used #383838. Then select the brush tool and use a large blurry (hardness=0%) and use a slightly brighter color, I used #6b6b6b, to brush at random spots in the canvas. You can also use the gradient tool to achieve this.

STEP 3: Insert your image into the canvas

…Either by dragging or pasting. It is better to use an image with a very simple background and where to main person or subject sticks out. I used this image:

STEP 4: Go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast…

Use the following settings: Brightness: -30, Contrast: +40. These number do not have to be exact because your original image might already have a high contrast. So if these numbers are too high, use my example difference to come up with a good number.

STEP 5: Change Blending mode

Select the layer of your image and change the Blending mode from Normal to Darken (this option can be found in the top of the layers window).

STEP 6: Select the Custom Shape tool from the Tools window

Select the layer of your image and change the Blending mode from Normal to Darken (this option can be found in the top of the layers window). Then select the ‘Registration Target 2’ shape from your default custom shapes. This is the shape which resembles sun rays. Make sure the shape color is White.

While holding Shift, create the shape on the canvas in a way that the main subject of your design is around the center of the rays.

Then Right click on the shape layer you have just created and select ‘Rasterize Layer,’ and move this layer right under your image layer in the layers window.

STEP 7: Erase the rays from under your image subject

Since you want the rays to go AROUND the subject and not ON them, select the Eraser tool and use a small blurry brush (hardness=0%) to get rid of the rays that show on the subject of your image. Then select a grungy or dirty brush for your eraser, and erase a little here and there around the rays. I used this Grunge brush set.

STEP 8: Add more Grunge

Create a new layer (on top of all layers). In this new layer use a different grunge or dirty brush and select the color black to add some grunge on the sides of the image or wherever you find it fit. For this step, I used this Spray paint brush set.

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60 Comments to “Dirty Grunge Poster”

  • Matt | August 7th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    nice tutorial!

  • sek! | August 14th, 2008 at 7:47 am

    they are all nice. keep it up!

  • Yoni | August 15th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    thanks, I will!

  • www.singlewrench.com | August 18th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Nicely done

  • Gus | August 19th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Great tutorial, I have zero knowledge regarding Photoshop but I followed it using CS3 and got acceptable results. Thanks!

  • Yoni | August 19th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    no problem, that’s what I was aiming for :)

  • Free Avatars | August 20th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Hmm, i failed at step 11 – “Create a new layer. Then Select All (ctrl+A)”.
    Create a new layer where? on top? and then there is nothing in it to “select all” on???

  • Christopher | August 20th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    This is how tutorials should be .. great looking and no strange brushes that you have to pay a fortune for. A tip for CS3 users though is to make sure you click “Use Legacy” on the brightness contrast step to get the same effect on the photo in Step 4.

  • jasmine celion | August 22nd, 2008 at 9:10 am

    great tutorial thanks for sharing it

  • cary | August 28th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Wow. You make it look so easy. Great job.

    As a graphic design major, this is very cool.

  • Yoni | August 30th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    in response to Free Avatars:
    Yes the new layer should be on top of the rest. And it’s blank when you select it so there should be nothing in it while selecting. Only then do you add the stroke and continue with the step.

  • CT | September 11th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    What if you don’t have that custom shape…where can you get it?…

  • Yoni | September 12th, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    You do have that shape, it comes with photoshop. All you need to do to see it is click the custom shape tool, click the drop down arrow of the shapes, then click the button arrow facing right (on the right of the drop down window) and select All. This should load all of the custom shapes, including the one you need.

  • Tim | September 12th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    I kinda followed this tonight but it wouldn’t work cos I had black background on my image so I had to sway from your tutorial a bit. Thanks for the inspiration, please check out and comment on my attempt..


  • CT | September 12th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Nah, i check nothing, even reset my shapes… i have cs3 if that’s anymore of a help…but i don’t have it

  • Yoni | September 13th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    try this, instead of selecting All, select “Symbols”
    it should be much easier to find now. Let me know if you still can’t see it

  • Yoni | September 14th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    looks pretty cool!

  • allee pamp | September 14th, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    wtf complicated.

  • Rick | September 15th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    That was an awesome tutorial! I had Great results the first time I tried it out! Keep up the good work!!!!

  • Dan | October 2nd, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Damn. like they say, great results first try. Not complicated if you can -read- :) Great tutorial.

  • Logotype | October 11th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Very nice result!

  • MaXsiM | October 22nd, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for this great tutorial! Good source of inspiration.

  • okhy | October 26th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    what a great tutorial…
    i love when the picture become a vector art with one colour

  • McNuel-Richards | October 26th, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Great tut… Thumbs up.

  • PANKAJ BABBAR | October 30th, 2008 at 12:23 am

    This is very simple & nice.
    I dont know how 2 operate Photoshop,
    But now i can operate this.
    Its is very nice.

  • Dren | November 2nd, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    This is a great tutorial. I applied it to some of the art work I will be using on a new website!

  • elearning | January 5th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks alot for this great tutorial. You inspired me so much.

  • Eric Shafer | April 9th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Great Tutorial! Featured here: http://www.presidiacreative.com/47-tutorials-for-creating-professional-posters-and-ads/

  • Free Textures | May 29th, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Very good tutorial. Angelina is such a babe. Thanks for sharing!

  • proficient | June 3rd, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Awesome tutorial…But i have to try again to make a perfect image like this

  • big cat | August 8th, 2009 at 3:58 am

    my rays come up as a vector mask…
    they dont work like yours

  • Yoni | August 10th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    @ big cat:
    Yes that is what is supposed to happen, you need to rasterize the vector layer (step 6)

  • Birgit | August 22nd, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Wow ! What a nice tutorial !
    Thanx for this !

  • VINC | October 17th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Can somebody help with the step 7?

    “Since you want the rays to go AROUND the subject and not ON them, select the Eraser tool and use a small blurry brush (hardness=0%) to get rid of the rays that show on the subject of your image”.
    –What I am supossed to erase? I have three layers now, background, image (girl) and now this white rays. White rays are between background and girl layer so nothing is ON the image,what I am supossed to erase again??

    Then select a grungy or dirty brush for your eraser, and erase a little here and there around the rays. I used this
    —–I still dont see how did you get from a white rays the colors you have there

    Please help

  • SmsVar, Sms Gönder, Toplu Sms | December 6th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    this is thank you..

  • MO7 | March 18th, 2010 at 12:56 pm


  • ps noob | June 15th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    stuck in step 2 :'( “fill your canvas with dark gray” how can i do it? please answer

  • Yoni | June 16th, 2010 at 1:24 am

    @ps noob:


  • Dave | June 16th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thats sweet. I am a newbie to photoshop. I have been using Fireworks MX 2004 and it doesn’t have near the options and features that photoshop has but I am learning more and more everyday. Thanks for sharing this. Dave

  • John@Retail Fixtures & Store Displays | August 5th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    That s great art of masteriece work,keep up good work

  • sam | August 28th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    muy buenos tutoriales……… gracias…..

  • Conquer Online Hack | September 19th, 2010 at 4:22 am

    This is a really interesting story. I’ve been following your posts for quiet a while now and I gotta say that I really enjoy them. Keep up the good work :-)

  • Photoshop design | September 21st, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Nice post. thank you for share.

  • Företagshemsida | October 28th, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Great tutorial, I’m gong to try and do a similar poster myself. Thank you again.

  • greg | December 1st, 2010 at 9:53 am

    11 out of 10 for this tutorial great instructions and was so quick to achieve a great effect.


  • holia | December 23rd, 2010 at 5:49 am

    very good post!! Kepp it up

  • Mitran | January 1st, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    thanks for the tutorial….

  • travesti | January 25th, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Nice great Tut’s. Thank you for share.

  • ik | February 11th, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Nice and useful tutorial
    Thankyou for sharing

  • Retail Designer Brisbane | April 26th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Hey im a Graphic Designer and Retail Desinger from austrailia,this tutorial will help me in my works.
    I appreciate your work dude!

  • Retail Designer Brisbane | April 26th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I would wish to thank you for that efforts you’ve got created in writing this post. I am hoping the exact same best perform from you in the potential as well. In reality your inventive writing skills has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now.

  • ab | June 13th, 2011 at 5:33 am

    m stuck on step 10……wen i applied the gradient map….i can only c d gradient n pic disappears…..can u help me with this? thank you!

  • copy video games | September 23rd, 2011 at 4:52 am

    beautiful tutorial. Thanks for sharing

  • Silvio | October 15th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Ok, I need help… How did he get such a smooth blinding in step 2???
    No matter which brush I use, it looks awful, no soft crossing between lighter and darker gray!
    “Then select the brush tool and use a large blurry (hardness=0%)”
    This tutorials should come with screenshots of work, not only results…
    And yes, I’m a noob… :)

  • Amika spelletjes | November 12th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    It is indeed a great tutorial. Especially the lady!

  • love | March 20th, 2012 at 12:14 am

    hm that is so nice

  • Nour el din | August 25th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    HEY THAT IS Pretty Easy ANd HeLpFull! !
    Thx 😀 !

  • carpenters | November 19th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’ve read some very good stuff here. decisively worth publication marking for revisiting. I marvel how so much attempt you put to create this kind of large informative site.

  • ululf01 | February 19th, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Thank you very much for these!

  • ilmugrafis | May 7th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    thanks for share, i will try this step by step to my photo

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