Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the popular wind blast effect to create a neoclassic style poster in Adobe Photoshop. 

What You Will Need

You’ll need access to Adobe Photoshop; if you don’t have the software, you can download a trial from the Adobe website. You’ll also need these resources:

Download the image and install the font, and you are ready to start! 

Looking for amazing Photoshop add-ons? Head on over to GraphicRiver.

1. Setting Up a New Photoshop File

Step 1

In Photoshop, go to File > New. Name the document Melodias PosterSet the Width to 1270 px and Height to 1600 px. Set the Resolution to 72 Pixels/Inch. Click OK.

Create a new Photoshop file

Step 2

Press Command-R to bring up the rules around the document. Head over to View > New Guide. On the New Guide window option, select Horizontal and set the guide to 70 px. Click OK.

Do the same for the other sides of the document by subtracting 70 px from the final size. To activate and deactivate the guides, press Command-;.

Add guides to the document

Step 3

On the Layers panel, click on the Create a new Fill or Adjustment Layer > Solid Color. Select a black color and click OK.

Create a new Fill with a black color

2. How to Create a Soft, Blended Background

Step 1

To create a colored background, we need to create a new layer and create color stamps. Press Shift-Command-N. Name the layer Background. Click OK.

Select the Brush Tool (B) from the toolbar. Right-click on the document to change the settings. Set the Size to 600 px and the Hardness to 0%.

Create a new layer

Step 2

Click on the foreground color and set the color to #af00d0. Click OK. 

Stamp over the document, trying to concentrate on the outer edges of the page. Repeat this step using these other two colors: #00e4f4 and #0d43ff.

Using the brush tool stamp over the documents with different colors

Step 3

While selecting the Background layer on the Layer panel, head over to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.  On the Motion Blur option window, set the Angle to 90 and the Distance to 1625. Click OK.

We want the background to be soft. On the layer panel, lower the Opacity to 50%.

Apply the motion blur effect and lower the opacity of the layer

3. How to Close-Crop an Image Using Layer Masks

Step 1

Drag the Greek God image into the Photoshop document. When dragging an image into a document in Photoshop, it should automatically fit the document. If it doesn’t fit, press Command-T to Transform. Head over to the Options bar and set the Width and Height to 23.82%. Press Enter.

Drag the Greek God image onto the Photoshop file

Step 2

On the Layers panel, make sure you have the Greek God layer selected. Head over to the bottom of the panel and add a Layer Mask. The Layer Mask should be selected automatically; if not, make sure you are working on the Layer Mask.

Layer Masks allow us to hide and reveal parts of an image instead of completely deleting them. You will notice in the next steps that parts of the thumbnail will change from white to black and vice versa. The black represents hidden parts, and the white parts are the revealed sections. You can change this on the foreground/background color. 

Add a layer  mask to the Greek God layer

Step 3

Select the Magic Wand Tool (W) from the toolbar. The Magic Wand Tool is a useful tool when there’s a strong contrast between the foreground and background of the image. For instance, this image has a strong bokeh, which makes it easy to select. Select the green parts of the image by clicking on the document. If you need to add more sections to the selection, hold down Shift and click to select. Press Command-I to Invert the Layer Mask or hide the selection, followed by Command-D to Deselect.   

Don’t worry if the Magic Wand Tool (W) selects part of the foreground, in this case the statue. We will be using the Brush Tool (B) in the next step to work on the details.

Using the Magic Wand Tool select the background of the image

Step 4

Select the Brush Tool (B) from the toolbar. Right-click on the document and set the brush Size to 150 px and the Hardness to 100%.

For this tutorial, we will be using only the head of the statue and the beard. Using the Brush Tool (B), start brushing off the chest and neck areas. 

Using the brush tool hide the neck and chest area of the image

Step 5

If the Magic Wand Tool (W) selected parts of the foreground, this is the step to fix it. While selecting the Brush Tool (W), press the X key. This shortcut will change the foreground color from black to white. 

Brush over the areas that are hidden to reveal them. Use the X key to go back and forth to switch the foreground colors.

Using the brush tool finesse parts of the image

4. How to Create the Wind Blast Effect

Step 1

Duplicate the Greek God layer by pressing Command-J. Hide the original layer by clicking on the eye icon. We will be working on the duplicated layer. Make sure that you are selecting the Smart Object thumbnail and not the Layer Mask.

To create the wind blast effect, we need to rotate the image. Press Command-T and rotate the image to a 90-degree angle. Press Shift as you rotate for an even rotation. Press Enter to apply. 

We need to rotate the layer because the direction of the Wind effect goes only from side to side and not from top to bottom. 

Rotate the Greek God layer

Step 2

Head over to Filter > Stylize > Wind > Stagger. In the Wind option window, set the Method to Stagger and the Direction to From the Right. Click OK.

We need to apply this effect several times. We can do so by pressing Command-F, which will repeat the last effect. You can repeat the effect as many times you like—I repeated it 10 times. 

Apply the wind effect and apply the same effect multiple times

Step 3

Before rotating the layer back to its original place, we need to rasterize the layer and the smart filters. If we neglect this part, the filter will be reapplied on the image in its original place. Right-click on the layer and select Rasterize Layer. 

Press Command-T and hold down Shift to rotate the image back to its original place. Press Enter to apply.

Rasterize the layer and rotate to its original position

Step 4

Activate the original Greek God layer. Select the Brush Tool (B) from the toolbar. Right-click on the document to set the brush. Select the Oil Pastel Large brush. I’ve found this is the best brush to use to reveal and hide the Wind effect. 

Set the brush tool

Step 5

Select the Layer Mask on the duplicate Greek God layer. Using the Brush Tool (B), start revealing parts of the image. In this case, let’s start by working on the left side of the image. 

Use the following shortcuts to make this step easier. Use to change the foreground color, to reveal and hide parts of the image. To adjust the size of the brush, press [ to decrease and [ to increase the size. 

Using the brush tool hide and reveal parts of the image

Step 6

In my case, I want to reveal only a few parts of the effect over the original Greek God layer. There is no right or wrong in this step—feel free to put your own spin on the design! 

Below, you can take a look at the final composition I have. On the right side, I’ve shown you the Wind effect layer alone so you can see how much of it I hid and revealed. 

On the left is the final image composition of the two layers On the right is the Wind Blast effect layer shown by itself

Step 7

To neutralize the color of the image, we will add an Adjustment Layer. Head over to the Layers panel, and select Adjustment Layer > Black & White. 

We want the Adjustment Layer to only be applied to the statue. Select both Greek God layers and drag them towards the Group button. Right-click on the Black and White Adjustment Layer and select Create Clipping Mask.

Use the Properties panel to tweak the colors. I tweaked the Reds to 300 and the Yellows to -50 to add contrast. Feel free to do your own version!

Add a Black and White adjustment layer and create a Clipping Mask

5. How to Create a Colorful Stroke

Step 1

Create a new layer by pressing Shift-Command-N. Name the layer Stroke. Click OK. Move the layer under the grouped Greek God layers. 

Create a new layer

Step 2

On the toolbar, select the Brush Tool (B). Right-click and change the brush to a circular brush. Set the brush Size to 500 and the Hardness to 0. 

Use the following color codes to brush over the layer: #f7af08, #f502fe, #35b5f0, #8566fb, and #1be5e9. I am hiding the Greek God layers so you can see the result. It doesn’t to be exact—put your own spin on it! 

Using the brush tool create a colorful composition

Step 3

Head over to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. In the Gaussian Blur option window, set the Radius to 150 pixels. Click OK.

Apply the Gaussian Blur filter effect to soften the layer

Step 4

Reveal the grids we created at the beginning of this tutorial by pressing Command-;.

On the toolbar, select the Rectangle Tool (U). Draw a rectangle to fit inside the grid. Head over to the Options bar, and set the Stroke to 50 pt. 

Using the rectangle tool creae a rectangle around the perimeter of the document

Step 5

Head over to the Layers panel. Right-click on the Rectangle layer and select Rasterize Layer. Press down Command and click on the rectangle thumbnail. This will create a selection of the object. Select the Stroke layer and click on the Add Layer Mask button. Delete the Rectangle layer.

Create a Layer Mask out of the rectangle we created

Step 6

Now we can resize the stroke. Press Command-T to Transform. Hold down Option-Shift while you resize to evenly resize the rectangle while using the center as the main point. Alternatively, you can head over to the Options bar and set the Width and Height to 60%. Feel free to set it to a different size. Press Enter. 

Resize the rectangle stroke

Step 7

Remember you can always tweak the colors and brightness by adding an Adjustment Layer in the Layers panel. For instance, below I added a Brightness/Contrast, and I changed the Contrast value to 100. I also added a Hue/Saturation and set the Hue value to 125. 

If you want these layers applied only to the Stroke layer, right-click > Create Clipping Mask.

Add adjustment layers to tweak the colors and brightness

6. How to Use the Text Tool

Step 1

On the Tools panel, select the Text Tool (T). I used white text to contrast with the background. The typeface I used is US Bill.

Bring up the Tools panel by going to Type > Panels > Character Panel. Below are the details I added with the type size and specific font weight on separate layers.


(US Bill, Slant and ExtraBold Slant, Size: 46 pt and 140 pt, Tracking: 50 pt, Leading for the second line is 120 pt and for the third line is 150 pt. I encourage you to play with the leading as it is a great exercise to understand legibility. Select a text line and press Option-Up arrow or Option-Down arrow to add or decrease the leading).


(US Bill, Slant, Size: 21 pt,Tracking: 50 pt, Leading: Auto).


(US Bill, Slant, Size: 45 pt,Tracking: 50 pt, Leading: 38 pt).

I’ve placed the three text blurbs opposite each other. You will notice that they create a triangle, this is important to make the viewer’s eyes jump from one point of information to the other. We are not only creating tension but also visual balance. 

Add text to the composition

Step 2

The title is placed over the stroke and the image. You will notice that this portion of the poster seems busy and too mixed up. Let’s make the text jump out. Right-click on the title layer and select Blending Options.

Select the Drop Shadow style. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply, the Opacity to 40%, the Angle to 120, the Distance to 13 px, the Spread to 6%, and the Size to 38 px. Under Quality, set the Contour to Half Round. Click OK.

Add a Drop Shadow effect on the main title of the composition

7. How to Save a File for Web

Head over to File > Save and save the file as you would normally. 

To save a JPEG for web file, head over to File > Save for Web or Shift-Option-Command-S. Select the file type you want to save the document in—I am choosing JPEG—and set 100 for Quality. Under Image size, you can change the pixel size of the image if you have any size constraints. 

On the bottom left-hand side, you can see a preview of the size of the file. This is useful when there are size constraints on a website and you need to lower the quality or the size of the image. 

Click on Save… to choose the location in the new window, and click on Save again.

Save the file

Congratulations! You’ve Finished This Tutorial!

In this tutorial, we’ve learned to use the Wind Blast effect in Photoshop to create a visually interesting poster with a spin. The results will vary slightly, so be sure to post yours in the comments below! Today we’ve learned to:

  • Use the Blur effect to create a soft, blended background.
  • Close-crop images using Layer Masks.
  • Apply Adjustment Layers and Clipping Masks to edit images.
  • Use the Wind effect to create a slightly pixelated look.
  • Understand text placement and composition.

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