Recreate the “Perfume” Movie Poster in Photoshop – Copycat Wednesday #1


In this first episode of Copycat Wednesday, you’ll learn how to recreate the Perfume poster in Photoshop!

Tutorial Images

Starting from Scratch

Prepare the fresh canvas by clicking the Create button to create a new document. A Width of 600 pixels and Height of 72 pixels with a Resolution of 72 pixels should be perfect for this project.

Organizing the Document

Since you will be dealing with a lot of layers and files, it is best to organize them in advance by creating three individual groups and rename them respectively as:

  • Background
  • Model
  • Flowers

In this way, all Background, Model, and Flower-related layers are in their respective groups you can avoid further confusion.

Applying Mask to the Model

Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon and select Solid Color.

On the Color Picker window, select a good shade of dark grey and press OK to set it as the Color Fill. Then, rename the layer as “Background.”

Now, you may delete the original Background layer by clicking-and-dragging it towards the Trash icon.

Right-click on the new Background layer and select Delete Layer Mask

Then, click-and-drag the layer to move it into the Background group.

Working on the Model Subject

All the assets to be used in this tutorial are already set in the Libraries panel. You can obtain the photos without the watermark through licensing, or you can use them for FREE with the watermarked version. You can download each file here:

  • Woman
  • Hair
  • Background
  • Flower
  • Flower

Refining the Mask

Select the image of the woman and place it under the Model group.

Go to Select > Subject so that Adobe Sensei can do its magic and automatically create a selection around your subject.

With the Layer Mask thumbnail selected, go to the Options bar and click on the Select and Mask button so that you will be taken into a workspace where you can refine the edges of your mask.

You can choose among different viewing options by clicking on the View drop-down menu. As you can see, I have the default Black & White view, which also pertains to the Golden Rule of masking, “White Reveals, Black Conceals.”

Use the Global Refinements to refine the edges of the mask by slightly increasing the Smooth slider.

Then, adjust the Contrast slider to make it sharper.

Press OK to apply the changes.

If your subject layer has a “white halo” or a white outline as a remnant from its background, refine this by having your Layer Mask selected, then go to Filter > Other > Minimum.

The Minimum filter allows you to contract the mask based on the number of pixels you input on the radius.

Initially, I set mine at 1.3 pixels, and the further you adjust the slider, the more it contracts the mask.

For this particular layer, setting it at 1 pixel is optimum.

Make sure that you set Preserve as Rounded, and this determines the sharpness of the edges of your pixels.

With a quick overall look at the layer, the subject looks unrealistic without the natural hair strands and eyelashes excluded from the mask. To retrieve them, double-click on the Layer Mask thumbnail to go back to the workspace.

On your Toolbar, select the Refine Edge tool to paint along the edges around the subject’s hair to retrieve the individual hair strands.

Do the same technique on her face to retrieve her eyebrows and eyelashes.

Once you press OK to apply the changes, you will see the drastic difference.

Fixing the White Halo Around the Subject’s Hair

While you have achieved a better look for the subject, you can also see the fringing along the hair strands. To remove them, click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and select Solid Color.

Set black as your color and press OK.

Then press Ctrl Alt G (Windows) or Command Option G (macOS) to clip it to the layer below, this means any filters, adjustments, blending modes applied to this layer will only affect the layer directly below it.

Notice how the recent steps have removed the white fringing around the hair by making the entire layer into black.

Then, click on the Layer Mask and press on Ctrl I (Windows) or Command I (macOS) to Invert the effect and hide all the contents of this layer.

Now, select the Brush tool and set white as your Foreground color. Use this to paint along the edges of the head to reveal the black layer and hide the white halo. In a simpler term, it hides the white fringing by darkening it. Use this technique to remove the white fringing along her eyelashes and eyebrows.

Using Adjustment Layers to Darken the Model

Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon and select Curves.

Clip this layer by clicking on this icon, so it only controls the Model layer.

Make the image darker by clicking-and-dragging the white point downwards.

Make a point in the center only by clicking-and-dragging from the center of the curve then downwards.

To create a black & white image, click on the New Adjustment Layer icon and select Black & White.

Click on the clipping icon once again, so this adjustment layer only applies to the Model layer.

Then, click on the Curves adjustment layer and create another point and drag it downwards to make it darker.

Adding Highlights Around the Model’s Body

To create more depth into the image by adding another source of light, select the Curves adjustment layer mask, and select the Brush tool.

With black set as your Foreground color, paint on the layer mask to hide the layer effect. Reimagine how another source of light would illuminate her body and emulate it.

If you happen to create a mistake, undo this by pressing the X key on your keyboard to switch the colors and reveal the effect.

Keep on using the X key to switch between the Foreground and Background color. 

Using a Solid Color Fill to Hide The Towel

Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon and select Solid Color. On the Color Picker window, set the color to black and press OK to apply this to the whole layer.

Press Ctrl Alt G (Windows) or Command Option G (macOS) to clip the layer.

Click on the Layer Mask. On the Masks panel, click on the Invert button to hide everything in the layer.

With your Brush tool selected and the Foreground color set to white, paint over the bottom area of your Model to hide her towel while keeping a smooth, gradient transition.

Painting Over the Background and Apply the Texture

Create a new layer under your Background Group.

Select the Brush tool and set the color black as your Foreground color. While holding the Shift key, paint on the bottom of the layer to retain a straight line. The purpose of this step is to hide the fact that she doesn’t have legs in this image.

If you feel that you overpainted in some areas, you can easily use the Move tool to adjust the placement of your brush strokes.

Next, create a new layer by going back to the Libraries panel then clicking the Grunge texture and dragging it right above the Background layer. 

Press Ctrl T (Windows) Command T (macOS) to transform the layer.

Rotate the layer in favor of the lightest area, right-click, and select Flip Horizontally, so the brightest spot is on the left side and matches with the highlights I made earlier.

Expand the grunge texture layer by clicking-and-dragging the handles until it fits the entirety of the canvas. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS) to set it in place.

Applying a Highlight to The Background

Create a new layer above your Grunge texture layer and name it as “Highlight.”

With the Brush tool selected and the white color set as your Foreground color, set the brush size into a large diameter and paint on the center of the canvas to create that Omni-light.

Double-click on the side of the layer to bring out the Layer Style window and set the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. 

Under Advanced Blending, uncheck the box for Transparency Shapes Layer, this will transform the paint color into an actual highlight to further emphasize the silhouette of the Model.

Using the Move tool, click-and-drag the highlight to move it around.

If the brightness is too intense, go to the Layers panel and reduce the Fill value, so it does not look like a solid ball of white.

Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon and select Curves. Click on the center of the line to make a point and drag it upwards to brighten the highlight more.

Create a Layer Mask to hide the effect by pressing Ctrl I (Windows) or Command I (macOS) to Invert.

With the Brush tool selected and the white set as your Foreground color, reveal the Curves adjustment layer by painting a short upward stroke towards the source of light.

At this point, it is better if you move the Highlight layer above the Curves adjustment layer so that you can control it better and reduce the Fill value until it looks like a soft, ambient glow.

You can also minimize the Opacity of the Curves adjustment layer to soften it more.

Masking the Hairstrand

With the Model and the background set, start working on the details of this composite.

Rotate the hair strand image to see it better by going to Image > Image Rotation > 90 Counter Clockwise.

Applying the Channel-Based Mask

From this point onward, I will show you a technique that is called a Channel-Based Mask, a method that allows you to mask difficult to select objects such as hair, fur, and grass.

First, go into the Channels panel and click on each RGB channel (Red, Green, and Blue), and see which channel has more contrast with the background

In this image, the Blue channel has more contrast with the background, so click-and-drag the Blue channel into the New Channel icon to duplicate it, and we can work with this to create our selection.

Press Ctrl I (Windows) or Command I (macOS) to Invert the channel.

All of the white areas will be selected, and to make sure every strand is selected, go to Image > Adjustment > Levels. 

Drag the center handle to the right to adjust the brightness of this channel and press OK.

Go back to Image > Adjustment > Levels, and this time, drag the rightmost handle and drag it to the left until all areas of the hair are white. Then, press OK.

If you cannot achieve the complete whiteness, you can always use the Brush tool to paint white on all the missed areas.

PRO TIP: Simply press the [ and ] key on your keyboard to reduce and enlarge the size of your brush!

With every essential area turned into white, go back to your Channels panel and press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) as you click on your duplicated Blue channel to load it as a selection.

Then, go back to the original color by clicking on the RGB channel.

Go back into your Layers panel and create a layer mask by clicking on the Layer Mask icon.

Using the Move tool, click-and-drag the hair to your working document and release the mouse to drop it there.

If the file is too large that you cannot see the handles to minimize the size of the layer, press Ctrl 0 (Windows), or Command 0 (macOS) to see the full scope of it. 

Then, scale down the hair to the same size as the model’s head and click on the checkmark to save the changes.

Go to the Layers panel and rename the layer to “Hair.”

Rename the layer to Hair

Click-and-drop the Hair layer into the Model group to organize it neatly.

With the Hair layer still selected, use the Move tool to place the hair into the following position:

Transform the layer by scaling it down and stretching it vertically to match the hairstyle in the original poster.

Changing the Hair Color

Click on the New Adjustment Layer icon and select Curves. On the Properties panel, click on the Clipping Mask icon to clip the layer below it.

Then, click-and-drag the curve downwards to darken the Hair layer.

 Switch the channel to Red. Click on the center of the curve then drag it upwards to change the color of the hair into a shade of red. 

Distorting the Hair Strand with Puppet Warp

Since I am not a big fan of the current positioning of the hair, right-click on the Hair layer and select Convert to Smart Object so I can distort it non-destructively.

Press Ctrl T (Windows) or Command T (macOS)

Then, right-click > Flip Horizontal. Click on the checkmark on the Options bar to commit to the changes.

To distort it further, go to Edit > Puppet Warp, this feature allows us to distort an image by using pins.

Make sure you uncheck the box for Show Mesh in the Options bar.

Start by creating three separate pins on each curve of the curls.

Click-and-drag on each pin to distort the pixels and reposition them based on your preference.

PRO TIP: If you hold Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS), a circle guide will appear that shows the rotation of the pin.

Once you’re happy with the transformation, click on the checkmark to commit to the changes.

Blending the Hair and Add Highlights

With the Eyedropper tool and the Curves adjustment layer thumbnail selected, click on a dark shade of red in the hair.

Then, click on the New Adjustment Layer icon > Solid Color and Photoshop will automatically set the solid color into the dark shade of red you previously selected with the Eyedropper tool, and press OK.

Convert the layer into a clipping mask by pressing Ctrl Alt G ( Windows) or Command Option G (macOS).

Hide the contents of the layer mask by clicking on the Invert button from the Properties panel, and this makes the layer mask into black.

From here, you can selectively bring back areas of your layer mask by selecting the Brush tool and painting with white

Select the Color Fill layer > hold the Shift key > click on the Hair layer > Press Ctrl G (Windows) or Command G (macOS) to organize all these layers into one group. Then, rename it into “Hair.”

Click on the Layer Mask icon to create a layer mask. 

With your Brush tool selected and the Foreground color set to black, paint on the hair so that it blends better with the background.

If you want to highlight certain areas of the hair, create one more Curves adjustment layer in the Hair group and click on the Clipping Mask icon to clip it to the layer below.

To create these highlights, simply click-and-drag on the curve upwards to see it change. One again, click on the layer mask thumbnail and then click on the Invert button.

Using the Brush tool, use the white color to paint over areas where you want to reveal the mask.

Decrease the Opacity of this layer if you want to reduce the intensity of this highlight.

Masking the Model’s Back

Now, we will be moving on to creating the mask that will cut up a part of her back where the flowers will be flying out.

To do that, select the Lasso tool and freehand a selection that looks like a cracked opening.

With the selection active and if you click on the Layer Mask icon, it will keep the selection.

To execute the opposite effect, hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key and click on the Layer Mask icon to keep everything but the selection.

Selecting and Mask the Flowers

To recreate the Perfume poster in Photoshop, you need to add flower petals in the background.

Go back to the Libraries panel and double-click on the two images of rose petals to open them in separate new tabs.

If you want to select an object against a stark white background, I will use one of the oldest tricks on Photoshop, which is the Magic Wand tool.

On the Options bar, set the Tolerance to 6 and check the box for Contiguous.

Then, click once on the white area to automatically select all the white pixels in the image.

By holding on the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key as I click on the Layer Mask icon, Photoshop will hide the white background.

Placing the Flowers Over the Model

Using the Move tool, click-and-drag on the flowers to the working document and drop them on the canvas by releasing your mouse.

Make sure you are working in the right group by clicking-and-dragging the layer into the Flower group. Then, rename the layer as “Flowers.”

If you do not see your flowers, press Ctrl 0 (Windows) or Command 0 (macOS) to see the transformation handles. From here, you can scale down the layer until it fits the canvas.

Using the transformation tool, you can rotate, skew, or distort the rose petals to match the direction of the crack.

To remove the white outline created by the mask, select the Brush tool and the layer mask thumbnail. With your Foreground color set to black, paint over the outline to hide it.

While I am in the process of hiding things in the mask, I will also take this opportunity to hide some of the petals.

With the Move selected, hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key as you click-and-drag to duplicate the layer.

You can scale it down, rotate, distort, and flip it, so they look a little different.

With the original Flowers group selected, you can press Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (macOS) to duplicate the layer.

Second Flowers Technique

To add variety to the rose petals, you can also use the other image and apply the same techniques we used to separate the rose petals from the white background.

Again, select the Magic Wand tool. 

On the Options bar, set the Tolerance value to 6 and check the box for Contiguous.

Click on the white background to select it, then hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key as you click on the Layer Mask icon to separate the rose petals.

Right-click on the side of the layer and select Apply Layer Mask to completely get rid of it.

Using the Lasso tool, freehand an outline around a rose petal and press Ctrl C (Window) or Command C (macOS) to copy it.

Go back to your working document and paste it on the canvas by pressing Ctrl V (Windows) or Command V (macOS).

Press Ctrl T (Windows) or Command T (macOS) to transform it accordingly. You can use the Move tool to drag it anywhere to keep on building up your flow of rose petals. 

PRO TIP: If you like this technique, you can always freehand a selection around any petal with the Lasso tool. Then with the main image of the petals selected, press Ctrl J (Windows) or Command J (macOS) to cut the selection and paste it on a new layer of its own.

With their respective layers, you can easily select a petal, then click-and-drag it towards the working document and scale it accordingly.

Making the Petal Shadows on The Wall

To create shadows of the petals, duplicate a layer of petals by selecting it and pressing Ctrl J (Window) or Command J (macOS). Then, use the Move tool to place it in the right position where it can appear as a shadow.

Right-click on the layer and select Apply Layer Mask.

Double-click on the side of the layer to open the Layer Style window. 

Click on Color Overlay, set the color to black, and press OK.

Now, choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and adjusts the radius to mimic the soft edges of a shadow.

If the shadow appears too intense, simply decrease the Opacity of the layer according to your preference.

Applying a Tint Over the Image

The original movie poster has a blue tint over it, and you can replicate it by creating a Solid Color fill layer above the Model layer.

In the Color Picker window, set the color to blue and press OK.

On the Layers panel, set the Blending Mode to Color.

Reduce the Opacity to a minimum to give it a faint blue tint.


Now, that’s how you recreate the Perfume poster in Photoshop! Hopefully, this has been informative and fun for you.

If you truly enjoyed this, don’t forget to tag #PhototshopTrainingChannel on your social media post when you share your work!

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Terry Converse

I really enjoyed this tutorial — learned several new techniques. All of your videos are excellent, very clear, step by step instructions, and having the actual images to work is a great idea.