Poster Basics

This tutorial is going to cover the basics of putting together a poster to promote your machinima. It does not cover photo editing or Photoshop techniques for the various effects that people use. This tutorial uses the newest version of Photoshop (CC 2015). If you need a tutorial for using Gimp, please visit the Simatography website. Sylent Whisper wrote an awesome tutorial over on Simatography (this tutorial is no longer accessable).


Posters need to be 831 x 1175 pixels so you will need to create a canvas this size. Under File in the top menu, click New.

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You will get a pop-up box that allows you to put in your canvas dimensions.

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You shouldn’t have to mess with any of the other settings.

A note on resolutions here. 72 dpi is for web use, 300 is for print. Nothing we are doing is going to be printed out, it’s all going to be on the web, so 72 dpi is fine.

Next, you need the image that you are going to use. If you are unsure of what you want to do for your poster, take a look around at past SimsFilmFest posters or actual movie posters. When you take this picture make sure the content that you want for the poster is in the center of the picture. Once you have your picture, go under file, click open, and navigate to the image. I’m using a random screenshot of Newt for this.

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The next step is to resize this image. You don’t want it stretched so it needs to be resized where the length and width is in proportion with each other.

Under Image, click on Image Size.

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You will get another pop-up.

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Make sure the lock between Width and Height is locked (on older versions of Photoshop it might be labeled “preserve aspect ratio”), this locks the aspect ratio. Change the height to 1175 pixels. The width will resize on it’s own to preserve the aspect ratio where the image isn’t stretched. Click OK.

Now we are going to move this image to the canvas.

On the right hand side in the menu sidebar, under Layers, right click on your background layer and click Duplicate Layer.

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You will get another pop up.

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In the drop down under Document choose your canvas. It should be titled Untitled-1. The image will now show up on the blank canvas and centered.

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If you need to adjust the placement you can do that by clicking on the top icon going down the left side toolbar, clicking on the image, and dragging it around.

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Now it’s time to add text. Text style is up to you, but make sure that you choose a colour that is easily readable against your background image.

The text option is the T icon in the toolbar that goes down the left side of Photoshop. In the image of Newt above I have it clicked.

To change the colour of your text you will need the colour picker from the top menu. It’s the little block of colour. When you click on it you get a pop-up where you can choose your colour.

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To pick the font you want to use, there is a drop down on the top menu bar that lists the fonts that you have installed on your computer.

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With your font and colour chosen, pick where you want your text and click on the poster. You will probably have to adjust the size, and that drop down is found to the right of the font drop down. You can type in custom sizes.

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After you have typed your title you may have to adjust this based on your font. Some fonts naturally print larger than others. You can highlight things in Photoshop the same way you can in programs like MSWord or on the internet when you want to copy/paste. Once you have your text highlighted you can change colour, font, and size if needed.

Once you have all your text, logos (resized and added the same way you added the initial image to the canvas) you will need to flatten the image. Under Layer in the top most menu, click Flatten Image.

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Pick the format you want to save in (PNG works the best with JPG being next) and save the image to your computer.

You’re done. Congratulations!

Written by: Jorgha Haq

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The Sims International Film Festival was created in 2010 as a way to foster creativity in The Sims community through machinima, an art form that uses video game footage to make movies. Over the years, as new entries in The Sims franchise were released and new editing methods became available, we’ve seen a lot of changes, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to showcasing the creativity of this community and inspiring new artists.

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