I shared some posters awhile back on Abduzeedo and got a few emails asking how I created the application mockups for the posters so I decided to post about the process. There are several ways to go about and of course you can find templates online, however, today I'll show you an easy way to create simple mockups that you can reuse for your projects in order to give them a more realistic and professional look.

So in this little tutorial I will show you how to create a poster mockup that can be reused for your future poster projects. It's a simple guide on how to use Photoshop Smart Objects to make non-destructive elements in Photoshop.

Step 1

The first thing to do is to take a good picture of someone holding a real poster. In this case my friend and Abduzeedo writer Paulo Gabriel is holding an old Abduzeedo Poster. Take some pictures and open the one you like the most in Photoshop.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 2

With the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) select the fingers that are holding the poster.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 3

Click on the Refine Edge options. Select Smart Radius and then paint over the edges of the fingers to refine the selection. After that change the Output to New Layer with Layer Mask.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 4

Create a rectangle covering the old poster.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 5

Reorder the layers so the rectangle is below the fingers layer created during the step 3.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 6

Select the fingers layer and then go to Layer>Layer Styles>Drop Shadow. Use Linear Burn at 30% for the Blend Mode and Opacity, then use 4 for the Distance, 0 for Spread and 5px for the Size.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 7

Select the rectangle layer and change the color to white. Then go to Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Objects. After that go to Edit>Transform>Warp. Then edit the edges to make them follow the real poster.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 8

Select the Smart Object layer and then go to Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay. Use the black and white gradient at 10%. Reduce the Scale to 55% and move the dark area down to the bottom to the poster.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 9

Now select Pattern Overlay. You can find a nice texture paper online to use as pattern. Then use Linear Burn at 20% to make sure that it blends with your design.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 10

Here's the final composition you will have. The blank poster is a Smart Object that you can simply double click to edit it and simply add your artwork in there.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Step 11

Once you save the .psb file that Photoshop will open to edit the Smart Object, the poster artwork will show in your poster composition.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Conclusion

Here are some examples of different posters using the same application mockup. Now you can create that from books, business cards, collaterals, pretty much anything. It's an easy way to make your projects more realistic.

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Poster Mockups in Photoshop

Download Photoshop file

Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.