With the release of Quentin Tarantino’s western Django Unchained, Japanese artist Yoshiki Takahashi decided to create an original Japanese 70s style poster, .. If you like J-films, you may have already seen another work from Takahashi — the Straw Dogs-inspired poster of Cold Fish.
And we were wondering, how to achieve that vintage effect, which tools were used. What’s the biggest difference between the posters made 40 years ago & now. Hopefully, Takahashi gave us insightful answers about it. Enjoy!
I use Photoshop alone and I’m not using third party plug-ins or filters, basically. There are several way to make photos look old school but I love to do it manually, starting from converting the original image to black and white, then colorize it with paint brushes, tone curbs and such. For your information, I use at least 20 layers, (mainly adjustment layers of hue and tone curbs) to colorize a single image, for example, like DiCaprio in that poster.
The biggest difference between 60s/70s and the modern days is, the whole printing process of course. They used to cut photos, collage them physically and cover the edge by air brushing. Sometimes they didn’t have the color stills to start with so it needed to be colorized using various techniques of print processing.
So when I make these old-school posters, I try to mimic that process digitally. So many people think that only putting the color on black and white photos could make it look one, but it doesn’t work that way. If you do that it’ll look some hand-painted photos from the early 20th century. Back in 60s and 70s, they had more advanced way of processing, and it’s because of that the shadow part of the face for example, is not just grey or black.