Jonah Hex Movie Poster

We’ve got a multi-parter today. The obscure comic character Jonah Hex is in film production starring John Malkovich, Josh Brolin and Megan Fox. Inspired by the art in the following pic, I decided to put together some live-action elements to see how this imagery might look.

I first started with this photo as a base. It has some nice values and smoke.

Then I found this photo of a house burning and placed on top of the background.

The blending mode on this layer was set to “Screen” and Crtl+T allowed for scaling and positioning.

The Eraser Tool was selected and set on a light setting and brushed with a large point size across the edges to allow a nicer blend.

I decided to use the original artwork and Polygon Lasso the cowboys and delete the areas behind them.

I used a Color Overlay layer style on the layer window and chose a brown from scene. Here are the settings used for the grain.

I right-clicked this layer and duplicated it and pulled it beneath the grainy silhouette. On this layer I removed the layer style, and clicked the Magic Wand on any area outside the figures with the “Contiguous” setting checked “Off”. This selected everything but the cowboys. I then went to Select>Feather and typed 5 into the field.

After pressing Delete, it created this nice ghosting effect.

After setting the grainy layer’s blend mode to Hard Light and its Fill percentage to 65%, I scaled them down a bit.

All the pics I’ve seen of Jonah Hex looked like Two-Face with a cowboy hat on anyway so I snatched up this pic of Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight.

A quick cut and paste job on this magazine cover of Josh Brolin took it to this step.

Here is where I did a little bit of blending work. Image>Adjustment>Desaturate on both layers took it to greyscale. The Eraser cleaned up some of the edges. And the Two-Face layer was duplicated. One blending mode set to Lighten, the other to Color Burn. The color burn layer’s opacity is on 35%.

Image>Rotate Canvas>Flip Canvas Horiszonaral did just that. This art was then flattened and pasted onto a cowboy.

After clipping off some excess, I Magic Wanded the area outside of the face and Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection to brush some in some black areas to blend the face in.

Here’s what it looks like after dropping him in and using the Color Dodge blend mode.

The final element I wanted to place in the composition was Megan Fox. There have been some on set pictures of Megan in wardrobe and I selected this one.

Her face was too candid, but luckily there are a million pictures of Megan on the internet and this one had a nice intentional expression and head tilt.

After clipping her out and pasting the new head, she was scaled down proportionately and flipped horizontally. I was lucky to not have to do to many Color Balance adjustments. Image>Adjustments>Color Balance.

I did some experimentation in attempting to incorporate her into the scene. I made multiple copies and applied different grain filters and erased some areas I liked and some I didn’t. One of the copies was set to multiply, and I erased all but the skirt to allow the background to show through. I kept another layer that retained her thighs and face so they weren’t as ghosted.

To unify the color and give the piece a little Wild West, I took this paper texture and used the Color blending mode.

I placed a slight halo behind megan that could be created from the ambient fire light. I altered the default settings to these. Take note of the Soft Light blending mode.

After a few filters, Filter>Texture>Grain, some cropping and composition the final result ended up to be this. Click to Enlarge.

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