How to make a monochrome display-like style in Photoshop?

For example, like the following image:


I am curious how to make part that is monochromatic and looks like a display.

  • 1
    Depends what you're starting with and what exactly you want to recreate from your reference image. What's the program you're using? Do you have the clip-art of little characters? Do you just need the green part, or the interface below? – Alexei Nov 19 '11 at 3:45
  • I´m using Photoshop. I just need the green part. – kubek Nov 19 '11 at 13:34
  • "I just need the green part." = open the color picker, pick green? – DA01 Nov 23 '11 at 23:03
  • Out of curiosity, why was this question voted down? Seems like a perfectly reasonable question to me ... – Rob Craig Nov 25 '11 at 7:50

Okay, here's what I did, and the sample is below. I will presume in some places you know how to use Photoshop. If not, just ask!

  1. Create a file with one transparent layer, 20x14.
  2. Select the top half, six pixels high, and fill it with bright green (you'll adjust the hue and saturation later).
  3. Define the pattern with Edit->Define Pattern. It doesn't matter what you name it; it'll be the last pattern in the custom pattern list.
  4. Create a new canvas 640x480, with a black layer and a new layer above it that you'll fill with the custom pattern. Edit->Fill, and choose Custom Pattern from the Use drop-down. Select your pattern in the selector just underneath. You should end up with a bunch of horizontal lines.
  5. This is important - apply all your gradients to this pattern first before blurring to get the best effect. I used a linear gradient from about #606060 to black.
  6. With the scanline layer selected, create a layer mask - Layer->Layer Mask. Make sure you click on the new mask in the layers palette afterwards so you know your working in there and not in the image proper.
  7. Do a linear gradient in the layer mask from top to bottom using the colors above. You should now have a fade from top to bottom in your image.
  8. To mess up the gradient a little and give character, select a hard 30 brush, a gray color (I used #C0C0C0). Turn the brush opacity down to about 8%, and paint randomly in the layer mask as much as you like, mostly near the top.
  9. Time to blur the scan line image - click in the image in the layer palette to make sure you're blurring that and not the layer mask. I used a Gaussian blur of 4.8. Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur.
  10. Now play with the hue & saturation to get the color you like. I can't help you here - it's up to what you want. Play with the lightness and saturation, too, not just the hue. Image->Image Adjust->Hue/Saturation.
  11. If you want to slightly curve the lines so that it looks like a convex display, use Filter->Distort->Spherize, somewhere between 4 and 7. I didn't do that in my image (I forgot!).
  12. Finally, to get the pixelated look (if that's what you want), change the image mode to indexed and reduce the number of colors. I used Local (Selective), Colors 32, Forced None, Dither Noise. Image->Mode->Indexed color.

That's it!




To get that retro display effect I suggest to recreate some "scanlines" tutorial like this one:
TV Scan lines in Photoshop Photoshop Tutorial

To make everything a consistent tone of green I suggest you put a "gradient map" adjustment layer on top of all your layers and select a custom gradient that goes from black to green. The scanlines should be just below the gradient map and above everything else you have on your display.

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