This is a section of a poster from the 1960s for the James Bond movie Dr No.

enter image description here

Just focusing on the colour only, and not quality of the black lines, it has rough and uneven quality. It's somewhat blotchy. In addition, there's a kind of of a canvas texture as well.

I have an image that has a layer of colours, with some broad shading. What I'm trying to do is push those colours and shades into the direction of something like what's in this poster.

I've experimented with the default Photoshop plugins available in the CS2 version, which is what I'm working with. The rough pastels texture seemed to come closest, but it has a heavy horizontal direction to it. The poster I'm referencing doesn't go in any particular direction. And I can't figure out how to get the "blotchiness" of the colour at all.

What filter, or combinations of filters, or techniques might I use to try and modify my existing colours to have the same look as the colours in the example Dr No poster?

Just to be clear: I am not expecting one big magic button filter. That would be nice, but I would expect it would be more of a process, a set of steps, or a series of techniques. Whatever it takes, I am looking for a specific result. I'm not biased about the method.

  • 1
    See your other post. I think the color techniques all relate to noise and textures.
    – Scott
    Sep 13, 2012 at 18:34
  • @Scott: The other question specifically looks for brush techniques, and this one is asking about filter techniques. In this question, I already have an existing set of colours, but I need to modify them, not draw them from scratch. In the other question, I'm starting from scratch. They are separate issues, requiring separate answers.
    – Questioner
    Sep 14, 2012 at 7:10
  • 1
    Does Photoshop CS2 have smart blur? If so, I'd start by playing around with that to simplify the colours, then apply filters and textures to duplicated layers and erase by hand with a big, soft low opacity brush so the filters are applied to varying deliberate amounts in chosen deliberate places. With good judgement you could get something that looks good. Scott's right that you should never rely on filters as a crutch - but they can help when used sparingly with care (not carpet-bombed). Any effect that looks good with one click will be an overused, tired cliche by the end of the week... Sep 14, 2012 at 11:23
  • 1
    @Scott: Where does it say I'm looking for a shortcut? In both questions, nothing I have said excludes the possibility of multiple layers of technique, or of time and effort. The key difference is that in this question I am looking for something with global effects across an entire image, as opposed to spot specific effects that one might achieve with a specific brush or localized technique. The only implication of looking for a shortcut came with your assumptions based on the mention of the term "filter".
    – Questioner
    Sep 14, 2012 at 17:24
  • 1
    is there any way you can post a crop/snippet/mock-up of what your existing artwork looks like? The poster was done by Mitchell Hooks, and much of what you see was done on canvas or canvas board with ink and rapid, probably dry-brushed colors. In any event, if you can isolate portions of your image, you can do as scott suggests with each isolated portion taking the role of the "help! face" mask (keyline). Your specific image may also exhibit some texture from the rough screen pattern from commercial offset printing.
    – horatio
    Sep 14, 2012 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Okay.. here's a basic stab at it.....

Forgive the moronic 10 second image... it's the color I was focused on.


  1. The black keyline
  2. Hue/Saturation adjustment (tweaked to bring up greens and saturation a bit). Filter > Render > Clouds and Filter > Noise > Add Noise run on mask.
  3. Duplicate of "Base", fill set to 0%. Pattern overlay set to color dodge and a different subtle light distressed pattern used.
  4. Duplicate of "Base", fill set to 0%. Pattern overlay set to multiply and a subtle dark distressed pattern used.
  5. Duplicate of "Base", levels adjustment to lighted slightly. Add mask. Run Filter > Render > Clouds on Mask, then run Filter > Noise > Add Noise on mask.
  6. Duplicate of "Base", levels adjustment to darken slightly. Add mask. Run Filter > Render > Clouds on Mask, then run Filter > Noise > Add Noise on mask.
  7. The base color. Simple flat color layer. Nothing special about the layer at all.

*opacity on all layers is 100%.

This is a preliminary exploration. My colors are quickly chosen and not the best. However, I'm certain this method could be refined a great deal and yield great results.

The important aspect is there's absolutely no painting or handwork needed if that's the goal. However, if you wish to refine, you can always grab a brush and paint the various layer masks to enhance or subdue an area specifically.

In addition, there are other filters besides the clouds and noise filters I'd try. Fibers and Texturizer may yield good results.

I recorded this into an action so it can be applied to any layer to generate the variations with a simple tap on an F key.

And after manually painting some tonal variations on teh base layer, then running the action....


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