Netflix's 80s sci-fi/horror revival "Stranger Things" has garnered high acclaim since its debut in July, and it turns out Apple, or at least one of its products, played a role in creating the series' all important poster art.
Browsing through the thousands of movies and TV shows available online can be a tedious task, especially when studios provide teaser images that assume knowledge of a film's plot and its star actors. Posters for lesser known projects, like indie films, offer a bit more information, a hint at what audiences might expect when they buy a ticket or purchase a download.
Then there's "Stranger Things," a Netflix original set in 1983 Indiana that deals with shadowy government experiments, the Cold War, mirror worlds, telekinesis, a coming of age friendship and other 80s tropes, all while paying homage to sci-fi horror legends John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and myriad cult favorites. Quite the challenge for a poster artist.
That was Kyle Lambert's challenge. In a rundown of his process posted to Adobe's Behance social network, Lambert was asked to communicate the intricate storyline from rough cuts of the first few episodes, some still photographs and a "loose composition" provided by the studio. He also had to accomplish the feat in a single image.
Speaking with Mashable, Lambert detailed the process, which involved iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
"I used the iPad Pro to do the preliminary composition ideas and the sketch that became the final Stranger Things poster," he said. "I chose to use the iPad Pro for the drawing stage of the poster because I find that I am able to sketch in a very natural way on the device using the Apple Pencil. The device in general is nice to hold for long periods of time, it is really portable and Procreate, the app that I used, has some really great Pencil brushes for drawing with."
Lambert used Procreate to block the poster's basic color palette before exporting the file — with layers — to Photoshop, where he upscaled the image to flesh out color details using a Wacom Intuos tablet. From there, the image was flattened (adjustment layers were merged) and sent back to iPad and Procreate to add in layers of detail for what Lambert calls a fluid sketch style. He repeated the layer adjustment process between iPad Pro and desktop multiple times to achieve the final look.