Like many people, I regularly bemoan the Photoshop-ization of movie posters without any real knowledge to back it up. Sure, I can tell when heads and bodies don't appear to belong together, or when the movie's stars are not in alignment, as though they were taken from two different photographs and smushed against one another. But where is the hard evidence?
A man named Sebo is my hero. He created a blog and invited readers to "look at movie posters and ads with the eye of a graphic designer." Sebo is an "Artistic Director" and graphic artist in Paris, France, and his blog has concrete examples of "duplications and other hidden actions on Photoshop in images." In the example posted above, he found the source image for the "baby with sunglasses" in the poster for The Hangover: the shot of Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Bradley Cooper in an elevator. The poster artist cropped out Helms, Cooper, and the elevator, changed the colors -- Galifianakis and the infant are clearly wearing the same t-shirts in both images -- added sunglasses, and voilà!
Sebo has a very keen eye: he found duplications of the sea in the poster for Becoming Jane, the two different images of a romantic couple merged into one in the poster for Downloading Nancy, the three different images combined for the Summer Hours international poster, and the disturbing way that Matthew McConaughey's face was altered for the Ghosts of Girlfriends Past poster, transforming his mug from movie-star handsome into plasticized perversity. It's all fascinating, and will make me start looking even closer at movie posters.