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'Stranger Things' iconic poster created on Apple's iPad Pro

It turns out that the surprise hit Netflix show of the summer, Stranger Things, has also quietly boosted the profile of a new piece of Apple hardware: the iPad Pro. 

The now iconic poster for the series, which effectively mimics the look of classic movie posters of the '80s, was created on the iPad Pro by UK-based artist Kyle Lambert, who also used the Apple Pencil. 

As a result, since the poster art for the show is so incredibly popular online, we now have all the proof digital artists — still on the fence about switching from devices like the Wacom Cintiq — need in terms of taking the iPad Pro seriously. 

The software used to create the image included Adobe Photoshop (for the Mac) and Procreate (iOS). 

"This was a very exciting project for me, as an artist that trained with oil paints, I really enjoyed the challenge of reproducing this traditional painting style using digital tools," Lambert told Mashable. "I used the iPad Pro to do the preliminary composition ideas and the sketch that became the final Stranger Things poster. 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."

However, Lambert's process isn't as simple as grabbing the tablet and simply churning out fantastic art. 

"After I completed the sketch I did some basic tonal blocking in Procreate," says Lambert. "I then exported this artwork to Photoshop where I upscaled the image to a higher resolution. The main reason for this was because of the necessity to paint small elements at the best possible resolution should they need to be enlarged later."

It's at this stage where Lambert's attention to detail separates him from some other digital artists, particularly when it comes to mixing and matching the right tools to get the best result. 

"I did the majority of the color work in Photoshop using my Intuos Wacom tablet," says Lambert. "I find that for color work I prefer to not have my hands obscure the artwork in any way and this type of tablet allows me to focus on as much of the image as I need to when working. Procreate is a powerful app, however a complex painting such as this with hundreds of layers still requires a desktop grade application such as Photoshop to pull it off."

That kind of meticulous detail is no surprise given his past work. 

You might remember Lambert from his amazing iPad art video from a few years ago, showing the real-time creation of a photorealistic Morgan Freeman illustration (based on a photo by Scott Gries) on an iPad Air. Lambert's ability to harness the powers of the iPad Air in such a way makes the iPad Pro an even better palette upon which to render digital magic in iOS. 

"Once the overall [Stranger Things] image was coming together, I exported a flat version of the poster back to the iPad, and used Procreate again to add layers of detail to areas that I felt needed to have a more fluid sketch style," says Lambert. "I did several layer adjustments like this between the two devices and applications to give the poster a finished look."

So while it's true the an iPad Pro can deliver incredible art results, as you can see, getting the very best image is a long and detailed process.

Nevertheless, Lambert's widely shared poster art is confirmation that the iPad Pro has arrived and is ready for the biggest jobs, even a hit television series. 

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