I promised I’d be back with some more useful hands on tips for creating your own book covers; here you were, doubting me, weren’t you. The following post will likely be broken into two pars and feature some NSFW bits.
Stock Images Aplenty
Once you’ve figured out what you want in your first foray into photo-manipulation you’ll need to find images to use in it. The ones listed in the tutorial mostly come from Deviant Art but there’s lots of places to find images to poke and prod into new and unnatural shapes.
WARNING – check usage permissions very carefully before nabbing an image to use as stock in your manipulation. On a personal pc and never going to be put on line? Just for practice? Never going to share the image in any way shape or form? In that case most anything is fine. But if you plan to post it on a blog, a book, an advertisement, or in an online gallery of ‘your’ art? Best make sure the owners of the stock you used are ok with that first!
In the case of Deviant Art stock for example, there’s mostly two kinds of stock images – those that are free to use and post on DA (Deviant Art) but nowhere else, and those that are free to use with credit/notification anywhere. Double check and know what you might want to use the image for before downloading! I find it’s just easier to only download files I know I can use commercially with credit and/or notification.
By the way here’s links to all the fine artist’s whose work I used in my practice manipulation.
Temple from leostarkoneru
Tropical Morning from ivanmarn
Snowing Textures from wchild
Rocks from venom-stock (so nice I used ’em twice)
Storm Clouds 3 from Smoko-Stock
Finally but certainly not least: NightFae – 1 from mjranum-stock
A few tips for working with photo-manipulation: it helps to start with your focus and work outwards to fill the space seamlessly. So start by finding that focus but don’t hesitate to download ‘incidentals’ that’ll give the scene more depth and reality. In the manipulation tutorial they suggest downloading everything from people – to ribbons blowing in a breeze, to complete the scene.
I’ve also found it helps in photo-manipulation to get all of your elements mapped out on screen before color correcting. That way you’ve got all the numbers in your head and it’ll be a little easier to match things up.
Finally when all else fails sometimes adding a texture over the whole will help bring the scene together into something that looks a little less cut and pasted together.
Trial and Error or Oh Look At The Time
You’ll probably spend a good many hours putting your pieces together, manipulating colors, masking out layers and adding filters. It’s a time eating exercise but hopefully a rewarding one in the end. For the most part, I think the effort is totally worth it though!
My take on the tutorial featuring mild nudity below: