Sunday, January 05, 2014

Homespun Cover Making: Part 2

Warning: By no means am I professional graphic artist or a teacher.

This is when I take those wispy ideas of what I want and see if I can find a picture that can make it tangible.

After spending quite some time looking at feet, I decided not to go with feet. I'm going to show you two different ways to make a cover. The simple, headache free one. Or headache-ish free one. And one that's a bit more advanced.

My advice?

Find a good stock. Good stock makes your life easier, especially if you are new at this. Especially if, like me, you're not a professional and can't take a so-so stock and turn it into a masterpiece.

A few tips when you hit a stock photo site”
Read the license that way you know what you can and cannot do with the stock.

Have a criteria. Full body, only the torso, dark background, white background, indoors, outdoors, etc. If you know you want a woman's legs and she's wearing heels, it helps if you know you need stock with her either standing up or sitting down.

Know when to give yourself a break. Looking for stock can be overwhelming.

Lightbox or save stock. You never know when you might need it or if that one pic you hated somehow because wonderful.

So, I picked this stock for this blog:

I can look at it and know I can keep it as is and slap some font on it and it'll look fine. I'm not working with print, I'm doing digital. Right now, the biggest you can upload to Amazon is XXXX by 2500. Since I'm not making this part of a series, I'm just going to go ahead and scale the image down to 2500.

(I'm using GIMP. If you have Photoshop or something else, I'm not sure how much this will help you. But I will say there's a lot of crossover in all these programs. You just have to find the right tool.)

Now. SAVE AS. Not, SAVE, but SAVE AS. You want to keep the original pic as is. Do all your dirty work on a copy.

* Did I mention I'm anal retentive? Well, I am. So what I'm going to do is crop the stock. I personally don't like all that space around them. I want to focus on the couple. Copy, paste as new image. SAVE AS.

* Tip: If you're finding you have to do any scaling make sure you keep the same proportions. Otherwise your couple or stock is going to start to look funky. Or, rather it's going to have that fun house mirror look.

So, I've cropped and dropped them into a new file. I'm basing this new file dimensions from Under His Kilt, which I know is 1740 X 2500. I've pasted, now I need to scoot them over to the middle.

All right. No bells or whistles, I'm slapping on font. I need something contemporary and clear. And so it begins...

And just when you think you have something great, change the View to thumbnail, which is about 6 percent.

Thus, my rant about font. And then you find something that doesn't make you scream and that you can see at thumbnail. If it passes those tests,  find a font for your name. It shouldn't clash with your title. If you're going in knowing the font for your name, then it's the other way around.

Since this is a tutorial, in a sense, I can live with this. I added something to the name and title to make it pop. Some folks hate drop shadow. I'm personally addicted to it. If you hate it, then you can definitely just duplicated the text layer. (Right click the Text Layer [the little box right next to the Text Layer], menu pops up and there's a duplicate option.)

All right. That's the slap on version. See what I mean about good stock?


Lyric James said...

Hey Mel what size image did you purchase from Deposit Photos? Which resolution is the best to get?

Melissa Blue said...

I get the extra large. They tend to be like 3000 X 4000 something or the other. From what I've seen they usually are 75 dpi. When I scale the image down I usually put in 300 dpi to change it. You get a better resolution that way.