Last time, I showed you how I made my winged horse for my cover image for Freyja's Fire (which is due to be shared beginning in January, it would appear - though I may divert briefly before I begin.)
I also mentioned some of the posing and rendering struggles I had. (It took about four renders at two hours a piece - not including all the false starts that were cancelled quickly.)
Today, I put it together to make a cover image - using Gimp and then Photoscape.
Unless I put a background image/set in the DAZ scene, my render comes with a transparent "alpha channel" for me to use in Gimp. So, here's the render I eventually used (except for a minor edit to adjust their eyes and Kolt's right hand position.
The background image on this cover was very simple. I went through some free landscape pictures that were obviously taken from the air and didn't have too many very obviously-modern features in it. (The setting for this book is in ancient times, no modern technology allowed - except for bits brought in from the Other World by travelers...)
This step was done in Gimp.
The rest of the process was done in Photoscape (free!) which has the right tools to make these things easy.
First, I cropped the image to 6x9 for easy use on my books. (I use 4x5 (2000 x 2500) in DAZ 3D to give me a little bit of play room when I get to Gimp and Photoscape.)
Next, is the little things that I do for all my cover images that sort of make them all consistent within the series. I make these little bubbles to go under the text. I make them at half-opacity and in white. I always make them a bit larger than I really want, as I can adjust them to fit my text better, but they have to be made first.
I use one at the top for my title and one at the bottom for the series name and my pen name.
Next, I use the text feature in Photoscape. I find this tool to be so much easier than the one on Gimp. Although you can't put the text in weird alignments on Photoscape, basic text is a dawdle. (I hate the text tool in Gimp!)
The text tool on Photoscape has a maximum of 100 pixels in the creation of it, but you can drag from the corners or edges to make it any size you need. I drag until the text fits the bubble side-to-side - or as seems appropriate on the book title.
On the bottom one, I add 5 spaces between "A'mara Books" and "Lori Svensen." Between those (probably never perfect), I put a little circle using the same tool as I made for the semi-opaque bubbles, except this time it's 100% opaque and in black.
Finally, I put some margins around the image to give it a bit of a frame. I normally use black, color, black, but since I used the extra white bands on Brighid's Blood, I'm using it for this one as well.
You have to start from the inside...
The inner black got 20 pixels in width. The white got 40. The color (color-picked from Gemina's dress) was 100 pixels, the next white 40 again and the final black band was 30.
All work done by myself on: Photoscape, Gimp, Krita, and/or Daz 3D Studio
Background image from Pexels
- Map Development for Alacantis (on GIMP), part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
- Cover image for Acting the Part
- Cover image for Brighid's Blood (part of the update).
- Cover image for Birth of the Neví, part 1, part 2
- Map Development for Velantia, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
- Map Development for Kranisis, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
- Cover Image for Name of the Neví, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6
- Beginning with Daz 3D Studio - my cover image for Mind of the Neví: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, changes
- Cover image for Game of the Neví, part 1, part 2, part 3
- Cover image for Pawn of the Neví, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5
- Cover image for Freyja's Fire, part 1 , part 2 , part 3 ,
Coloring Tutorials & Mini-tutorials:
author/designer at A'mara Books
photographer/graphic artist for Viking Visual
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