This cover (for Melange Books) one was an example of where having masked layers and the auto-align tool in Photoshop CS6 can be useful. This particular cover was comprised of 13 stock images in total, with a few of them being used more than once in various places across the manipulation (the explosion was made larger/smaller, flipped, and masked in different portions to create the multiple explosion effects). Not only that, but the two people were comprised of seven images, in order to create the pose that was requested. Made it really handy to have all the pieces in place, so all I had to do was replace the stock proof images with the full-sized ones (adjusted with auto-align, of course). My proofs tend to look fairly close to the final image, but not as smooth/retouched.
One part of this particular cover I wasn’t looking forward to finalizing was replacing all the little bullet holes with their full-sized stock image. However, once I got to looking closely (and tested placing the full-sized image), I realized I didn’t need to. The small size and texture affects rendered the slight watermark running through the particular bullet hole unnoticeable. So while the publisher picked up the stock for licencing reasons, I didn’t actually replace that particular stock image. Something handy to keep in mind when finalizing parts of covers that have a strong illustrated tendency to them (just don’t forget to purchase the original stock image).
This is the result:
Stock images from Dreamstime:
This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author requested that we create a template for the cover which could be used for future books in the series. After some tweaking, I settled on a frame to border the main image of the cover, along with placing the silhouette of the gavel and the text. It should be fairly easy to duplicate (especially since I keep notes on each layer about any blur effects and such), though we’ll need to purchase another licence for the gavel from Dreamstime for each cover.
Whenever I make proofs, I leave notes for myself in the layers, that way I can easily replicate any special effects I did for the proof on the final. For example, if I used a lens blur on a layer, I’ll make a note that looks something like “51-41-119 Lens Blur” for the name of the layer. Anything that I commonly change, I’ll make a note of. Sometimes the notes get long, and I’ll copy them into Word so I can read them, but the result is that it’s much easier to complete a final image, especially if there’s a month or so between creating a proof and receiving stock images (which happens when creating proofs in advance of a stock subscription purchase).
Anyway, this is the final cover for Separate Lives, by Rhonda Strehlow:
Also, an example of how the basic back cover might look (I set it so that color blur is optional, and they may change the signature to one of their imprints):
Stock images from Dreamstime:
This is a book cover for Barking Rain Press. In this case, the publisher had a couple images they knew they already knew they wanted to use (the family picture and the prescription bottle with the bullets), but they wanted the image itself put together. They mentioned wanting a picture frame on a mantel or nightstand, and we added in the cracked glass effect later. I added in some of my own textures to add the gritty feel, and tinkered with the coloring to add to the “Lead Poisoning” title effect.
This was the end result. 🙂
Stock images from Shutterstock: