Behind the Scenes – Kragan

This is a cover for Melange Books.

SBibb - Kragan - Book Cover

Sometimes the trick in creating images isn’t creating your own image completely from scratch, but combining images and making them look like they’re all part of one logo. For example, the lion crest was its own stock image, but I added the swords in separate. However, I wanted them to look like part of the image, so I erased parts of the swords where they met up with the crest. The result was that it looks like its all part of one piece.

Meanwhile, it’s been a while since I’ve added a logo to fabric material, and I remembered there are a few tricks in Photoshop to do it. Though I didn’t use any one tutorial specifically, these are a few I glanced over before creating the flag image:

This one has some neat tips and reminders (though I only skimmed the video with the sound off). http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/links/go/8308/

This is more of what I was trying to find initially, using displacement maps. http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/texture-map/

Stock images from Dreamstime.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-ancient-castle-edinburgh-image19198663

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-horse-knight-armour-helmet-sword-hand-image30467774

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-warm-autumn-sunbeams-image16518554

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-medieval-sword-image3628148

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-lion-crest-2-image24850145

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-templar-flag-medieval-combat-society-white-red-cross-waving-wind-against-blue-sky-clouds-image33995287

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Behind the Scenes – Roberto’s Return

This is a cover for Melange Books, the next in the T.J. Jackson Mysteries.

For this cover, the author already had a pretty good idea of what he wanted, and he even had images of the park he wanted used for the background. However, since it was a recognizable building, I did have the author check on the need for a property release. (Just like models, many buildings and areas require property releases. It’s a good idea to check before shooting in an area to see if you’ll need one). The author was able to get permission, and so we were able to proceed with that image.

I also ended up doing a bit of digital illustration (Photoshop CS6) to piece everything together. Since we wanted a very specific pose, and the author had the outfit necessary, he had a friend model for him and shoot the image, and then I picked out the stock images of the man’s head to best fit the character. I added in a different sky, since we wanted sunset, and we tried to mimic the baseball text for the title itself.

Side note: Since most of these covers have been revealed by the time I post them, and since I usually try to post behind the scenes information when I reveal the covers on my blog, I’m going to start calling these posts “Behind the Scenes” instead of “Cover Reveal.” Sorry for any confusion. :-)

SBibb - Roberto's Return - Book Cover

Stock Photos from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-afroammerican-businessman-points-finger-up-image29241340

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-sunset-sky-image24432770

All other images provided by author. Photograph of Doubleday Field used with permission.

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Cover Reveal – The Last Conception

This is a cover for Melange Books.

In this case, the author had a stock image in mind, and it worked out quite well for the cover. I had my own textures that I used to create the overall, papery text. Otherwise, I just played with color tonality, blending modes, and text placement. I gave the bottom of the cover a darker brown color to represent dirt, and the author asked that the main image be green to symbolize life. This was the end result. Simple, but elegant. :-)

SBibb - The Last Conception - Book Cover

Stock photo from: Dreamstime.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-woman-tree-image18317296

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Dangerous Denial – Cover Reveal

This is a cover I edited for Barking Rain Press. In this case, they already had the main image they wanted, and they had the cool text placement in the cross hairs. However, they wanted me to do the final touches and adjust the sizing and such. So, after a bit of playing around with effects, I ended up playing the the motion blur and radial blur filters to add a sense of movement and disorientation. I also played with blurring and retouching the background so our main focus would be on the woman, and I played with the overall lighting. This is the end result. :-)

SBibb - Dangerous Denial - Book Cover

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A Burning Hope – Book Cover Reveal

This is another cover for Melange Books, for a fantasy short story.

SBibb - A Burning Hope - Book Cover

 

The author and I went through a few slight variations, debating how to get the swamp to look right and where the best place to put the fire was. I also tinkered with lighting to create the mood we wanted. One thing to keep in mind when doing covers is that lighting, and using strong color contrast, can help attract the eye to the image. ¬†Another trick to keep in mind when looking for stock photos is that you might look for something that already has some photoshop done to it, then tweak it further to suit your purposes. In this case, I found the ‘monster’s’ eyes already partially edited. But, because the monsters are supposed to be blind, I did additional photoshop to create the final look.

Stock photos from: Dreamstime.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-floating-fishing-village-image26604324

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-boat-fog-image12261557

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-fire-image16068630

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-horror-blindness-image20380689

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Ashes – Free on Smashwords Today and Tomorrow Only

Heads up– if you’re interested in my 1000 Words short stories, “Ashes” (a spin-off prequel for “Socks”) is available for free on Smashwords today and tomorrow as part of their Read An Ebook week. After that, it goes back to its usual .99 cent price. :-)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/249071

 

When rebels attack the city, two teens race to save the last existing library before it is destroyed.

SBibb - Ashes Cover

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Cover Reveal – A Thousand Sunsets

A cover for Melange Books.

This is another example where I changed the hairstyle of the person in the stock photo. The image I used had long hair, but we needed short, curly hair to better fit the main character. In this case, I started by using the Patch tool and Clone brush tool in Photoshop CS6 to fill in the background where the hair had been previously, then tweaked it using layers to smooth out where her shoulders where. Then, on a new layer, I used the smudge tool. First a softer, but larger size for the over all shape of the hair, and then a smaller, harder brush to give it the little details in the hair. Then I created another layer to sharpen it and lowered the opacity to make it look a little more natural. Viola. New hairstyle.

This is also a case where I ended up using a discarded cover proof from another project. A while back I’d tested this image and text placement (different font, though) for a different romance cover, but the author and I ultimately chose something different. However, when I read the art form for A Thousand Sunsets, this proof came back to mind. So I asked the publisher if they’d mind me recycling the proof (since we hadn’t used it), and I did check with the author, but it turned out to be what they were looking for. So… without further ado, the cover for A Thousand Sunsets:

SBibb - A Thousand Sunsets - Book Cover

Stock Image from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-couple-love-silhouette-lake-sunset-image21896121

Little side note; I had fun highlighting the faces with a very faint heart-shaped overlay. It’s not super-visible, but it’s there. :-)

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