Today we have a cover a bit different from the romance covers I’ve been doing. Today we have a cover for the horror genre from Melange Books. 🙂
Let me tell ya, this was fun to do. One, because it involved the anthropomorphic art I enjoy (yay, werewolf!), and two, because it involved a lot of the photographic manipulation I also enjoy doing. Take a look at the original stock images from Dreamstime:
In order to create the wolf (which, while working with the author, I realized needed to be more werewolf-like and less anthro wolf), I used a human base to get the pose and body structure. Then, using the wolf image, I cut and pasted sections of fur across the body, paying attention to the direction of the fur. I varied the opacity in areas on the face and chest in order to show just a bit more of the body structure underneath. I also cut and pasted section of the wolf’s face along the man’s face so it fit better. Then the puppet warp tool, the perspective and skew tools, and the smudge tool, became very good friends. They helped to get the wolf-man look I was aiming for. I added in the girl, gave the wolf-man an arm, and played with lighting (opacity layer) to make everything fit together, then finally added the text. The background I did in the early stages.
Of course, one of the factors that gets to come into play with creating an image with a lot of variation due to the puppet warp tool is that the final image doesn’t look quite like the proof image. A section of fur isn’t laid the same, the mouth doesn’t angle quite right. When that happens, I try making the image stronger than it was before, using what I learned in the initial set-up to make the final look more complete. In this case, something wasn’t quite right. The wolf didn’t look as imposing as before. So I made a copy of the image as a whole on a new layer (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and used the perspective tool to make the wolf just a bit bigger, a bit closer, and the girl a bit smaller. The change was subtle, but did a lot to help. 🙂