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Old 06-23-2014, 01:48 AM   #181
crich70
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I found this one a while back and made some small changes to it in Gimp.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:15 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I found this one a while back and made some small changes to it in Gimp.
Thank you very much for sharing!
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:20 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by jersysman View Post
I usually just get whatever you and/or the others of this thread produce. I don't have a creative bone in my body, so I appreciate your work.
That's allright. It's only that I sometimes hope for some wishes to give me some inspiration for new covers. I making this mostly for fun since I learned how to use PIXLR (and I'm still learning).

But feedback is also and allways very welcome!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:16 PM   #184
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Thank you very much for sharing!
You're quite welcome.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:53 AM   #185
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With thanks

Made possible by minimouse
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:06 AM   #186
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Okay, before I start with my actual post here, one thing first:

I painted myself a new Avatar with my graphic-tablet... still learning how to work that thing though. But I thought that Mini deserved a Mini! So I tried and as you can see THAT came out.

What do you think?



Now on with my post! This is a tutorail in 3 parts (because a couldn't squeeze ALL hopefully helping pictures for this tutorial in one post), for @crutledge who asked me a while ago how I make my ornaments.

Well... to be honest, most of the time I don't know
… because I'm still learning how to work with a graphic program
… because for most of my first posted covers it was a bit trail and error and 'hey, THAT looks good, lets keep it'.

So I can't explain everything that I did BUT I can try with some simple ornaments that are easy to make (only, how to make them in PHOTOSHOP or GIMP you have to find out by yourself, I only know how to work with PIXLR). PIXLR is an open source graphic program you can find here. You work online, you don't have to install anything.

And some functions in PIXLR I already explained, so you can also look up my other posts here, here and here.

AND don't be frightened by the looooong post(s), I just tried to explain as detailed as possible (with pictures and all) so you can hopefully easy follow AND there are some interstages, so you can stop when you have enough so you don't have to do it the whole way,-)

I also can upload a bunch of covers without anything on it (linen, leather... and other combinations). I created a few of them that I mostly use as ground covers for my ornaments by now. If you want to try more ornaments yourself... or if anyone else wants them (without trying to make ornaments).


Now, that said... here we go...

------------------------------------

Tutorial part 1

Start with the cover, to use as your ground layer.

Select 'Layer' and 'New layer' (picture01) on your upper toolbar, select the 'paint bucket tool' (picture02) on your left toolbar and paint it black (picture03). Black should be already selected but if not you can select the color at the bottom of your left toolbar (also picture02).

Go to 'Edit' in your toolbar and select 'Free transform', it will show a window around your cover. Put your curser on one of the left or right boxes in the corner of the window until your curser shows a dobble-ended black arrow. Not a round black arrow because then you will turn the image! THAT option we will keep for later;-)

When you are happy, click somewhere to the side, the program will now ask you if you want to apply the changes (picture06) – say yes, when your done.

Select the 'move tool' (picture07) on your left toolbar and move your layer where you want it to be, for example the left side (picture08).

Now I mostly play with the layer options on your layer-window (right side). If they are not open yet, select the two-arrow button down below (picture09). Now change the mode and the opacity of the layer (picture10). I chose for this example ornament the 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 45' but play around and see what you like. Just keep in mind that it is more easy now to decide which look you want for your book because we will later work with copies of this layer for our ornament. Otherwise you will have to select the following steps for every layer.

Now right mouse-click on the layer in your layer window and choose 'duplicate layer' (picture11). You will see in your layer window a new layer. On your cover you will not see it directly because it is right over the other layer.

Go again to your 'move tool' on your left toolbar and move this new layer to the right side of the cover (picture12).

Duplicate this new layer again and move it somewhere to the middle (picture13). Then select 'Layer' on your upper toolbar and select 'Rotate layer 90° CW', the layer will rotate (picture15).

Now it is useful to select the 'zoom tool' (picture16) on your left toolbar and click with it on your cover...

See the next post to continue the tutorial here
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Last edited by MiniMouse; 07-26-2014 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:12 AM   #187
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Tutorial part 2 (part 1 you can find here)

The zoom tool will zoom in so you see the left side more closely (picture17).

Now select the 'move tool' on your left toolbar again and move this layer until it is exactly over the end of the first layer (picture18).

You need the 'erase tool' (picture19) on your left toolbar now and click on the 50 with your mouse by 'Brush' in your upper toolbar. It will open a window where you can select different brushes, I choose the 41 for our purposes (picture20). Now move the brush to your right side (picture21) and with a mouse-click erase what hangs over there from the layer (picture22).

Duplicate this layer again.

Zoom out now to see the whole cover again. Move the layer to the bottom of the cover and zoom in again to lay it exactly over the left end of the first layer (picture23).

Now, if you are lucky everything fits BUT it is possible that your left side is good but your right side not so much (picture24). Then you have to select the second layer (picture25) on your right layer-window. You will see now that this layer is shown blue in your layer-window. The layer that is active is always blue so you can see there which layer you are working on. Now you can move the layer on your cover a bit up or down until it fits.

When you are done and zoom out now, you will see your first simple ornament on the cover . SAVE THAT!

Done (picture26)!


------------------------------------

Now, if you want for example a second or third same ornament you can deactivate the cover-layer by removing the hook of the cover-layer in the layer-window (picture27). The ground layer is normally locked. So you have to double-click on the locker symbol first, then you will see a hook instead, then you can remove the hook, then you will only see as cover (or mostly see nothing because this layer is in overlay-mode) your created ornament.

Save that as an PNG file, so it will be transparent (picture28) for further use.

Activate the cover-layer in the layer-window again by applying the hook again and then go to 'Layer' on your upper toolbar and select 'open image as layer' (picture29).

Select the previously saved ornament.

Now to move the new ornament-layer, go again to 'Edit' on your upper toolbar and choose 'free transform' to change it in the weight and hight you want it to be (picture30). If you don't want to change the proportions of your image you have to hold the 'Shift' button and then pull (like drag and drop) your image in the size you want it.

Now the layer options on your layer-window (right side) again. I chose for this layer the 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 50' so the layer will be a bit lighter than the other (picture31).

See the next post to continue the tutorial here
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Last edited by MiniMouse; 07-26-2014 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:26 AM   #188
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Tutorial part 3 (part 1 you can find here, part 2 here)

Go again to 'Layer' on your upper toolbar and select 'open image as layer' again and repeat the above steps again. Chose for this layer the 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 30' (picture32). Again a bit lighter in color as the last two.

Done again (picture33)!

------------------------------------

Now you know the most important stuff in PIXLR for your ornaments. With this you can create mostly everything you want. Make shorter layers, create boxes, turn boxes. You can adjust the color-settings of the cover (picture 34) and the layers for the ornament. Just keep in mind, that when you want to change the color for the whole cover you have to start a new project otherwise you will only change the color-settings for the layer you are working on!

------------------------------------

To show you what is all possible I started a new project (open image from computer) with picture 33 and adjusted the color-settings (picture34) to make it more red (picture35). My settings are 'Hue: -38' and 'Saturation: 42'. Save that image for later!

The following is all in short shown in picture 36!
Start a new layer paint it turquoise transform it into a box, set the layer options on 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 90' to get a more grey look.
Make a new layer again, this time paint it dark blue, transform it again into a box, make it a bit smaller than the last one, set the layer options on 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 80' to get a more purple look.
Again a new layer, paint it purple, transform it into a box AND also use the round curser to turn the layer, set the layer options on 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 50' to get a pink look.
Copy your first layer in your layer-window, turn it and make it smaller, set the layer options on 'mode: overlay' and 'opacity: 90' to get a blue look.
Double-click on the locker symbol of your ground layer (your red cover), remove the hook, save the ornament as PNG-file.
Start a new project again (open image from computer), load the red cover, open your new ornament as layer, trasform the layer into your wished size, move the layer to the place you want to start, when you're happy with the outcome duplicate the layer and move the duplicated layer, repeat this two steps the whole left side down. It is possible that you have to reposition the ornament layers a bit until it fits like you want it.
You can work all the way around the cover with duplicating the layers but sometimes you're not quite happy with the colors, the size or the location of the whole ornament AND maybe you don't want to go all around the cover by hand. So if you don't want to change or make everything single handedly and on every layer then it is more easy to do the following:
Double-click on the locker symbol of your ground layer (your red cover), remove the hook, save the ornament as PNG-file.

The following is shown in picture 37!

Start again a new project (open image from computer), load the red cover, open your new ornament as layer, move the layer to the left, adjust your color-settings, for example to 'Hue: -49' and your 'Saturation: -28', transform the size if you need to, duplicate the final layer and move the duplicated layer to your right, duplicate it again and rotate the layer 90° CW, move the layer up and to your left and erase what is too much on your right side because you need a shorter ornament here.
Copy that new layer again and move it down.

Save your new final cover (picture38)! AND also remove the hook from your ground cover and save only the ornament as PNG-file too.

Done!

------------------------------------
Now, maybe you will think the last ornament will fit better between the lines. You have ALL you need (or almost all you need) to do that easy.
Start with the original brown cover, load the image into a new project, adjust your color-settings to 'Hue: -38' and your 'Saturation: 42' to get again a plain red cover (picture39).
Load the new ornament with the boxes in as layer, transform the size if needed. Keep in mind that if you don't want to change the proportions of your image you have to hold the 'Shift' button and then pull (like drag and drop) your image in the size you want it (which makes sense with the square-box-ornament we created) OR if you want to change the proportions just pull.
Load the original ornament with the lines in as layer, transform the size if needed to fit above the first layer (here it is not so much important to keep the proportions).
Copy the lines-ornament layer and transform the size to fit under the first layer.

Done again and don't forget to save your new cover(picture40)!

------------------------------------

Now, maybe you don't like the color of that new cover. I didn't. So let's change that!
Start a new project with picture40 and adjust the color-settings to your liking. I set it to 'Hue: -59' and your 'Saturation: -75' (picture41).

Done (picture42)!

------------------------------------

AND THAT'S IT!!!!!!
I hope I didn't forget anything to explain but if you miss something or have any questions... just ask

Mini

P.S. And for all who are new to this thread or loosing the overview, look for links to all covers, textures, tutorials, zips for the Generate Cover Plugin etc. in the first post!
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Last edited by MiniMouse; 07-27-2014 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:57 PM   #189
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@MM - I admire your work very much. I can't draw a straight line

The tutorials and your posts are interesting, but have you ever considered making a epub of your tutorials and other works? Might be a fun project
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by phossler View Post
@MM - I admire your work very much. I can't draw a straight line

The tutorials and your posts are interesting, but have you ever considered making a epub of your tutorials and other works? Might be a fun project
Luckily for this tutorial you don't have to draw a straight line
So maybe you like to try?

And an epub? No, haven't considered that. I like doing this stuff and posting it here but I'm not a pro and honestly, to make this tutorial was more work than I had thought. Because I found it very difficult to find the right words to explain stuff (not a native speaker or a computer geek) and mostly I make a lot of pictures to explain what my words can't. Doing this stuff in this thread is really the first time that I did something like this EVER.

But I'm happy when people find it helpful, ask questions and maybe try it for themseves. I just hope I can give a bit back of the things I learned since I started doing graphic work last year in PIXLR.

Thanks again,
Mini

Last edited by MiniMouse; 07-26-2014 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:08 AM   #191
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Wow, Mini, reading through your thread is thrilling! I didn't know it until now, and have been working widely on my own. As I like mostly editing ebooks, creating cover images has so far not been my favourite hobby (but perhaps ... becoming soon). So I have, in the first range, been looking for covers that look sufficiently pretty and .. are quick to be produced. So, actually, I'm working with simpkle tools:
  • A photo editor (to define the dimensions, select a frame and first, simple effects, such as texture)
  • MS Paint (further effects)
  • MS Powerpoint (or similar), for text effects.
See examples.
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:42 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Leonatus View Post
Wow, Mini, reading through your thread is thrilling! I didn't know it until now, and have been working widely on my own. As I like mostly editing ebooks, creating cover images has so far not been my favourite hobby (but perhaps ... becoming soon). So I have, in the first range, been looking for covers that look sufficiently pretty and .. are quick to be produced. So, actually, I'm working with simpkle tools:
  • A photo editor (to define the dimensions, select a frame and first, simple effects, such as texture)
  • MS Paint (further effects)
  • MS Powerpoint (or similar), for text effects.
See examples.
Can't say often enough how much I appreciate ANY feedback! And to see what others create (be it with my covers or with own creations)!

I'm just thrilled that I found a place for me here. This whole thing started with me, wanting my husband to cut some pictures to use for my fanfiction into the right size (didn't even know how to do THAT then, by now I know MS PAINT too). I wanted more since this little Plugin hooked me (totally all the 'Generate Cover Plugin' fold ).

My husband was wise enough to not even try, he knows me too well. Instead he showed me PIXLR and that is so far the only program I knew how to work. Nevertheless, with every cover I learn something more. Even making tutorials is a new challange for me because I didn't do something like that before this thread either.

I bought me by now a graphic-tablet, still tryng to find out how this damn thing works though (way too many functions). BUT I'm really dying to try something with it, just need a purpose.

Soooo, for every one out there (again... have said that ones or twice already) if you need help, search for something more specific as a cover etc.

I'm always open for inspiration, to give any help or create something and to answer any questions.


Last edited by MiniMouse; 07-28-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:25 PM   #193
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Hey,

for everyone who wants to use the cover with the 'Generate Cover - Plugin' here is the zip.

The fond I used is the free 'Sherlock Holmes' fond from here. You have to download it before you use it IF you want the same look.

MiniMouse
I used this as my base for this cover.
Since I download mostly from archiveofourown.org I embedded Ao3's logo on the cover. I'm also working on a cover for fanfiction.net

Here's a sample cover:
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #194
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I used this as my base for this cover.
Since I download mostly from archiveofourown.org I embedded Ao3's logo on the cover. I'm also working on a cover for fanfiction.net
Hey fanfiction-comrade

Thanks for sharing

When you or anyone want some covers without anything on it (like no ornaments) then let me know. I have by now created many templates in different colors and different shapes that I use - @hleo12: just sayin' if you want only the forum logo on a cover.

You can also let me know if you're looking for something else.

Mini

Last edited by MiniMouse; 08-04-2014 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:24 PM   #195
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Hey fanfiction-comrade

Thanks for sharing

When you or anyone want some covers without anything on it (like no ornaments) then let me know. I have by now created many templates in different colors and different shapes that I use - @hleo12: just sayin' if you want only the forum logo on a cover.

You can also let me know if you're looking for something else.

Mini
Hehe, point me to the right direction. Although the one I posted only has the logo too. I just included an example for the fonts to show...

Anyway, I'm really interested to the templates that you mention...
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