Book Covers

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  • I got to do my second set of cover commission just recently. I don't think they are up yet, as she is I think going to release rapidly. She was very pleased, and I even did a couple of "fan art" pieces for her, that she purchased, too. (Since all the covers were basically chest shots). 

    I also, have redone one of my book covers. The book came out in 2015, and while I did good for the time and knowldege that I had, the new cover is much better! I'm very happy with it.

    so, here is my cover, Old, and then the New:



     

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  • This is a cover of one of my stories. It's not a serious job but something I did just for fun.

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  • clcny20clcny20 Posts: 176
    edited February 2021

    nvm

    Post edited by clcny20 on
  • 3dcheapskate3dcheapskate Posts: 2,689
    edited September 2021

    Has anybody tried creating old-fashioned cloth or leatherbound book covers ? I've just had a first stab at it...

    The title is one from my old list.
    The layout is based on this old book I found on the internet.
    The green cloth book cover is made using capt-toenail's old book cover texture resource from DeviantArt.
    The cover picture is made with this public domain picture from Wikipedia's Adobe page.

    I found this Cloth, gold, ink, and style | National Library of New Zealand (natlib.govt.nz) article quite fascinating and inspirational

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    Post edited by 3dcheapskate on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,795

    interesting idea and well made 3dcheapskate!

  • csaacsaa Posts: 812

    I stumbled on this thread recently. I'm not sure if my post is appropriate, but I'm looking for feedback on a cover I'm working on for a role playing game adventure. The genre is fantasy andn it involves an ensemble of characters (or avatars if you will) going up against an ancient evil and it's minions. Yes, straightforward Tolkien stuff. The goal of the image is to communicate action and excitement. The product will be PDF and the cover image may be used as a desktop wallpaper. The game is still in early stage of conceptualization, so that's very much the brief I received.

    Here's my first pass.

    My workflow involves Daz together with Photoshop actions and brushes. Running out of memory during rendering is one big obstacle, particularly when the scene involves a cast of characters. For Genesis 8, I've found the MMX Resource Saver Shaders Collection 2 for IRay very helpful. Essentially the add-on allows for reskining figures with lower resolution textures. I've used Daz-Octane in the past, and I find Octane has better tolerance for heftier memory demands. During the conceptualization stage, however, I find working with Daz a lot easier.

    Cheers!

     

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  • @csaa That looks very cool. The only thing that might be improved is it is difficult to make out the shape of the  back of the first character's (the leftmost one w/ his back to us) head.

    For the memory issues - you can try rendering large/heavy scenes using your spot render tool and rendering to a separate window. You can render half your scene, then render the other half. Then sew it back together in photoshop or another program.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322
    edited September 2021

    csaa said:

    I stumbled on this thread recently. I'm not sure if my post is appropriate, but I'm looking for feedback on a cover I'm working on for a role playing game adventure. The genre is fantasy and...

    [snip]

     

    Cheers!

     

     I would suggest using all CAPS for the title. Perhaps a different color for the tunic on the foreground character that is having his head crushed could separate his from the background, rusted chainmail maybe.

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • csaa said:

    I stumbled on this thread recently. I'm not sure if my post is appropriate, but I'm looking for feedback on a cover I'm working on for a role playing game adventure. The genre is fantasy andn it involves an ensemble of characters (or avatars if you will) going up against an ancient evil and it's minions. Yes, straightforward Tolkien stuff. The goal of the image is to communicate action and excitement. The product will be PDF and the cover image may be used as a desktop wallpaper. The game is still in early stage of conceptualization, so that's very much the brief I received.

    Here's my first pass.

    Hmmm...

    Maybe it's the starry sky look of the background, maybe its the lighting, maybe it's the font choice, but at first glance it looks more Sci-Fi than fantasy, or possibly a story set in a 70's disco.

    I think you could really do with more contrast between the characters and the background. It took me quite a long look at the white line on the RHS of the picture to realise it's the piping around a tunic, and that there's a character standing there. Similarly the woman in green gets lost against the bad guy's arm.

  • csaacsaa Posts: 812

    @Worlds_Edge, @FirstBastion, @chris-2599934,

    Thanks for the feedback! I really appreate it.

    Cheers!

  • csaacsaa Posts: 812
    edited December 2021

    Hello to All.

    I'm working on another commission for a B&W illustration and wanted to ask for your feedback. The brief describes the high point in a sword and sorcery adventure when the protagonists enter the subterranean lair of a saurian king. The hulking beast rises from his throne, surrounded by treasure and symbols of power. None to happy at the intrusion, he makes his displeasure known. It's not clear to me if the illustration is for the book cover, or an inner page.

    Below is my first stab at the project. Here are some creative notes:

    - The lair is a focal point of uncanny power. The arcane symbols on the vault overhead and the noirish light on the archway underscore this fact.

    - While I chose a simple throne, the scene is littered with signs of mastery (crown and hour glass) and wealth (treasure chest and fine vases).

    - If the menacing stance of the saurian king isn't enough, the air of danger and wrongness is driven home by the tipped chalice and the Dutch angle of the camera.

    - To add pathos, I included the statue of an angel. (It's a small homage to Mike Mignola, my favorite comic author, who uses elements like this!) Her supplicant bearing is something the viewer can connect with emotionally -- "heaven deliver us from this evil" and so on.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Cheers!

     

    Post edited by csaa on
  • Kaye KayeKaye Kaye Posts: 210
    edited February 2023

    Back to writing after an age, so that means book cover making distraction. I'm recovering, rather than the usual crime of making covers for wips... *shifty eyes*

     

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    Post edited by Kaye Kaye on
  • junkjunk Posts: 1,228

    Kaye Kaye said:

    Back to writing after an age, so that means book cover making distraction. I'm recovering, rather than the usual crime of making covers for wips... *shifty eyes*

     

    Oh right on Kim!!  Kick ass and don't stop until it's complete. 

  • With it being B/W it's going to be an interior image, rather than a cover, which is good because you have more space to play with.

    I don't "read" the throne as belonging to the saurien, it's too small/simple, not kingly and not big enough for the guy to sit in. So, instead he's looking like he burst into the scene to do someone in.

    I like the mix of shadows and highlights, they are interesting to the eye. The Dutch angle is nice, the arcane symbols look pretty good for B/W (hard to make glows!). The little details are nice, though many are hard to make out clearly, but that's okay, as it doesn't take away from the big guy. There is nothing that shows this guy is a king. He could be a monster, maybe a guard? But, if it's supposed to be a king and an arcane one at that, there is nothing to make him stand out as that position of power. There are no guards around, no crown, no robes or jewelry trappings. I would think that someone who is civilized enough to have a candle burning and an unbroken hourglass would be civilized enough (or pretending to be) to be wearing at least jewelry. Maybe a chain of office with jewels, a wrist band or arm band with jewels. And sure, pants may be difficult but a fancy belt might be in order. And maybe a sceptre in his hand, that he is threatening the intruder with, as well.

    Nice image, overall. Keep up the interations of work!

     

    csaa said:

    Hello to All.

    I'm working on another commission for a B&W illustration and wanted to ask for your feedback. The brief describes the high point in a sword and sorcery adventure when the protagonists enter the subterranean lair of a saurian king. The hulking beast rises from his throne, surrounded by treasure and symbols of power. None to happy at the intrusion, he makes his displeasure known. It's not clear to me if the illustration is for the book cover, or an inner page.

    Below is my first stab at the project. Here are some creative notes:

    - The lair is a focal point of uncanny power. The arcane symbols on the vault overhead and the noirish light on the archway underscore this fact.

    - While I chose a simple throne, the scene is littered with signs of mastery (crown and hour glass) and wealth (treasure chest and fine vases).

    - If the menacing stance of the saurian king isn't enough, the air of danger and wrongness is driven home by the tipped chalice and the Dutch angle of the camera.

    - To add pathos, I included the statue of an angel. (It's a small homage to Mike Mignola, my favorite comic author, who uses elements like this!) Her supplicant bearing is something the viewer can connect with emotionally -- "heaven deliver us from this evil" and so on.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Cheers!

     

  • edited February 2023

    Sorry Dupe Post

    Post edited by Tiffanie Gray - IDLM on
  • csaacsaa Posts: 812

    Tiffanie Gray - IDLM,

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I find sometimes the Forum doesn't email notices unless the recepient's handle is explicitly included in the comment. 

    Thank so much for the thoughtful and detail feedback! I agree with your points. The image was the result of my skillsets more than a year ago. Back then I had decided to leave behind photo realistic rendering and its derivatives, and I had only begin to explore a style more suitable for comicbook or anime illustration. The change in direction meant I was learning new techniques and software tools that I was wholly unfamiliar with. I didn't know what I needed to know. In hindsight I'm glad to say that I've made headway. In reality though ... there's still more ground to cover ahead of me. 

    Cheers!

    Tiffanie Gray - IDLM said:

    With it being B/W it's going to be an interior image, rather than a cover, which is good because you have more space to play with.

    I don't "read" the throne as belonging to the saurien, it's too small/simple, not kingly and not big enough for the guy to sit in. So, instead he's looking like he burst into the scene to do someone in.

    I like the mix of shadows and highlights, they are interesting to the eye. The Dutch angle is nice, the arcane symbols look pretty good for B/W (hard to make glows!). The little details are nice, though many are hard to make out clearly, but that's okay, as it doesn't take away from the big guy. There is nothing that shows this guy is a king. He could be a monster, maybe a guard? But, if it's supposed to be a king and an arcane one at that, there is nothing to make him stand out as that position of power. There are no guards around, no crown, no robes or jewelry trappings. I would think that someone who is civilized enough to have a candle burning and an unbroken hourglass would be civilized enough (or pretending to be) to be wearing at least jewelry. Maybe a chain of office with jewels, a wrist band or arm band with jewels. And sure, pants may be difficult but a fancy belt might be in order. And maybe a sceptre in his hand, that he is threatening the intruder with, as well.

    Nice image, overall. Keep up the interations of work!

  • JOdelJOdel Posts: 6,253

    Huh. Have I ever posted in this thread? It's certainly been going long enough for me to have done so, but I don't remember it. (I just followed a link from a necro-thread on doing fake ads using DAZ figures.)

    I do some book covers on commission, but mostly I do them for my own hobby of designing virtual books. The ones done on commission are usually using images that the publisher sent me, or images from my digital resource subscription, so not particularly relevant here. The ones for my own projects are usually "hardcover" format, so don't have much in the way of pictures *on* the cover. Those are mainly a render of the scene with the book in it. I'll attach a few variations of those.

    Of course there are APA covers as well. But those I've posted over in the 'Show Us Your 3DL Renders' thread.

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  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    TBook piles like these are perfect for adding that lived in look to the scene. Your color choices on the snakes cover is very eye catching, I would certainly grab that to peruse if I saw it on a shelf in a bookstore!

     

  • csaacsaa Posts: 812

    My humble contribution, to un-necro this thread.

    Cheers!

  • ArtAngelArtAngel Posts: 1,510

    Was planning to update all book covers but last time I did that Battered, my best seller, fell from #15,000 in bestsellers rank to rock bottom - nowhere land at 1.5 million or whatever. So now after a very slow ascent back up, at 160K from best seller,  I am stalling. Should I really mess with this again . . . or leave it? Amazon algorithms like organic growth and changing categories covers etc in my experience creates a  a blink-moment downward spiral. Guess I'll tackle the worst rankers first.

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  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322
    edited January 13

    I think that is an astute observation on your part that you should pay attention too.  Algorithms simply run and do what they do,  but the average user suffers as a result.  An option might be variant covers.  Keep the original,  and add a variant cover alternative edition.  Something that is common in comicbook marketplaces,  and Kathyrn Loch discussed it on the first page of this thread.  Might be worth considering. That way the original keeps chugging along,  and the new variant cover finds its own way into more sales,  without damaging your established success.  

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    csaa said:

    My humble contribution, to un-necro this thread.

    Cheers!

     Cool cover.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322
    edited January 13

    double post  sorry

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • JOdelJOdel Posts: 6,253

    FirstBastion said:

    TBook piles like these are perfect for adding that lived in look to the scene. Your color choices on the snakes cover is very eye catching, I would certainly grab that to peruse if I saw it on a shelf in a bookstore!

     

    I can't take credit for anything but the scene layout and the render. The author wanted to do the illustrations for ths project herself (I think she does some form of art professionally) so the cover illustration was hers. I sent her a layered Photoshop file with the "signage" elements in place, and she did the art. That trilogy was a facinating project and one of the ones that I feel most pleased with.  

  • JOdelJOdel Posts: 6,253

    FirstBastion said:

    I think that is an astute observation on your part that you should pay attention too.  Algorithms simply run and do what they do,  but the average user suffers as a result.  An option might be variant covers.  Keep the original,  and add a variant cover alternative edition.  Something that is common in comicbook marketplaces,  and Kathyrn Loch discussed it on the first page of this thread.  Might be worth considering. That way the original keeps chugging along,  and the new variant cover finds its own way into more sales,  without damaging your established success.  

    Given all the current debate regarding the training of AI with stolen content, I find myself coming *this* close to taking the neo-Marxist view and proclaiming that algorithims are theft. 

  • ArtAngelArtAngel Posts: 1,510

    JOdel said:

    FirstBastion said:

    I think that is an astute observation on your part that you should pay attention too.  Algorithms simply run and do what they do,  but the average user suffers as a result.  An option might be variant covers.  Keep the original,  and add a variant cover alternative edition.  Something that is common in comicbook marketplaces,  and Kathyrn Loch discussed it on the first page of this thread.  Might be worth considering. That way the original keeps chugging along,  and the new variant cover finds its own way into more sales,  without damaging your established success.  

    Given all the current debate regarding the training of AI with stolen content, I find myself coming *this* close to taking the neo-Marxist view and proclaiming that algorithims are theft. 

    I agree with both of you. 

    FirstBastion what you said was a spot-on. Slaps hand across forehead and regrets former choices. You hit the nail on the head. I missed that early post so I thank you for bringing it to my attention. I actually used your content for cover of Charmed but the character does not look like me or justly reflect the books content. I have a huge audience in the UK (and cover recipes do differ per country as do spelling.) So maybe I will make CA/UK version and a US version. Time to roll up my sleeves and delve deep into what country bought what, before revising any covers. I have two more books to finish the series (and several finished for other genres) but I need to address the past before moving foreward. Thanks for your input.

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