Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project One (con't): Putting finished elements to our book cover

Here we can see that our book cover is starting to come together:

We still have some background elements to add but the basic cover has shaped up and is starting to make sense.

I promised to teach you (those of you less familiar with digital art) a neat trick with lettering.  I originally intended to leave the lettering white but I found that Halloween-candy orange to be more than appealing.  Notice how the orange "Wally Gator" is backdropped or, most correctly, drop shadowed in white.

What we do is we put our different lettering on separate layers.  I have separate layers for "Wally Gator," "Hanna Barbera's," "Little Golden Book," and the lines bordering the words Little Golden Book.

1.  I went to my white Wally Gator lettering layer and duplicated it.  Now I have two white Wally Gator lettering layers.

2.  I then set the topmost one (the new duplicated layer) it to preserve transparency (remember, I told you this is an extremely useful tool.)

3.  I then ran a paintbrush over it making it - and only it, nothing else was affected - that pleasant orange... salmon, really.

4.  I then went to the underlying lettering layer which is still white and shifted it a bit.  To really fine tune the repositioning you can use your arrow keys.

5.  The placement of the upper salmon letters over the lower white letters gives it a very professional, finished look.  And consider this, I forgot to clean up these letters.  Still, they look good.  At least I think so.

I placed a solid-color layer under all other elements and made it a hazy, autumn-like blue.  I then placed a layer over that blue and used a black-to-transparent gradient and tamped down the opacity.  The resulting picture is a little dark but we can adjust that later by increasing the brightness.

I like the color combo but let's keep this in mind: a Fall sky over an island sprouting daisies, which means Spring.  It can be Spring... or it can be Fall... but it can't be both.  Well, in cartoon-ville it can.

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