GIMP 3D Book Covers 1: Creating 3D Boxed Sets with the GIMP | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

GIMP 3D Book Covers 1: Creating 3D Boxed Sets with the GIMP

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

GIMP 3D Book Covers 1: Creating 3D Boxed Sets with the GIMP

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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5 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. 3D Boxed Set: Finished Product

    • 2. 3D Boxed Set Pt. 1: A Stack of Book Spines

    • 3. 3D Boxed Set Pt. 2: Flip, Shadow, and Cover

    • 4. 3D Boxed Set Pt. 3: Create the 3D Box Effect

    • 5. 3D Boxed Set: Clean Up

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About This Class

GIMP 3D Book Covers 1: Creating 3D Boxed Sets with the GIMP

Learn to Create 3D Book Covers

Both boxed sets and individual 3D book covers are addressed in this course. Even if you don't work on book covers, you'll find the 3D effects useful in your future GIMP work.


Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Jackson



Born in Los Angeles in the middle of the last century, I have always wanted to be a writer. After twenty-five some odd years spent working in the computer industry in the heart of the Silicon Valley, first for Lockheed as a Systems Programmer and later for Cisco Systems as a test tool developer, I managed to retire early and begin my next career as a self-published author.

Along with writing and publishing my own novels I also publish the works of my wife, Melanie Jackson. During the past four years I've published well over 100 books in paperback and eBook formats. Oddly enough this includes eBooks on how to self-publish books and how to create professional looking book covers using the GIMP. I've also recorded and distributed a pair of audiobooks available for purchase on Amazon... See full profile

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1. 3D Boxed Set: Finished Product: before beginning the lectures on how to create a three D boxed set, I thought that I would show you the finished result. This was the end of our final project after doing a little bit of clean up. To tell you the truth, I would probably like to do some more cleanup on this. My perspective is a little off on the box top, and I would probably change the colors of the box stop in the pox side from the blue because they blend in a little. But as I say in the lectures on trying to teach you techniques go off and do better than I could do with ease. But use the basic techniques. They're helpful, and they're gonna be the same no matter how you do this. So here's the finished box product that were about to create 2. 3D Boxed Set Pt. 1: A Stack of Book Spines: in this lecture. My first in the series of advanced gimp lectures. ID like to show you how to make a three D book cover. Now we're going to begin by making one of those three D box collections that you see there often pictured in an angle from on top. And they contain multiple, ah, books. I'm going to show you how to do that. We're going to begin by starting the gimp. Here it is. In my standard three window layout. I'm going to create a new document and make it fairly sizable that I have plenty of room to work on. We're gonna go 24 by 2424 by 2400 by 2400. Here we go. And let's go ahead and will make sure that this is 300 d p. I 300. There we go. They're so now we have a nice, large work area. Now, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna work first on a stack of books spines, and then I'm gonna flip. That's that. It's standing up on end, but it's easier to write text from left to right, So we're gonna make this stack. First, let's begin by outlining the spine of a book. Now it's difficult, especially if you're doing. For instance, let's say you're making this graphics that you can release a collection of E books. E books typically do not have spines, so you're gonna have to make up something for the spine. A typical book spine will have the title and then the name of the author. However, if you already have the name of the author, you don't want to repeat it like this is a three book collection we're gonna do. We don't want to repeat the name of the author three times, so we're just gonna have a simple spine. You could make it as complex as you want. Bringing in additional graphics and making things fancy isn't really the focus of this particular lecture. It's three D book covers. Let's get to it. And I'm gonna make simple spines. So get the select tool. We'll make a new layer. You always do that transparent. We're going to select from about 500 and 500. We're gonna make a book that is 1000 tall and 200 wide. Now, remember how we can make that a very accurate selection by going down here to the lower left into the toolbox, configuring our selection to be what I said at 505 100 and to be a size of 1000 and 200. There we go. We have exactly what I want. Now, Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do a simple Grady. It we're just gonna change the front color. Let's get, uh, let's say a green going here, and then I'm gonna make a simple Grady in a diagonal. Grady it from the upper left. Lower. Right. So let's pick the Grady int tool will click it in the upper left of r selected area. Drag it to the lower right, Release the mouse and we'll get a nice Grady int from green to black. Next, let's select the next spine. It's gonna be directly down below that. Now I'm gonna go and collect. Select the square tool. Here is a quick way, toe uninsulated. You don't want to select anything. I just clicked. You just selected a zero by zero area, you effectively uninsulated. So that will leave us free to come up here. Get as close as we can. I've selected the next book. The reason we only have to get close is because once again, we come down here. Position 500. This was positioned seven or 500. Now we want to make it 700 offset for the first 200 wits. A book, spine. This we want to make 1000. And this we want to make a width of 200 here. Now, we just made another selection exactly below the previous spine and exactly the same size of the previous pond. Yes, I know books. Renato is the same depth or the number of pages. If you really want to reflect that, you can make your book spine a little wider for this one would be a nice color. Now, let's get this gold going. Kind of into that. And we will then drag ingredient from the upper left of the selection to the lower. Right now you can see we're beginning to get a stack of books. Spines. Let's select the 3rd 1 This is a three book selection. So hang in there. This will be the last one will go uphill. Skepticism square the rectangular select to one more time. Click and select dragons close as we can go to thes selection parameters in the lower or the slut Tool options down here, and the Stone needs to be 900 to be an original offset of 500 but two books wide. Often that just needs to be 200. And there we go. We have third book exactly under the second book and exactly the same with Let's Do a Color of Blue and will stretch the Grady Int from the upper left to the lower right of the selection. And now we have a stack of books spines. Shall we add text? Let's do that. We'll select nothing for now, and we'll go grab the text tool. The first thing we want to do is probably what, right in white, since these air fairly colorful and dark covers. So let's select that as our foreground color that becomes our text color. I've already selected what I think is a really need fund. This tragic stand bricks medium. Um, I'm gonna use that to write on the spine, and I thought of ah, linking thing for our Siri's. The first book is going to be called out. Uh, dog, let me get the movement tool and dragged that up onto the spine and center. It stands out very nicely. Next will go to the text tool again, and our next book will be beta test. Now, notice it's all in capital. But when I do capitalize the letter, it makes this neat little box effect around it in this particular fight. I really like that. Um and the final one will be the final title for the book will be gamma Whoops, Ray. And then almost that just barely fits. Let's get the movement tool and will position that over the spine. There we go. We have our book spines. Now, what we like to do is we'd like to rotate thes that there up and down and not laying on their side. How can we do that? Well, weaken group these layers 3. 3D Boxed Set Pt. 2: Flip, Shadow, and Cover: in this lesson, I'd like to resume where I left off with how to flip these books spines onto their sides. Um, there are two ways to treat all of this information as a single unit. There's a good way and and not so good way I'm going to show you the not so good way because that's the way that I can get toe work in my screen recording environment. So what we're going to Dio is we're going to wink out, see the eye here, the background so that we have on Lee displayed what we'd like to merge into one layer. After all, we're done making the spines. We're not gonna be pulling them apart. We may as well be treating them as a single layer. Okay, once that's been done, we can go over here and we can say merge visible layers. It's a second from the bottom in my version of the gimp. Go ahead and pick that. It'll say expand is necessary. That's fine. You say merge and all of your visible layers air now merged into one noticing layers menu, and they can all be treated as one unit. How do I want to treat them as one unit. Well, let's go ahead and get the rectangular selectable, and we will select our book spines. They're all one unit now, and we can go ahead and rotate them. I've got to do is click in a corner and up comes the rotate. I say make it 90 degrees. It shows me what it's gonna look like. And I say that's perfectly fine. Go ahead and rotate. And there they are, flipped up on their edges. Now, the next thing that I'm going to do is while I've got them selected, I'm gonna make a copy of them. Oh, first notice, we here we have a floating selection. Let's go ahead and anchor them on their layer. Finish that up so that we can do further work. Okay, Now, let's go ahead and we're going to edit paste. Oh, answer. We need a new layer first. Always create a new layer before you do anything. Here we go. This is a new, transparent layer. That's just fine. Okay, we're going to go there. We're gonna edit paste our little graphic here of the spines on Lee. We're gonna take it and we're gonna flip it vertically using the flip tool. Here it is, here, in the in the toolbox to where my left, We're gonna flip vertically that's already selected. We go ahead and click on it, and then we'll now what we've got is a reflection of the book covers up above. Let's go ahead and move that into position. Now, the problem is that a reflection gets Fader is it gets further away. Try and position this as well as I can from magnification and we'll go ahead and paste that there. It might slightly off, but it doesn't matter, because once we take this down to a reflection, it's gonna matter less whether we exactly match up. Now, here on the reflection layer, make sure that selected it's now up on top. We're going to create a layer mask. Remember, layer masks from an earlier lecture, and, um, in an earlier course, go ahead and right click here in the layer window and up will come at a layer mask. We select that white is fine as a default. That means everything shines through Now. What we're gonna do, though, is we're gonna go from white black, which means shows through to doesn't show through and we're going to do a Grady int and we're going to select that layer mask. Make sure you have this The, uh, image on the right, which is your layer mask for that image, the chewing through. And then we're going to do the Grady int. We're gonna pick, appear near the top. We're gonna make it radiant all the way down to the bottom. Now notice how that faints out into nothing. By the way, get used to seeing the square pattern. This is nothing. This is transparent if I want. If it makes you feel a little like you're floating in outer space, let me bring back a white background for you. Give you something to ground to now notice how are ah, Reflection disappears faintly but up here, it's pretty distinct. What we want to do is make it fade even further by you notice Here on this layer, we have opacity just a couple klicks above it. Go ahead and click on that. I like DoubleClick. Type the opacity I like like let's try 50% presenter. Notice how the reflection becomes even fainter. It looks like we could actually maybe go down to 30%. What do you think that looks like? 100% doesn't look as good. Let's try it one more time. There we go. There's 30%. That's that's nice. That's a nice reflection. So here we've managed to create a reflection of our book spines. Okay, The next thing that we're going to dio is we're going to once again merge these two layers together. Merge all this together. As we do this work, we merge it all into units that we're going to a manipulate next. So let's take the layer mask here. We have a layer mask on this layer, which is the reflection, and we will right click and say, Where is apply? Layer? There we go. Apply a layer mask, it's applied. And now on this layer, we will merge down so that now, once again, we have one layer. If we want to move this layer around, if we want to position it and it's reflection, we can go ahead and grab it and move it anywhere that we'd like on the screen. The next thing that we're going to bring into play is a book cover. Now, the book cover in this collection of books is going to be seen at a glance going off here at an angle. Um, so you're not gonna see real details of it? It's Alfa Dog. If you really get technical, you're gonna be seen the back of the book based on this kind of a three d version of the box set. But we're just gonna pull up any image that we think would really look nice. And you know what I think really looks nice at a severe angle where you can barely tell what you're looking at. That's right, a rectangular Grady in. So that's what I'm gonna create right now. I'm gonna show you how to create that very simple sides and tops for your books. Let's pull. We're going to go to the 500. Remember how we made sure that we were at some place we knew? And, um, I need to go about that far, and I need to go about 1000 high to match the edge here. That looks about like a book cover. Okay, we're going to go ahead and do that blue Grady int again so we can match out the dog So let's have blue here. I will select that is our foreground color. Do the Grady int in our selection. By the way, we should be doing this on a new layer. Isn't it interesting that you could do all this selection and set up before he ever create the new layer where things were actually going to take place? So here, on a brand new layer were actually going to fill with Grady int from blue to black, this transparent layer just this rectangular region here. Here we go. And shall we put the words Alfa Dog on it? Minus one order. Let's go ahead and will pick White as our foreground color. We have our favorite font. It's in Gigantor size, which might be a little too big, but let's start typing and see what we get. Ralph, Uh, dog, I love it. That's the perfect size, I think. Okay, now that we got that down, gonna dio back to this layer, we are going to merge these two layers so that we can treat them as one and slam them off into the distance. Okay, but the first thing we're gonna dio I talked to far into advance and into the future. Let me merge Alfa Dog the title down onto its cover. Okay, now we can treat this thing as one thing, and I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna grab it, and I'm gonna position it up. So it more or less the lines with the spine stack. And I would so like it to a line that I'm actually going to show you a trick here. I'm gonna goto view Zoom. I can see that I'm zoomed at 1 to 4 right now. I'm gonna go toe oneto one, which will get me much closer What this color selection is still doing here. And here is my selection. Yeah, on. I'm going to move it to just exactly matches. Yeah, and that this close, you can notice that the color doesn't exactly match, but that's OK. All of this will wash out in the end. Um, let's go ahead and we will view zoom back to fit in window and here were lined up nicely. Um, what we're going to do is select our cover on this layer so that we can make a reflection here. We select it, we edit copy it at it pasted onto a new layer. Always remembered to do that, create any layer, and we were on the brink. There. You can be on the very brink before you set up your new transparently or on which to paste . Let's add it, haste. And then we have the movement. Tools show us that we have now two copies of the Slayer. Let's go ahead and we will flip this vertically. It's already set up to be flip vertical. There it goes, back to the movement Tool. Line it up. Shall we zoom the view zoo? We're at 1/4. Let's go 1 to 1. Let's really get in here tight on where we're trying to line up, and that's as tight as I can make it. We'll go ahead and anger that. Then we'll go back to view Zo that image and window. Now what do you think we do to this reflection layer? That's right. We drag ingredient across it but Onley after we've made a layer mask. So go to that layer. Add a layer mask. It's gonna be white. It's gonna let everything through, but we're about to change that by going from white to black So let's change our blue here toe white. And now we'll drag a Grady int making sure we're on this layer mask layer for this reflection and will drag the green across and it will begin to diminish. Now remember, we'd like to take that down even more by playing with the opacity where we'll bring it down to 30. Now get now. It's really quite washed out. Looks like we got a slight divide between the bookmarks, but that's OK because we want what looks like it's going to look like a divide. Maybe are weakened. Weaken. Tweak it out In the end, Um, this is the way to make reflections. In the next lecture, we're going to look at how to cock everything at angles that it looks like a three D box. 4. 3D Boxed Set Pt. 3: Create the 3D Box Effect: in this lesson, we're going to learn how to set everything at an angle so that this actually looks like a box set rather than a flat two D representation of a box set. We're going to begin this by making ourselves a little space. Here. We have out the dog in the reflection. We're going to merge those down together so that they're one thing. And now I can make myself a little room by moving this down and going over and getting the other layer and moving that down. Maybe in this direction, let me go ahead and move my Alfa Dog layer that it's right in there. Here we go. Now. The next thing I'm going to dio as I'm gonna can't the Alfa dog thing here as if it's the side of a box. So it's going to go very three D at a sliver into the distance. To do that, I will first select the thing that I would like to change. I just need to get pretty close on this selection. It's just so that I don't get a gigantic the thing that I have to manipulate. I just get one the size of what I actually want to manipulate. You'll understand if you tried a few ways. But for this we're going to can't it by using the perspective tool. Let's go ahead and grab that We can now grab the far corner of this book cover and what it's gonna be is very narrow. End up in an angle. So it's gonna be a box set. The box set should maybe be. How deep would you say? Maybe this deed. Let's go ahead and grab the bottom and drag it to about the same position. That looks good. Let's go ahead and do the transform on that. It'll just take a little while for it to flip our cover onto the side. Let's go ahead, and we just have to move it down a little to get it. The lineup. There we go. That looks good right there, and we can go ahead and accurate. Now we've noticed we even have a reflection going down from her, our three D box. Now the only thing we've got to do is put a lid on it. How do you put a lid on it? Well, the way that we're going to do it is to actually outline the lid. We're gonna go to a brand new layer. We're going to select a probably a blue color. But first, let's creator transparent layer will select a blue as our lid, and then we'll go ahead and will select our lead area. We could do that very simply by using the last two and just setting up a lid by outlining the corners. What we think a lit looks like that gives us a rectangular selection. We can go ahead and we can fit in blue or whatever other color. If we'd like for, ah, this particular region to be, ah, page colored. We could do that, and we're actually going to see how to do that. In the next lecture. We could even what would look on a class it would be to bring down the colors off the edge books. Let's go ahead and select none. And there we create a three D book cover Ah, collection, a box of book covers, Um, to get this closer to something usable, we could, ah, crop it down to a smaller size, which would get rid of a lot of that wasted space. And here we've got our three D book cover with a big reflection. We really oughta work on that. In our next lecture, we're going to look at a three D single book cover now that's going to differ in that we're going to put a curled the covers. If it's been riffled through and used, we're going to do much better on a reflection. I promise you that I didn't this one, and we're going to have a big large book cover here in front instead of the spines of books . Let's go ahead and see how that's done. 5. 3D Boxed Set: Clean Up: Okay. What I wanted to do in this lecture was that I'm not particularly happy with the three box set that I created on. I want to edit to see if I could clean up some of the errors in it. And I thought, Why not turn on? Ah, screen casting and capture what I'm doing? It may be of interest. Who knows? I may throw this particular lecture away. Let's go ahead and will select none to get this marching ants out of there. What can we dio now? Lot toe like a zoom in and see exactly what's going on. I'm not 1 to 4 right now. Let's go back to 21 Whoa, Now we're truly a zoomed were way too zoomed was view at 1 to 2. There we go that we can see the lid that we put on this thing is really not very nice. Okay, so we're going to do is we're gonna clean up the lid straight off and here we are on the lid layer. You know, the best way to clean up sometimes is to just trash the layer and create a new one. Ah, can everybody breathe a fresh breath of ah, breath of fresh air. Here we are. We're more zoomed this time. We should be able to last to ourselves about a perfect right there needs to go to right there, right there and across to complete it. Oh, it's still not quite, uh, what I would call, uh, true, but we'll go ahead and will dump our stuff in it. I think this will look a lot better if we do a select none. Now, things are beginning to come together better at the edges. Now, if you really want to clean up the edges, you can go in closer and you can, uh, scrub up racism. Just little bits that they ran off. Let's go ahead and do that. Actually, let's go views, um, for the one something ridiculous. And then we'll go up to this edge where we're not quite meeting up and we will select that portion of the corner and oh, I'm sorry. It's on the next layer. We'll get rid of it. Okay, let's go look at the next corner and see how that's looking. It's usually your corners that don't quite come together correctly. That one looks fine. What about down here with the green. Uh, not so fine. We gotta find a way to get this to go together. And the best way that I have always found is to just keep on your diagonal right into the new color. So Oh, go ahead. It will select right on down here on the layer with the green, and we'll delete it. Let's see how we are. Other corners go down to the bottom. Oh, these don't come together quite nicely at all, Do they? Uh, what could we do to maybe make this a little cleaner? Oh, maybe a little bit of a racer. Well, that's the best I could think of to Dio. And we're on the wrong layers. So now even that is going to work. I I don't know quite what to do there. Let's go ahead and will view zero fit window. Okay. Our corners up here on the lid are beginning to look a lot better. You know, these corners down here in the shadow I don't really care about what I do care about or rather on the reflection is that the reflection is gigantic. I would like to really tone this down a great deal. And the way I'm planning on doing that is by cutting those off onto their own layer. And then through a combination of ah, radiant ah, layer maps and, uh, opacity on the layer. I'm going to further blur those layers happen. So let's go ahead, and we're going to grab those layers first. I want to go to layer. There on. I'll get the last suit tool now, last starting up here, over here to here. Okay, that was a pretty good grab of those layers. Now I'm gonna do We're going. Teoh, cut those out. Uh, missing. Okay, sorry. It undo. We need emerge these layers down first. Going to merge down is that we get the side lier to now we can go ahead and we can edit, cut, get both them. We can go and add a new layer this transparent in between. And here we can edit paste, they come back exactly where they were, but they're on their own layer. And what's the significance of that? Well, for one thing, we can add after we anchor that floating layer, we can add a layer mask. Let's go ahead and do that right away. We'll add a layer mask fully white so you can see through. Then we will go from white to black. We'll do a Grady INT map making sure the layer mask is selected and we'll go up way up, hide the tip of this thing So we'll go up fairly high with their radiant mask. And um, okay, we are all set up to do it. We're on that, and we will like this. And now it's beginning to blur out even more. In fact, we can go here and do one more treatment of our applying a 50% opacity to this layer. And now a reflection is, is pretty much nothing more than reflection. In fact, I might even undo that. Let's go ahead and will do the at it undo. That's that we get a little bit more reflection. That's nice. So there we cleaned up our corners and we cleaned up a reflection a little bit. This is pretty basic, I know, but we're about to get a little bit more advanced when it comes to doing three D on a single book cover