GIMP 3D Book Covers 2: Creating 3D Book Cover with the GIMP | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

GIMP 3D Book Covers 2: Creating 3D Book Cover with the GIMP

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

GIMP 3D Book Covers 2: Creating 3D Book Cover with the GIMP

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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4 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. 3D Book Covers: Finished Product Using the GIMP

    • 2. 3D Book Covers Pt. 1: Cover, Reflection, and Bend

    • 3. 3D Book Covers Pt. 2: Spine, Reflection, and Cant

    • 4. 3D Book Covers Pt. 3: Pages and Shadow

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About This Class

GIMP 3D Book Covers 2: Creating 3D Book Cover 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 Book Covers: Finished Product Using the GIMP: Before we begin working on the three d book cover, I wanted to show you the finished result Here I am. After the third lecture in the Siri's with the finished three d book cover, we managed to have a book cover slightly. Ah, bent here to show where with yellowed pages Ah, spine that runs vertically up here. And ah, both casting a shadow. Even there's a curled with shadow and finally, or rather than a reflection, I should say And finally, there is a shadow cast in the background. Any of these may be disabled if you don't like the shadow. Um, actually, you gotta cut the reflection off a this point of you don't like it? Um, you can pull this apart, get rid of the background color, and so on. Ah, cut it down to a particular size. This is the three d book cover that were about to create 2. 3D Book Covers Pt. 1: Cover, Reflection, and Bend: in this lecture, we're going to go beyond the basics of creating a three D box set to creating something a little more elaborate and actual three D book cover or a book standing on edge. To do that, we're gonna begin by creating a sizable workspace toe work in. So let's go ahead up to file and say new. What I would like is a space of, say, about 3000 by 3000. And if it isn't already set, make sure that you've configured 300 peopie I down here. Okay, let's go ahead and create that. What? Created in in Black? Well, uh, dump in some white here cause I can't quite deal with Ah, black background. Well, I've never tried it. Maybe it would work. There we go. Now what we need to do is pull in a book cover, which we're going Teoh manipulate. Um, typically, don't go three D until you have a two Devers with the book cover. I happen to have a two d version of a book cover that I'd like to play with because it's the latest book cover that I've been working on. It's for a book known as death in a high place. Here it is. Now I'm going to undo some things that I did earlier to it so that I can redo them here to show you how we want to process this book cover. Now it's a little large right now. This is 1600 pixels wide by 2400 tall. We wanted to be more like 1600 tall, So let's go ahead and will dio an image scale image on here and making sure that the aspect ratio is maintained. That there chained together, we will enter 1600 and this becomes, ah, width of 1067. Go ahead and do that. Now we can go ahead and select all and edit copy to get our image. Go over to where we'd like to put it and create a new, transparent layer. Always create new layer first, and we'll go ahead and will edit paste that book cover on here. Now let's use the movement tool to move it to an appropriate place. We're gonna have toe have a spy and shadow and all kinds of things are a reflection. So we'll move it up here. There we go. If we're happy with. Where about it is Remember, we could always move it since it's on its own layer. Um, we're gonna go ahead and accurate. Now. The next thing we're going to do is win a edit paste. Another copy of that, of course, on a new layer. Create that need layer first. There we go. It's got its own layer transparent and we will edit paste again. Why would we need a second copy of the book cover? That's right to do the reflection. So let's go ahead and flip that vertically. And then I used the movement tool and we'll drag it down in position. Now, don't worry. If it goes off the bottom of the screen here, we're not gonna be using most of the image. We just want a bit for a reflection. Now I want Thies to match up really well. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do view Zoom, come over and do something like 22 to 1. Now we can get down here to the pixel level as faras, making sure that these two images lineup There we go. And now that they're lined up, we'll go ahead and will anchor them. And then, well, two of you zoom fit Image in window so we could see the whole thing. Okay, Now, on our reflection layer, we're going to head. Go ahead and right click on that layer to bring up the menu so that we can add a layer mask . Okay, We'll make it white. So everything will show through. Go ahead and our colors White, black or all set up to do our Grady it to fade this in now most the time in doing a layer mask, Grady it to fade in. I've gone over an entire image. You don't have to. You can select a very minimal area where the Grady it will go and the transition will happen much faster, which is what we actually want here. So let's say it. I drag from here to here. It's going to make the transition very short, and we get very little of the reflection image now, and it fades out much faster now, of course, we can always go up here to opacity, change this to 30 and really bring that out to just being a whisper of a report, A reflection and I think That's real nice now. The other thing that we're going to do to the cover before working on the spine is I'm going to dog ear the cover, make it look like it's been read a little bit by bending it. This is fun to Dio, but before that, we need to merge our layers all together. So let's go ahead and apply the layer mask and then we'll merge our reflection down. There we go. Now all of this stuff, the reflection and the book cover are all one image. So now we could manipulate the entire image, and we do that by going to We got to get this right. Filters distorts curve Bend. Now, the way that this works is that these curves come on as straight. In fact, I believe there's a reset. Me is reset. There we go, and what they're representing is here. When I click top for a curve for border, I'm looking at the top of the book cover, and you could see it's perfectly straight at this point. That's because we haven't manipulated the curve now. What we can do is let's say we want the top two bend away from us for just a little bit like it's going at an angle away from us. But then, at the last second, maybe bend out a little like this has been used. There we go. Now we can go to the lower. We could give that a completely different curve, but I'm going to give it more or less the same curve to make it look like this covers just kind of bend a little. Now we can go ahead and hit the preview once and see it. It's very small, so it's hard to see. We're going to just go ahead and apply it. It's taking a while to goto work on our image. You can see the Progress bar at the bottom of the image manipulation window advancing, and here we finally have the bent version of the image. You could see that there's just a slight bend to the cover, like somebody's been holding an open with their thumb, and now it's been open. And when we showed, the pages will show them not quite as bent and ruffled out here at the edge, you can see that the reflection has even been curved to match the book cover. That's it for creating the book cover. In the next lecture, I'm gonna work on creating a spine for this book cover and then fitted into place. 3. 3D Book Covers Pt. 2: Spine, Reflection, and Cant: in this lecture, I'm going to create a quick spine by cutting out a section to the cover, just using it. I'm going to make a reflection for the spine, and then I'm going to can't that whole spine and reflection into position in the diagonal. So let's begin by going to the original book cover that we had. And I'm going to just slice out this chunk over here and use it as the spine. Now. Yes, it doesn't show the entire Jane Blackthorn mystery banner, but it'll show part of it. And once I angle it and turn it into a sliver, you're barely gonna be able to tell what's on the spine. Anyway. We're just going for colors and so on, yet complementary colors. So let's go ahead and choose our selection tool. Rectangular, go back to the old image. Go to the upper left, pull down a rectangle around this stuff on the left. Okay. I like this start. I like the height. The width is fine. We'll go ahead and we will edit. Copy that Over here on our book cover, we will create a new layer as we are quite often. Doing that is transparent. Here we will edit paste our spine will grab it and move it more or less in the place. You get an idea of what we're doing here. Well, it looks like the old spine grew a little bit. Um, we will keep it here while we make a reflection. Actually, it looks like the old spine did grow a little. So what we're going to have to do is stretch this spine just a little bit, um, by using this scale tool here, grabbing the top and stretching it up until it matches the old spine or the until it matches the cover. There we go. Now what? I'm going to dio. So I'm gonna make a another copy. What's anchor this first. And then I am going to paste another copy of that spine, which, of course, we're going to flip vertically. Since this is our reflection, we will move it into place and it needs to be on its own layer. So let's edit, undo flipping and pasting undoes our best rand will create a new layer that's transparent. Here we will edit, paste and do our flip. Then do the movement tool to move it down into position again. We will view zoo 2 to 1 to get in really tight. See exactly what's going on on this paste. It looks perfect. Let's anchor it there now, going to view zero fit, image and window. And now we can make a layer mask. You know, it's good that were going through and doing this over and over again because it's going to reinforce these basic practices. You can see how Maney techniques are all based on doing the same things repeatedly. Um, so here I'm showing you them quite a few times, but you're also going to get very good at them. Um, we went, went out a little since that it undo that and make it go out a little faster. Well, that's more like it. And then we will go to that layer and change so pastie to 30. We go now. We can just barely see that reflection. Now we apply the layer mask. We emerged the layer down and now our books spine is all one layer one image that we couldn't manipulate. And how are we going to manipulated at at first? Well, we're going to shift this into place here I can I can get just the spine by going and grabbing the color white and then inverting my selection. And I have the spine, including the reflection that shows through because what I want to do is I want to use the perspective tool here to slant this into place. I'm gonna grab this corner and I'm gonna bring it up here, do something far shorter and at about a 45 degree angle that I'm going to grab this corner and I'm gonna try and mimic and do the same. Of course, on my three box it. You've already seen how good I am at this. Fortunately, this is a well read book, so it's all been out of shape. This doesn't have to be perfect. We go ahead and we do the transform. And you could see that Now we have a spine. Now let's do a little cleanup in ah, viewing here in detail. Make sure everything's fitting together. It looks like there's a bit of a gap between the spine and the cover. Okay, that isn't quite lining up, and neither is that. So let's move this town into position. They're now that looks good on top. The problem is, is quite often, yes, the bottom doesn't look good. So what we're going to have to do is stretch this going to hold, go ahead and grab the, um, a scale tool. Grab the bottom here and stretch this until we get a match. Now, quite often, when you get your match here, suddenly that throws the top of your image out by just the slightest bit. Oh, we're in there. And the reflections look like they're kind of going away at the same time. There we go. Let's go ahead and anchor this and we'll dio of you zoom to fit in window. We've got a nice looking spine there. It's a little tweaked, but then this is a red book. Now the next thing that we're going to work on in the final lecture is how to put the pages into our book. And then we're actually going to put a bit of a shadow back here from the book, standing up and blocking the light 4. 3D Book Covers Pt. 3: Pages and Shadow: in this final lecture on three D book covers. I wanted to finish our three D book cover by adding kind of yellowed looking pages to it and giving it a shadow. Ah, shadow back onto the table behind it. Once we've completed those two things, we pretty much tapped my ability to add effects to a three D book cover. All that you would do after that is touch up. Maybe give it rippled edge and stuff like that. Let's begin by zooming in. I need to get a little closer before I can see what's going on. It will select none to get rid of that marching ants, and then we'll dio ah view zoo. I still wanted to. Okay, this is a good zoom because it fits. The book cover area that I'm going to be putting my pages in gives me a real nice, close up view of the area on filling. Now what I've done is I want to find a nice color, and I found one earlier. It's kind of a peachy color kind of a yellowed book page color that I'm going to use for my pages to begin the pages Air just a rectangular region that's kind of torqued out of shape a little. So I'm going to begin with a rectangular region that's about the right size, and then I'm going to fill it. Well, first, we need a new layer. Remember, always a new layer, a new transparent layer just caught that we're going to fill it with our page color. Now, what we're going to do before we lose the selection is we're going to use the aspect or the perspective tool to drag the various points of our rectangle here to where we want them. This we actually want to be a just a little higher this corner. We want to meet the edge here. Looks like it might be a little over put back just a bit right there. Looks about right. This one. We want to be up in the air a little so that we could see that riel can't of the pages and we want to be back just a bit shy. This 11 a form about a 45 degree angle. Come in nice and thin. Like this, maybe actually go out just a little to show that the pages are ruffled and will transform it there. We've created our pages, but you notice that they're not complete because they don't disappear here behind the book cover. Let's fix that. First, Will anchor are floating? Selection now will go into a rectangular selection over here at the corner of our pages and pull it out into this area that you can see here. Now we'll dump mawr of our page color in here. Now you know this is a problem. It's not behind the cover, so we need to take the current layer and move it down two layers to get it behind the cover . Now we select none. We view zero fit in window, and we pretty much have a finished book cover with a bent cover, a reflection onto a shiny table and yellowed pages. Now, the last thing that I want to do to complete this is to cast a shadow. This is a pretty simple final step. It's up to you whether you want to use it or not. It takes up quite a bit of room, so it's gonna make your image a little larger. Let's a cast casting shadow is basically just a rectangular region so we'll begin by selecting a rectangle within that will select the color black. And what do we want to do first? That's right. We need a new, transparent layer to do this on. So we go ahead and we add the new transparent layer. I'm gonna move it all the way up to the top so that it overlays everything. Now, when I dump in the black will really see it. And I'm going to use this sheer tool to share this office. If it's disappearing into the distance. There we go. It looks like a good sheer. It's working on it. And here's my sheared black box. Now I congrats it. I could move it behind my book cover. Now I really want this edge to be behind right there. The rest of it doesn't matter as much. Okay, now the problem is that we can see it in front of the book covers, So we're gonna take that. Okay, First of all, we're gonna anchor it. Then we're going to take that layer and we're gonna move it down two layers to behind the book cover. Now, a little bit of the shadow is sticking out over here will go ahead and we'll just grab that and hit the delete key to get rid of it. Okay, so now we've got a drop shadow going out. What we need to dio with this layer will select all. Make sure the entire layers select. And then we'll go to filters and will apply a bird blur a Gaussian blur of about 20. I'll get we've got 20 in here. Let's do that. And he could see the black blurs a little. Here's a little trick. If that wasn't enough for you, you can go right up to filters and you can say, repeat, gassy and blur without having to go through all that mumbo jumbo and it it applies the 20 again. In fact, I'm gonna keep repeating it until I get a good enough blur. That's a galaxy. And 60 by now here comes a Gaussian 80. How about 100? Ah, that's blurred enough. Now, now the final thing we're going to dio we're gonna come here, and we're gonna make this about a 30 opacity on that layer so the shadow will turn very gray and look like a shadow. Finally, Here you have it a three D book covered with a ruffled cover. Ah, yellowed pages, a candid spine reflection down onto a table and a shadow. Any of these layers you can turn on or off. You can change the background color if you'd like, or you can make it transparent and put it onto something rather fancy. That's how to make a three D book cover. Please use it to your advantage.