Book Cover Design on Photoshop: Fantasy | Paulo Duelli | Skillshare

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Book Cover Design on Photoshop: Fantasy

teacher avatar Paulo Duelli, Book Cover Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Setting the Main Characters


    • 3.

      Building a Sorceress


    • 4.

      Building a Sorcerer I


    • 5.

      Building a Sorcerer II


    • 6.

      Building a Warrior


    • 7.

      Fonts, Styles & Background


    • 8.

      Magic! and the Final Touch


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About This Class

In this course you'll be learning step by step how to create a fantasy book cover. This is a real life example and you'll be able to see the full process of creation. You'll be able to take your photoshop skills to the next level solving lightning, hair, composition, color and texture problems, while creating complex characters by adding different elements in a realistic manner. The step by step video will allow you to learn about new and exciting tools and learn a workflow useful for all book cover projects. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Paulo Duelli

Book Cover Designer


I'm a freelance graphic designer oriented to the book industry.


My experiences range from freelance working with indie authors and small publishing houses to teaching the design craft and the use of the Adobe suite. I started to work online a few years ago and it's been a very enriching experince, both broading my views and concepts by working with clients all over the world and allowing me to grow in field.


I've done books from business and health to fantasy fiction, every cover is a beautiful problem to be solved.


I look forward to hearing from you!

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Level: Advanced

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1. Intro: - I think. 2. Setting the Main Characters: hello and welcome to a new class where we're going to be doing a fairly complex fund. The Sea Book. To start with first, things were going to be doing a 649 inches based here for the shop, and we're going to be using tree hungry BP's for the internal resolution, so this is good to print. So we're going to throw some guy islands here on this is going to help us mainly with the composition we have thes tree by tree that was thes four central points were we can use to place important elements in the composition. Is there the very basics of the world? So it's also, uh, what I'm going to now with the power free. We're going to use that the bottom third for typography only. So this is a great way to set up a a basic layer for cover for ministry, saying a normal place to start. I generally grade a six per nine based on simply use the guidelines toe to begin to work their composition. So here place the title in the open name on what we're going to do. Next case, we're going to add the stream she's prepared the star this. We're going to be my main characters here. You can see they are quite different with each other. Um, um, what we're going to do first is simply removed. Bagram's listening to be, as always, something that requires quite some time. But here I'm Brian. The video beat faster on what we're using is off course or a good friend depend on the cool thing about the pen. Is that a So I always say else's to do and quite sharp on precise selections. So always from working are already is in the final version of your project. Always try to select with pen. Along with this, this car is going to be using some other methods when the image is really nice to to be cut with the automatic tools here for the ship. But most of the times you're going to be wanted to use a pen. - So we're almost there, and once we have it, a special we're going to go with many that's up the menu, and we want to click select on. We're going to make mask here. I'm doing the basic corrections of the mask. Uh, you're doing bruising Dad. Careful. So this allows us toe It is a square. Impressive. What you can do here with on done on the main cut their almost some We're going to repeat the process. This is an image that casts a much harder background. So it this is quite impossible Toe develop with the the automatic selection tools with noticed this this light here in the lines of Danish. I'm doing the selection inside. Avoiding it. It would be quite hard, too much. The lighting off the train wishes if I took that. So one of the course things about Ben is that it allows us to load off small tricks here. We're almost tongue and again we're going to select on in the layers. Manu. We bury the musk here. We got him. I'm going to work the inside here on here with the selection made this simple. We go, we're going to use a brush on fine black on the mask. It's always that conceals wide, So we kind of covered We're going to do that placement there on. Finally, we're going to work with a certain yellow here with this, uh, kind of a sharp white background place to use a mushing one. So I'm going to do that. And I need to work with tolerance, Hear us Shire. The number, The more things of things she's going to take on, the lower their the number of Mark Small live. This election is going to be so you can always get results again. I would try to get the so you can get to see he on on her shirt. The numbers begin quite a difference. So right, that's probably the best thing you can be. I didn't say there on here. This is going to be much more problem. I'm probably going to have to redone this election with So there we go. Agree the musk. No, it has been inverted because we selected background and the star by taking care of those small details going to work a lot brush And here again. So for precision here, I'm going to need it. Think think on were quite done, huh? In the still air, it's always eyelashes on. This is one of my favorite things about Okay, So before we start working on their positions, I should probably take her his selection as well. I'm doing a bit of smoke in their on. Here we go with Kerrigan. He's carries quite It has a very good countries with background. So this was going to wait. And now this is some placement just a bit bigger, and the city will have our layers pretty much, son. 3. Building a Sorceress: So now we're going to start with our sorcerers on. This is going to be quite in. You can see this white line here on the screen. This is a very much a small mascot. Noise happened when I shift the decisive mask. So you see it in the mask in the layers. Final justice, White border. This'd because And there must was black. But when I switched size, he been by the holy things white on the on the new backer minutes. So you have to keep your ice up for this. Always be correct in this small leader. This is important because basically, if you're not careful with these, you'll end up working on hours on the project, finding some small line somewhere. You know, with a large and complex Russians, you can have, like, 50 or 80 layers. So it's going to be quite difficult, toe, see what the problem is happening. So you you're good by taking care of these. Okay, so now let's isolate her on, begin to work with on what cap I can. Taking a bunch of steam sheets that I think are going to be a point. You so three armor weapons off the characters. So let's start with her stuff. Thing is going to be quite simple. We're going to do a selection with or mashing want, and we're going to place it beneath her in an angle that it looks like her hand is manipulating some some energy and on effects were going to be creative. - So there were Oh, no. We were duplicated on the lower bank. A one big rope with this on course to correct those white lines reportedly become a problem . - Okay , with that corrected, we're going toe were with her karma. I liked it simmers for two reasons. One, I think it fits well on also, I I like the idea for leather arm. So let's start with a selection here. I went to use the same process with them. Okay, so another would have it. You see, before I did this, I tried the idea of having some chain mail armour for its So seeing goingto be dropping first thing, we're going to go. We're going to try to much of the movement. So what I'm doing here is I I'm transforming Danish. You can do this by digging country by doing country and do anything with the angles with the contra feet, this very basic stuff. But you may not know it, so I'm going to be shipped in this until I think it's quite right. No, they have it. Me enough change, but I'm going to have to do is to correct selection of it in order to get it right. You can see some Schurter this misplaced. So one more final big. So they're on the wrist. It's well. And now that I like the placement, I'm going to be correcting the mask. So first this I need a holder. - But I'm I made a group first before the day is not one of the original mask Get back on. This is versatile, thinks something that could be with with the brush. So now it fits on later, going to be working on this this letter on the back. I wanted to feet with her this leather dress thing that she has again I'm going to brush Vo . It's very important by placing some elements on the top on some elements in the back. When doing this, compositions get quite a good deal of realism. Lady of the time Layers picking things not just no, just element place. Double the character billeted with the stuff way could care that you were able to going on here by placing the shoulder, but beneath that, the dress in the pits care there. Who's on this? So the next thing I have to work on is here on shoulder pads. Her should be up there so reminiscent, duplicating her and her mask going toe. Remove your original mask and I'm going to select through the space with her. Should be with this by a year now. I want that one. She would go conspired. Thank you. So one would eliminate the previous mask on simply here on creating you. So where the hell now is a local fair on what I'm going to be using is course here on the mask options. I'm going to use that hurtle in order, making nice with go. This is a fight on Mason technique to be working. So the places where there's going to be on the operational car, it's no problem. We're going to be a difference on trying to make this long sweeps your coming up, so that's much better. It can be invest and when they do ease with the brush tool, I'm going to be painting black in orderto to eliminate some sort of mask. And what I'm going to be using is here on the response mode on were to be some flight, so they're working on the wrong one now. I would be working with raven on you see how the the whites there begin toe fight of it on the you can. You can see how the armor behind it gets a bit more sharper. So that helps. And I'm using white bring back where it's in Game one. - I think. I think so. Now wait for your armor place and within trained to do is to bring back on the field there - and with the tone separation, I can make it much so those more wrinkles are going to be helping a lot there to clothes fit together. This in some shallows. It's going to give us our great results on . We basically help her 4. Building a Sorcerer I: Okay, so let's start with outsourcer here. And what they basically want is to change, Can on Happy. Just spell. This was my idea for this character. So I found these funny action picture. Um, I think again, use his less by switches in order to cover my character working. So a simple selection we've with machine guns. Birkitt. And now let's start with place. Kind of contrary to much shoulder. Look there. And now I'm going to start by thinking car off the national army. Distinguish on and off course using my friend. - Okay , I have it. Can't get rid of that. Going to be keeping the original shoulder, maybe the armor. And I'm also going to try to make him a bit slimmer working with this negative space here. Right, he's lost a part of. Okay, now I'm going. Teoh, isolate the arm. So another selection now way. - Okay , now I have it. So I would be the positioning and what I need to do. I think it's to correct the selection in order for it to be shoulder, but I really the shoulder. But on top of have the both the images sinking together, - so know that he can is a great place. I'm going to do some town separation in urban, maybe clothing. Much so they did. There is amusing the the consideration directive from the layers panel. And by killing the old key clicking between the layers it gets, it gets fixed so it only affects the layers is fixed on here. I'm working with the mask on where you since just say a brush. It doesn't need to be a absolutely perfect selection. Thank you. So I can leave that blue there like it there. So what I need next is for him to be a bit younger on going to use this more like here. So when we're going to be doing a course iStar with absolute space and now they have him this star big placing him. So here the the size of the placements a so much with the can is quite in order to get his head too big. This is going to pop up. So now he's make a little assessment in order to get he's building on stuff to be much us. Khan trusting with us the other images. The original English here was quite sunny, so that would be a problem. I'm trying too much. The lighting. All the other images were working. Final Shana Road adjustments that I'm going to do later in the video are going to have this all together. So you use transparency there. See how well it treats six quite well. It's not the size but the position to be there and fills the little on that is perfect. So off course I have to read the neck, but on they much up quite well. There on now with despondency there, when I'm going to do is going to be working, painting with black on the mask in order to bring details of the image back. So I gained back, some carried out and thank you. Go now. This could be a snack there. That's going to be a tough Sponder to me, machines homage to. But all in all is quite good. So now we're going to take care off the hair. Starbuck, correcting a bit of often mask there is going to duplicate the original, and this is quite a nice signature, so I need to get rid off that white border, but I can't completely painted with solid color because if we lose all the extra So what I did is I replicated the original image on. I basically used the same thing Negative. With Don separation. I used holding out, holding the LP on within the layers for Sarid's fixed in there. And now it helps index during their. And what I'm doing now is I'm going to be you sees. You see there the brush to correct the mask, so it fits exactly where I need to be. So I painted black, and now with white, I'm going to bring it in exactly what I knew. So picture quite messy. And you're going to be correcting the original mask for small. And we're going to do pretty much sensing over the other site. So mostly there, - I think. - Okay , here we go. Now all I need to do Oh, it's had some care in the top, finished the desire carcass on. I'm going to give him a girl, Really a kind of so same as before. We start by isolating the small piece. We need something going to be doing quite often here on placement on. Here's what I can realize that it waas too much here I like to work with. So let's step here is to correct duration last in order to take care of. - But think on, does it for the beginning for our search area, see on the next one. 5. Building a Sorcerer II: Okay, so let's finish with this guy. We're going to keep working of it on the air, Force our lives on going to you Sometimes situation here in order to make the two pieces much. This is mostly an exploratory work here. You just keep trying until it looks going off. Okay? No, that that's ready and going to keep working on the lower one mask. And I'm going to keep working on the position. Okay. Now it looks a bit better on I need to take care of that party, which didn't get the texture quite right. So that's moving a bit. And those a bit better. Think, Think so. I'm making some more clones of the original in order to recover the the borders off the car that it's to find it realistic. So we're working on this exactly same process us in the 1st 1 No. The idea is to recover a bit off the here off the image with Melo. This this should give me the the definitive mix. So I'm going to use the same thing next within you see, And until now. So we're using Ben and mask on. Finally, we're masking out in order to try to create a a good transition here is a bit complicated because some participates on some not this mission. We're on processing the best work together, but I think you'll see that the final result is quite good. - I think so. It's almost there. We only toe get back to our friends down in separation in order of maybe the image is completely much on. Here we are. I think it only that you can quite would only need toe take care a bit off. The can's now Just so we make all skin tones work, look good together. But his almost there. But I think I think all right said some shallows now. So we have there volume that we need to make it a little oneness. Torrent separation. Think, think 6. Building a Warrior: so no for main character here, Uh, we're going to go. We're going to use pretty much the same thing weeks we've been using until now. So we're going to be adding armor. Parts were to be correcting tones in a little better. Let's start with around work. It's on my shoulder putts, so off course, we're going to be doing a selection, - but think that. Okay, so now I have it off course on a stick of those white lines, a bit of a physician, and now I'm just going to be duplicating it to your site on in birth. That would go so for the front base. We're doing secular sign, uh, interviews with found sick of all the details. - But on this place, it I need to get. So sometimes I try to see if they can get with mushroom one. Sometimes it helps. Maybe he needs some small corrections. It helps toe sometimes. So they're nine things I need to do with this. I need to make sure that her hair on her sword comes through it up. And I should be working with the colors in order to make the front based on shoulder past but much. It's correcting minor deals, some fading help in order to make that much a good sing about failing. Is that too much to get shadows once? Just playing into that and those makes more shadows? The shows are quite important because there would give us with feeling of volume that is going to make the placement of the option believable. It doesn't come to be like a very pro painting. Just the mere fact that they're they're helps toe food with the viewer. I think it's some carrion could get below the shoulder, but it could be on the top like that here on. I need this one to replace the tip of the sword that I don't have. - I think I think on there you have it pretty much the summer for the techniques we've done. You know, it's reaching that placement. This is pretty much the heaviest Long spar off the off the process. Uh, right now, the noble couple main characters about the background, but that typography and the on the effects are going to be a priest. You see how it took a bit of time toe calculated there. It's a great complexity, - but , uh, yeah, now that I have a finished work with 7. Fonts, Styles & Background: I don't So for this. Come on. I have several images on this expression but announces quite basic. You pretty much have to decide which one on the front. What you want in the middle. Which one back? This is going to be my sky. It is good to bring up the blonde reddish tones of the characters. This going to be pretty much in the middle. I'm finally going to be taking the grass structure from this. So what we're going to do is we're going to start the world with some simple mask on. We're going to be in a very soft brush. - I think on for this picture from the floor went to do some beautiful cheating. So what? I know introducing duplicate many, many times, and I will make it a bit bigger each time. So it's going to look assertive us if it's moving forward, and I'm also going to flip it sometimes in orderto make it a bit more random. This is quite when you don't have a on emissions that can feel the space that you need on your working with some saying random like grass. So you're working with a strict pattern and needs to be repeated perfectly. So with that, I'm going to gain a lot off a little off a little more off base from this English. So I assume we kind of have it smooth move to adopt that so much. I think I want the the ruins to be seen, and now you can seek up a lots of fancy brushes. Uh, this one of my favorite. You can get all of this in process. See that come or on Lee, If you don't want to go to a specific sites, only write something that you need. In this case, I use the world fog just right. Fuck for the shop brushes on, you'll get a bunch off. Variations on news is I like to add folk because it's quick would make some much needed volume in my, in my opinion. So once you have characters in a background, they must look quite a bit flat on in order to avoid that having a layer with a foot in the middle, it helps to bring the cultures top, essentially to give amorphous sensation off a tree space. The images so way I went with another grass texture and I'm going to be aided up more fuck because they basically need Theis Black space for the title on This can get quite difficult toe get right because sometimes they are very much elements off the characters that you want to keep. Uh, so it's a very different negotiation, but I think it's turning up quite well there. I think I like the composition on Dallas. Reposition that title on I think it looks good. So let's name this fund to see book. Let's place that if you're looking for funds about fun squirrel on their fund, are they very much there? The real options to go? Try a bit of liberation there. We can get something good on. Yes, let's go with old cups. - So it's looking quite would were going to be. And what? Some fax Sweet three much once you on your title set on the effects. Once you know what the basic things do, it's quite easy on. Also, there is sometimes a bit of a trial and error, so I'm going to know exactly what I'm doing. I'm just going toe, you know that there were so this good wedding, so I'm going to be telling you much what step is very much what what seemed us what on I start with a gray background. Great colorful letters in case if I went to a color later. White is white or black, are complicated for transparency is the 1st 1 amusing now is a barrel. This is a much to give it a volume. Now I'm going to attack shoe on basically a bunch that come with the shop. You can also blow some of the around your arm, but this working and a sissy I started by right now, adding a transparency mouth. This allows me to not have the texture of a simple image but covet Intermont. Several among some Grady int there and some outside line nerd make it a big boulder for that fund. That said some inner shadows looks good as we since we were working with transparency. Now I can move this toe any color I need on the results going to be pretty much the same swing to adopt for you. Well, so when will I like the fund? We can rework it a bit later, but I think sweets. So now let's give it up with the flow and shadow in order to make it pop from background on this use the the state that color that we selected and added toe anyone we can in the color scheme in the battle in highlights of the pebble is going to be doing a great work. So since the World fund C seven, I'm going to copy color and simply drug Wait the old key. So we take some defective, uh, for a final touch, I simply I thought title was too dark, so I made a group off the table and what they're doing is I am applying with the old key from the layer spinal A simply levels that's just under two tranches of it. Have it pop up more some number that have our 1,000,000 text. What? We're going to be working on our way. My favorite. One of my favorite things to go, we're going to simply be on in the I just layer you can see I already added a simple s carp and some nettles. So some color correction here I always like to push this one holder for the shadows on later from Let's go to dub now so colder for the shallows on warmer for the highlights that always sort of it kills. It continues and shoved out there. That carves start. You can see also go with more contrast. Their figures kind of melt with darkness on the bottle. So held a title on with levels. I can work with general image now. So by moving the meal like and simply make it darker later And, of course, a consideration for a big, more off a bunch so you can see that the colors really pop up. Now on there. You can also see that the book has taking a big jump that's corrected. They brought a fair bit more, and I think we're quite good to go now. 8. Magic! and the Final Touch: So finally, we're going to be on a lot of effects for the machine and I'm going toe. You can see I'm always trying to keep the group's on in order that say it would have it so I can turn in and out, I think. Look how it looks with within without be a chance. Mons is quite a different cover on the girl behind her off. We're going to die that they put a feat and with me to start but having some sort of spell affect his hands. So I'm going to do you, You and again. I'm going to use the Russians here first start. But what? We're actually So I said, have a blue Mushake on the left on on reddish yellow machine on the right. So I'm going to work with diarrhea. Start with a simple light thing. Soul start going to work through transparency. So I have transparency. Now they're expanding layer options. Here are great friends. Start with giving it some other blow on using a tone correspondent or spell. Okay, so, no, it's turning from a dot into a White Sox. You can always work with the capacity if it gets excessively. So there we go. Disgusting. A spell into the number one. So this will be a white dot Here is the center of our Martian, and I'm going to be using coarse white light here, so it's the fumigating of it. You go on a smooth so it doesn't look like it's coming from the finger. Okay? And that's that's quite better, actually. Okay, Added a bunch of them. It looks like discussing from streaking years, - and I haven't even cooler rush here again. You just look for this on the Internet, actually. Look, spell Effexor. Magic rushes on this. This that song I was a low Rolley's quite good for expelled and some inner glow in order to make it a bit more so . The hiss case definitely country enough. Something. - I think I think more on this one puts his group. So this mash, it should be guessing some lights. So I'm simply painting some small parts of space and smoke sarma on. You can see that between the transparency mode on the the effect on the layer I'm getting of that that's not working Well, All right, let's erase it of it. Just okay, so I'm getting a desolate I like much This small details help a lot to bring the covered life. So So with our bottle Mason squirrel with other makes the one the one. So I'm going to do pretty much the same thing here. This stuff is going to be The police will spend this disgusted. So this time working with her she died on This, you can see is pretty much the same way. Think. Okay, So here are our boulder. May she's casting a spell on Never sold this I like Like what? We're going to be some lights on on the water. She's receiving the body and rushes from the kind. So seem to be simply mansion with the colors. So there she's, - I think I think, - I think and finally what I want to do a single to use a radiant on top But I am looking to do with this is simply a bold colors affect the whole image. So I'm going to go on the other place it Let's leave it there Well and now I'm going to use sublight and really right about transparency when I don't want to our power there for cover and Let's try it. Final corrections. Hey, there good is a nice touch. I think it helps toe to emphasize their duality working with here. So, like with this, I think the title areas have been dull. So I'm going to be having some are things. I have all these structures on fire effects, and I'm going to be working with this one's start with this. So a black on background thesis, pretty easy to place you go on now is only a mother off Transparency Here. Here we go. Uh, maybe this. Okay. I like it there. That's going to take a bit more renders. I like Theis Sparks on this ones will make it one thing Are much, much bigger. Am I going to help? I'm going to duplicate it toe. So I keep some sparks. Decide concern it. Some marks parts on this one on. Finally, I used this one a lot. This is a much a simple texture, something rocket. I always like to place it under, like around the books. Sometimes I lived there. Ruggedness on the outside and use it to emphasize and center agencies is quite harsh. Yeah, always. I always start on mask on start revealing details away. So just just, I mean mainly going to be using it to place it in the in the bottom. It is going to have a little they're in the top, so it's a pretty much a a little touch off texture in order to separate the characters from the bottom on the table. So getting quite not much else to do here I could be. I'm going to be doing small corrections here and there. But it's quite well, - let's give them more of a Hollywood look. I give them all white and blue ice. Uh, this is simple. Not much to look. Hear me? We can correct the placement of it, But again, the Russians are good friends. One last consideration. I could be doing this literary for four hours. You can always, uh, June and keep tuning your your brush. It I simply report I sympathise it to keep working on it on. If you're If you keep doing the science small quick for our ships, let's go for a bit. We'll take a walk on, then go back to Russia, can see with fresh ice. So the less things were going to do a sharpened I made a group of the whole thing's replicated on. Yeah, Rada Samish. And now over this, I'm going to use filter bypass eyes ready, small value and intense light us a transparency on what this knows. Maybe if the compression on this is not that would you're going to be able to see it. But this does is pretty much, um, give it a new layer off a little. And what I like to do is to take that detail away from the background. So we have my main character sharpened on the background is pretty much with the original little. This is, um this is quite interesting because it's not the same process. US toe turn their background out of focus, Brinson. But it kind of gives a similar result much in the mold. Together I'm making the drug swaggering a bit more far away. So now we definitely have it. This are from the sea. Work is done. Thank you very much for watching