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My First Work with Photoshop CC


Markie Jordan-Madden

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Okay, so this is my first book cover built from the ground up in Photoshop CC (I always used Paint Dot Net or free PS CS2 before). It's just a work in progress; I wanted to play around with settings and features and familiarize myself with all the options available in CC. Be gentle with me, I'm still new here!


Pharaoh's Destiny.jpg
 

Markie Jordan-Madden

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Thanks! The book is historical/alternate historical fiction. If you were into reading something of that sort, would the cover be attractive and eye-catching? I'm playing with the pharaoh's eyes a bit to bring out the color and make them look almost alive.
 

Markie Jordan-Madden

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Thanks, Sam! I'm still fiddling with the colors, I went with a darker font color, moved the pyramids to make them take up a bit of the extra sky, tweaked the colors a bit more. You mentioned the outer glow seeming a bit hard, how do I change that? Reduce the strength of the glow? Or would you recommend a blending between the glow and background? I've not tried any of the blending tools yet, though I did watch a tutorial for making a ripped paper effect (I plan to use this for cover reveals; just rip a small section of "paper" to reveal part of the cover underneath) and it taught me how to make my own presets in tools! That was cool!



Pharaoh's Destiny 2.jpg
 

IamSam

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You mentioned the outer glow seeming a bit hard, how do I change that? Reduce the strength of the glow? Or would you recommend a blending between the glow and background?
I'm assuming that you have used a layer style to add the outer glow. If so, then all you need to do is increase size of the outer glow.
Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 9.10.45 PM.png

If your using a different method, you'll have to explain.

Markie said:
I've not tried any of the blending tools yet, though I did watch a tutorial for making a ripped paper effect (I plan to use this for cover reveals; just rip a small section of "paper" to reveal part of the cover underneath) and it taught me how to make my own presets in tools! That was cool!
I think we can often get ahead of ourselves with actions, presets, layer styles, etc.................sometimes it's best to learn the basics. Blending can be a function of several of the Ps tools arsenal as well as layer blending modes.

I really preferred the opacity of the mask in your first version.

You can use the layers opacity setting to control the entire layer like this......
Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 9.21.43 PM.png

Or a layer mask to just provide opacity in the areas you desire, thus providing better blending.....like this.
Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 9.21.53 PM.png
 

Markie Jordan-Madden

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Okay, wow, tell me how you did that last one? I've been playing with it trying to make it appear as if the pharaoh's head is peeking out between the two pyramids, so that my barely adequate painting skills aren't necessary to fill in the gap under the pharaoh's beard. I know how to make a layer mask, though I'm not really sure what it means. It's not like duplicating a layer, and it's not quite like making a new blank layer, am I understanding that right? And how can you get just a part of (any layer) to be opaque rather than the whole thing?
 

Markie Jordan-Madden

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Okay, so this is getting closer to what I envisioned for this project. Wish I had a nice gold pharaoh mask to work with; mine is from a photo of a sphinx at a ****** in Las Vegas, I think. Then again, the particular pharaoh who is the main character in the story never got a "proper" pharaoh burial, so maybe this one will fit her better!

The idea, without going into a lot of Egypt's history, is they believed the pharaohs became gods and rode across the sky on the god's chariot (the sun) each day. So I wanted the pharaoh's face to look alive (didn't really want to reduce the opacity if I could avoid it) and as if he was "lording" over his people even in death. Geez, that sounds cheesy LOL!

Pharaoh's Destiny 2.jpg
 

IamSam

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Okay, wow, tell me how you did that last one? I've been playing with it trying to make it appear as if the pharaoh's head is peeking out between the two pyramids, so that my barely adequate painting skills aren't necessary to fill in the gap under the pharaoh's beard.
This would be a job for the layer mask.
note: this is just a demo.
Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 8.20.29 AM.png


Markie said:
I know how to make a layer mask, though I'm not really sure what it means. It's not like duplicating a layer, and it's not quite like making a new blank layer, am I understanding that right? And how can you get just a part of (any layer) to be opaque rather than the whole thing?
Take a look at these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrKR07ofRRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOjzTbP8eT8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D__nZoQY8Js
 

Markie Jordan-Madden

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Hi Eggy! Nice to meet you. That is way cool, and I'm gonna check it out for sure! Sam, I'll look at those videos as soon as my internet rolls back over to high-speed; at the moment I'm lucky I can post here! LOL
 

CPR

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Okay, wow, tell me how you did that last one? I've been playing with it trying to make it appear as if the pharaoh's head is peeking out between the two pyramids, so that my barely adequate painting skills aren't necessary to fill in the gap under the pharaoh's beard. I know how to make a layer mask, though I'm not really sure what it means. It's not like duplicating a layer, and it's not quite like making a new blank layer, am I understanding that right? And how can you get just a part of (any layer) to be opaque rather than the whole thing?
You mention three items ( 2 pyramids and the Pharaoh's Head),so they each need to be on their own layer. Once you have that you can move them around to get the effect you want.
 

Markie Jordan-Madden

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So here's where I am now with the same cover. I haven't added any effects around the mask yet; I've concentrated heavily on blending and also removing some unfavorable things from the background (a couple of camels, a caravan of gypsies and a couple archaeologists, even an antenna on top of one pyramid!).

Pharaoh's Destiny 2.jpg
 

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