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{Tutorial} Making a Fanmix/FST: Part 4

See Part One and Part Two and Part Three

Cover art time!

Copying from my old help post: This can be as easy as you want it to be. I often enjoy doing cover art, but this by no means needs to be fancy. I do like to have covers with my downloads because I include the art in my iTunes folder when I listen. What to include: Title of your mix (at least on the front) and a song list (I personally like to have both title and artist identified) (usually on the back). If you want to be fancy or use awesome fonts, things might get hard to read but that's not a problem - just be sure the post itself has clearly marked info.

Best quality graphics are going to be in *.jpg or *.png format - it's going to depend on how large you want your file size. Dimension-wise, requirements tend to be 400x400px or 500x500px.

Content: Images you use don't have to be fandom, though they should relate somehow to your theme. Or perhaps "tone" of your music. For me, I'm going to avoid bright colors. My song choices are more sedate, a little dramatic. My theme's about a building (complicated) romance.

Finding images / Basic Layout
+ So I'm not sure yet if this is the back or the cover, but I like an image found at Fanpop.

+ I work with Photoshop 7.0 but could probably use anything that lets me play with layers because I like being able to play around. Anyway, I make a new file sized 400x400px at 72 resolution.

+ As you can see in the screenshot, I've created some folders where I'm pasting my layers. The original picture file is actually "Layer 2" but after resizing it, I duplicate it and do further manipulations on other layers. (I like to have the original on hand if I change my mind.)

+ Sometimes a full-picture cover is nice, but I prefer mine when I play with partial pictures and some brushes. So I scroll through my extensive list of brushes and end up deciding on a large, fairly simple one by Sanami276. It's mostly solid, which works well for my purposes since I was to lay my images over it.

+ The picture you see on the screen cap has 3 screencap layers: bottom @ "Soft Light", middle @ "Screen", and top @ "Lighten" (90%). I also added masks to each layer so that only a certain portion of the screencap could be seen (in the shape of my brush choice) since my background is not pure white.

+ Now I'm at a tricky point. I'm going to keep this cover pretty simple but now I want a title... and that means I need a font. I am obsessed with fonts. Don't be like me, you'll take a ridiculous amount of time choosing the "right" font and then you'll figure out later that you don't like it and want to change again. Try to be a little flexible.

+ About mix titles: Personally, I like going with something from a quote or part of the song lyrics, rather than adapting one of the song titles.... So eventually I decided on "exocise the past" based on lyrics from the chorus of "Undisclosed Desires."

+ Font was tricky to decide since I figured something in the sans-serif family or something looking handwritten. Surprisingly, I went with a script font called "Oceanside DB," which I must have recently added because I don't really recognize it.

+ Finishing touches: I centered the image, offset the text, and then time to save. I saved my file as a *.png for the high quality image - this does mean that the file size was 131KB, a little on the larger side.

The back / track listing
+ I prefer for this to look easy-to-read even if I don't tend to look at this again. I like a simple, clean layout. So now I have to decide if I'm going to use an image, and I think so because there was this screencap of Jane lying on his matress under the creepy Red John smiley face... And, well, if we're talking about exorcising demons from the past...

+ So after a lot of playing around, I ended up having each track on a different line (layer) so that I could play with arrangement. Font is Gentium. "Accent" lyrics in Oceanside font, again. And here's the back:

Uploading your graphics to share a preview Hosting your art I find is pretty easy. There are a ridiculous number of free image hosting sites out there now. Most popular are probably Photobucket, ImageShack, and more recently Tiny Pic. I'm using TinyPic every day now as I do more layouts, and challenges for land comms when I need to be "anonymous."

Next up (which should be the last): Technical details & uploading to share.
Part Five


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Pretty cover! I wish I had Photoshop. ._.
Sep. 3rd, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
*patpat* Um.... super sekrit download? ;)

IDK Have you ever tried GIMP? I know it's a pretty decent free program.
Sep. 4th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
lol even if I did have a program, I wouldn't know how to use it. I think I'm just gonna beg one of my lj friends for covers. ;)
Sep. 4th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm on the lookout to do mega resource/help post for my comm sooo... who knows if I'll dig up something useful. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )