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Cover Arts, Backgrounds, and All That Other Stuff

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  • Cover Arts, Backgrounds, and All That Other Stuff

    I've seen a lot of threads asking about how to make covers/find people who make them, and I also receive a lot of messages about it. I'm not the best at graphics or a professional in any way, but I've been doing it awhile, and I've come a long way. This thread was created to cater to all who are curious about anything related to cover arts and backgrounds, whether you're an artist or a requester. And this doesn't necessarily apply to just the Episode forums, as I've ventured on multiple platforms, and I can say something similar about each of them.


    Where can I request or get cover arts/backgrounds?

    There are a few threads for each. Every now and then, new threads are created, but here are some of the current active cover art threads:
    Here are background threads:Be alert; some threads open and close periodically, and the ones written above might/might not be open for requests currently. I didn't write down all the threads, but you can try searching "cover arts" or "backgrounds" on the handy search bar above for more.

    *even if a thread has "official" in its title does not mean it is created by the Episode team.


    What are the rules for using these graphics?

    Each and every artist will have their own set of rules, but there are a few general ones that are pretty basic and should be applicant to all threads:
    • Never claim the artwork as your own.
    • Sometimes credit isn't mandatory, but generally is recommended If it's mandatory, then state it where it's due.
    • Do not take a cover that you did not request for or wasn't made for you.
    • Unless you have permission, do not reedit the graphic.
    What editor can I use to create cover arts/backgrounds?

    The most common editor is Photoshop. This application, however, requires payment. If you want to see if this program is for you, you can download a 30-day trial. It has many features, and has lots of pretty cool capabilities. I don't recommend this to beginners, though. If you haven't practiced graphics for a while, don't use this. I suggest use simpler editors, like Paint or PicMonkey, and slowly make your way up there. I'll talk a little more about other editors you can use below (that are free):
    • Paint
      • Paint is a program on Microsoft that allows you to draw, insert images, etc. Very simple and easy to use. I suggest this one for beginners. This does not have complex features, but is a great fundamental base. It should be automatically installed for Windows users.
    • PicMonkey
      • PicMonkey is a simple, but cool website. It's great for beginners, and has a lot of simple features.
    • Canva
      • Canva is a website that has a good interface, and is especially useful for poster design. It has a lot of free things, like (non-kiddish) stickers, fonts, and images.
    • GIMP
      • GIMP is like a sibling program to Photoshop. It's more complicated than other editors, and pretty powerful. There are some features on Photoshop but not on GIMP, but has a lot of features to explore. There are many features, so it might be difficult to navigate at first, but should get easier over time using it.
    • Pixlr Editor
      • Like GIMP, I'd say Pixlr is like a relative program to Photoshop. However, it's an online site. There are a lot less features than Photoshop, but still more advanced than many others. It has a lot of features for more intermediate users, too. The interface might be a little off-putting, but like GIMP and Photoshop, with time and exploration, you should be getting a hang of it.
    There is not right or wrong editing site. Explore them all and see which ones are right for you.


    Where can I find resources?
    • Episode Characters
      • I highly suggest you get characters from the app itself. All you have to do is create the character on the portal, open it from the "Create" tab of the app, and then screenshot it. However, if you can't erase character backgrounds or the character you are using are only background characters, there is an easier way to get them. Go create the characters on the portal, then on the script, click a character's actions from the character library, then right click and select "Save As..." on the character and save it. The character should have a transparent background.
    • Fonts (Here is a guide on how to use fonts. Note: Downloaded fonts can only be used on some programs.)
    • Other Resources:
      • Envato Tuts+ - Tutorials ranging from easy to advanced.
      • COLOURlovers - Great place for finding color palettes.
      • Google Images - Images!
      • DeviantArt - Has a lot of good resources like textures, stock images, and colorings.
    These are just a few resources of many.


    To be continued.

  • #2
    I'm horrible at making graphics.

    You want to know something? We all sucked at one point or another. Some of my first graphics were horrendous and visually blinding. I'd show you, but then I'd have to look at them, and I'd like to save myself the burden. However, you know what? That's okay. You probably do this voluntarily/because you have interests in it. If you have an interest in this, then you should not feel obligated to keep on practicing your skills, because practice always creates progress. It doesn't matter if you're not the best artist there is, because people are going to look for different styles, and truthfully, there is no artist that is the epitome of good design.


    I started a thread, but no one is requesting.

    Nowadays, there are a lot of threads popping up, so I suggest you work in a group thread if you're just starting out. However, if you are passionate about going rogue, then that's fine, too. There's one thing you need to make sure you have when starting threads: examples. Both for group and individual threads, you need examples. Examples to show requesters what your work looks like. Your thread will be much more appealing and somewhat reliable if you have examples. I also want to make it clear: business might be slow in the beginning, and that's perfectly normal.


    What should I avoid (as an artist)?

    As an artist, you're constantly receiving requests for different people. So here are some things you shouldn't be doing:
    • Respond rudely back to rude people. If you have a rude requester, don't snap back at them. Take the high route, and respond maturely.
    • Take a month to finish requests. Which unfortunately I am one of the biggest convicts of.
    • Advertise/Create your thread in an irrelevant place, which would include placing your thread in the wrong forum.
    • Make your watermarks abundantly large. I haven't seen this on the forums. The purpose of watermarks is to make sure other people don't steal your art (and also credit/publicity), however, I've seen watermarks as large as the title. It should be subtle, but should not attract more attention than titles, characters, or main objects.
    What should I avoid (as a requester)?

    Each and every person have their own peeves, so to make it almost a rule wouldn't be appropriate, but here are a few things that I know irritate some artists:
    • Not being patient. A cover art is not necessary for publishing your story. Yes, it makes it visually appealing, but it can wait, especially since your cover might not even get to be used, which leads me to my next point.
    • Likewise, spamming a thread asking for when the cover will be done, especially when it's been less than a week. If it's been a long period, I suggest to stay away from filling up the thread with redundant posts, but rather message them.
    • Being rude. Don't be demanding or say insults. Constructive criticism is always good, but there is a fine line between being straightforward and being downright offensive.
    • Not giving artists workable ideas. Requests that say, "Surprise me!" or "You can do whatever," do not help. At all. Also, very specific requests are just as hard to do. Not many people can do a request with characters holding a gun wearing spy suits on top of the Eiffel Tower with a moon that has a sinister face in the background over a horizon of a destructed city. Well, maybe you can. But in most situations, that isn't the case. Simple things, like what colors, mood, character, some items, a background, etc. Even a few examples of other cover arts/backgrounds for a feel would be sufficient as well.
    • Requesting at other threads at one time. If you don't like the cover an artist gives you, then you have every right to say so (politely) and order somewhere else. But when you're request in underway, do not request at another thread.
    • Asking questions that have been written on the original post. Please read the thread, as not only does it save the artists from asking the same questions over and over, but it also means that you took the time to read the rules.
    • Advertise your stories on a graphic thread. You may leave a link if the artist wants to read it to get ideas, but do not post it for the sake of advertisement. Same thing as what I said above about posting threads in an irrelevant place, all threads concerning requesting graphics should be in the General Chat.
    Of course, some artists might not care about some of these rules, but just be aware that these things might not be acceptable for some people.


    I hope that helped! If you have any questions or confusions, don't be afraid to ask.
    Last edited by Mini_Typer; 03-27-2016, 01:54 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I hope I don't get into too much trouble for this, but I'm going to sticky this thread when I get the chance, MT! It provides some pretty helpful advice, and hopefully, it'd keep the forum a bit more organized while the cover art threads remain to a minimum. Thank you for taking time out your day to write this.

      Comment


      • Caylie Moore
        Caylie Moore commented
        Editing a comment
        Topic has been stickied.

      • Mini_Typer
        Mini_Typer commented
        Editing a comment
        That's awesome. Thanks, Caylie!

    • #4
      Backgrounds

      Ever since the feature to be able to upload your own background was created, there have been tons of backgrounds created.

      If you're looking for where to request or find backgrounds, look at the threads I linked above. I have added some more links below:
      • Here's a Google file with QueenMadame's background. Credit is a must in your story when using her backgrounds.
      • Hidden Backgrounds by Kierstenx. Some Episode-created backgrounds that aren't on the catalogue.
      • backgrounds.episode's Instagram account.
      Of course, these are always only a few of many.

      You should know this already, but a background with one zone should have the dimensions of 640×1136 pixels (width
      ×height), two zones should have 1280×1136, and three zones should have 1920×1136. On normal circumstances, I would highly oppose enlarging an image you have to fit the size requirements, however, when you upload backgrounds, the quality of the image does deteriorate a bit. You can do things such as right-clicking an image and selecting "Search Google for Image" to find larger images, although there's no guarantee it always works. If you would like to enlarge your image, click here.

      If you have a daytime background from the catalogue, but want to convert it to night time yourself, click here to check out my friend granger's video to see how to convert day backgrounds to night.

      Now, some people are curious as to why parts of some backgrounds can't be seen on some devices. It's because we have different screen dimensions. The smallest ratio between height and width on a tablet/phone should be with 3:4. If you happen to want to make sure that the important elements of your background is seen, I'll link an image that, if you want to add in something you want all your readers to see from all devices, have to be contained within the two lines on the image. Click here to access the image. You can download it and use it as a template to guide you.

      That's all I have for now, so if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask!

      Comment


      • #5
        Hey! I wanted to ask when will you guys start working on new cover art thread? I really want to get a good cover!

        Comment


        • Mini_Typer
          Mini_Typer commented
          Editing a comment
          We've been swamped with requests, and there hasn't been too many artists on recently. I have break next week, so hopefully I'll get a good lot done. Meanwhile, there are a lot of great cover artists on here you can request from.

      • #6
        Thank you!

        Comment


        • #7
          Wow! Thank you so much! This helps a lot! Maybe I might make my own thread one day 😃😘 Only, the character thingy doesn't work very well. And I only have episode on my phone I don't like doing many things on my phone other than playing games and texting. It gives me an arrow instead of a person!
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Yasmine H; 04-16-2016, 09:43 PM.

          Comment


          • #8
            Thanks for featuring my thread! The advice you give is honestly very true and helpful. I especially agree with the "I'm horrible at making graphics" comment you made. If you think your horrible, then open up a thread anyway! Making covers increases your quality tremendously because you make covers for all genres, just look at my first cover to my most recent design. xD

            Comment


            • #9
              Hi everyone! Sorry to bother you guys, but this is driving me crazy! I keep trying to get my small cover page approved for use but it keeps being denied! Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong? EP_COVER_2.JPG

              Comment


              • LoveYouForever
                LoveYouForever commented
                Editing a comment
                I finally got a cover approved. Thanks for the feedback.
                Last edited by LoveYouForever; 05-14-2016, 12:21 PM.

              • Yasmine H
                Yasmine H commented
                Editing a comment
                It depends. Maybe you should just make a different cover.

              • Knowledge.Club
                Knowledge.Club commented
                Editing a comment
                try to vectorize our pics, shall help

            • #10
              um, may i ask the width and height for the large and small cover page?

              Comment


              • Eluza
                Eluza commented
                Editing a comment
                The dimensions for the covers are actually displayed on the upload screen, where you go to upload them. It has them right near the ''Choose File'' button.

                Small cover: 420x580
                Large cover: 966x642
                Last edited by Eluza; 05-06-2016, 05:46 AM.

              • candyxcx
                candyxcx commented
                Editing a comment
                thank you elizapurple8 <3

            • #11
              Hi!

              -I would like a Camp Half Blood entrance background (using EXT. FLOWER GARDEN - DAY and a Half Blood Hill sign - seen in the story Welcome to Camp Half Blood in chapter 1, written by the author S.P.)

              -a Zues Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Poseidon Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Hades Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -an Athena Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Hephestus Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -an Aphrodite Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside (also seen in Welcome to Camp Half Blood)

              -an Ares Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -an Apollo Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Hermes Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Dionysus Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Hera Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a Demeter (also seen in Welcome to Camp Half Blood) Camp Half Blood cabin from the outside

              -a pink version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY (also seen in Welcome to Camp Half Blood)

              -a red version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a orange version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a golden yellow version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a mint green/sea green version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a green version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a turquoise version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a navy blue version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -an indigo version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL - DAY

              -a violet/purple version of the bed in the background INT. BEDROOM POSTERWALL – DAY
              Could all of these backgrounds please be 3 panels if you are able to? Thanks.


              I'm sorry this is such a long request. I am trying to publish a really cool story about Camp Half Blood (The second series of the Percy Jackson series). If you are only able to post a picture or a few pictures at a time, I understand. Thank you so much!

              Comment


              • Bracelianna
                Bracelianna commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi! This isn't the place to request backgrounds. Go to a background thread, and you can request there! Not sure about having that many of them being done at once, though...

            • #12
              Thank you this helps a lot

              Comment


              • #13
                Destiny Calling Cover.jpg

                I don't know if this is the place to ask this, but I have a cover image that follows the guidelines and it was rejected. The image is the one above.
                Last edited by Bookshido; 08-01-2016, 02:48 PM.

                Comment


                • Mini_Typer
                  Mini_Typer commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Is there a picture inside the iPhone?

                • Bookshido
                  Bookshido commented
                  Editing a comment
                  No, just some of the icons that come default on an iPhone. I'm going to add the pic to the top comment.

                • Brionna
                  Brionna commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'd suggest blurring out the apps

              • #14
                I'm not exactly good at making really good wallpapers/backgrounds/cover art but if I need anything, there is this app/website called PhotoEditor, and it is pretty good. Hope this helps! =D

                Comment


                • #15
                  I only have one story and made my cover for it but I always make my own covers for other things I do. Including my episode backgrounds.
                  The software I use is very similar to Photoshop but just used in a different format. It works really well and is just as useful.

                  The software is: Sumo Paint, and it is completely free.

                  Comment


                  • NEW_IDEAS!
                    NEW_IDEAS! commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I Used Pant.NET To Make a Cover for My Story: "Mega Pray"
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