I’ve been using this program for ever now and I’m starting to see patterns in common questions and issues.
Since I had the access of taking classes on the program, I put my time into creating a helpful thread for everyone struggling with photoshop. Plus get help from me and anyone else who can help on this thread, or if you have helpful advice comment it! (I don’t think anyone else has made a photoshop thread for help)
Photoshop tips to make your cover pop:
I probably will mention this feature a lot throughout this but the Layer Adjustments has about everything you need to edit colors. Take note that it will take time to fully understand what each thing does but it’s really best to play with it till you get something you like!
Where to find it: Layers -> New Adjustment Layer -> select the setting you’d like.
For Instance, let’s say I want to brighten the colors of a digital painting I did a while ago
As you can see I made an adjustment layer to make my image brighter (I’m using the vibrance setting) but nothing actually happen. Usually to see you color editing you need to change the layer’s setting
depending on what your doing you can change the way the adjustment layers effect your image
Heres the lighter version with the screen layer settings on. So much brighter! This is just one example of the many things you can do with the adjustment layers.
Another way if you’re not comfortable using adjustment layers.
Similar to common photo editing apps photoshop has Camera raw filter.
Go to Filter -> Camera raw Filter
you’ll notice a screen pop up like so
It looks very similar to phones editing, so it’s pretty straight forward
Here I played with it adding a pink tint to my image!
In filters you’ll also notice the Filter gallery. Personally I find these ugly but if your looking for more image changing filters try them there!
Check Background help for even more filters!
Fonts are on the crucial parts in your cover and are so hard to do exactly what you want.
I’ll be showing you a basic fantasy 3d font type that we will make together. But there’s so many things you can do, Like putting an image in type or having it on fire! (if you go to design tutsplus they have 100 text effects on photoshop!)
Picking a font, no you don’t have to use the basic given fonts on your computer. I recommend DaFont.com to look for your perfect font. Free download easy and you can find essentially your style. Now I’m thinking of something like The Hobbits title, which is a Serif font. But I want it more detailed like maybe some swirls? Because of that I picked the Afterglow font. It’s super cute!
I just went ahead and downloaded this font for free! (If your font does not appear right away in photoshop restart it)
Im going to call it “The Lost Moon” for absolutely no reason.
(disclaimer the font I used came with swirl extras, to get these I clicked on my desired letter and selected one I liked)
First I wrote out my text in my desired font, and edited the size using the settings at the top of the screen.
To further enrich the font I’m using the character panel to edit the spacing.
Heres the Character panel and everything it includes:
Kerning controls spaces between the letters.
Tracking controls loosening or tightening a selected block of text.
Leading controls the enter spaces range
Here’s my text after I edited with the character panel:
(Yes I removed the “The” I didn’t like it as a title lol)
Now lets make this type Fantasy!!
I already have a pattern prepared but to make one just open a image up (In this case I’m using steel.) and use the add patterns button as shown
Next I’m going to click the FX in my layers window.
Click blending options.
Now for the fun part making this Bold! I just screen shot some of the features in this I used, You can experiment and create super cool type!
Screen Shot 2020-06-19 at 11.00.07 PM|690x374 MB7NI3TBgYEPNvNPrWSa7uNRx.png)
Here’s the final result:
So cool right!
To help with story telling:
Changing backgrounds time of day
The easy way to convert in photoshop is in properties and color look up (if you have the layers panel open it’s that black and white circle)
Color look up has default color programming that can change the image
(example day into night)
Go to 3DLUT files this is your default needed
The recommended ones for night are night to day or moonlight
This easily changes your images to night time and makes it look natural!
This also can help with lighting for foggy days of you use the foggy one!
A more controlled way if you don’t like is creating a new adjustment layer on your background and you can play around with curves, hue/saturation, filters and brightness (there’s more)
Using both of these you can create you desired night time effect in photoshop
here’s a conversion of night pretty cool right?
Overlays are a common issue every writer I’ve seen face, here are some helpful tips when making them!
When creating overlays from backgrounds you can use the feather edit to help with make your overlays seem more natural and less rigged.
For a example: Lets say I want to have the sun setting over this image.
So I’m going to cut out the sky!
Taking my magic wand I selected the blue (Holding shift allows you to select more then one
next go to select -> Modify -> feather I did mine by 10
looking back on this I should’ve done 5 lol but this can give your overlays better feels. Cool right!
- Graphic Arts tips
I think we all can tell a good design from a bad one. But going into detail as to why and how can make you a better designer.
Here are the Five Basic Principles of graphic design that can make your cover better.
Aligning objects in your cover in ways can help the design be less harsh on your eyes. As an example My concept poster for an idea of a story.
This follows a symmetrical alignment. every thing is following through the center. Just like text aligning there is left, right and center. Why does this matter? This can aid in the cover itself being a story. Again looking my poster, your eyes are drawn to the characters in the middle. These characters are aligned in a way to say they are interconnect.
Why not as common in episode covers, repetitive can be super useful in creating unique designs to make you stand out.
This can often be used in borders or a background with a repeating pattern.
Using repeating patterns creates consistency within your designs and familiarity. I’d only really recommend using this if you had a light hearted comedy or something relating to society.
This is an effective way to make your cover really pop! And put the focus point on it as well!
This isn’t just about bright colors though! It can be big/small size, classic/contemporary fonts, thin/thick lines, Monotone/Bright colors, dark/light, smooth/rough textures, horizontal/vertical, etc.
Heres some contrast in types
You can really tell a story by the font they use and how they align it,
Don’t be afraid to use contrast!
This is simply put, the way everything is organized. This is better to show in pictures
It’s useful in determining the order someone will see your text/images.
This one I cannot stress enough when designing, why? So many covers miss this!
Balance (in my opinion) can make or break your design!
Now there are two directions you can go in your balance: symmetrical or asymmetrical. This can make your design so pleasing and determine where everyone else will look. Following a good balance will make your cover pleasing to the eyes.
Picking colors can be a challenge especially if you are unsure.
The color theory is user helpful
I’d mainly use the theories on the right if you are planning to include contrast.
Hue, tints and shade are the easy way to color your covers!
It’s also important to relate it back to the story, such as blues for more moody stories or red for stories of drama. Golds, slivers, and bronzes can assume there is a reward or a strong value in the story.
Arranging your cover can be so important
Things to remember:
Keep important details larger,
busy backgrounds are not appealing if the rest is also busy
Title should not be the most detailed thing on there. (unless it’s the only thing on there)
Using the Balance rule
DON’T BE AFRAID TO STACK, your text can be over the image and images can stack on each other. Text also can stack, don’t keep your whole title in one line experiment!
This can definitely be tricky but it helps if you draw out your ideas before you just create one!
Picking that perfect font
I know this part is super annoying! You have an idea of that font you want and you can’t find it! Or you have no idea what direction to even look in!
As I said before Dafont.com is the best place to get free fonts.
But in order to know what font you want you need to know the different types
There are four main types of fonts
Serif, san Serif, script and decorative
Decorative is not recommended for usually anything,why? Too much. These fonts are usually covered in designs and are super detailed. They’re not highly recommended to use In designs.
Serifs has those hats off the top and edges of letters, example times new roman.
Sans Serif is the font you’re reading in, round and modern. Script tends to be more cursive and brush stroke.
There is also medieval fonts and decorative fonts that don’t fit in those but the changes of you using them a slim.
The best fonts for your story
comedy- Sans Serif
Romance- Script, Serif
Fantasy-Serif, letterhead (this is just fancy font)
Adventure- Sans Serif, Serif
I hope this can narrow down your searching
Another thing to know is letterhead fonts.
These are essentially just extremely fancy text, but most the time you have to pay to use these fonts. They usually have designs attached to them, or are used in lettering’s for books. Not everyone has access to these, and if you can find some for free PM me. From what I know you mainly have to pay to get access to the majority of them.
Those are just some basic helps to make it easier for you!
Examples of fun photoshopping!
I mostly do this for fun lately, Here are some examples of how detailed you can make your art look with some of the helpful things I mentioned! I mainly did these for myself and the TaT fandom (shameless ad for that amazing story)
Do you do custom orders?
Personally I like to help people learn how to use photoshop.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t work on a story. If you’re interested in using me as a personal artist on a story please PM me. I want to help with the art throughout the story (not just one or two scenes!) and I only want to work on stories that peak my interest. If you have my attention and everything is well written I’ll do all your story art needs for free.
I hope I helped some of you! I can’t wait to see what you’ll make on photoshop, make sure to send me some of your final designs!
If your have more specific questions regarding photoshopping or graphic designing comment or PM me!