Evolution of a Book Cover – Part II

Stage two of developing the cover proved challenging.  Adding the swords presented a lot of obstacles that required a lot of studying and watching videos on how to create the desired effects.  To begin with the chosen swords do not match what was given in the vision (click here) as the hand guard is much more decorative.  However, I knew the challenge of coloring one of the swords with a true gold color would be extremely difficult and when I saw these swords the hardest part was already provided.

The next step was to separate these two swords and restore the missing segments caused by the other sword laying on top.  This resulted in two image files, one for the gold sword and one for the steel sword.  The black background was transformed into a transparency.

The next step was to flip the gold sword and apply the flame effect that was learned from my studies.  I had to rework the techniques I learned as they were done on black background and when I attempted to transform to transparent it fell apart.  So, I had to experiment until I got the color I wanted on a transparent background.  Not easy.  The final result is acceptable, but I might make it more transparent later.  I’m thinking of removing the flame from the very tip of the sword where it is crossed over the steel sword.  The lower edge of the sword has a slight bloody effect added to it.  I am thinking I would like to make it more and darker red.

The next step involved the steel sword, which proved itself a challenge separating if from the background, as the gold sword gave no problems.  It was then flipped and positioned.  No effects were added to that sword, but it required a lot of plixelated editing to fix several defects caused by isolating the sword.  The clouds were reworked to cover more area behind the globe.

Finally, notice that the outer edge on the hourglass from the previous Part 1 (click here) has been fixed and the gradient of the background adjusted to match the colors around the sun burst.  However, I want to do more work on the lower left corner as it is still not dark enough.

The next step will be the glorified man in the upper left corner.

What do you think so far?

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