Author, Cover Design, Editing, Indie Author, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Asteroid – Book Cover Design Process

Creating the cover for “Asteroid” was a process summed up as frustrating.  Generally, there is a lack of quality resources when it comes to space and celestial bodies, let along space craft.  However, in times fraught with turmoil, I turned to NASA and their satellite imagery.
16366655925_8f9d918662_oThe cover art began with a good photo of an asteroid and a cool space background, the latter being courtesy of Flickr’s creative commons section.  Flickr usually provides a fairly good base of pictures and even some space graphics, but for the oddly specific stuff, I head to NASA.

15635940937_a07761ac58_oI used Photoshop Elements 13 for this project and I started by working the asteroid into some poster filters and color overlays of blue and purple hues.  Then, I fitted a new background behind the object of interest.  I had a hard time retaining the asteroid as the focus of the image and the final product for that day left me feeling a lack of quality.  The imagery captured the right components, but the color and lighting were off somehow.

AST Cover v1.0I tried a few tweaks, but in the end, I had to put it down and have faith that I could think of something good later.  Still, I feared that I had reached a point in which any improvements beyond incorporating new base materials would be negligible at best.  I am a firm believer that the base image determines the final product.  Though I can work with lighting and color and even apply some really nice filters, there is no substitute for a quality starting image for any project.

However, a night with my friends rattled a few things loose in my head.  Sitting back down, I recognized that the original image wasn’t too bad to begin with.  On the other hand, blue didn’t do it justice.  What would, then?  Hmm…how about orange.  I went back and tweaked the levels, added a few layers.  Most of all, however, was the shift from a blue hue to a bright fiery orange.  It complemented the solar eclipse of the asteroid and I think overall, the image rose a handful of points on my scale of approval.  A fresh start and a good color made all the difference in my eyes.

AST Cover v2.2

AST Cover v2.2

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