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View Full Version : CGI vs. drawn like manga/comic cover art??



c.m.n.
08-03-2011, 03:59 AM
I'm debating on a cover for my book and I'm pretty much broke.
By myself (with help from my boyfriend), I can do CGI with manipulation in photoshop for cover art like this:


(how's this look btw?? it's a first test)

But I was debating on taking the CGI image and painting over it to resemble more of an anime look.

Both formats I have heard grumbles about, so which would you be more likely to to pick up? The book with a CGI cover or the book with the anime cover?

c.m.n.
08-07-2011, 02:20 AM
No one has an opinion??

Gale Haut
08-07-2011, 02:35 AM
Oh wow, did you make that image yourself?

veinglory
08-07-2011, 02:38 AM
If it was Poser I would assume it is erotic romance (probably M/M), if it was manga style I would assume it was shonen ai or yaoi. Is the book either of these?

icerose
08-07-2011, 03:01 AM
I have to agree that it looks like a very dark erotic romance M/M. Not sure if that's the look you're going for. The art level itself is nice, but you need to decide if it's portraying the image you want out there about your book.

elae
08-07-2011, 03:13 AM
If it's a drawn (manga/anime-styled) cover, I think a lot of readers would think the story inside is going to be in comic form as well.

A CGI/Poser-created cover like this one tells me that you spent $0 and made it yourself. I probably wouldn't pick up either one, to be honest...

You could try taking this current image into PS and adding some textures. Poser-created images all look pretty much the same, so I'd try to make that a bit less obvious.

Gale Haut
08-07-2011, 03:22 AM
You might be able to use some blending modes with other textures and colors with Photoshop to make it look a bit more original and unique. CGI is not a very interesting style for a book cover, IMHO. However, I still think that the image you've made is an interesting stand alone piece.

I've never used poser and do not have any idea what kind of legal issue you'll be dealing with.

BunnyMaz
08-07-2011, 03:56 AM
The image is interesting, but I will be honest and say that CGI cover art is an instant turn off for me. I'd rather see a simple blank cover with title than CGI.

While a manga style cover may lead readers to expect illustrated work inside, I know some of that art can be very visually appealing, so long as it is well made.

It might make it easier to offer an opinion if we could see an example of what a manga version would look like.

c.m.n.
08-07-2011, 04:06 AM
Wow, lots of questions:

Yes, I rendered the image by myself using daz3d. Then my boyfriend took it in Photoshop and added shadows, highlights (a lot), and a little bit of blending.
The original looks horrible, wanna see??


(as you can see, there were no highlights in the original. And some problems with the hair, ect)


As for the book being dark erotic m/m romance, yes it is. It's not yaoi, though my writing is highly influenced by such.
Dark erotic is the look I was going for :)

Using poser/daz3d is fine for media, it's the items that people create and sell which contain legalities. I've checked everyone's ToS's, including the free items I've used.

Not sure how to make it original/unique without it showing that it's a cgi rendered cover. lol



FYI: when I was first thinking of the book cover, I thought of using stock art but couldn't find a vampire with long white hair LOL *winks* And I'm not perfect at photomanip

Gale Haut
08-07-2011, 04:16 AM
It's not horrible. The darker version is better, though.

I would think if you have any experience with photoshop you could pick up a tut on blending modes to figure out how to add textures to areas of the image. Adding more realistic colors, freckles, hairs and other minor imperfections to skin is really going to add a lot. Also the characters look very rigid, like they are stuck on wires. Using the smudge tool to loosen their statures could help. Or maybe that's something you could correct in Poser.

I'm not gonna lie. I'm talking about a lot of work. Especially if you've never done anything like it before. But it can be a lot of fun! :D

Alessandra Kelley
08-07-2011, 04:22 AM
Lots of people make their own covers by combining different photographs. Perhaps you could adapt that a bit, combine this with some photographic art to give it a little more resonance?

Not people, obviously, but maybe something like a woods or a building of a type relevant to the story, a wall. Some sort of atmospheric collage element.

Gale Haut
08-07-2011, 05:19 AM
I don't know. I kind of feel like m/m erotica has to have to men on the cover to communicate the genre, and preferably with one shirtless.

*Ah hem* Not that I read much of it or anything. *Ah hem*

Alessandra Kelley
08-07-2011, 05:51 AM
I didn't mean lose the image that they worked on. I meant augment it, use it but add some other things to make it look less -- please excuse the term -- one-dimensionally computer-generated.

c.m.n.
08-07-2011, 06:44 AM
If I remember right, the window was a free photo stock and the wall was a free stock (but not a photograph).

kaitie
08-07-2011, 07:49 AM
Personally, I'm really not a fan of the cgi style at all. Manga/comic style wouldn't appeal much to me, either, but it would be better than the cgi. I'd see what you could do with stock photos. Or pay someone, if that's not possible.

Gale Haut
08-07-2011, 09:46 PM
Azalea, I'm currently in the process of diversifying my portfolio and could actually use a piece with life models. Feel free to send me a PM to discuss your budget, ideas and a little bit about your novel. We might be able to work something out.

c.m.n.
08-08-2011, 02:47 AM
Gale, I appreciate the offer but I really have no way to pay for services at this time.

Is there any free stock photo sites besides for DeviantArt?? My boyfriend and I might be able to do something different with photos.

Gale Haut
08-08-2011, 06:35 AM
I found this list of Male Model (http://www.123rf.com/search.php?imgtype=0&word=male+model&t_word=&t_lang=en&imgtype=0&srch_lang=en&exppl=0&pplcnt=0&srchgender=0&srchage=0&exclude=&cko=0&itemsperpage=60&orderby=) stocks just from searching on Google. It looks like you just have to list credits, but I can't vouch for legal reliability.

Have fun making your cover! :D

jkswift
08-08-2011, 11:50 PM
Just my two bits for what it's worth:
I don't really like it. I think it is too dark for an e-book cover and with the CG characters it looks like a video game screenshot.

I think you and your boyfriend have some nice graphic skills though and should be able to come up with something that has a wider appeal. Good luck!

Leigh.Lyons
08-24-2011, 02:53 AM
You and your boyfriend are very talented. However, CGI for a book cover looks tacky. Where I trained to do cover art and such, the thing that was drilled into my head was for book covers to look professional, you needed either photos or drawings. I would be happy to design a cover for you though. PM me and we can talk about rates and such. The cover is one place you really don't want to skimp; it's what people see first when picking your book.

c.m.n.
08-24-2011, 03:30 AM
You and your boyfriend are very talented. However, CGI for a book cover looks tacky. Where I trained to do cover art and such, the thing that was drilled into my head was for book covers to look professional, you needed either photos or drawings. I would be happy to design a cover for you though. PM me and we can talk about rates and such. The cover is one place you really don't want to skimp; it's what people see first when picking your book.

Thank you so much for your offer, however I'm pretty strapped for cash at the moment.
I'm also going to submit the story to a publisher again, but I will definitely remember this in case I do decide to self-pub some day.


Thanks so much everyone!

Filigree
08-24-2011, 04:14 AM
I used a wonderful filter package called Snap Art from Alien Skin Software. Port in photos or renderings, and you can alter them into more-artistic drawings and paintings, with a lot of depth and tactile interest. Lots faster than drawing it in Painter or Illustrator, and the customized filters are often easier to use than Photoshop.

Too many CG covers fall into that 'uncanny valley' where they look almost right, but too stiff to be believable. Layering with an artistic filter can disguise that.

c.m.n.
08-26-2011, 06:12 AM
I used a wonderful filter package called Snap Art from Alien Skin Software. Port in photos or renderings, and you can alter them into more-artistic drawings and paintings, with a lot of depth and tactile interest. Lots faster than drawing it in Painter or Illustrator, and the customized filters are often easier to use than Photoshop.

Too many CG covers fall into that 'uncanny valley' where they look almost right, but too stiff to be believable. Layering with an artistic filter can disguise that.

I was considering trying a painted look. I ran it through photoshop filters, of course, and tutorials but they all weren't what I was looking for.

I'll check this one out! :)


Edit: I'm done... done talking about it. Not "beating a dead horse here". Thanks everyone who's offered a hand, and your thoughts.
I may try again someday. But not yet.