Everyone is using Mark Monciardini’s Mock-Ups (Covervault) because they’re free. While everyone is using them, not everyone is familiar with the basics of Photoshop in ways they can get the most out of the experience. It’s like copying someone but because you don’t really know how to do it, it doesn’t have the same look. Mark is the real artist and we are all copying him pretty much. He has extended his expertise to us newbies by generously giving away his mock-up templates. Now anyone, with just a basic knowledge of Photoshop, can have professional looking 3D book cover images. But, make sure you are hiding layers you don’t need so your images don’t look the same as everyone else.
I’m going to use the wine bottle glass template as an example.
What you have here is everything as it is originally. One of the first things you’ll probably want to do is change the book cover. Most people stop here. Boom, they are done. Save. You can do that but it won’t look very original.
Here’s mine with Renaissancecover. It looks good but not very original. I did change something though. Can you guess what it is? No, not the cover. (Learn how to change the cover HERE) I changed something else.
I hid a layer and took something away. That’s right, there are no sparkles.
To switch things up, all you have to do is hide layers you don’t need or want in your image.
To hide the particles, I went over to the layers and clicked on the drop-down menu next to particles. Next to the sparkles, (I like the word sparkles better. Sounds more girly lol), I clicked on the eye to hide them. That is literally all I did.
You can do this with anything you don’t want in your image. Even the background. Don’t like the wine bottle look? Get rid of it.
If I don’t want the background at all, I can hide the background and upload my own. All I did was click on the eye next to backdrop and hid it (you can also delete layers but I prefer hiding them in case I want to use them again).
Here’s a closer look:
Basically, whatever you don’t want in the image can be hid. You can now use the space to add text, a logo or whatever you want. While all this is optional, remember that if you’re going to add text to a mock-up that has a lot going on, we won’t be able to read it clearly if you don’t hide or delete those layers first. Let’s look at one more:
This is the original but remember, you can completely make it over so it looks more you.
First, you want to get rid of all these leaves (unless of course you want them there which I don’t). To hide them, go over to layers and click on the eye to all the leaves. Light Leaf, heavy leaf and big leaf. Hide them all.
The leaves are gone but that background still makes it look leafy. Unless you want that, you can change the background too or hide it altogether.
To change the background, go over to layers and hide the entire background.
What you have is a blank slate. You can now add text, logo, whatever you want.
You can actually upload your own background but we’ll go over that at a later time.
The point is that if you’re going to pay for Photoshop you may as well get as much from it as possible. To help your images to look more authentic, be sure to hide (or delete) layers you don’t want or need.
I didn’t plan on sharing this but as I was editing some mock-ups I thought it would be nice to share what I am doing.
I am not a professional photographer, and I don’t always have a chance to take professional images. Therefore, I love using free mock-up templates to create professional images of my books. I am learning Photoshop also because if I can master it, I can also start to create my own book covers! (OK, that’s a far way off but a sista can dream).
But, while I am finagling (am I the only one who thinks finagle is a funny word?) around with this, I decided to put together a quick tutorial on what I am doing for those of you who use Photoshop. It’s super easy and if you have Photoshop, you should be able to get started right away.
Note: I’m not a professional “Photoshopper” and have instead found my own way of editing mock-ups because this way is easier for me but there are lots of other ways to do this.
Get Photoshop. You can get Photoshop CC for as low as $10/month. For me it’s worth the money because I use mock-ups often. However, there is a free trial you can use for seven days if my memory serves correctly. http://www.adobe.com/ (There are also plenty of free ways to create 3D images. I use Photoshop because the quality of the images is top notch.)
Once you have Photoshop, find a free mock-up that you like. Be sure the license allows you to use it. Most of them do as long as you don’t try to sell the mock-up as your own. You can find some great ones at http://covervault.com/
Download a mock-up you like. I’m going to use this one.
Click on the zip file and double click on the Photoshop file to open it.
OK so you can pretty much change anything on here to make it your own. Eliminate the background, upload your own images, change colors, etc. But…
I’m just gonna show you how to change the book covers.
Go to the side panel here. Let’s start with the front book cover. Click on the arrow next to Front Book, scroll down to front cover and double click on the space where the front book cover is…right where my arrow is.
It will bring up the mock cover here..
File > Open > Find the cover (or image) you’d like to use on your computer and click on it….and
It will open in Photoshop. When it does, unlock it at the bottom. If you don’t unlock it, you cannot edit it.
Click on your cover and drag it to the mock layer.
This one has lots of special effects I don’t need. If ever you don’t want something in the image you can either delete the layer or hide it. Click on the eye next to the layers to hide them. I want to hide the mock-up text and other things…
If you did it correctly it should leave only your cover and look like this (below)…if you look at the layers next to where my marker is you will see that the eye is closed. This means I am hiding these layers so they don’t show.
As you can see, when you move your cover to the layer (see step seven) it will be too big. On your MAC click command T to highlight it to resize. On PC click ctrl T. Now just resize it to fit the space.
Save your resized cover. File > Save as (save it under a name you will recognize. You will need to remember where you saved it.)
Go back to the panel and right click in the space next to the front cover.
If you did it correctly, it should bring up the box below…where you see replace contents, click on that.
When the box opens, find your saved image from Step Ten and replace the mock image with your own.
And that’s it!
For the back cover follow the exact same steps:
Click on the arrow next to back cover.
Double click on back cover
File > Open > Choose the image for your back cover
If it’s locked, unlock it
Click and drag your cover to the mock layer (you can’t move it if it’s locked)
Hide any layers you don’t need/want
Resize image > Command T (MAC) or Ctrl T (PC)
File > Save as to your PC
Back to the panel, right click in the space next to the back cover > Replace contents
Find saved image > place
The last thing you will do when you have both the front and back cover done is to File > Save as > PNG