Custom Cover Blu-Ray Custom Cover art thread

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Fritz Nilsen, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    It's "safe" as in safe at home. It's clean and elegant. Has anyone run across covers for Ten Commandments and Alien Anthology?
     
  2. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    Thanks.
    Safe, as in I don't have the creativity to make a daring, unique, ugly cover :) But I'm working on it.

    There are options for both the titles you mention, but not on this forum. You'd have to check around.
     
  3. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    I did covers for alien and aliens and the bonus discs but never finished 3 and res
     
  4. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
    Another attempt at The Piano.
    I feel this is a bit bolder than my previous one. I usually don't make variations on a cover, because I think it's better to just make a decision and stick to it.
    They're both available by PM.
     
  5. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I have not seen The Piano, but both covers make me want to. I find the image on the back of the last cover to be frightening though I don't know it's context.
    It would be interesting to have the studios comment on why they would never use covers like these. They are so superior to what the studios design.
     
  6. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    What do they look like?
     
  7. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    Well, speaking for my Piano covers, if they were official they'd HAVE to feature the names and likenesses of the stars on the front. My "arty" covers wouldn't pass muster with the publicity department.
    Usually, what goes on the cover is decided by a committee, including promotional and legal considerations first and foremost. Some stars have the size of their billing and the prominence of their face on the poster contractually bound. (You ever see those posters with three floating heads on them, and the names on top don't match the order in which the faces are? That's because f.ex. Harrison Ford has it in his contract that his name should be first on the poster.) The "designer" and any aesthetic ambitions come last.

    That's why designers love to make custom covers, we get to be the committee!
     
  8. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    All good points.
     
  9. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    What do they look like?[/quote]


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    NOTICE REGARDING MY COVERS:
    Due to the unfortunate fact that I messed up, most of my covers have the spine slightly off-center. It had slipped in my original template and I only caught the screw-up yesterday.
    This affects my Star Wars covers (both series), my Superman covers, Punisher, Chaplin and Rocketeer.
    The Conans (all four of them), The Shadow, Cyborg and Captain America are NOT affected).
    All covers have been fixed and the new versions uploaded. Those of you who downloaded my affected covers should do so again. You'll find them in the usual place.
    I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
    Fritz
     
  11. Thornhill

    Thornhill Stunt Coordinator

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    Great stuff guys! :tu:
     
  12. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    I'm a Superman fan from way back before I ever heard of Star Wars, so old Supes had to get a Nissen makeover as well. I'm reposting covers here that I have made a while back, so here goes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    These are meant to house the 8 discs from the Anthology Box.
    Superman I (2-disc)
    Superman II (2-disc)
    Superman III (Single disc)
    Superman IV (Movie + Bonus Disc)
    Superman Returns (Single Disc)
    While the Anthology box's design wasn't bad (apart from looking like a tombstone with dates and everything), I just wanted to see if I couldn't make singles for it. What IS a nightmare on that box, is finding what specs goes with which movie. All the dubs, subtitles and formats are listed in a cluttered mess down the bottom, all five movies intermingled. My covers are an improvement on this, if nothing else.
    Actually, my favourite part of the whole custom cover process is Googling for images. That's where the ideas take shape as you find different images, sometimes surprise photos or posters I haven't seen before. I rarely have a set idea before I gather materials for a cover. The images and logos that are available always give me a starting point and layout, colour choices and fonts just follow on from there.
    The image I chose for Superman 1 dictated the design of the entire set. I found a very good version of my favourite S1 poster over on CapedWonder.com. That image ended right at his shoulders, so I decided to keep that line and fill up the rest of the front with the "Superman" title. Now I had to find posters that could work in the same format for the rest of the films.
    I found adequate images for all of the films eventually, but for Superman 2 I had to replace the Superman figure due to low resolution. The image I used was close, but not exactly the same. I had to shift his eyebrows and mouth to replicate the frown he had in the original image. Of all the posters, the Superman 2 poster is my least favourite. If I wasn't locked into the layout dictated by the poster for S1, I'd have gone with another poster for S2. This seemed a happy medium. (Hmm.. I see the orange blobs on the horizon just seem out of place. They're supposed to be flames over the city, but Superman obscures most of them so you don't really make the connection. I have removed them from the downloadable files.)
    The Superman titles on the fronts are just the old Impact font, with a white stroke effect partly faded out with a mask layer. Originally I had the titles in plain white, but it looked too dull. For Superman Returns I had to experiment a little before settling on having "Returns" in front of the title. This way the longer title seemed equally weighted as the others.
    The spines have the S-shield from the original 1978 Superman, except for Returns which has the embossed version. I would have liked to put the shields on the top of the spines, but didn't want to mess with the Warner layout. This way they blend in with official Warner covers (I hope).
    For the backs I opted to drop the summary in favour of detailed listings of the disc content. Who reads those summaries anyway, right? Superman 3 had so few extras I had to put in the shield there to keep the back from looking too empty. The same would apply for Superman 4, but I put the Bonus Disc in that cover, so it fills up the back nicely.
    Since making these I have found out the names of the poster artists. I will add them sometime in the future.
    A PM will get you these in High Rez.
     
  13. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    Thanks
     
  14. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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  15. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
    It's not like I need a reason to make a custom, but the North American cover for Leon - The Professional left a lot to be desired.
    I used a pencil rendering by Vincent Laniel over on Deviant Art as a starting-off point. All the posters I found online were either just a still from the movie (boring), or Leon's face partially hidden in darkness (it's been done). The pencil art saved the day as I was just about to give up on the whole project. I've said it before, my favourite part is the Googling for images and the unexpected surprises that pop up.
    The face and the eyes don't really register at first look, it just looks like texture. I find that sort of thing very cool. The bullseye may be a bit much, I confess, but I felt it important to state that this is an action movie, and it is wholly appropriate to the plot as well. I used a layer mask in which I rendered Difference Clouds to break it up a bit.
    I was doing this cover on top of my last The Piano cover, and when I pasted in the drawing, the brownish red background just clicked with the new image. The background paper texture is therefore a holdover from The Piano. I tweaked the hue and saturation a little more towards pure red, though. There aren't enough red covers around. Black is done to death, but red...
    The Leon title is the Elegance font, which doesn't have the apostrophe for capital letters, so I had to make one by hand. I originally wasn't going to include "The Professional" in the title, but seeing as that's the title the movie is most associated with in the States... I didn't want it to distract from the main title treatment, so I blended it with the Overlay mode.
    For once I included the names of the actors on the front. I set myself the task of making my customs more palatable to marketing considerations. The names are just regular white text, with a layer mask gradient coming in from either side. I used a mask like that for the tagline on the back as well, just to give the text a little dimensionality.
    The back has more or less the standard Sony elements from the template. I just rearranged some of them and included movie-specific info in the copyright. A credit to the cover artist is a must as well. I got the back info from DVDEmpire which has decent sized scans of backs. I use them a lot for this purpose. Online retailer PlanetAxel is also good for such.
    The photo on the back is the exact same that was used for reference for the cover drawing. In that way it's a bit superflous, but I felt it was the single image that sold the movie so well. I wish I had room for Gary Oldman as well, but "kill your darlings".
    PM for Hi-Rez.
     
  16. Tim Mauldin

    Tim Mauldin Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    You certainly do. I particularily admire your monotone (not monotonous, mind) style. It's sort of your trademark, noone else does it.
     
  18. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    What do you mean?
     
  19. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    Monotone, as in one-coloured. You know, b&w, the green cast on the Aliens covers. You are the only one who would have thought to have the backs of the Star Wars covers in b&w. It's your distinctive style. (and I like it).
     
  20. Fritz Nilsen

    Fritz Nilsen Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
    This is my 2nd attempt at Rocketeer. A third one, based on the usual cover art (the one with the blue background) is coming up soon.
    For this one I went the commercial route, using the teaser poster everyone wants. I don't think that particular image has ever worked on the posters I've seen, and when I recently saw the soundtrack cover it dawned on me why.
    The CD, with it's square front, showed more of the "dead space" surrounding the figure. It occured to me that all the posters and covers I've seen over the years have been cropped too tightly. The figure is too angular and complex a graphic to be comfortably readable when it fills a canvas. It needs more space around it to not look too busy.
    The challenge was to find a high-rez image of the poster, with all the surrounding background intact. Of course, no such image exists, so once again I had to cobble together a poster from several images. Luckily, The Rocketeer has seen a moderate resurrection the last six months, and more High-Rez scans of the posters have surfaced. I wound up extending much of the background with heavy use of the clone tool, the smudge tool (!) and various gradients using the CD inlay as a guide to how it should look. I always like to extend the front image into the spine and back, so I had to make quite a bit of image realestate up from scratch. I think the result turned out fine.
    Once again, I elected not to use any art from the comics or of any prop replicas or fanmade costumes. I'm quite stubborn about that. The one exception is the insignia on the spine, by Deviant Artist J.K. Antwon. It will be on the spine of all my Rocketeer covers, I think.
    To give it that old, authentic art-deco look I employed some quite heavy grain (noise) on the background, and superimposed old, weathered paper on the whole cover. Just to dirty it up a bit, like I always like to do. (I made a hold-out matte for the main figure and the rear images to occlude the paper there, so that they would stand out more.)
    For the logo I reverted to the original, theatrical title treatment. It is a little spindly and hard to make readable on a busy background, so I was forced to revert to drop shadows to really make it stand out. I gave the letters a metallic texture, as it seemed quite appropriate. To everyone's relief, I included the "The" this time:)
    The back warranted another art-deco theme. I found some lineart of an art-deco pattern via Google, and recreated parts of it using the pen tool and stroking with a 5 pixel brown line. I overlaid a pressed aluminium texture which isn't really historically appropriate, but it brought the whole element to life. Lastly I applied a 2-pixel black glow to frame it against the background.
    The art-deco pattern gave me some natural shapes for the images and text that tied the whole thing together. The circles with faces was an afterthought, when I decided I wanted to feature more of the players from the movie. All those faces are screengrabs from a 720p HDTV capture I have laying around. They're not properly posed photographs, but they'll do. (I would like to have access to screengrabs for every project I do, that way I'm not reliant upon just what a still-photographer happened to capture way back when.) You'll excuse the use of a major spoiler image (also a direct frame grab), but I thought it was the perfect image to make the film seem action-filled and exciting.
    Re: the strict layout of the back, I'm generally a disciple of the golden rule of composition, but with an art-deco layout the complete centering of everything is quite legitimate. Symmetry can't really be avoided when evoking this style.
    If ever a cover called out for a black Blu-Ray case this is it. My heart just sank when I created a preview with that blue monstrosity. One could see it as a design challenge, to make the coverart work with the blue border, but I can guarantee you no designer was involved when "they" decided to go blue for all cases. May "they" rot in hell.
    Sorry.
    Anyway, much to my delight, Disney released the official specs only yesterday, so I could include accurate info on the release. The rumours indicate it will be a barebones release, so I made no accomodation for special features in my layout. If that changes, I'll have to rethink the back a bit. (For once I find myself wishing for a barebones release :eek:)
    That's it. Another cover under my belt. Hope everyone loves The Rocketeer as much as I do. True fans may PM me for a High Rez copy of this.
     
    Mark Cappelletty likes this.

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