Today’s Daily Create, Paperback Paradise, is a fun one:
Search the web for an old paperback cover and use that as starting point for a new cover. Sure you can use this one, but that makes it easy…
I was immediately taken with this one because I love design assignments. I promised myself this was going to be a “quick daily create”—I emerged a couple of hours later with an imperfect product, but something I’m proud of warts and all. I call it “Fahrenheit 106: the temperature at which misspelling occurs” 🙂
My process, it started with me searching for scifi book covers which is very fun. I have been taken with the 70s Scifi Art tumblr the last several months, and they have shared the occasion 70s book cover art.
You can always count on cover artist Peter Tybus for a cyborg Abraham Lincoln. https://t.co/TmDhI4jAGP pic.twitter.com/ngQbkhiXQk
— 70s Sci-Fi Art (@70sscifiart) June 11, 2016
I particularly liked the cover of Philip K. Dick’s Galactic Pot-Healers:
This led me down a rabbit hole of some cool stuff, one of which was a cover for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
That’s the image that gave me the idea for Fahrenheit 106, but I knew I couldn’t photoshop this convincingly the way I wanted to. I needed something simpler, so I kept on searching. I then found this image with a ton of Fahrenheit 451 covers, which provided the next bit of inspiration:
If you look closely in the bottom-left quadrant you’ll see the image that inspired my quick cover: a straight-up black cover with colored flames for the numbers. I thought that is cool and easy, a little minimalist book cover design for some OG ds106. I then thought about animating the flames, thanks to the following Fahrenheit 451 cover that just begged for animation (I would love to animate that night sky with a shooting star):
So, now to find some animated flames. I found the following flames thanks to this netanimations.net page dedicated to flames and burning. And this is the animation I ultimately went with.
But part of me wanted to use this Donkey Kong-esque flame. But that wasn’t working too well
So, I had my animation, so after that I created a 400 wide and 640 high canvas and added the text FAHRENHEIT (all in straight Arial text, I was rushing a bit at this point cause I was already an hour or so in) at the top of the canvas. I think filled the background in black, so I had my template. Now I added the numbers 106 in bold arial so I could cut them cleanly out of the canvas so the background would be transparent. Once I did that I imported the animated GIF as layers (“Open as layers”) and I duplicated the book cover template 15 times (that’s how many animation frames there were of the flames—one for each). I then copied one of the template layers with text and transparent 106 above each flame, and use the “Layers –> Merge Down” tool to have the template merge with the animation to give the 106 numbers the flame animation. You do this 15 times and you have a book cover GIF. I then wanted to add the blurb “the temperature at which creativity catches fire” for effect, which means I created the text element as a layer, positioned it, and then duplicated it 15 times as I did with the template and merged it onto each frame (this is some of the laborious work of GIMP!). After doing this I realized I misspelled temperature, which is no great surprise on this blog. And given I know this was a test (I want to go back and pick better fonts and play with it a bit more, I decided to cut my losses.
Once you get into one these projects, they are very, very fun. There is no better therapy. What’s more, it also gives you some purpose when searching the web, which often leads to serendipitous discoveries. For example, I came across this site titled Good Show Sir—a site dedicated to poking fun at crazy fantasy and scifi book covers, below is a quick sampling (captions are the Good Show Sirs commentary on image):
And with that I wrap up the longest ds106 I have written in a very long while. I even re-downloaded GIMP and did a quick refresher on a few GIF masking tricks. I can thank/blame Scottlo’s “This Could Be Episode 002” for the inspiration—ds106 is #4life!