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Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this next mock-up of the book cover, of George Orwell's NineteenEighty-Four, we're going to create a simple flat color illustration using Adobe Illustrator. Here we see the finished version in Adobe InDesign, the Illustrator file placed in the context of the book cover layout. We are going to switch over to Illustrator, and this is the starting state where we have the different elements of the artwork broken out on to separate layers, sky, sun, pig and rooster. And the first task is to create the sun flares.
So I am going to show just the sun layer, hide all of the others. Option+Click or Alt+Click on the eyeball. Then select the sun and mark its center point with some guides. Now I am going to draw the sun flares, and because I need to extend beyond the top of the book, I am going to press Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus to zoom out, so that I can clearly see the pasteboard around the artboard.
Then use my Rectangle tool, hold down the Alt key, and draw myself a rectangle outwards from the center point at about that size. I can then move that up a little bit. And it currently has a radial gradient applied to it, which I need to remove and replace with a linear gradient. So I am going to come to the Window menu and to my Gradient panel and change the Gradient Type to Linear. And then to change the gradient direction, I'll use my Gradient tool and drag from the top-down to the bottom.
Now to change the shape of this item, I am going to zoom into the top, choose my Direct Selection tool, click outside of it to deselect, swipe back over the top so that I have just that top left anchor point selected, and move that to the left. I am going to move it to left by pressing my Shift key and my left arrow seven times. I am going to do the equivalent with the right anchor point.
And I think that maybe not quite enough of a flare, so I am going to come down to the bottom anchor point and move that in a little bit and then the same on the other side. That looks more like it. I am now going to rotate copies of this flare around the circle. So choosing my Rotate tool, holding down the Alt or Option key, and clicking on the center point, I am going to rotate through 12 degrees, making a copy as we do so.
And then to repeat that transformation, press Command+D. And keep pressing Command+D, until we get all the way around back to the beginning. Now I'll select the circle itself and I am going to bring that in front, Command+Shift+Right Bracket or Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket. And now with everything on this layer selected, I would like to add some effects to it. I am going to come to the Effect menu and choose Film Grain. And apply a Grain of just 1, Highlight Area 1 and Intensity 1, just to give it a little bit of texture so that the artwork is not quite so flat.
And then I am also going to add a bit of blurring to it. From the Effect menu > Blur > Gaussian blur, very small amount. That's probably enough. 1 to 2 pixels is going to be adequate. And I am also lastly going to change the transparency. Reduce the opacity to probably about 80%. Now when we see this on top of the sky, we'll be able to appreciate the difference. Now there is our sun. We don't need some of these rays down at bottom, so I am just going to swipe over those and delete them.
I think we can now lock that layer so that we can't interfere with it. The next thing that we want to do is create the hills, and we'll do that in the next movie.
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