Many people have been asking on how I’ve been making my book covers, photo manipulations, banners, and blog layouts. And their first assumption is “Photoshop”. Nope. ^_^ I use a fairly, free program called “Stoik iMagic 5.0” originally known as “Samsung Master”, when it came with Samsung cameras. But recently they have renamed and discontinued the Samsung Master version, to Stoik iMagic 5.0.
Sure it’s not photoshop or anything remotely that awesome. This program you are limited by certain things, but if you learn how to use it right, you can come pretty close (keyword: CLOSE) to the same results of Photoshop. It’s taken me about two years to catch onto this program, and I can finally get pretty good results, that of similar to photoshop. This is because I have a lot of freetime on my hands.
|Two of my newest designs|
I mostly use this program to make book covers that are on Inkpop and this blog. Book covers for my books and occasionally for other writer’s books as well.
If I have the right pictures and got a good vision of a cover in mind, it’ll take me at least a day to make a decent looking book cover. But I can make an amazing one in two or three days, where I’m a dag’gone perfectionist.
The editing tools on this program is great, if you know how to use them, with when, where, and how. It’s that picky.
I really like how I can select a certain section of a picture, like hair, eyes, skin, and lips. And change the color to your desire, with the Hue/saturation tool. Or adjust the shadow and light in Levels. These are the three most used tools that I use, while designing my picture projects, select section, Hue/saturation, and Levels.
If you’re having blocks in (pixel resolution) your desire picture you want to use. There’s these pretty good options that works most of the time. Sometimes, there’s just no saving a picture from its’ blocky sickness. First, I try Resize option, where you can go in and up the resolution to my reccomendation 300 per units in inch. Any bigger than that you’ll have a slack in the loading and editing, because it’s pretty big now. If that doesn’t work I use my last resort, Noise Reduction. To remove the blocks, only check off Smooth Sigma. It’ll smooth areas, but sometimes it makes it look funky. However, you can work with it long enough to make the funkiness go away.
|Book cover for my Christian Contemporary
novel “The Right Whisper”
Models: Laura Mullins and Joesph Baird
The font options are GREAT! You can put shadows behind your font, the shadows can be the color you desire. Of course, I download new fonts to add to my collection, from Abstract Fonts. That is where I get my cool butterflies from. ^_^
The only two cons I have about this program. It tends to get frozen on certain areas of editing and opening pictures. And then whatever you’re working on is lost, due to you having to close and restart the program, but it maybe just my computer. So I suggest constantly save, when you’ve done major edits, just in case.
|A DVD cover for my newest music video project
with my friend Katie Mullins.
“Through the Darkness”