Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…
How do I do my cover reveals?
Ok this isn’t exactly fun question territory. I’m not getting super speculative and voicing my opinions like I usually do. But I’ve recently changed how I do cover reveals (when I do them, which isn’t super often) and a few people have asked how I do it. Since I’m the furthest thing from an authority on anything graphic or technical this will probably be the one and only how-to post I ever do. And since I tend to do things the wrong way, you probably shouldn’t follow my instructions. Maybe use them as a launching point for doing things the right way?
I say that I often do things the wrong way, because I know my skills and sometimes I use programs that really don’t match their intended function because I know how to make them do what I want. For example, I use PowerPoint to create graphics all the time. Nope, that’s not at all what it’s meant for. But I know how to manipulate the images the way I want them there. Put me in PhotoShop, which is what I should be using, and I can’t do half of what I can do in PowerPoint because I don’t know how to use PhotoShop. So I stick to what I know, wrong or not. Anyway, on to what may be the first how-to post you shouldn’t really follow 🙂
My Cover Reveals Look Something Like This:
I can’t take credit for this idea – I saw it on Because Reading’s Deer in Headlight’s Cover Reveal. I got excited and asked Michelle how she did it and she said the file came to her that way. I had a guess though and asked, “is that a gif?” And she confirmed my suspicion. It was a gif. So I set out figuring out how to create a gif. I found my way, but I won’t lie, Because Reading’s still looks way better. I bet some of you out there will be able to take my work-around methods and use them to create something way better.
First – The Images
So I did some reading and figured out that a gif is either a video or a series of images moving along. For my purposes, I decided that a series of images was the way to go. So here’s the fist step that’s going to make all you graphically inclined people cringe. I go to PowerPoint and create a series of images. Yep. I was serious – PowerPoint. But if you know what your doing, go ahead and go to PhotoShop. 🙂
This is what my cover reveal slide looks like in PowerPoint:
See all those grey shapes? I gradually lay them over the picture and after each new addition, I save as a new picture. Until I have 8 different cover photo files, progressively cover more of the cover:
Second – The gif
Okay – once again there are ways that I’ve seen posted online about how to make a gif using PhotoShop. It’s probably much more skilled looking than what I do. If, like me, you need something much simpler there are free online programs that will make a gif for you. I personally like GifMaker.me. It’s easy to use and unlike some of the other ones I tried, it lets you adjust speed and size without too much trouble.
I’ve tagged the above screen shot from GIFMaker.me with info on all the sections I use. But here’s a step-by-step:
- Click on the upload images button and select all the files you created.
- Sort them (by clicking on the image and dragging) from fully covered to just the final cover.
- Make sure the size is right. I personally save the files the size that I want so that I’m not stretching them on here.
- Also make sure the animation speed is ok. It defaults to 500, which I think is way too fast. I do 1000 generally.
- Check the preview to make sure everything looks right and then click “Create Now”
- Three links will appear when your gif has been created – I click on “Download the GIF Image Now”
And that’s it! From there, just load the gif in the same way you usually would have loaded the cover image file and voila! You have a cover reveal graphic!
Don’t forget – I’m not even a graphic amateur (that implies more knowledge than I have) – so there’s got to be a better way to do this. But it works for me and hopefully will for you too!
Let me know if you have any questions or EASY suggestions for making this look better!