I came late into your blog, late last year, so please bear with me if I am asking a question that you have already answered before.
On your wallpaper post dated Jan. 31 2011, I get the conclusion that you created the picture yourself. My question is this: did you used an app or a program? Is there a chance you can tell me the product’s name? I want to try it myself and see how far I go, but mostly, I have a nephew I think would benefit from it. Thanks.Zorayda
The magic book wallpaper in question was created with Photoshop. I am not that proud of it, because it is badly made. Playing with Photoshop is really fun and now you can get on a monthly subscription, which makes it affordable. You can also use a free program like GIMP.
To create wallpaper like this, you have to understand layers. Think of the picture like an applique. You start with the background, then you put another layer on it with some elements, then another. To help you and your nephew get started, I made you a blank. We get a lot of requests for wallpapers, so hopefully this will be helpful.
Click here for the high quality image. This is a very large file. It will take a bit to load.
Now that you have your high quality blank, you can add your own things to it. For example, here is a Kate and Curran wallpaper I made this morning out of stock files I had lying around.
Click here for the larger file. I really didn’t blend it all that well, because this is just for demonstration purchases.
How this was made.
I took a stock image of a woman which could reasonably be Kate, which you can find here and pasted it on top of the background. Pasting something in Photoshop instantly creates its own layer.
Look in the right bottom corner. That’s where all the layers are.
I used lasso tool to select her face. I clicked on Select in the top menu, chose inverse, which selected the background, and deleted it by using a large round brush of eraser tool.
Then I resized the layer and dragged it in place with my mouse. I wanted the image to be translucent. You can accomplish it by several means. Look at the layer’s section of the screen. You can set opacity to 50%. Or you can do what I did and change the blending mode of the layer. See where it says Normal? Okay, click that and try different options under the drop down until it looks good.
I chose to duplicate the layer with the girl, so I had two identical layers on top of each other. I set the bottom to Soft Light with about 40% opacity and the top to overlay with 7o% opacity. I ended up with this.
Then I repeated the process with the lion.
After that was done, I pasted some text from Magic Triumphs into the document, resized it, set it to Color Dodge at 33% opacity, and then took a big old eraser brush with soft edges and deleted it around the book. You can also use layer mask to do this, which is a better way, but a separate tutorial.
Now you can do your own. You can plug whatever image makes you happy. Here is a hack job of innkeeper wallpaper with Olasard and extra cheesy Sean Evans.
I tinted the image magenta and pasted a bunch of things in. Here is the large version, because I know someone will ask for it.
Now you are all set. Go forth and make your own wallpapers. I’ve reactivated comment images if you want to share your creations. Remember, slightly darker images work best, because it makes the icons on your desktop stand out.
PS. This has taken me a couple of hours, so if you are a self-pub author and someone quotes you a $1,000 for a cover that is doing exactly what I did, you can confidently say no. The entire stock for the two wallpapers came in under $60.