29 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2011 10:31 AM by tm6550

    Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?

    tm6550 Level 1

      I've designed a wraparpund cover for a trade paperback using three separate composite images from Photoshop Elements 8: front, cover, back cover, and spline. Each of the three parts consists of layers for background, text, and on the front cover, the image of an airplane.


      The backgrounds for all three parts have been made from a single photo of a mountainside partially obscured by clouds. I've managed to crop the images and join them side-by-side to minimize the hard line of demarcation between the spline and front and back covers, but they are still visible. And although the lines will be camouflaged pretty well when the cover is folded around the book, I'd like to make them less apparent.


      Each of the three images has been added to the InDesign cover document directly from PSE8 as a PSD file. I'm still a novice at this, so I'm assuming that this means the layers are still separate (?). Is it possible at this point within InDesign to edit the demarcation lines so that they are less noticeable in the printed cover?


      Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

        • 1. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Why not just use one image?



          • 3. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            Because it's a valid question.



            • 4. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              If I recall, you set this up as three pages?


              In any case, if it's supposed to be a single image, then a single image is the way to work. That said, what exactly are you seeing in terms of lines of demarcation? Are you seeing them in Preview mode, or in layout view? How about in the exported PDF? I'm thinking it might just be the page edge lines in layout view if the images really do meet exactly at the same point.

              • 5. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                Daniel Flavin Level 4

                Bob's a little brief, but to the point.

                I had to look up the meaning of demarcation line. If they are lines you do not intend to print, I would remove them within PSE8 or turn off their layer. Optionally, and not a great idea, crop the image frames they are placed in within ID; you may need to disproportionally scale the frames after doing so if the images are intended to meet at the spine, but the <1% horz scaling would be unnoticable.


                To my understanding, a Photoshop PDF would be preferable to a native PSD, given the live type. Bob would be more knowledgable on this point. (The type will be rasterized to the PSD resolution upon placing into ID whereas a PDF will maintain the vector type)

                • 6. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  Daniel, there a whole second thread on this from last week where we discussed the type, which has some effects applied, and the request of the printer to supply a flattened PDF. I'm not sure what the final conclusion on that was, but the OP was more comfortable doing the effects in Photoshop than in ID. I tend to agre that a Photoshop PDF with live type is preferable to one that is flattened or a .psd with type, but it's not entirely clear from the somewhat contradictory info supplied from the printer's various spec pages if it will pass pre-press checks.

                  • 7. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                    Daniel Flavin Level 4

                    Oh I know the thread and stayed the heck out of it. Was quite surprised when I saw the exact same subject line today. Type at 300dpi for an ad in the middle of a souvenir book for the local dance academy is one thing, type at 300dpi for the outside cover(s) of a book is a whole different animal.


                    Yes, PS has advantages for gradient effects and feathers, but effective resolution needs to be considered and accomodated.

                    • 8. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                      tm6550 Level 1

                      I cannot believe how helpful this forum is. I ask the question and my email program begins dinging with messages before I can get another cup of coffee.


                      I'm not sure how to even begin replying to the various comments I've just received, but let me deal first with the issue of using one continuous background image, because this may be the root cause of making this more complicated than it has to be.


                      The image is a 152KB JPEG, dimensions 960x1279, RGB. The cover template, including extra for bleed, is inserted below. My lack of experience with resizing images and the effect on resolution has led me to the conclusion that if I enlarge the image enough to fill the template, the resolution will suffer, and I've been concerned about whether the quality of the background image will be acceptable.


                      Specifications from the printer recommend 300dpi, but with the caveat that if I upload a cover that doesn't meet that minimum, I can elect to ignore the caution. Others have said (here, I believe), that what I'm doing isn't an example of hi-res printing, and 200dpi is plenty adequate for the cover on a paperback. I've looked at numerous books on my shelves, and in fact the backgrounds usually are "fuzzier" than the print or other images layered on top.


                      I'll post this reply now and begin reading the other comments in more detail. Thanks to all.


                      • 9. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                        Daniel Flavin Level 4

                        ok, you have their template, let's see what your ID file looks like. Turn on Overprint Preview, it needs to be seen without frame edges or guides.


                        Must Cover.png

                        • 10. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                          tm6550 Level 1

                          On the question of where I'm seeing the lines, they appear in any view. They aren't guidelines or anything like that, just the vertical line where one piece of the cover joins the next. The trees and rocks and patches of snow don't mesh perfectly.


                          I'm working with a trial version of 5.5, and I've asked for advice in a previous thread about whether v5 (I'm on a tight budget) would do what I need to do. Based on the comments received, just yesterday I decided to go for whole enchilada.


                          But in the meantime, partly for the exercise of learning more, I decided to build the cover completely within Photoshop Elements 8 using the template from CreateSpace. So rather than build a layered front and rear cover and spline in PSE8 and transferring them separately into InDesign, I wanted to try moving the combined cover image. And it appears that if what I'm hearing you say here, that manipulating the images in PSE8 before putting them into InDesign is the way to go, then I'll need to determine how best to do that based on considerations about the effects on text quality depending on the format chosen.


                          To save the cover as a Photoshop PDF and put that into InDesign, however, raises the question of why put it into InDesign at all. And that's because I'm unsure of the difference between a Photoshop PDF and the "High Quality" option InDesign offers when exporting to PDF, or the "Print Quality" PDF required by the print-on-demand publisher.


                          Let me apologize here for muddying up the water by not asking the question clearly enough or trying to shove too much into a single thread. In most cases, I think it's a case of not knowing enough to know how much I don't know. And even that doesn't make much sense . . .

                          • 11. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            The effect of scaling is going to be the same whether you do as one unit, or broken into pieces.  It's me who said 200 would probably be sufficient, but I would really hesitate to go below that.


                            In order to fill the entire width of the cover with the photo (all three panels) as one continuous image, your effective resolution will drop to about 108 ppi. That's low, and if you are scaling the type at the same time it's going to look very jagged. It's not much better looking at the amount of scaling required to fill the height -- effective resolution around 116 ppi -- and scaling for height won't fill all three panels without using at least two copies of the image and repeating some portion. I would rethink the cover, either not using a bleed of the photo, or get a higher resolution photo. Ideally you want an image around 3300 x 2400 pixels.

                            • 12. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              If you're placing as PSD there's a huge difference.


                              All of the type and vector data will be rasterized upon PDF export from ID. If you place the PDF from PS it will remain vector.


                              I have to question the need to put a PDF into ID to export a new PDF.



                              • 13. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                Take a good look at how Daniel's example uses the photo. Yours is large enough for something like that.

                                • 14. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                  tm6550 Level 1

                                  This is a .png screen grab of the cover as it appears in Overprint Preview. Please take no offense when I mention that this novel is currently unpublished, and it's important to keep the cover under wraps until the publication date. I'd appreciate your understanding and appropriate care with it.


                                  [image remove at user request]

                                  • 15. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)



                                    Everything you post to the forum is posted on the web. We have no control over what happens to it after. I can remove the image from your last post if you are worried.

                                    • 16. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                      What you are seeing is, indeed, a case of non-meshing image fragments. It's pretty close to impossible to work with three separate images and not get this.

                                      • 17. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                        Daniel Flavin Level 4

                                        Select the Spine Image, toggle the image proxy in ID's top left corner as I've shown. De-select the chain which "Constrain Proportions for Width and Height".

                                        Into the width field, after your dimension enter +1pt. (This extends/increases the frame onto the front cover)




                                        Spine increase.png


                                        Select the same spine graphic and on the control bar select Fit Image to Frame. (Optionally right click the graphic, select Fitting > Fit Image to Frame)

                                        Lastly, with the spine graphic selected, Object > Arrange > Send to Back


                                        Spine increase fitting.png


                                        All that said, without looking through your previous thread, I'm uncomfotable with what Peter has included knowing the image sizes and resolution. You can perform these steps with the PSD's, but I feel confident that PS PDF is the route to go if you stay in ID.

                                        @Bob's mention why place pdf's to export pdf; It would be dependent upon the users comfort zone and ability to control dimensions and position. I would stumble for a day in an image program doing this, but knock it out in 20 minutes in InDesign.

                                        • 18. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                          tm6550 Level 1

                                          Thanks for the caution, Peter. I'm not worried, per se, it's more of an

                                          issue about not "spilling the surprise," if you will, as if anyone really

                                          cares or anyone would purposefully try to do something malicious.


                                          You've that I can't do much about it, and if that's the case, then posting

                                          it for a short while to learn that has served its purpose.


                                          But the question still remains about whether in InDesign or PSE8 I can use a

                                          tool to do some blending, especially where the clouds meet the rocks. A

                                          writer friend of mine with some Photoshop experience did a bit of work on

                                          the image I sent him and managed to make the clouds look as if they extended

                                          across the boundary to conceal some of the mountain, but he did that on a

                                          pdf that I sent by opening it with Photoshop, (which merged/flattened all

                                          the layers, right?) and using the Sponge Tool. It's a bit rough, because he

                                          got into one of the letters by working quickly to provide an example, but

                                          that tells me I can at least address the most obvious boundaries.


                                          He showed me this yesterday, and today's thread was to find out if there was

                                          a better way either in InDesign (or PSE8, since it has been mentioned as

                                          well) to accomplish that.


                                          In my multi-layered image in PSE8, I'm going to select only the front cover

                                          and spline background images and try one of the tools on the boundary.

                                          Another thought is to work with the three background images by themselves,

                                          merge (or flatten?) them and do the editing on them first, then add the

                                          other layers.


                                          Sorry for the digression, and yes, let's remove the image. It's served its



                                          Thanks so much for your expert advice, Peter.



                                          • 19. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                            I don't know waht sort of tools PSE has compared to the full version of Photoshop, but recent versions of PS have some nifty "content aware" scaling tools that could be of benefit.


                                            As far as blending, I would probably put all three pieces together in a single document (if you intend to keep using the parts), and use cloning and masks with possibly some blur to disguise an overlap, but I haven't seen the images. Working withteh originals you should be able to keep the layers and type live (or at the worst have to reset the type in PSE or ID).

                                            • 20. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                              tm6550 Level 1

                                              Daniel: Your explanation gets to the heart of the matter.


                                              I'm uncomfortable with either program, and even more so with how to

                                              integrate them. Just in the last two days, I've added a page or more of

                                              questions from asking questions. It's like trying to replace a headlight on

                                              a car and at the end of the day be facing an engine change.


                                              As others on this and the Photoshop Elements forum have said, there's often

                                              more than one way to do something, but that only complicates matters for

                                              someone who doesn't know even one way.


                                              Yesterday for the first time I built the entire cover in Elements to see if

                                              I could do it. I placed the template first, then added each layer in

                                              position. Well, thinks I, why do I need to pass this through InDesign at

                                              all? When I tried to save as PDF, the only choice was Photoshop PDF. Now I'm

                                              thinking, what's that? When I've exported the cover built with InDesign to

                                              PDF, I get a range of choices, most of which I'm unfamiliar with, but the

                                              "High Quality Print" option appeared to meet the printer's "Print Quality"



                                              I looked up the definition of Photoshop PDF, but it didn't answer my very

                                              basic question of whether choosing the highest quality choice within

                                              Photoshop is equivalent to what I get from InDesign. I'd be guessing to

                                              conclude it is, and I'm not a comfortable guesser.


                                              This also doesn't address the ways in which I think I can work with the

                                              three background images as a unit within Elements. If I select only the

                                              front cover and spline, for example, and pick the best tool for the task,

                                              can I pick up the color of the clouds on the front cover and brush them onto

                                              the hard line with the dark mountain on the spline to make it look like the

                                              clouds have drifted over there? I'm not asking you to answer that on an

                                              InDesign forum, only to point out that in trying to learn both of these

                                              programs at the same time to accomplish a task from scratch forces me into

                                              unknown waters at every step.


                                              I really appreciate your taking the time to share your expertise.



                                              • 22. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                Daniel Flavin Level 4

                                                I, like you, have time to spare.

                                                Honestly, I could have produced 10-50 finished softcover books in the free time spent today. If you walked into the shop, we'd be marveling and watching production, 500 books within the week easy, but people can buy for half my cost online. Damn this internet.

                                                • 23. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                  tm6550 Level 1

                                                  Actually, I have no free time since deciding to try this, but I hope you

                                                  don't hold it against me.


                                                  I lost my flying job at a time when the economy was tanking in 2007, and

                                                  that combined with approaching the sunset of my career effectively forced me

                                                  into retirement. With our household income suddenly cut in half, we've been

                                                  tightening our collective belts around here. End of the sob story.


                                                  But when it came time to consider indie publishing my novel, I had to make a

                                                  choice: pay someone to do the conversions to ebook format, design a cover,

                                                  and do the interior layout and wraparound cover for print-on-demand, or

                                                  dedicate my time, of which I have more than discretionary income. I chose

                                                  the latter without a single moment of experience with Elements or InDesign.


                                                  I have no illusions about being able to create a cover that will impress a

                                                  single professional. On the other hand, the cover has a job to do, and if I

                                                  can come up with one that lures a potential buyer to click on the sample

                                                  pages online, or reach for the book when viewed spine out in a bookstore

                                                  (assuming I could ever get it there, which is unlikely), then it's served

                                                  its purpose.


                                                  I wondered about the cover you posted on the forum and thought, Wow. My

                                                  wife's son-in-law is a professional photographer, writer, and has a small

                                                  publishing company specializing in books about outdoor activities. Her son

                                                  is a struggling producer of commercials and other videos, and both of them

                                                  bemoan the fact that anyone with a camera thinks they can so what they do.

                                                  At the very least, you can rest assured that I recognize my limitations and

                                                  am trying this only out of necessity.

                                                  • 24. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                    You're more than welcome to send a PDF to me (and I imagine to Daniel or even Bob) for critique/suggestions before making a commitment to publishing.


                                                    And don't be afraid of Photoshop PDF. Didn't check Bob's link, but I'll bet it said afte the initial screen you'll find you have al the same controls -- it's just that some of the presets won't maintain Photoshop editability.

                                                    • 25. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                      tm6550 Level 1

                                                      I'm almost overwhelmed by the willingness of forum experts to give of their

                                                      time to assist strangers muddling around in the wilderness.


                                                      On the subject of Photoshop PDF, I certainly didn't understand what I think

                                                      I understand now: saving in that format doesn't close the door on any

                                                      subsequent changes I want to make in that file. I can back out of it, change

                                                      something and resave it as Photoshop PDF without losing any quality. Also as

                                                      I think I understand because you told me, going from PSD to PDF and back to

                                                      PSD negatively affects image quality.


                                                      But that's not the initial concern I had, which is this: When working in

                                                      InDesign and ready to check out how my cover would look in PDF because

                                                      that's what I need to upload to the print-on-demand service, the window that

                                                      opens with options included "High Quality Print" or something to that

                                                      effect. The POD service specifies "Print Quality," which I interpreted as

                                                      meaning the same thing.


                                                      But when trying to save from PSD to PDF, the only option I have is Photoshop

                                                      PDF, and the options box that opens up has very few selections. I can't

                                                      remember exactly how it looked, but I think it allowed me to select quality

                                                      from low to high, but the absence of more available selections led me to

                                                      believe that converting to PDF from Photoshop was a lesser quality option

                                                      than doing so from InDesign. From what I've been reading today, I'm more

                                                      confused than ever. If going direct from PSD to Photoshop PDF to uploading

                                                      to the POD site results in a high-quality final product, I'm a happy camper.


                                                      Which brings me back to another major question, which is if I can build a

                                                      PSD cover in Elements and go direct to a PDF that meets or exceeds

                                                      requirements, why did I get so wrapped around the axle about whether to

                                                      purchase v5.5 or 5 in order to build the cover? What's the advantage of

                                                      building the cover in InDesign with pieces created in Elements? I've no

                                                      doubt that InDesign is far more capable, but it appears that I don't need it

                                                      to accomplish my relatively modest goals. I've already bought it, so I can't

                                                      back out now, but the question lingers.


                                                      And then there's the issue of dealing with the more obvious hard edges at

                                                      the top where the front and back covers meet the spline, and that original

                                                      question still lingers as well: is there something I can do with InDesign to

                                                      make these hard transitions less noticeable? I'm not concerned about the

                                                      lower portions of the cover where mountain meets mountain, but the

                                                      mountain-cloud boundaries are much more obvious.


                                                      Due to file size and email limitations, I have attached the first of two

                                                      versions of the cover. It's a regular(?) PDF of the InDesign version made

                                                      with the front and back covers and spline as created as separate pieces in

                                                      Elements. I'll send the second after this one finally departs.


                                                      Please don't laugh when you view them. I'm trying hard . . .




                                                      • 26. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                        First, not all Photoshop PDF is editable in the same way as the original .psd, so save a .psd copy for changes if you need them. Opening an editable PDF in Photshop should not impact image quality at all.


                                                        Second, It's entirely possible that the options for saving in PSE are less diverse than the those in the full version.


                                                        Third, there is nothing in ID that will help you blend these images well. ID has feathering that would allow two overlapping images to blend, but you don't have much control, certainly not the sort of control in a full-fledged image editor.


                                                        As far as what good does ID do, well I think you'll find strong consensus here that the way to do a project like this is to prepare the images in Photoshop, then assemble and add type or other background elements in ID, where you have lots of control, and theoretically, a user-friendly (once you know it) interface for manipulating multiple diverse objects in a unified layout, and finally export to PDF for complete preservation of vector objects and type, even when downsampling (which you won't be doing) or flattening images.


                                                        Finally, you cannot upload files here beyond embedding images into your post. Attachments don't work anymore. To share your PDF or other files you'll need to use a file sharing service lik YouSendIt.com and send the files to yourself, then either post the link here or send it to one or more of us in a private message (click a name to go to the user profile to send those).

                                                        • 27. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                          tm6550 Level 1

                                                          I can't get the Photoshop PDF to pass muster with my email provider. I just

                                                          looked, and maybe that's because it's 70MB. Well duh. Can I flatten of or

                                                          compress it to send?




                                                          • 28. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                                            See the last part of my previous post. You can't email files to the forum, and there are very few email systems that will allow files larger than 10 mb. You need to use a file-share service like yousendit.

                                                            • 29. Re: Wraparound book cover: How best to do this?
                                                              tm6550 Level 1

                                                              As a follow up to the extensive assistance provided me by multiple members of this forum, this is to report that I received a workflow suggestion on the Photoshop Elements Village Forum that solved the problem. I realize this is an InDesign forum, so I won't clutter up the thread any more than I already have, but I would like to pass along that many of the comments here were incorporated into the solution.


                                                              I created a new composite background layer with all three pieces and used the Clone Tool to blend adjacent colors across the vertical lines where each image met the adjacent one. An expert could undoubtedly see the effects of that, but I doubt any potential reader would take any notice.


                                                              You've heard this before from novices in the hundreds, but I'll say it anyway: this source of ready advice is the difference between success and failure for those of us lost in the wilderness. I cannot express my thanks sufficiently to do the task justice.