How to design Music CD Disc Covers

In this new series of tutorials I’m going to explore how you can leverage the power of 3D Box Shot Pro so it can be used as a design editor. Ideally, this requires a multiple monitor setup to leverage the best workflow, as you’ll be running two instances at the same time.

In this article we’re going to look at how you can use 3D Box Shot Pro in orthographic mode to render cover textures for CD / DVD discs and create images like these:

DVD-CD

 

Using the simple techniques outlined below, you can use 3D Box Shot Pro to generate textures for any models that ship with the program, or any of the bonus content packs we supply.

If you don’t already know or haven’t tried this, it’s worth noting that you can run two versions of 3D Box Shot Pro at the same time.

How to used 3D Box Shot Pro as a WYSIWYG editor (What you see is what you get):

Download the CD WYSIWGY Preset here: CD-Disc-Cover-Design

The process for making cover templates for any model that either ships with 3D Box Shot Pro or comes in the bonus packs is relatively simple. Load the texure for the model. For example you can find the covers for the book in:

C:\Program Files (x86)\3D Box Shot Pro v4 Full\models\books

The DVD in:

C:\Program Files (x86)\3D Box Shot Pro v4 Full\models\dvd

First you need to establish the pixel dimensions of the image. I.E what are its horizontal and vertical dimensions in pixels? A simple way to do this is to load the image as an external model in 3D Box Shot Pro. Click Load External File and load a book cover image like so:

WYSIWYG

Left click on the image to highlight it and click on the surface tab. In the Base Texture section take a note of the Dimensions of the image. In this case the book cover is 1500 x 1024. Delete the model by clicking on the Delete Model button while the model is selects. Now Click on the Render Tab and set the Output Resoltion to Width 1500 Height 1024.

Click on the Background Tab and Select Load Image. Load the Cover in as the background. You now need to scale the view port to so the background image fits the view port perfectly:

Scaled-View-Port

Select the Position tab and drag the perspective slider all the way over to the right. Save this as a preset. You can now use this to render images that will be a 1:1 match for the size of the book cover. You can use the background as a guide template for your design, allowing you to exactly position the Spine Text. A good work flow is the create and position the cover text first. Then add background graphics. The Z order can become difficult to manage if you use lots of transparent .png images.

Please note, it is possible to run two or more instances of 3D Box Shot Pro at the same time. So can use one in WYSIWYG mode and the other in 3D mode. This way you can quickly preview your designs in 3D and make edits in the WYSIWYG.

In the current version of the program, you have to apply a certain amound of self descipline and try to avoid moving the veiw port. Position models and images using the Translate, Rotate and Scale sliders. Take care when selecting items not to drag the view port. We will hopefully modify the software going forward to provide a dedicated 2D WYSIWYG mode.

1080-Promo

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