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Making a 3-D Book Cover Image with InDesign

by Ron Kurtus (revised 22 August 2015)

Besides making a book cover in Adobe InDesign that is ready to send to your printer, you may also want to create images to be used for publicizing and promotion purposes.

You can enhance the look of the cover image by making it appear three dimensional by including the spine and an edge view of the pages, as if the book is seen slightly from the side.

The way this is done is to skew or shear the image of the spine at some angle, combine it with the front page image and then add a sheared image for the pages.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Shear the spine

It is assumed that you have already designed your book cover in InDesign. The first thing to do in making a 3-d image of the cover is to make the spine appear to be viewed from an angle. This is done by transforming the image with the InDesign shear function. The steps to shear the spine image are:

1. Open the spine file.

Book spine image

Book spine image

2. Mark the complete image.

Use the Selection Tool to mark the complete image.

3. Select Object > Transform > Shear... to open the Shear dialog box.

Shear dialog box

Shear dialog box

4. Set the Shear Angle to −30° at a Vertical axis.

Spine image set at an angle

Spine image set at an angle

5. Save the file with a new name.

Combine with front image

Now you simply combine your sheared spine image to your front cover image and add a top area to simulate the pages of the book.

1. Open the Front Cover file.

2. Save As... something like XX_3D_cover.ind.

3. Open File > Document Setup...

4. Increase the width and height to accomodate the new spine size: 6.5 X 9.3 in.

5. Mark the spine in its file and copy the graphic to the Front Cover file.

6. Adjust the location of the images.

7. Draw a rectangle along top.

8. Shear the recatangle to -60 degrees Horizontal.

9. Save

Verify final product

Examine your final product to verify it looks as desired. You can make adjustments, if necessary.

3-D version of book cover image

3-D version of book cover image

Summary

You can enhance the look of the cover image to be used from promotional purposes by making it appear three dimensional by including the spine and an edge view of the pages, as if the book is seen slightly from the side.

The way this is done is to skew or shear the image of the spine at some angle, combine it with the front page image and then add a sheared image for the pages.


Try to be snazzy


Resources and references

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Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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