Design a Cover Too - Madden NFL in Adobe Photoshop
Goal to Go: Video Game Cover Art
Hello, this is a tutorial from PopnFrshTV on how to make a Madden NFL video game cover. You'll want to download the Madden 12 cover template that we will be using, and then the splatter brush.
1st Down: Ready NFL Player Image
Today I'm going to be using a LaDainian Tomlinson picture. I prefer a PNG because it already has no background to it, which means it's very easy to use. I'm going to use this (0:40), I'm going to edit it to make it look a little bit more professional for a Madden cover. So you want to (right-click, then) Save Picture As.
You want to open it in Adobe Photoshop...and then you want to go to the half black, half white circle (an icon near the bottom of the LAYERS tab). And then you go to Levels. Then you kind of edit the picture there (in the ADJUSTMENTS tab). You don't want it too light, but you definitely don't want it dark. When it's good, go back to the circle thingy, and go to Brightness/Contrast. You'll just really want to mess around with the controls until you like the pic. Then save it. Then you want to close the image out.
2nd Down: Add Player Image to Madden NFL Template
The Madden template will give you your cover's actual measurements. So when you print it, it will fit your (video game) cover perfectly...Drag your image straight from the desktop, or wherever you saved it, right onto the template (which is open in Photoshop), and it will come out right in the template. Now you want to resize it to whatever you want: widen, etc. Some Madden NFL covers I've made have had very small images, some very big.
You want to click the Eraser Tool, get one of the splatter brushes you downloaded, and click on Background (in the LAYERS tab). Then you want to put the splatter brush wherever you want on the Madden cover; it's like a paint brush, but it'll give the background a kind of checkerboard pattern (3:29).
3rd Down: Supporting Picture
Then go to Google Images or wherever you find your images at. And you'll want to find something like fans, a stadium, something like that that's related to NFL football. I used a picture of a Charger fan for this one, a guy in a Tomlinson jersey. I thought that was perfect. You need to Copy this image to the Madden template because it's just a JPEG.
When you paste it onto the Madden NFL cover, you want to adjust it to the same size as your eraser splatter pattern, and drag the image over and on top of your checkerboard pattern. Make sure it's placed pretty good, and then hit Apply (when the dialog box comes up), then move the Background layer over this layer (LAYERS tab). That will give the image a splatter effect.
Then right-click the image layer and go to Blending Options. Go down to Gradient Overlay (under Styles). For Blending Mode, go to Color. Then, under Gradient, you change the color: change it to the NFL jersey colors, i.e. the team colors. I usually give the main color a little bit more (on the gradient scale). If you don't like how the layout of your Madden cover is, you can move the main image (here it's the Tomlinson pic, 5:14) over. I also made the image a little wider.
Then go to the Color Picker Tool underneath the Cropping Tool. You want to get a spot on the player, click on it, and it'll give you the color that certain spot is, to get your paint brush the exact same color that spot is. When you do that, do splatter brushes on the Madden NFL template...you want to get the selected color around the player. Some of the splatter can be on the player. But make sure you don't get the splatter looking way too messy or way too bunched up, because then the cover will look ugly...
I deleted the Top Spray Paint layer, because I have a spray paint brush to do what I need it to do. So I usually add the (spray paint) colors in myself. You really don't need to do that, but - if you want - you can download the spray paint brush. And, yes, I will be showing you how it can look like with the spray paint (see link to NFL Madden 12 art video below). I'm going to add a bit more splatter to this cover...
That's basically what you need to do. When you save your Madden NFL cover, save it as a JPEG. And, if I haven't said this yet, you can open the Madden cover template with Gimp, because I know Gimp opens Photoshop files (PSDs). I just prefer Photoshop, because I find it much easier.
If you like this tutorial, and you want a custom Madden NFL cover, I do requests if you want that. When I started doing these covers, I didn't want to do one myself; I wanted someone to make one for me. Then I actually wanted to...
When you save this as a JPEG, make sure the height is 7.2 (inches) and the width is 5.05...And we've got the end product (10:07, Madden 12 game cover pic above). Peace!