This is my 2nd attempt at Rocketeer
. A third one, based on the usual cover art (the one with the blue background) is coming up soon.
For this one I went the commercial route, using the teaser poster everyone wants. I don't think that particular image has ever worked on the posters I've seen, and when I recently saw the soundtrack cover it dawned on me why.
The CD, with it's square front, showed more of the "dead space" surrounding the figure. It occured to me that all the posters and covers I've seen over the years have been cropped too tightly. The figure is too angular and complex a graphic to be comfortably readable when it fills a canvas. It needs more space around it to not look too busy.
The challenge was to find a high-rez image of the poster, with all the surrounding background intact. Of course, no such image exists, so once again I had to cobble together a poster from several images. Luckily, The Rocketeer
has seen a moderate resurrection the last six months, and more High-Rez scans of the posters have surfaced. I wound up extending much of the background with heavy use of the clone tool, the smudge tool (!) and various gradients using the CD inlay as a guide to how it should look. I always like to extend the front image into the spine and back, so I had to make quite a bit of image realestate up from scratch. I think the result turned out fine.
Once again, I elected not to use any art from the comics or of any prop replicas or fanmade costumes. I'm quite stubborn about that. The one exception is the insignia on the spine, by Deviant Artist J.K. Antwon. It will be on the spine of all my Rocketeer covers, I think.
To give it that old, authentic art-deco look I employed some quite heavy grain (noise) on the background, and superimposed old, weathered paper on the whole cover. Just to dirty it up a bit, like I always like to do. (I made a hold-out matte for the main figure and the rear images to occlude the paper there, so that they would stand out more.)
For the logo I reverted to the original, theatrical title treatment. It is a little spindly and hard to make readable on a busy background, so I was forced to revert to drop shadows to really make it stand out. I gave the letters a metallic texture, as it seemed quite appropriate. To everyone's relief, I included the "The" this time
The back warranted another art-deco theme. I found some lineart of an art-deco pattern via Google, and recreated parts of it using the pen tool and stroking with a 5 pixel brown line. I overlaid a pressed aluminium texture which isn't really historically appropriate, but it brought the whole element to life. Lastly I applied a 2-pixel black glow to frame it against the background.
The art-deco pattern gave me some natural shapes for the images and text that tied the whole thing together. The circles with faces was an afterthought, when I decided I wanted to feature more of the players from the movie. All those faces are screengrabs from a 720p HDTV capture I have laying around. They're not properly posed photographs, but they'll do. (I would like to have access to screengrabs for every project I do, that way I'm not reliant upon just what a still-photographer happened to capture way back when.) You'll excuse the use of a major spoiler image (also a direct frame grab), but I thought it was the perfect image to make the film seem action-filled and exciting.
Re: the strict layout of the back, I'm generally a disciple of the golden rule of composition, but with an art-deco layout the complete centering of everything is quite legitimate. Symmetry can't really be avoided when evoking this style.
If ever a cover called out for a black Blu-Ray case this is it. My heart just sank when I created a preview with that blue monstrosity. One could see it as a design challenge, to make the coverart work with the blue border, but I can guarantee you no designer was involved when "they" decided to go blue for all cases. May "they" rot in hell.
Anyway, much to my delight, Disney released the official specs only yesterday, so I could include accurate info on the release. The rumours indicate it will be a barebones release, so I made no accomodation for special features in my layout. If that changes, I'll have to rethink the back a bit. (For once I find myself wishing for a barebones release
That's it. Another cover under my belt. Hope everyone loves The Rocketeer as much as I do. True fans
may PM me for a High Rez copy of this.