AV Bros. Page Curl Pro 2.x Tutorial

Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius

With All Respect to Genius
The Idea
We wanted to create a three-fold booklet (With some content, of course!) made with the heavy-weight (canvas-like) paper.

The Plan
We should take the page (document) with the appropriate dimensions, some images that will be used as the booklet pages' content and fold the page two (2) times. The look of the canvas-like paper should be emulated using the appropriate bump map. For obtaining the most natural look, the booklet's pages should be slightly bended and then, the booklet should be properly oriented in 3D space. All processes, excluding the external shadows will be done using AV Bros. Page Curl Pro 2.2.

The Pre-Process

Please click here to download the Zip file that contains all files that are necessary for this tutorial. Then unzip the file in order to use the files that are inside.

The Process (An Easy Way)
Here is explained of how to create the booklet from the images that we have prepared for this particular sample using this sample's settings of AV Bros. Page Curl Pro 2.2.

1. Create the new RGB document: 1000x800 pixels. (Background is white.)

2. Take the Booklet_01.jpg image from the downloaded Zip file and place it in the new layer, somewhere in the center of the document. (Note: this image is smaller than the sample that is represented in the Gallery on our site.)
Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.1.)

3. Start AV Bros. Page Curl Pro 2.2, then go under the plug-in's Main menu and choose the Load Settings (Relative)... menu item and load the With all respect...Settings.avcps file with the settings that we have prepared for this sample. The result is on Fig.1.

4. In the Bump Mapping palette click the Define button of the Front Side and choose "From File - Tile..." menu item. In the standard File Open dialog that will appear, choose the pass to the folder in which the un-zipped files are stored and select Canvas with folds.jpg file. For the Back Side do the same procedure, but choose Canvas.jpg file. Set the value of the Blur for both sides of the page to zero (0) and the Level value to 40 also for both sides. The look of the Bump Mapping palette is shown on Fig.2.
Note: in the small preview windows of the Bump Mapping palette you will just see the black and white rectangles. This is normal. If you see the different look in the preview windows, (E.g. both rectangles are black.) then use the invert buttons in the palette. To find out of how the images that you use as the bump maps look like, just open these files independently. (For example, open them inside your host.)
Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.2.)

5. Click the Apply button and you will obtain the created booklet inside your host.

6. The only thing that you should add is the external shadow. Please see the topic "Preparing the Outer Shadow" below.
Note! That was a very short process that might not let you "feel" the plug-in. It is obvious fact that the best way to understand the product is to play with its controls and see of how this affects the result. We recommend that you change the parameters that were loaded. For example select either of the bends (You can do that directly by clicking the desired bend on the preview in the Surface panel or, in the list of the bends in the Bends palette.) and then delete it or change its parameters. Or adjust the orientation in 3D space, or parameters of the internal shadows, etc. There are a lot of controls in the plug-in located in various palettes, just make sure that the appropriate palette is active.

You can also read the text below where the process of creation of this sample is explained more detailed.

The Process (A Step by Step Way)

This is a more detailed explanation of how to prepare the booklet that you can see in our on-line Gallery.

1. Create the new RGB document with the width/height dimensions of 1000x800 pixels. (Background is white.)

Comments: we assume that our booklet is prepared from the regular A4 page (297x210 mm). Taking into account the fact that we want to prepare this sample for web, the resolution of 72 dpi is suitable. Therefore, our page has the following dimensions in pixels: 860x608. (One more time we would like to mention that this sample is smaller than the sample on our site.) The canvas size should be larger to prevent the corners of the page from trimming after bending and orienting it in 3D space. The 1000x800 pixels document is just fine.

2. Take the Booklet_01.jpg image from the ZIP file and place it in the new layer of the created document, somewhere in the center.

Comments: you should prepare the page that you will bend for creating the booklet. To make things easier, we recommend that you use our image for this purpose.


But if you want to prepare the page by yourself, then you should be aware that if you are about to bend the page several times, then the preparing the appropriate page is an important process. Thus we recommend that you bend and properly orient the blank image (page) in 3D space first, just for understanding of how your booklet looks like and, as a result, which content you should prepare for either side of the page. In particular, if you take a look at the Booklet_01.jpg image, then you will see that the content on the right side of the page is placed "mirrored". This was specially done for correct viewing after further bending and orienting in 3D...

And here is the explanation: if you look at the Main Preview area, then you will see that the left and the central parts of the front side of the page are visible after bending, but the right part is not. Instead of the right part of the front side, you can see the left part of the back side of the page. Thanks to the fact that we are about to prepare the booklet from the heavy-weight paper we cannot see the content of the back side through the page or "graphically" speaking this paper's cross-opacity is equal to 100%. As a result we have an opportunity to prepare only one "composite" image, which includes the content of the both page's sides at once: the front side's content (its left and central parts) and the content of the back side (its left (!) part). But after folding that back side's part becomes mirrored and that is why we have to pre-mirror it for correct look after bending. This is exactly what you see on the Booklet_01.jpg image.

Be aware that if you decide to "use" the thin paper for the booklet, then you will need to specify the cross-opacity value other than 100% to emulate the real paper. As a result you will see the content of page's both sides. Therefore, you will need to prepare two (2) images - one as the content of the front side and second as the content of the back side of the page.

3. Call AV Bros. Page Curl Pro 2.2. For preparing the booklet from the "scratch", reset to the default all settings of the plug-in by clicking the Defaults button in the Main window.

4. Specify the following parameters of the plug-in:

  • On the Content panel, click the Define button of the Back Side and choose "From Current Layer".
  • On the Surface panel, select the Fold radio-button and specify the parameters of the fold that you can see on Fig.3.
  • To make the folded part of the page more noticeable, orient the page in 3D space. For that, specify the parameters as you can see on Fig.3 in the 3D Transform palette.

  • Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.3.)

    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.4.)

  • Make the Bends palette active and click the Add button. By default the new bend, which adds the plug-in is a "curl". So, select the Fold radio-button again and switch page curl bend to the fold one. On Fig.4 you can see the parameters that you should specify for this fold.
  • Make the final orientation of the booklet in 3D. And again, the parameters are shown on Fig.4.

  • 5. Now it is time to set the lighting. The parameters are shown on Fig.5. Pay attention that we have enabled the inner shadows.

    Note! If you enter the parameters of the Azimuth and Altitude of the Active Light directly into the edit boxes, rather than drag the active light onto the light sphere, then enter the value of the Altitude first and only after that the value of the Azimuth. The look of the booklet is shown on the Main Preview area, Fig.6.
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.6.)
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.5.)

    6. To make the booklet looking real, we will slightly curl each page of the booklet and then will emulate the heavy-weight paper (see Step 7). So, let start from curling:

  • In the Bends palette, click the Add button. This will add the new bend - page curl. Its parameters are shown on the Fig.7.
  • Add two more bends (both - page curls) using the same method. The parameters of these page curls are shown on Fig.8 and Fig.9. Please pay attention that the last bend (Bend #5), which parameters are shown on Fig.9 has the Limit check-box selected. We have specified the limit to accurately position this bend between two folds.

  • Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.7.)
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.8.)
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.9.)

    7. Now it is time to emulate the heavy-weight paper. To do this we will use the option of the plug-in that lets you texturize an image using bump maps. To simplify the things, we recommend that you use the prepared image Canvas with folds.jpg for this purpose. But if you want to make the texture manually, then you may use any desired method of creating the canvas-like texture. (In particular, we have simply used the Canvas pattern of Texturizer plug-in, built-in in Photoshop.) Just don't forget that the prepared image should have the dimensions of 860x608 pixels. Please pay attention that there are the special vertical, thin (1 pixel width) lines that emulate the folds. By the way, don't forget to apply the plug-in (Page Curl Pro remembers the last used settings.) or, at least, save the settings that have been achieved to the moment. Otherwise you will lose all your work when you close the plug-in and begin preparing the texture. :-)

  • So, lets assume that this way or another, but you have the appropriate image that will be used for texturizing and Page Curl Pro is still (or again) opened. Be sure that the Bump Mapping palette is active. Click the Define button of the Front Side and then, choose the From File (Tile)... menu item and after appearing the standard Open File dialog window, choose the Canvas with folds.jpg. Note: taking into account the fact that our image has the same dimensions as the main image, it is not important which method is used - Tile or Resize to Fit. And one more note: Canvas with folds.jpg was stored on your hard drive and as a result we used the From File command. But if you prepare the bump map by yourself, then for further usage you may not only save it on the HDD, but also place it in the channel of your active document. Thus, for loading this bump map you should choose the appropriate command under the Define menu. Set the value of the Blur to zero (0) and the Level value to 40.

  • Do the same operation for the Back side of the page, just choose the Canvas.jpg file. And set once again the value of the Blur to zero (0) and the Level value to 40. See Fig.10. Pay attention that we have inverted the bump map for the Back side (that's why you see the black rectangle in the small preview window of the bump map for the Back side.) Actually, this is not very important in this particular case, because the sample that we are preparing in this tutorial is not big enough to clearly notice such details, but if the image is larger (E.g. the image from our Gallery.), then inverting the bump map is a powerful solution to emulate the correct direction of the bumps.
  • Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.10.)

    8. Click the Apply button! In fact, the booklet itself is ready. The only thing that we need to add to complete the composition is the outer shadow.

    Preparing the Outer Shadow

    The manually dropping the realistic outer shadow of 3D object is not a one click operation. The problem is that when we manually prepare such shadow in the host (Photoshop, in our case), we cannot provide the host with the correct data related neither to the orientation of the object (booklet, in our case) in 3D space, nor to the parameters of the light source(s). As a result, in our particular case, we cannot make the outer shadow as perfect as our booklet's internal shadow is. But what we can do is emulating the realistically looking shadow. To do that we should understand the process of shading, plus use the data that we have already obtained while preparing the booklet.

    It is obvious fact that we can see shadows in the areas where the light cannot shine because of some obstacles on its way to these areas. Look at the Fig.11. The internal shadow that was generated by the plug-in is the result of such obstacle - the opened fold of the booklet. In particular, 1b point is the "result" of 1a point (the corner of the opened fold). Therefore, if we can look at the booklet from the "point of view" of the light, then we will see the shape of the shadow that is dropped by the booklet. This is just the outer shadow that we want to prepare. And Page Curl Pro will help us in this task! Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.11.)

    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Outer shadow source.png) 1. We should orient the booklet in 3D space, so that the point 1a coincides with the point 1b. These points are our first "assistant" that let us obtain the correct result. And the second "assistant" is the point 2, which should remain visible while orienting the booklet. Please keep in mind that there is NO necessity to make this orientation very precisely. You can see our result on "Outer shadow source.png".

    Note: if you don't want to lose the current settings of the plug-in, then you may export (to PSD or to PNG) the just obtained result of orienting the booklet in 3D space, rather than apply the plug-in. This is exactly what we have done.

    2. Open "Outer shadow source.png" in your host and then, place it in the new layer above the booklet and name it Shadow Source.

    3. Make the content of Shadow Source black. We used the Hue/Saturation palette for this purpose and simply specified the Lightness to -100. The result is shown on Fig.12.

    4. When we oriented the booklet in 3D space for obtaining the "Outer shadow source.png", we acted in compliance with the lightness. But now we should properly distort the Shadow Source in compliance with the real position of the booklet in 3D space or in other words to give it the correct perspective.
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.12.)
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.13.)

    To help ourselves, we have prepared the "guides" that have become our "assistants", just like the ones that we have used while orienting the booklet. Take a look at Fig.13. The green lines are the "guides" that helped us to correctly distort the Shadow Source.

    5. We used the Free Transform Tool of Photoshop to distort the Shadow Source. The result is shown on Fig.14.

    6. Make a copy of the obtained layer, (It's always a good idea to keep the source safe.) and place the copied layer beneath the layer with the booklet. Call the Gaussian blur filter and specify the radius to 2.5. Now slightly adjust the position of the blurred shadow to obtain the look similar to our Fig.15.

    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.14.)
    Gallery Image A2 - With All Respect to Genius (Fig.15.)

    7. And now the final steps. To make these steps we should keep in mind two general statements: (i) the shadow becomes as lighter as further it is from the object and (ii) the edge of the shadow is as sharper as it is closer to the object. ("Graphically" speaking, the latter statement means that the shadow has the gradient blur.) The statement (i) is important in practically all cases, but the statement (ii) depends on the particular situation and we count that in our particular case, when the visible part of the shadow is not large, it is not necessary to complicate the things and prepare the gradient blur. The regular blur looks good enough. So, here are the final actions - using the Lasso tool make a selection like the one that you can see on Fig.16. Add the Layer mask to the layer with the shadow and using the Gradient tool (Linear) get the desired look of the selected part of the shadow. Re-apply the Gaussian blur filter (with the same radius, we mean.) Deselect.

    That's all, we have completed the design. You can see its larger view in our gallery on the site.

    Gallery Image A3 - Origami by AV Bros. (Origami-Result.jpg)

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