Box Shot 3D Review: Can An eBook Cover Software Create Better Graphics Than Photoshop?

THE PROBLEM WITH EBOOK COVER SOFTWARE

eBook cover software that I have seen in the past, the graphics that they generate were never up to par. Though claiming to use a 3D rendering engine, graphics created by ebook cover software are always very flat in color, very poor in lighting effects, and also very rough around the edges.

Your product graphic deosn’t look real at all. So you never really get to have that nice, photo-realistic ebook cover graphic.

I can name a few names, but I think you can easily do a few Google search and find them.

That is why I have always used Photoshop for my ebook covers. With Photoshop, you can apply filters, styles, effects and you will have a nicer, more real looking ebook covers.

AN EBOOK COVER SOFTWARE AS GOOD AS PHOTOHOP?

But in the past two weeks, I have been checking out another ebook cover software. I make it appoint to check the sample output graphics before I check out the software more thoroughly. What I saw surprised me. It is nothing like what I have seen from any other ebook cover software.

My first thought was, “No way! They must have use Photoshop, GIMP and Paintshop Pro for this.”

But that was just my thought. I still don’t know the truth. So I thought I’d check it out. I downloaded the trial version and tried it out. And what do you know, they do generate nicer ebook cover graphics. I am so happy with their e-covers that I upgraded from a trial version to a full version.

And the software is called Box Shot 3D.

With Box Shot 3D, you can create graphics like DVD, CD, boxes (four variations), book, magazine, brochure and also stand up images (like membership card, website screen shot, photo, etc). By the way, I was also told that current version users will get a free upgrade to 4.9 2.9 (correction), which will include a spiral bound e-cover.

Unlike other 3D ebook cover software, Box Shot 3D has a much more superior rendering engine. That means, the developers spent a lot of time perfecting the final output graphics of your e-covers. When editing the ebook cover in the software, it may not look so nice. That is to make it lightweight so that you doesn’t encounter hiccups when editing your e-cover. But when you are done and it’s time to render the final output, you will get a polished, photo-realistic, 3D-looking ebook cover.

To really put this to the test, I just had to compare ebook covers created by Box Shot 3D with a solution based on Photoshop Action scripts.

So I created two ebook covers using the two methods, Box Shot 3D and Photoshop Action. I try to make them as close as possible. Both of them uses the same ebook cover design, both of them are the same size and both are facing the same angle (almost – I did my best).

I don’t know about you, but Box Shot 3D looks better to me. See the spine, it looks more of a curve. The shape, it also looks more real with better perspective. The one using Photoshop Action script does look a bit distorted.

And the shadow, it falls and fades away much nicer in Box Shot 3D. Sure does look like a real shadow. The one generated with a Photoshop Action, the shadows seems flat and not so real.

CREATING A 360-DEGREE ROTATING PRODUCT VIEW

Here’s another thing that I like about Box Shot 3D – being a 3D rendering software.

What’s good about a 3D engine is that you can create e-covers from any angle or view. You can create a graphic of your product from any 360 degree angle, and even any 90 degree vertical view. In layman’s term, you can view your product from the top, back, front or side, any side.

Using a command line feature (which means I can run software using the C: prompt), I was able to create 36 different images and arrange them into an animation. Now I have a turning product animation.

Now, the image below was created using Image Ready and only uses the GIF graphic format. And on top of that, I only generated 36 graphics, a view for every 10 degree. You can create a much smoother animation if you use Flash together with a full 360 images.

A PACKAGED PRODUCT IMAGE GRAPHIC

I am sure you have seen an image of a packaged product. To tell you the truth, I don’t really like the ones created with Photoshop. Clearly, everything is out of angle and perspective and doesn’t really look real at all.

With Box Shot 3D, you can really create product images one after the other, all with the right angle and perspective. And later, you can bring them together in one single image.

Of course this may require advance graphic editing skills and may take some time. But with some determination, you can have the perfect packaged product.

IT’S NOT ALL GOOD – SOME CONS…

Now, here’s the downside though. Because Box Shot 3D uses 3D rendering to generate the graphics, it may take a few minutes to get your ebook cover created. I mean, first you choose styles, designs, lightings, shadows, view angles, special effects, quality and the rest. And when you are done and happy with the settings, you hit the Render button.

Rendering an e-cover graphic can take from 1 minute to even 10 minutes, depending on your settings and the quality you choose. Being able to generate graphics up to 4000 by 4000 pixels, obviously it takes longer to generate higher quality ebook covers.

DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR PHOTOSHOP ACTIONS JUST YET…

If you already have ebook cover solution based on Photoshop Action scripts, don’t throw them out just yet. I am sure some readers are crying out, “Kidino, I already have DIY eBook Cover (or product ABC or product DEF, etc). Why should I get Box Shot 3D?”

Well, that is entirely up to you. I don’t want to force you into making decisions you feel unnecessary.

But if you ask me, I take both. Using Photoshop Action scripts, you get a wider range of e-covers to create. My DIY eBook Cover has 51 different designs, including soda cans, memory cards, iPod, PDA and a few others. At the moment Box Shot 3D has 21 different e-covers you can create.

And also, using Phototshop Actions, it’s a lot faster too. What takes 3 minutes in Box Shot 3D may only take 5 seconds in Photoshop.

But on the other hand, with Box Shot 3D, you get the flexibility of the 3D rendering engine. With a number of variables to control (shadow, light, angle, etc) you can create ebook covers from any view you want. With the superior 3D rendering, you also get a better looking, more real e-cover graphic.

And I think those are really the cool factors.

THE ANSWER FOR NON-PHOTOSHOP USERS (gimp, paintshop, photoplus, pixia, paint.net, etc)

But if you don’t have Photoshop, or you are the user of other graphic manipulation software, you may want to consider this. My readers have been writing to me asking about an e-cover solution for non-Photoshop users. Some of them asked if DIY eBook Cover would work with their graphic software, which is not Photoshop. And I hate to disappoint them, but in DIY eBook Cover, Photoshop is a requirement.

But I can’t deny the fact that there are hundreds of other image manipulation software out there other than Photoshop. And they are just as good, maybe better. And these software has thousands or loyal users.

There’s GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, Paint.Net, PhotoPlus, and many more. If users of these software have been left in the dark with Photoshop-only e-cover solutions, or even with poor graphics from ebook cover software, then they can be glad that there’s Box Shot 3D now.

So as my final answer, I give Box Shot Pro a 4-star (out of 5) rating.

Click Here To Get Box Shot 3D

 

26 Responses to “Box Shot 3D Review: Can An eBook Cover Software Create Better Graphics Than Photoshop?”

  1. Jo said:

    Sorry — what I don’t understand is that I just bought your ebook cover maker which I think is fantastic, and now you have another one you seem to be promoting that could be as good if not better than Photoshop .. and it’s free on google .. am I missing something here? Also, I never received my free ebook cover as advertised several weeks ago .. don’t get me wrong, I love everything you do and am a solid fan .. but I’m getting a tad confused here.

  2. admin said:

    Sure, just send me a trackback.

  3. admin said:

    Jo, some confusion here. Box Shot 3D is NOT FREE. It’s about $60. But you can download a FREE TRIAL, but ebook cover images generated by the software will contain watermarks. The full version will not. Another thing that I said about being free is is that they will give a free upgrade to their 4.9 2.9 (correction) version to their CUSTOMERS who has the current version. But only to those who already bought Box Shot 3D.

    And the free ebook covers, at first I mentioned doing a 24-hour free ebook covers. But I extended that and even did a few more. The lucky ones who got a free ebook cover from me is available from this page.

    http://www.diyebookcover.com/ecover/

    I am all burnt all. Those are all that I can do for now… Who knows, I may do another free ecover event in the future.

  4. Ian McKay said:

    Hi Kiddo
    I can see why some of your subscribers are confused, as the URL http://www.boxshot3d seems to give the impression that Box shot is indeed free. (See pasted below.)

    ——————————————————————————–
    Box Shot 3D is shareware. You may download a demo-version absolutely free. No registration or personal information is required. So why not give it a try? You can create your first boxed product, book or disc in just a few short minutes.

    As you can see, it states that this application is shareware; however, as it fails to mention anything about any upgrade, your subscribers can be forgiven for their confusion.
    Best
    Ian

  5. admin said:

    Thanks Ian for clearing that up with your info. Yeah, perhaps. And yes, they are forgiven. :)

  6. Terrie Wurzbacher said:

    Can you use DIY with photoshop elements?

  7. Jo said:

    OK, I stand corrected on both the Box Shot 3D ( I did download it, but have not used it to know there was an upgrade) .. also, I misunderstood about the free ebook cover from you .. and since I did buy the program with the free bonus, I need to get to it and start playing around … I also need to figure out how to upload those scripts, which is what has stopped me for now. No doubt there is a turorial somewhere. Thank you and my apologies .. and thanks Ian for your input, too!

    Sincerely,
    Jo

  8. Ian McKay said:

    You’re welcome Jo. Goodnight & Godbless!

  9. cyberstar said:

    how do you edit the text for the graphics?

  10. admin said:

    Cyberstar, you would need a graphic software to create the graphics on the e-covers. As long as the graphic software you use can create PNG or JPG, you are good to go. Depending on the e-cover you want, you may need to create the images for front, back, side, etc… You put in any text you want during the image creation process.

  11. cyberstar said:

    yes, but it doesn’t seem I can use the graphics templates they provided.

  12. admin said:

    CyberStar, the graphics that you get with Box Shot 3D, is not meant to be templates. It’s just samples on how to use Box Shot 3D. You can use those graphics to create new graphics with the same size / dimension.

    But you would need to create your own design. Box Shot 3D is not a tool to help you with the creative side… but then again, neither does any other ebook cover software that I know. They are just there to help you create a nice, photo-realistic looking product images.

  13. freelance web designer said:

    Thanks for review and it helps me a lot. I am going to buy this software soon.

  14. Ovi Dogar said:

    Here is a free resource for creating amazing ebook covers: http://www.absolutecovers.com/blog/2008/06/03/free-ebook-cover-action-script/

  15. Keep 100% Profit With PLR said:

    Thanks for Your reviews… its helps me ..

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  18. Smith said:

    I must admit that Photoshop is awesome software for processing photos, but this doesn’t mean it’s the only tool in 3D cover creating. The best thing to prove is Quick 3D Cover, which is probably the simplest 3d-application.

    http://sharewarecheap.com/Quick-3D-Cover_software_949.html

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    Great article! Great tutorial all about ebook cover design.

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