Saturday, November 15, 2014
How to make a custom card
Recently, a reader named Paul left a comment on one of my posts saying that he also wanted to make custom cards that never were, and was primarily focusing on players from 1990-1994 who never had cards, and asked if I had any templates available. That got me thinking, and I decided to make a post with a few basic templates and tips on how to make a custom card. Even though this blog is called "TOPPS cards that never were", I decided to make some templates with the 1991 Donruss and 1992 Upper Deck designs, just because those are really the only card designs that had fronts and backs that didn't have different colors for every team in the league.
I typically use Microsoft Paint while making my customs, but I also have GIMP, which is a great photo program similar to Photoshop (I just haven't toyed with GIMP much), and if you have Photoshop, I'm sure you can make some amazing customs with it. I'm going to go through how to make a custom in Paint, just becuase most computers have it, and you can get similar programs on a Mac.
Now you need to pick which player you are going to use. I am going to do Jeff Bagwell for this one. Once you decide that, you need a photo. I usually find photos by googling a player+ a year that I need or a team that I need, and usually that works. For some cards, I have to find a picture from a Major or Minor League card. www.comc.com works well for that, as well as www.tradingcarddb.com. I would try to find a photo that is around the same size as the card that you are working with (bigger ones or smaller ones look all grainy and crappy when you resize them), and one that you don't have to do much touch-up work to (erasing a watermark, blurring out an autograph, etc.). Once you have found a picture, open that up in your other window of Paint. Select the entire picture, and copy it.
As far as team logos, www.sportslogos.net offers a variety of team/league logos.
Now that the front is done, save the front. If you want to make a back, it's relatively simple. Just open the file for the Series 1 back, type the player name/bio, enter the stats, enter some career highlights, and give it a number.
www.baseball-reference.com, and I'll get any bio or highlights from the back of another card, or Wikipedia.
I made a back template for Series 1 & 2. Series 1 has pitching headers, and 2 has hitting headers. Since Bagwell is a hitter, all you have to do to change it is open the Series 2 back template, copy the hitter header, and paste it over the Series 1 back, and do color correction if needed. For the stats on Bagwell, he just gets a simple NO MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD on his stat lines. Simple enough.
Baseball Card Pedia is a great place to find out how many cards are in a certain set, what size the cards are, and if any numbers are missing in the set.
One last note, I probably should've used the select color tool and selected the shade of black that Donruss used on "CAREER HIGHLIGHTS", because I used black from the pallate tray on the bottom of Paint, and it looks a lot darker than the shade Donruss used. I'm not going to fix it, but I think it would look a lot better in the original black shade Donruss used.
I hope this post helps any aspiring custom card makers. I also put templates for 1992 Upper Deck up, which is probably an easier custom to make than a 1991 Donruss. On the backs of '92 Upper Deck, the National League gets the green nameplate, and the AL gets the red ones, and you can also put another picture on the back, just do it the same way as the front. You can rotate the back by selecting IMAGE from the toolbar, FLIP/ROTATE, and then rotate it by angle to type in the stats and NAME/TEAM/POSITION sideways, and then rotate it back to normal. Feel free to post any comments, questions, and links to any customs you have made, and as always thanks for checking out my blog.