Rendering 3D Book Cover

This tutorial provides a step–by–step guide on creating and rendering a simple 3D hard cover book mockup in Boxshot without any special graphic or art knowledge. All you need is 2D artwork and a few minutes of your time.


You need the 2D artwork for your book. It is easier when the artwork is split into front, spine and back parts, but Boxshot can also handle full–cover images.

In this tutorial we will be using the artwork below:

Sample 3D book artwork

The artwork comes in three images: for front, spine and back of the book. Here you can download it if you like.

Making 3D Book

Download and install Boxshot if you haven’t done this yet, then start it and switch to Books in the left panel:

Switching to books section in Boxshot

Click the Hard Cover Book icon in the left panel and drag it into the scene:

A hard cover book shape is added to Boxshot scene

Once the book shape is added, you can rotate the camera by holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse around. You can also zoom the scene using the mouse wheel.

Now open the folder with the book artwork, and drag the front image onto the front side of the book in the scene. Boxshot may ask you how to use the image, select the Texture item from the popup menu. You should see the image applied to the book:

Front artwork image is applied to the 3d book shape

Then do the same for the spine and the back of your book, so you end up with a fully configured 3D book shape.

If you have a full–cover image with both front, spine and back parts on the same image, you will need to enable the Wrap cover image around option and then drop the artwork on the book. Boxshot will use the artwork for all the parts of the book cover.

Wrap cover images around option for 3D books

When all the artwork is loaded, you should end up with something like that:

The artwork is fully applied to the book

Finally, you need to adjust the book size to match the artwork. Boxshot doesn’t change the shapes’ dimensions when you apply artwork, so you need to tell it to do so. Although you can manually configure the dimensions using the right panel, there is a faster way: simply click the Fit to images button that automatically resizes the book to match the artwork you uploaded:

The book is now resized to match the artwork

Note that if you use a full–cover image, Boxshot will not be able to compute the book thickness for you. In this case you need to configure the thickness manually using the right panel, then fit the shape to images like explained above.

Done! The book is now properly resized to fit the artwork you uploaded. Rotate the scene to check that everything fits well. You might also adjust materials further if you like.

Adjusting Camera

Before rendering the scene, it is worth visiting the Camera panel on the left to review the camera settings and adjust them. Switch to the camera panel:

Switching to the camera panel in Boxshot

What you might need to adjust is the Aspect field. The aspect is 1:1 by default, which means a square image. Boxshot shows the working area of the scene using gray overlay and if you look at the images above, you will notice the working area is square. Let’s change it to 4:3 and see what happens:

Changing scene aspect to 4:3

The gray overlay will get updated and the working area will have different proportions. It is really helpful to define a proper aspect ratio of the camera before rendering, so you render exactly what is needed.

Read more about camera settings here

Rendering Scene

Now we are ready to render the scene. Once again rotate the book to the angle you want to see it rendered. Adjust the zoom and other camera parameters, so the book fits the working area and click the Render button in the toolbar:

Switching to rendering mode in Boxshot

Boxshot will open a rendering parameters window, where you can setup the output resolution and other rendering parameters.

Configuring rendering parameters in Boxshot

Edit the rendering parameters where needed and click the Start button to start rendering:

Rendering the 3D book scene in Boxshot

Once the image is rendered you can save it using the Save button at the bottom:

Saving the rendered image to a file

That’s it! The image is rendered and saved. You can now close the rendering panel and render another angle, or save the project for further usage.

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