Creating a cdArt in Photoshop

Published by: @filthycatbox - August 8, 2012
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Difficulty: Intermediate Est Time: 20mins Software: Photoshop Category: cdART

This tutorials goes over how to use a template to create cdART in Photoshop.

PhotoShop cdART Template (v4)

Step 1: Open the CD template and select one of the layers inside the relevant folder. There are 4 folders, each one should fit a particular cd size.Some cds have a transparent centre hole, whilst some have different sized split-ring centres. Look at your cd image and select which one is suitable and drag your cd scan into this layer.

Step 2: Resize your cd scan. Using Ctrl+T (Cmd+T on Mac) will bring up a resize box. Hold down Shift+Alt and drag one of the corner boxes to resize the layer. You can move the layer around until it’s in place and properly resized. Once satisfied, press Enter to apply the changes.

Step 3: Make sure that you have the side guides visible (Ctrl+R) and drag a guide from the top down to somewhere in the cd image that will help you line up the cd properly. Now, using Ctrl+T again, rotate the cd so that it is correctly aligned. Each cdArt MUST be properly aligned.

Step 4: The centre hole may need a slight adjustment if it does not fully cover your cd scan. Select the Vector Mask Thumbnail of the layer folder which your scan has been placed.

Next, select the Path Selection Tool from the left-hand tools palette and click on the path of the centre hole mask. Again, using Ctrl+T resize the path (ensuring that you hold Ctrl+Alt whilst dragging) so that it completely covers the centre hole in your scan.

Step 5: You may need to adjust the image tones if the scan does not look the same as the original cd print. Add a Levels Adjustment Layer above your cd layer and experiment with the sliders until the colours look accurate. The left slider will adjust the shadows whilst the right one, the highlights.

Step 6: Check the image carefully. It should be correctly aligned, with no parts of the original scan (edges and centre hole) visible and be as close as possible to the original print of the cd.

Step 7: File>Save for Web & Devices will bring up the save dialog. Make sure that both PNG-24 is selected and that the Transparency check-box is ticked. Click Save to save your file.

Check the size of your cd file on the lower left of this pane. If it is above 850k then you will need to go back and lower the Posterize levels again. Select the Posterize Adjustment Layer and lower the number in the palette. This will reduce the amount of colours in the image. A number of 25-35 is usually enough for most scans. If it is a little larger than 850k, the next step may reduce this enough.

Step 8: Go to to upload the saved file, then download the new image.

Step 9: Finally, go to to find the relevant Music Artist page and upload the cdArt to the correct Album entry in the cdArt Upload menu. Once uploaded, a moderator at will check your image to see that it adheres to the high quality guidelines of the site.

Thank You for your hard work! It will be appreciated by fellow htpc music lovers around the globe.

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