Today I will be showing you how to use GIMP, a free-ware image manipulation tool, to make a DVD cover. All you need for this is the program GIMP, which can be found at: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
Step 1: Setting Up a Template
First you want to create a new image, 10 3/4 inches long and 7 3/16 inches wide. Then drag a bar from the left hand side of the screen (circled in red) 5 3/32 inches from the left of your image, as well as 5 3/32 inches from the right of your image, as shown. This creates a divider that tools like the rectangle select tool will lock to, allowing easy separation of the back cover (right half), spine (middle), and front cover (left half).
Step 2: Designing the Cover
Personally, I like to start with the background first, then images, then text. Remember to always work in multiple layers, so that if you mess up one graphic, your background, for example, is not ruined as well. For simple backgrounds, a gradient can be used. However, try to play around with many of the built-in plugins to create a unique and awesome looking background. The tool circled in red is the gradient tool, and to add a new layer, right click a layer, and then select new layer.
Step 3: Spine Text
To put text on the spine, use the text tool first (circled in orange). After you type the title and select the font and colour you want, use the Rotate tool (circled in red) to rotate the text layer 90 degrees. Then use the move tool (circled in yellow) to move the text in place.
Step 4: The Rest
The rest of the design is up to you! This tutorial serves to help with the more technical details, such as dimensions, important tools, etc. Be creative, and make a cover that represents the DVD you made!
Step 5: Exporting
Once you are finished your cover, to export it, go to File>Save As, then name your file and select a file type. The default file type is .xcf, which is a GIMP project file. IF you want to be able to print the cover, you need to save in an image file formant, such as .jpg or .png.