Photoshop Car Tutorial

This tutorial describes how to render this car. I use paths a lot. In this tutorial I also use layer masks and layer filter. The whole thing took about two hours to complete. Drawing out the paths is the most tedious part but once theyre layed out it all comes alive.

1. Path tool

Start by drawing the vehicle using paths. Keep all paths on the same layer and be careful not to accidentally delete them at any stage.

2. Base

Fill the main part of the car with a midrange colour colour. I've filled it in with black then reduced the opacity. This way I can manipulate the colour quicker and more effectively.

3. Shadow

Fill in any area which is creating a shadow or is very dark.

4. Wheels

Model some wheels using a 3D CAD program or download some that fit.

5. Glass

Fill in the areas which are glass. Differenciate interior and areas where you'd see straight through.

6. Glass Blackout

Add some blackout areas. These are areas which hide the glue which would stick the glass to the car.

7. Glass Highlights

And finally add some highlights to the glass.

8. Darkening

Select the base area and add a gradient for the area which are low down on the car.

9. Highlights

Highlight the areas which face upwards.

10. More highlights

Use several layers to add and test where more highlights might look good.

11. Light Detail

Add some detail for the lights or if you have door handles or badges etc...

12. Shutlines

Add some shutlines and fade out the ends using the eraser to create a casual sketchy feel.

13. Shutline highlights

Stroke the shutlines with a slightly thicker white brush and fade out the ends as before.

14. Atmosphere lighting

Using the layer mask fade out the rear of the base layer. Using layer mask as opose to highlighting it with a white brush gives you more control over it.

15. Background

Create some shapes for the background. The previous step suggested that there is light coming in from the rear so the background features a white area on the left hand side.

16. Finishing touches

Using the layer mask create some patches on the wheels to give them a rugged flavour. The lights are a simple thick line with an outer glow layer filter applied to it.


Et voila. If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask...