Ford Focus Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Posted this in another forum. Didn't say anything like this in a search so I thought I'd share:

I have never sat down and documented, step by step, how I photoshop wheel, ride height, and color changes on a car. In this pictorial I will walk you through how I do it.

Though part of my profession includes graphic design, I have never been formally trained. Everything I do is self-taught so if what I show varies from other tutorials or isn't the industry standard way of doing things, I apologize in advance.

Step 1: Chose photos to manipulate.

You are going to want to choose large pictures if you can. The larger the better. That is a good rule of thumb. Small resolution photos have fewer pixels which makes edges more "jagged" and harder to "cut out."

When choosing to add wheels from one photo to another, it is extremely helpful to find wheels at the same, or similar angle. The easiest way to do this is a straight side shot of the car, with the flat face of the wheels.

I have chosen to do one at an angle to show the variations that will have to be made. If I were to have chosen a flat faced shot of a wheel and an angled shot of the car, the wheels will have look flat and fake when manipulated. If you can't find a good angle of the wheels you want, then take a picture of your car at the angle of the wheels. This is much less work .

Photos for Manipulation:






Step 2: Cutting Out the Wheels.



With a mesh wheel, this will be really tedious. With that said, the easiest way to cut out a circle is with the "circle elliptical" tool. Instead of trying to guess where to originate the circle, I apply rulers to the photo.

With the "move tool" selected you can grab the vertical and horizontal rulers and drag them to where you want. Then start your circle until it is around the part you need. This is easier to do on a flat face angle rather than this one. It will not be perfect this way, but it is much quicker than "lasso tooling" the whole circle.



After you select what you need, copy and paste it into a new layer. You can now make the lower layer invisible by deselecting the "eye."



Now comes the tedious part: selecting the parts between the mesh to delete. For this you will use the "polygonal lasso tool." This tool allows you to make anchor points by left clicking. Once you make a shape and connect the last point to the first, it will have a selected area.



To ad more pieces to what you have selected, hold down [shift] when starting the first click of another area. If you select a point that wasn't where you intended or needed, simply hit the backspace key. Once an area is completed, you can not go back a single point. If it is not right, you must "undo" and start over. Proceed until you have selected all the desired area to be deleted.



Now hit delete.



Your wheels are officially cut out. Now paste them into your car photo.



You will use the same wheel for both wheels. The manipulation of the wheel will make it look like different wheels.

Step 3: Blacking out the OG wheels.

The reason for blacking out the OG wheels is you do not want to see them under the new ones. For this, you will use the same technique as selecting the outside of the replacement wheels in the other file.

Move the rulers to the edges of the side and top of the wheel. Use the "circle elliptical tool" to select the area of the OG wheels.

To add the second area, hold down [shift] when dragging the second circle. You do not want to use pure black because it will most-likely stand out as most tires don't appear black in photos because of light reflection on curvature. Use the "eyedropper tool" to select the closest "black" to the area you will be covering. Then use the "paint brush" or "paint bucket" to fill the areas ON A NEW LAYER.





Every time you add something, or manipulate something, you want to do it on a new layer. This way, it can be changed later on if you are not happy with it. If you do this on the background, there is no going back once you have gone too many steps down the road.

Step 5: Scaling, skewing, distorting, perspective, etc. the Wheels.

Now it is time to put the wheels on. If the wheels are the same size at the OG wheels, this will be easy. Just scale or distort or whatever means you like to make the wheels fit directly over the "black" circles. If the wheels are going to be larger than the OG's, do it like this anyway. To get an accurate scaling of the wheels, you can go up the percentage the new wheels are verses the OG ones.

Ex: 17's are 1.134 times larger than 15's, so scale the new manipulated wheel to 113.4% and it will be exactly right. This can only be done AFTER you have finished transforming the wheel to match the OG wheel.

Or you can guess it like I did hahaha.



Rinse and repeat for the rear:



Step 6: Lowering the Car.

This step is pretty easy and will get you the hang of the lasso tool. Start out by selecting a point that is even with the lowest point of the body of the car, outside the edge of the photo. the connect a line to the closest bottom edge of the car and make points all the way around the bottom until you get to the other side of the photo. Select a point outside the photo, then one at the top right, top left, and finally connecting to the first point.

IMPORTANT: when selecting any object, it is important to find the pixeled faded edge of the object. You want to try to make your points right on the faded edge every time, slightly to the inside. The reason is most times outside of the edge of the object is lighter. If you select to much of the light area, it will be apparent the photo has been altered when moved. This principle can be applied to any manipulation of a photo when the lasso tool is involved.



Now, copy the selected area and paste it into a new layer.



Once you move the layer down ([Ctrl] + arrow down) the rear fender will usually cover the rim before the front. To fix this, rotate the image. Move the cross hairs that are in the center to the bottom corner of the section area that is on the front side of the car. no go to the corner by the rear of the car and angle it down by clicking the corner and dragging. Move til your happy with the stance.



Step 7: Adding Shadows.

At this point, you will notice the wheels look flat under the fender of the car. That is because there are no shadows to create depth. Create a new layer and create "shadows" with a black "paint brush." It needs to be fairly large with the "hardness" at 0. Move the layer to under the car layer, and paint on some shadows.



Then lower the opacity until you are happy.



There will also be some issues at the back corners of the fenders where you did not select the fender backing when moving the car down. Create another layer and fill paint in some shadows with a color that matches the closest "black" in that area. Lower the opacity if necessary.

Step 8: Selecting the Paint Area of the Car.

So it's lasso tool time again. Now you will select the paint area of the car. Use the lasso tool and start tracing. Luckily, you have already cut out the bottom of the car so you won't have to do that again. WITH THE CAR LAYER SELECTED, get to tracing. Follow all the areas that are painted, tracing around areas like the windshield, seals, wipers, etc.



In the middle of the area selected are areas that will need to be deselected like the headlights, side windows, etc. Do this by pressing [alt] + left click the first point with the lasso tool on the area that needs to go. Do this each time you start a new area to be deselected.



Copy the car layer and paste it into a new layer. (It should be on top.)



Now make sure it is lined up perfectly with the car layer below. Zoom in a good bit and make the top layer viewable and unviewable by selecting the "eye" on and off again. If it is high, [Ctrl]+arrow down. If left, [Ctrl+arrow right. etc.



Step 9: Changing Colors Effectively.

The best way to change color is not to try to manipulate the existing color, but to desaturate and add a color through "color balance."



This will give you a pure color range to work with.



The color I want is Laguna Seca Blue. There are several ways to adjust the image to get a desired color: Hue, Saturation, Lightness; Color Balance; Selective Color; Levels; and others. I use a combo of the ones listed. This will take practice and is too lengthy to go into. Just play with it.







Step 10: Adjusting final image.

Finally you will want to "copy merge" and paste the entire image into a layer.



What you are doing now is making "level" adjustments to blend the blacks to a common color and give the image more detail.



And you are done!

Before:



After:



There is more to talk about but I am tired of typing. Luckily this background blended with no manipulation. Most times you must either erase the bottom edge of the car layer along the two flat lines going toward the edges of the picture or flatten the layer and use the "patch tool" to blend areas which takes some practice.

But this should get you well on your way to becoming a Photoshop Guru. Sorry I didn't go into more detail and took for granted you know where these tools are but you can search and find them just like I did.
 

·
Kyle Gave Me His Oklahoma Foot Disease!
Joined
·
11,279 Posts
Wow, that takes a lot of work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Great write up! I'm hoping to one day get photoshop for the house, but I recently got it at work and this should help me design quite a few projects...thanks!
If you want a free "photoshop" check out GIMP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Wow, that takes a lot of work.
Photoshop is just like painting or anything else really, you get out what you put it/it's all in the prep work. A guy on thesamba.com tried to be a know-it-all and say instead of using the lasso tool on the wheels to just use the magic wand tool. I told him to post his proof that he can do it without jagged problem areas so he did. I started circling his problem areas and got tired.




If you want to do a good job, you have to be willing to do the tedious parts. It only took me 30 minutes to chop the photo and do the write up. Practice will make you efficient.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
very good write up u can do it in GIMP2 also the steps are nearly identical and gimp is free
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
WOW great write up!! book marked for future use
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top