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Old 09-25-2008, 07:10 AM   #1
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Using Photoshop

Hey, I've had a few people ask me about using Photoshop, so I thought I'd make a thread to discuss my techniques - it just makes more sense than writing a lot of PMs. It also gives other choppers a chance to add their own input. I would put it in Off Topic forum, but this seems like a good companion to the oft-used Photoshop Request Thread in this forum.

Okay, now to get started. It's easier for me to just walk through my process for my interior chops. Photoshop's pretty powerful, but the tools are not that hard to understand, it just takes some time playing around with them to get used to how they work. Most everything I do I learned from just trial and error. For right now, I'm just going to go over two general methods I use the most, layers and image adjustments.

Everything I do hinges on the use of layers. For my interiors, I usually keep the original image as the background, and then build up every component of the picture on top of that. For example, I will cut out the gauges and all the instruments, hardware, and anything else I want to maintain from the original image. I have two ways of doing this. The first is to duplicate the layer. The other is to use the polygonal lasso to select the parts. I usually have the feather set to zero pixels, and I always use the anti-aliasing. This is thousands of times easier then trying to trace an outline freehand, or relying on the program to recognized where the edge is supposed to be using the other two lassos. You can draw multiple selections by using the shift button every time you start the first click of the new section, or you can subtract from a selected area by holding down the Alt button on the first click of a new selection.

After I have what I want selected, I copy and paste it as a new layer. This is my method for doing all the gauges, seats, trim, and the exterior. Now it comes time to start altering the image as I see fit. The first thing I change is the background. Going to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate (everything at this point is under Adjustments), I take all of the color out. For these interiors, I like to remove the ambient lighting to get a cleaner image. The problem is, the picture becomes kind of bland, and the leather just looks wrong. I found that a subtle blue tint in the picture makes it seem a little more real. To inject this blue, I use the Levels tool. Under the channels Red and Green, I drop their Output Levels to between 220 and 230. I leave the RGB and Blue channels alone. I also do this process with the other layers whose colors won't be changed, so they blend into the background. This makes the interior surfaces really pop.

I've got my background set, so I'm ready to start doing color on the trim, seats, and exterior, as well as any tweaks I feel are necessary. Coloring is usually done with Hue/Saturation. A lot of times just shifting the hue gives pretty poor quality, so I like to use the Colorize feature. This has some drawbacks, like it also colorizes blacks that you might not want to colorize. A mix of hue shifting and colorization generally works. If you get pretty comfortable with Levels, you can use that. If you get really advanced, you can use Curves too. I have not used Curves so much, so you're on your own for that.

For doing whites and blacks, I use the obvious Brightness/Contrast tool. When transforming something to white, like trim and seats, I give it a little nudge with Hue/Saturation, bumping the lightness up a little. Then I go in and change up the brightness and contrast. Its important not to let yourself get carried away, though. You want to get something that preserves the details, like highlights, midtones, and shadows, but you will lose some of that in the process. Its a give-and-take, and in the end, you have to judge for yourself what blends best with the picture, and what looks the most realistic.

Most of the chops around here are exteriors involving stripes, so I can be of some help with those, too. Many of you do a good job, but I notice curved edges are very polygonal on your decals. I suspect this comes from using some sort of polygonal selection tool. One thing I am toying with is using Adobe Illustrator to create masks for the stripes/decals. If you draw the curves using illustrator, you can also create guides for yourself, like centerlines. I'm still experimenting with this using different techniques, so I don't have a specific procedure to give.

I hope that by sharing some of my process, that helps you newcomers to Photoshopping get started. Hopefully this thread will become an exchange for advice/tutorials. I know there are lot of other talented people who have their own methods they can share.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Wooo Hooo..

Awesome, Good pointers for those of us who know a little but need that extra nudge...



Thanks for taking the time to do this.

I recommend if you have any photoshop questions for the experts here, this is the place to post them.

Thanks agian.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:33 AM   #3
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Yeah thanks alot i have been asking alot of ppl their tips and im going to try them later tonight when im done at work

Last edited by Sizzox; 09-25-2008 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:07 PM   #4
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OMG..AWESOME. Thanks for the help. I hope they keep coming. I've also been learning by trial and error, but no where as good as you and others on this site.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:20 PM   #5
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Also, that was a great explanation thanks!!!


Heres a site from a guy who is also experienced in photoshopping various cars and he has made a "bible" tutorial on how to use it it helps me alot so good luck!


http://digimods.co.uk/tutorials/tutorials.htm
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:35 PM   #6
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One thing I have been trying to do is add black stripes to a silver Camaro, but I can't seem to figure out how to turn a silver Camaro black. I can change it to pretty much any other color but black, any suggestions?

I figure if I turn it black I can cut the stripes out of the black image and put them on the silver so it will keep the shape, reflections, etc.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldFire View Post
One thing I have been trying to do is add black stripes to a silver Camaro, but I can't seem to figure out how to turn a silver Camaro black. I can change it to pretty much any other color but black, any suggestions?

I figure if I turn it black I can cut the stripes out of the black image and put them on the silver so it will keep the shape, reflections, etc.
Uhm without going into detail this is how i do it:
(ask if you do need detail or check the site i posted previously)
Using the lasso tool (right click and set it to magnet for easier selecting) select around the entire car and press CTRL + C then CTRL + V to paste a copy of just the car over your original picture. Next, press CTRL + Shift + D to desaturate the picture and the car should become a greyscale. Then go to image > adjustments > variations and for black id say just keep clicking darker until you get a color you want.

Now click okay and look at your picture, you will have to erase some of the "fresh paint" or else your windshields and headlights will be painted as well so I would suggest using a decent sized eraser (you can change the size of it) and zoom in to every part you want to erase and do it carefully. THen you may want to play with the layer properties (overlay or screen etc..) in order to make the paint look more realistic....


OKAY i kno that was a very bad explanation its late, im tired. Either check that site (digimods.co.uk and click enter then go to tutorials) (or im sure many people here can explain it so much better)


Also I found for painting to make two layers of the same paint and so if you erase parts of the new paint blur pieces of the other layer underneath and it usually still looks clean....Ill try to make a more detailed tutorial if i can? Im not that good at it but im sure i can explain it...
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldFire View Post
One thing I have been trying to do is add black stripes to a silver Camaro, but I can't seem to figure out how to turn a silver Camaro black. I can change it to pretty much any other color but black, any suggestions?

I figure if I turn it black I can cut the stripes out of the black image and put them on the silver so it will keep the shape, reflections, etc.
DntWrryBeHappy21's method will work....but this might save you some time. Depends, really....

--Take the polygonal lasso tool and do not select the magnetic version. Now you have to keep in mind a simple principal: Small straight lines make very good curves.

--Roughly highlight your stripes using short line segments. (Lots of clicking)

--copy/paste this selection into a new layer

--refine, reshape, generally finish the stripes to your liking.

--select this layer, and go to the hue/saturation option box. Click the check-box labeled "colorize". And choose the color you'd like the stripes to be. OR...in your case, choose the layer, and go into the brightness/contrast box and darken the striped to your liking.

Hope that helped out a little bit.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:02 AM   #9
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Here's a funny but useful site
http://www.mydamnchannel.com/Big_Fat...shop3_400.aspx
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
DntWrryBeHappy21's method will work....but this might save you some time. Depends, really....

--Take the polygonal lasso tool and do not select the magnetic version. Now you have to keep in mind a simple principal: Small straight lines make very good curves.

--Roughly highlight your stripes using short line segments. (Lots of clicking)

--copy/paste this selection into a new layer

--refine, reshape, generally finish the stripes to your liking.

--select this layer, and go to the hue/saturation option box. Click the check-box labeled "colorize". And choose the color you'd like the stripes to be. OR...in your case, choose the layer, and go into the brightness/contrast box and darken the striped to your liking.

Hope that helped out a little bit.

that would probably be faster but mine was for the entire car paintjob not stripes im not really sure how i do my stripes...i just kinda do O_O
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:38 PM   #11
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My mistake. I thought you were talking about the stripes... It makes more sense, now......I was thinking to myself, "what the-- he selects the whole car just to erase it all?!?"
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatiaJockey View Post
his wife is annoying! i wanted to punch my computer screen

nice vid
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
My mistake. I thought you were talking about the stripes... It makes more sense, now......I was thinking to myself, "what the-- he selects the whole car just to erase it all?!?"
haha oops maybe i should have been more clear as well
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