Quick car rendering in Photoshop

Quick car rendering in Photoshop

This tutorial shows how to quickly render a car in Photoshop with a marker rendering style. The author is Pankaj Dhamane, Senior Designer at Maruti Suzuki India.

Tutorial by Pankaj Dhamane

Step 1. Select one of your thumbnail sketches and refine it. Scan it and do some cleaning in Photoshop. For any type of rendering whether it is
handmade or digital the base sketch must be good enough in terms of perspective and line quality.

Car rendering in Photoshop Car rendering in Photoshop

Step 2. Here we are ready with clean line work.Now you can use this sketch image for any type of
rendering. Fill black colour in the areas like air dam, wheel spoke negative space etc.

Car rendering in PhotoshopKeep this layer at
the top
and in multiply state so that you can render the car without loosing the line work.

Step 3. You have to decide the light source and depending on that think of shadow and highlight of the

It will be helpful if you are clear about the reflection in sketch itself.

That will help put right contrast of colour while rendering. I have decided the light source is at front and
directing at an angle towards the car.

Keep the Surfaces blank (White) facing the light source so that
more contrast is achieved. I have decided body colour to be red.

Use the Watercolor Textured Surface brush and select the color (in this case Pantone 1788C), then darken the areas of reflection and shadow.

Car rendering in Photoshop Car rendering in Photoshop

Go over it again and again to achieve the contrast in shadow area and defining the depth in the
surfaces. Do not worry about excess colour going out of the outline, you can always erase it.

Car rendering in Photoshop Car rendering in Photoshop

Step 4. When I am through with the body colour, I go for Cladding parts which are dark colour, may be
dark gray or black. Add little highlights to the surfaces exposed to the light source to give depth to the

Car rendering in Photoshop Car rendering in Photoshop

You can use the Dodge and Burn tools to add highlights and to create shadow. The wheels are rendered
in warm gray with again leaving some black area to create contrast. To create more contrast and depth in the scene I have added some shadows.

You can run dark gray or simply
black colour to create the shadow effect. If you feel the black is getting too dark you can play with layer

Step 5. Go on filling the interior with a colour which mateches the exterior; adding depth by going over again and
again to create contrast.

Car rendering in Photoshop Car rendering in Photoshop

You can create different layers, one for each step, like body, interior, cladding etc. Layer management is very helpful for a better rendering result.

Step 6. Give glass effect by playing with the transparency effect. You can go dark towards shadow side
and keep immediate portion transparent to create contrast.

Car rendering in PhotoshopSame thing can be done with the DLO(*), where the bottom can be dark and the upper half transparent. Add blue to the shadows on the hood, glass and roof to give a sky reflection effect. Details like this help in adding
depth to the rendering.

(*) DLO = Daylight opening: The perimeter of the windows area.

Step 7. The final stage is adding more details. Add warm gray colour for the headlamps and then add more
white to create reflective effect. The transparent effect can be achieved by adding some blue
and playing with the layer opacity.

The chrome grille is the last part I like to do.

To create a highly reflective effect I have created an horizon
line, with the upper part reflectingo the sky and the lower part in warm grrey, showing ground reflections
is treated with warm gray.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

This tutorial is copyright of Pankaj Dhamane. Please do not reproduce or use
it for commercial purpose without written permission.

About the Author

Pankaj Dhamane works with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd as Senior Designer.

His major professional works include

  • Exterior: Swift Dzire (2008), Zen Estilo (2006), Maruti 800 Face lift (2004)
  • Interior: Suzuki APV Arena (2008)

He has received his Master’s Degree in Industrial design from IDC, IIT Bombay in 2003.


(Tutorial text and images: Pankaj Dhamane)

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