Automotive Rendering Techniques by Mikael Lugnegård

Automotive Design 20 Jan 2010
Automotive Rendering Techniques by Mikael Lugnegård

cmiVFX has published a video tutorial by Swedish designer Mikael Lugnegård titled "Automotive Rendering Techniques", which explains in detail the rendering process of a 3D sketch model, from the 3D mockup in Maya to the final touches in Photoshop. It can be purchased online at $19.95.

Automotive Rendering Techniques ScreenshotAutomotive Rendering Techniques is a new instructional video published by cmiVFX which provides an insight on how to get quality images by using Photoshop to accelerate final render times for client review.

Created by Swedish 3D-artist Mikael Lugnegård, Automotive Rendering Techniques can be purchased at $19.95 USD from the online store.

For more information visit or see the gallery of screenshots published by Virtual Car.

The video is part of a new series of training videos called cmiDirect, which focus on one topic at the time. Below we report the complete Press Release.

Automotive Rendering Techniques

3D Mockup in Maya

Automotive Rendering Techniques ScreenshotStarting off in Maya we will quickly show a very rough car model that will be the foundation for the design. The car is done with traditional polygon techniques which are not covered in this tutorial. The car was modeled in just a few hours and is very rough, but serves the overall purpose of a sketch model.

By toggling between a standard polygon mesh and a smooth mesh preview you will get an instant preview of the final surfaces. This technique is very useful when making sketch models. Sketch models are important in the process as it allows for easy straight-on modeling and evaluation. Using a polygon modeler like Maya makes the process both faster but also more flexible then it would be with Nurbs.

Rendering in Hyper Shot

Automotive Rendering Techniques ScreenshotExport the entire model to an .OBJ file and then import into Hyper Shot. Learn how to apply materials, change the environment, set up the camera for a successful rendering. Hyper Shot is indeed a great application for fast renderings and this section aims to reveal how it can be used in a slightly more advanced way and efficient way.

Different camera angles are evaluated and once the camera is locked down. Multiple renderings can be created using the same exact camera. Different materials and environments are tried out and this material will later be composited together in Photoshop.

Image Assembly and Color Correction in Photoshop

Automotive Rendering Techniques ScreenshotThe renderings are now brought into Photoshop for assembly and initial color corrections. Bits and pieces from different renderings are put together using layers and blend modes. Some initial color correction can be made to make sure that the overall palette is consistent and coherent.

By using adjustment layers it is possible to work in a non-destructive manner and really tune the levels and colors.

Learn how to work with the path-tool to create sharp and accurate design element such as cut-lines, vents and body creases.

Utilizing a set of brushes in combination with selections created with the path-tool a painted look is achieved. This technique allows for both precision rendering as well as for a more painterly style.


Utilizing the path-tool, details and color trims are created in a fast and creative manner. The front is given some extra attention as well as a number of other key elements. Headlamps and splitters are designed and painted in using different tools.

Final Touches

Learn to fine tune the project by continuing the work all over the rendering, adding details and sharpness, paying extra attention to textures. Utilizing a variety of techniques, learn to add sharpness, key lines and highlights to accentuate.

The final step before completion is the introduction of overlay textures that really make the project come alive. By using a variety of textures, the original colors are mixed and blended in a very artistic manner. This technique is somewhat of a signature to the artist and really takes the rendering to a whole new level.

About the Author

Mikael Lugnegård is a Swedish 3D-artist who has worked as a freelancer and CG-instructor for many years now. He attended Umea Institute of Design in Sweden.

Mikael is proficient in Model Making, Graphic Arts, Photo Editing, High End Product Rendering, Project Management and more. He is passionate about the arts and education as well as photography, downhill skiing and is a snowboarding instructor. Mikael is currently a consultant and design for Red Digital Cinema and runs his own company Lugnegård Designs in Sweden.

(Source: via Luciano Bove, Virtual Car)

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