This intensive tutorial will show you from start to finish how to mod and create your own car in Photoshop. This advanced tutorial is recommended for the expert Photoshop user and will show you professional techniques such as body sculpting, creating window reflections, and other photo-realistic effects!
Preview of Final Results
Virtual Tuning Photoshop Tutorial
To begin, I’ll be using this photo. You can use any photo you like for this tutorial to create your own virtual tuned car using the techniques in this tutorial.
Use the Pen tool to create a path around the body of the car.
In the Paths palette (Window > Paths), right click on the path then choose Make Selection. You can feather the edges by 0.3 px (Select > Modify > Feather) for smoother results.
Choose Edit > Copy to copy the selected area onto your clipboard. Open another picture of a car taken in a similar angle. This picture will be for the background and wheels. Paste the body (Ctrl + V or Edit > Paste) onto the image. Use the Transform tools (Edit > Transform> *) to rotate and position the body so that it covers the car.
Using the Lasso tool, create a selection of the bottom of the car and the rims on the background layer. A rough selection is fine.
Create a new layer in between the two layers and fill the selected area with black.
Hide the top two layers and see if there are any parts on the car that you can use. For example, in the image we used, we’ll be using the wheels and the front body kit. We’ll start with the front bumper lip. Create a selection of this bumper with the Lasso tool.
Press Ctrl+J to duplicate the selected area into a new layer. Move this layer to the top and use the Move tool to position it on the car.
Create a selection of the bumper cutout. Remember to feather the radius by 0.3 px (Select > Modify > Feather) for smoother results.
Fill the selected area with black.
Now we’ll take some chrome bumper parts. Find an image with a chrome bumper part that you like. Create a selection of it using the Lasso tool then choose Edit > Copy to copy it to your clipboard.
Switch back to the main document then choose Edit > Paste to paste it as a new layer. Use the Transform tool (Edit> Free Transform) to position and resize the chrome part onto the bumper.
Take the other side of the chrome part from the image and paste it onto the main document. Use the Transform tool (Edit > Free Transform) to resize and position the part into place.
Create a selection like shown below, create a new layer, then fill it with a dark gray color for now.
Fill the area with a carbon fiber texture. You can use Google Image Search to find many carbon fiber textures. Once you’ve placed the texture into the selected area, set the blend mode to Soft Light and opacity to 30%.
Use the Pen tool to create a path like shown below.
Create a new layer then select the Brush tool and set the brush size to 2 pixels. Make sure that your foreground color is white. In the Paths palette (Window > Paths), right click on the path you just created then choose Stroke Path. Change the opacity of this layer to 20%. Repeat steps 16 and 17 for the two sides. Simply draw a path like the white areas below then stroke the path.
Use the Lasso tool to create a selection like shown below. Remember to feather the selection by 0.3 pixels for better results. Copy the selected area onto your clipboard (Edit > Copy Merged).
Download and open a photo of a cloudy sky. Choose Edit > Paste then position the new layer to somewhere in the clouds that you want to copy. Ctrl + click on the thumbnail of this layer to load the selection. Delete the layer then select back the Background layer. Copy the selected area onto your clipboard (Edit > Copy).
Switch back to the main document then paste (Edit > Paste) the clouds. Position this on the carbon fiber then change the blend mode to Soft Light and opacity to about 50%.
Create a selection like shown below.
Find an image of a grill like the image below. Just like what you did before with the sky reflection, copy the selection of the grill and paste it back into the main document.
Position the mesh texture onto the bumper like shown below then use the Burn tool to add some some shadows to the edge of it.
Next, make a selection like shown below. Make sure that the layer with the body is selected.
Use the Dodge tool to add some highlights in the corner of the selected area.
Switch to the Burn tool then add some shadows to the bottom of the selection.
Create a new layer (Layer > New Layer) on the top and name it stroke.
Create a path like shown below using the Pen tool.
Use the Color Picker tool to select the light blue on the bottom left corner. Then in the Paths palette (Window > Paths), right click on the path then choose Stroke Path.