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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

How to design a car, according to Autocar’s in-house artist

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Using more layers, I’ll start to design the highlights. This is where I can emphasise parts of the car that I want to make a point of, and it really helps make the picture pop. I use the Path tool to create the shapes and then a white Brush. By using blending layers and masking parts of the layers, I can add proper depth to the image.

I’m continually adjusting details and changing the shading to make it all match. There’s a certain amount of trial and error at this point to get the right balance. I regularly flip the image, invert it or get rid of parts altogether to find mistakes or see how else I could evolve the design.

8 – Backgrounds and colours

I’ll usually have a chat with the magazine designers about their page layout, but we like to keep the background fairly clean and uncluttered so as not to distract from page design or readability.

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For the Jaguar, I’ve chosen a bright, neutral, studio-style background, which matches the paint’s brightness and visibility and the fact it’s a complete design that leaves nothing to the imagination.

I really like this car in white, but colour can be easily added by selecting the base layer, colourising it and then changing the blending options of the highlights to allow the colour to come through.

Glossary of my most used tools

Pen tool: To draw detailed paths around objects for specific selections.

Brush: Can be anything from a sharpened pencil to a soft airbrush.

Dodge and Burn: To highlight or darken specific tones, using the desired Brush.

Blending Layers: Photoshop allows you to stack objects in layers for easy editing and choose how these layers interact with each other.

Masks: Virtual masks can be created to control layers of transparency, giving you unlimited freedom to edit non-destructively.

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