The automotive industry invests millions, if not billions of dollars annually on advertisements for their vehicles. With a wide variety of offerings, including luxury sedans, SUVs, offroad vehicles, trucks that can haul giant payloads, or eco-friendly electric cars, it’s no wonder that designers work frequently with car-related advertisements.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to start with a basic texture, then photomanipulate a beautiful outdoor scene and blend it into the texture for an effective base. You’ll learn how to use custom brushes effectively in a workflow, and you’ll learn how to composite a car into the advertisement.
Let’s get started!
- Adobe Photoshop
- Stock images
- Scans or Brushes
- Tablet (not required)
Final Image Preview:
Step 1: Document setup and custom brush discussion
To start off we need to create a new document. Now despite my usual tastes this document should be set up at about 1450*2175.
Once you have the document created you will need a stock image. I will be using a image I created a while back using a few images of paper I scanned and pieced together however you can find similar stocks all over the net. In fact I would suggest you use a stock similar to this one http://bashcorpo.deviantart.com/art/Grungy-paper-texture-v-6-37649221
My background looks like the below screen shot.
Now you will need to gather up your water color brushes! If you don’t have any you can check out my tutorial on created fan located on http://design.creativefan.com/combining-custom-brushes-for-wild-effects-in-photoshop/ or you can browse through the mass amounts located on the internet. However you want to go just make sure you have plenty to go around!
Step 2: Stock isolation and the first steps of the manipulation
To start off the rest of our piece we need to head over to http://cdn-www.rsportscars.com/images/cadillac/2010-cadillac-srx/cadillac-srx-2010-front-main.jpg and grab the stock so we can isolate it out.
Just simply drop it into your document and isolate the car out.
Now we need to hide our car so all that is left visible is the canvas. Now we need to go ahead and grab our first landscape stock image. The first landscape stock image is located at : http://www.sxc.hu/pic/l/p/pg/pgrim/592978_25003174.jpg
You want to copy this into your document and move it about halfway up the document and place it as I have in the below screen shot.
Now you will want to isolate everything out except the dirt/dirt hills on either side. You can use your pen tool to do this but I used a size 5px hard eraser. The main reason I used the eraser for this is because unlike a normal isolation process, for instance a human, a mountain (or hill) has no real soft curves or rounded edges; all of the hills edges are sharp and hard. My image looks like the below screen shot now.
Here comes the fun part! Now we need to apply a layer mask (if you haven’t already done so) and whip out your brushes. The idea here is to erase pieces of the dirt randomly with your water color brushes. However you will only want to do this with an erase that has about 25/45% opacity.
You can also use the opposite colors so you get the opposite effect. But as I say try to match my opacity, it should be very low but enough to give some texture.
Now you need to pay special attention to the bottom of our stock. No one likes the large hard edges so what you want to do here is erase large quantities of this section and the brush them back over all the time using your watercolor brushes.
My document now looks something like the below screen shot.
Now we need to create a new layer underneath this layer. What we will do here is apply some brushes so they are showing through the slight transparencies of the dirt layer. Its imperative however that you use colors similar to that of the colors in our dirt stock image. In fact I used my eye drop tool to select colors from the dirt while doing this process.
Now we will do the same process with a new layer but this time the new layer will be on top of the dirt layer and this time we should use some lower opacities brushes so we don’t lose any of the texture from the original stock image.
When doing this step apply a great deal of brushes to the hard edge that we previously removed. This will help the transition from the dirt to the dirty canvas.
I used some drip brushes here to apply a little bit more detail but this is not required.
You can also gather up some splatter brushes to apply some fine splatters to the canvas below the dirt. This will also help in the transition.
My image now looks like the below screen shots.
Now we can unhide the car and free transform it down and place it on top of our dirt layers.
Once that is done we can create a new layer underneath the car. Once this is done grab one of your standard brushes, something between 5-10px and just draw underneath it in black.
Once that is done we can apply a Gaussian blur with a radius of about 25%. Your image should look like the below image as of now. However if yours is too dark just decrease the opacity!
Step 3: Stock isolation and manipulation continued
Now we need to head back over to SXC and grab our second landscape stock image. The next stock image is located at: http://www.sxc.hu/pic/l/c/cr/creativewa/719311_65896163.jpg
This layer should be beneath all your other layers and placed around halfway up as we did prior.
Now just isolate it out as we did the previous one. This time we just want the mountains, no sky.
Once it is isolated we can erase pieces of it using the layer mask as we did with the last stock image.
Now we can start apply brushes above and below the mountain stock layer. This time we will try to match the colors as we did with the previous stock, however its ok to use white, black and blue more predominantly then it appears on the mountains. For example I used straight black (with a low opacity) for the shadows and used blue all over.
My canvas now looks like the below screen shot.
Now we can grab up our last stock. Our last stock is located again at SXC http://www.sxc.hu/pic/l/p/pi/piro/1205586_72226551.jpg
We will drop it underneath the other stock layers and place it so the image ends at the top of our canvas.
This time we will do the erasing differently because we don’t want patchy clouds. Just use your largest brushes and erase large sections all over the canvas. This will make it appear as if the opacity for this layer is about 15% lower than it actually is and that is fine.
Now we will only apply brushes beneath the sky layer. This time only use blues so the sky still looks clean, just lightly textured. An up close screen shot of my cloud layer looks like the below screen shot.
Step 4: Doodles and closing
As of now we could be done. But why finish it off this quickly! So now we will create a new layer on top of all of our other layers. Once you have done that you can grab your standard 3px brush.
Like with the brush strokes we will want to use similar or like colors for the area we are sketching on. For instance I used a dark brown color and started sketching down at the bottom.
Now just move up to the mountains! I used yellow as well as blue, black and white on the mountains but the yellow is just a suggestion and is not extremely visible.
Now we can save our document, merge it down and sharpen it! Once that is done duplicate the layer and go to your filter drop down menu, select other and choose the highpass filter. Set the high pass filter as high as it will go and press ok. Once you have done that turn this layer into an overlay layer and set the opacity to about 30%. Now we are done! I hope you enjoyed reading my tutorial and have learned at least one trick or maybe came out with a piece you created that you are proud of! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. My final image looks like the below screen shot.