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Quick Colour Change for Your Car

Recently I have been helping a few people choose the paint for their cars and it got me to thinking. It is a big job and an expensive job to undertake.

The key point in all of this is that you want to make the right choice when it comes to colours (ya no shit right?).

So I thought I would share a method I use to change the colour of a car for those of you who have photoshop and a basic understanding of how to use it.

The most difficult and time consuming part of the process is tracing the body of the car.

If possible, select an image of your car / an example of your car that is a fairly neutral or light colour. Changing the colours of dark / freak show painted cars is a nightmare.

Program used : Photoshop CS5

We’ll start off with this Camaro :

First step is to locate the pen tool  and trace around the body of your car and don’t forget to also trace around the elements of the car that you do not wish to have their colour changed ie windows / grille / lights.

If you are unsure as to how to use the pentool, have a play around with it and learn what you can and cannot do with it first. Then once you have a basic understanding, do a quick search on youtube for a ‘photoshop pentool tutorial’.

So what you now need to do is create a new layer , select the layer and begin tracing around the car body first and then the trace around the other elements that you do not wish to change colour.

Once you have completed tracing the car, right click on the body and select ‘Create Vector Mask’.

Above is an example of what the vector mask looked like for my example.

The next step can become quite time consuming, depending on the colour(s) you are looking to achieve. Duplicate your vector mask layer (3 or 4 times).

Select one of your mask layers and make use of the ‘layer palette’ (image above). A good starting point is to change opacity to 85% and stack three layers with ‘Color’, ‘Soft Light’ and then ‘Overlay’. From there simply mix a variety of colour combinations to get your desired colour(s). Seriously, depending on your base colour, the combinations you use could be all over the place – for example the above three layers are what was used to achived the orange two tone below.

Now you can pretty much do anything with your car. This is a very quick two tone paint job by simply creating another vector mask of the top half of the car and applying the different layer palette’s as mentioned above.

If you have a more effective way of changing colours, please feel free to share. This is merely a method I have used for a while now.




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