Blog.SpoonGraphics

Create a Stunning Car Showroom Brochure

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This post was originally published in 2007
The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

Use Photoshop to transform a digital photograph of your car into a flawless showroom brochure page.
The obvious thing to start with is an actual photograph of your car, we don’t all have a photography studio large enough to house a vehicle and the equipment to capture a professional shot but an image from your average digital camera will do for this mockup. You can help enhance your shot by using a tripod at a low angle, and try and prevent any major reflections on the car bodywork.

The following brochure page mockup is an example outcome of this guide, combining your manipulated image with additional elements and sales blurb to produce an impactful promotional tool.

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Click to Enlarge

Open up your original image into Photoshop. If your image is going to be used for print in the long run, convert to CMYK and adjust the resolution as necessary.

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Start off by drawing a path around the outline of the car, zoom right in and keep within a few pixels to prevent any background creeping in when the image is cut out.

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Make a selection from your complete path, then Copy and Paste the vehicle on a new layer and fill the background black.

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The image has quite a sharp outline from where it was cut out. Reselect the layer and Contract (Select > Modify > Contract) by 2px then Feather (Select > Feather) by 1px, Inverse (CTRL+SHIFT+I) then delete. This should help the image blend in a little better.
Create a Black > Dark Grey gradient in the background to add a bit of depth to the image.

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Duplicate your vehicle layer, then set the layer style to Multiply. This will transform the tones of the photograph and help it blend in with the dark surroundings. Merge down this layer (CTRL+E) to combine the two vehicle layers. If you notice a highlighted outline appearing as a result simply repeat the Select > Contract & Feather procedure.

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As you can see, the sky from the original photograph is still visible, zoom right in and draw paths around the windows, then Desaturate the selection (CTRL+SHIFT+U).

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Create a new layer and fill this selection a dark grey picked from the background. Setting this layer to Hard Light with around 75% Opacity will help blend in the windows.

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Duplicate your vehicle layer, then flip vertically and position underneath the car to act as a reflection.

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Draw a mask around the front section of the car’s reflection and press CTRL+T to Transform, use the Skew and Rotate options to bring the reflection parallel with the front of the car.

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Adjust the Opacity as necessary (60%) and use a large eraser to fade out the reflection at the bottom.

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The next step is to tidy up some of the reflections on the car, such as the tree showing through from the rear window.
Copy a section of the front side window and paste on a new layer. Position this selection over the tree branches and blend in as necessary with the eraser.

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Repeat this process on the rear wing to remove the reflection of the buildings. Create a selection of a clean area of bodywork, Copy & Paste then adjust the Levels (CTRL+L) and Hue & Saturation (CTRL+U) to match the colour. Use the eraser to blend in.

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Repeat this procedure on the other reflections to create smooth areas of colour. It may be necessary to copy multiple areas of different shades and blend them together. Use the Clone Stamp tool and Healing Brush to remove small blemishes and reflections.

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Repeat this procedure again on the front bumper to remove the bright highlight, copy an area from the opposite side and use the Levels (CTRL+L) to blend in.

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Brighten up the wheels to make them a little more prominent, draw a selection around them both, then adjust the Levels (CTRL+L). Don’t forget to repeat on the reflected vehicle!

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Draw a path around the headlights and adjust the Brightness & Contrast (Image > Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast) to give more of a crystal finish. Use the Hue & Saturation (CTRL+U) to remove some of the blue tint. Repeat this step with circular selections of the fog lamps.

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Draw another mask around the number plate and fill with a slight gradient using light shades of grey. Then add some text and use the Perspective, Skew and Distort from the Transform (CTRL+T) palette to manipulate into shape. Don’t forget to duplicate and place on the reflected vehicle too!

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Finally layout the composition and add some additional elements to the artwork such as sales blurb from the manufacturer’s website to finish off your showroom brochure page.

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Click To Enlarge

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24 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    This is mint pal!

  2. Ashis says:

    Is there any other?

  3. Chris says:

    Very nice job, I’m going to do this some time with my car. Thanks for putting the time into making a tutorial, it does not go unappreciated.

  4. Martin says:

    lol, why haven’t u wrote all the thing whats should I do to make it.. I don’t even know how to do the first part of the tutorial “Start off by drawing a path around the outline of the car, zoom right in and keep within a few pixels to prevent any background creeping in when the image is cut out.” where da hell is path drawing tool or how to copy selection to new layer or smthn.. It’s tutorial, not the story telling website… LOL, if you don’t no how to write tutorial then dont even write them…

  5. David says:

    Actually, this can be used for any type of physical product of any size! Props to you!

  6. haha!! says:

    Nice job!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Martin,

    Learn your tools, then, you’ll know how to use the tool needed.
    S12thead

  8. Mr. Slap-in-the-face says:

    Martin,

    You are a fucking douche. If Spoon wanted to teach a course in Photoshop, he would, and he’d probably rape you for tution. Get a life.

  9. sheila says:

    We use simular techniques to present vehicle graphics to our customers mainly masking the background to a white to make the vehicle with graphics really POP Our site is a great resource for this http://www.advertiseyourdrive.com well example of this method. Great work!!!

  10. Mark says:

    Great work here. Looking forward to trying it out.

  11. askme says:

    Martin,

    u idiot. If you don’t know any tools in PS then WTF are you doing here? Get a life! Hahahaha

  12. Jay055 says:

    Thx Pal! Nice Job!

  13. D Legal says:

    Thanks for the tutorial; I just so happened to be looking for something exactly like this.

  14. Paul says:

    Good in its own way I guess, but it’s not really professionally done (the technique I mean). First of all, converting to cmyk is the second last thing to do (not the first), and the final thing would be to apply sharpening. Also the copying and moving is quite unnecessary, most things corrected in this tutorial can be easier done with clone and healing tools (on their own layers of course so errors can be made without ruining the whole image)

  15. Josh says:

    This is great tutorial, I wish I saw this before. I just finish a similar project recently but since the car is in vector so I did a mash distortation for reflection in illustrator. I didn’t know you can do it so easily in photoshop. By the way, just discover this website today, this is awsome site.

  16. oxid says:

    great tutorial, thank you!
    i had some problems when creating the gradient mesh, the procedure had refilled the whole rectangle to black, I had to recolor the mesh points one by one.
    at me applying the mesh tool to a gradient-filled object does not retain the original gradient fill

  17. oxid says:

    ok, my comment was meant to go to the RSS icon tutorial :D

  18. saurav says:

    Thanx for giving me a nice tutorial this will help me to do my next project….

  19. Jordan says:

    You should have done the reflection after the effects to the car. There’s changes in the scenery visible on the car’s reflection where it is not on the car itself.

  20. Helen says:

    I’m having trouble with this step – “Make a selection from your complete path, then Copy and Paste the vehicle on a new layer and fill the background black.”

    I can’t figure out how to do it for the life of me! Please help! I’m also having trouble with the pen tool in Photoshop – you get a lot of strange curves, but in Illustrator you can click on the previous anchor point and then your next curve doesn’t spaz out. Is there a way to do that in Photoshop? Thanks.

  21. Papas says:

    Martin
    Let me save you the time and effort, if u cant learn on ur own then dont even try to draw a straight line wit MSPaint

    Paul
    There are always better ways of doing things,if u have a problem wit how dis was done make your own tutorial

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