How to Create an Audi A1 Digital Car Painting in Photoshop

How to Create an Audi A1 Digital Car Painting in Photoshop
How to Create an Audi A1 Digital Car Painting in Photoshop

This tutorial describes how to create a photo-realistic rendering of a car, in this case an Audi A1. This tutorial relies heavily on paths and should take about two hours to complete depending on skill level.

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Begin by sketching your design. The line work doesn't have to be the best as you will go over it all using paths. Try to include as much detail as you but don't worry too much, the point of this is to develop a design as well so its a good thing if ideas come to you as you work. Scan the sketch and save your file. This particular file is 3500 pix wide if you’re working with anything considerably larger or smaller your results will be different due to brush sizes.


Step 2

Start by redrawing the lines using paths then hide the layer with the original sketch and on a new layer stroke the paths using a brush 1px wide. Rename this layer to 'lines'.


Step 3

Using the magic wand tool select the areas which represent the main bodywork/metal areas. On a new layer use the paint bucket tool to fill in these areas.


Step 4

Using the same method as in Step 3 fill in the rest of the car putting each area on a different layer.


Step 5

On a new layer use the gradient tool to create a background gradient.


Step 6

Download some wheels from Extract the angles suitable for your design and position them.


Step 7

Fill in the areas which are in shadow or shade. At this stage don't worry about the gradient of these areas.


Step 8

Select the eraser tool and set it to Soft Round Pressure Opacity then start to erase the top areas of the shadowed areas. The premise here is that the higher areas are closer to the light so the shadows are lighter.


Step 9

On a new layer add a gradient coming in from the right hand side of the car and a little dark areas on the roof.


Step 10

Erase parts of the gradient from the right as shown.


Step 11

Add a little shadow coming down from the beltline to give the side of the car some shape.


Step 12

Add some more shade to area above the beltline and the hood to give the areas some depth and shape.


Step 13

Add some shade to the wheel arches and areas underneath the lights.


Step 14

Select the soft round pressure opacity brush with flow set to 4 and color set to black. Select the a-pillar and spray some color as shown.


Step 15

Change the color to white and add a splash to the bottom area of the windows.


Step 16

On a new layer create a white outline for the grille.


Step 17

If you imagine the grille is a recessed piece of chrome imagine which areas would reflect the sky and be bright and fill in the walls accordingly.


Step 18

Turn off the 'lines' layer and on a new layer stroke the bars in the grille.


Step 19

Retouch the lower outer corners of the grille bars to give them some interest as shown.


Step 20

Stroke the bars paths again but this time with a thin white soft brush to create a highlight.


Step 21

Set the eraser to Soft Round Pressure Opacity and erase the outer areas of the bars.


Step 22

Using the wand tool select the light bulb circle and using the brush tool with Soft Round Pressure Opacity options to create some shadow.


Step 23

Add a little shadow to the top of the light to give it depth so that it looks light its set in from the hood.


Step 24

Select the rings around the light bulb and use the brush tool with Soft Round Pressure Opacity settings to create the highlight areas.


Step 25

Stroke the light detail with a white color.


Step 26.

Go over parts of the light details to give it the impression that its high gloss chrome.


Step 27

Repeat Step 26 on the other side for the other headlamp and add a stroke for some spot lamp features.


Final Results


Authors Comment

profileStudy how light bounces off cars to get a better feel for where to place highlights and lowlights. Don't spend too long on any one area, if something isn't working out come back to it later. There's a real buzz to creating a good rendering so keep practicing. Check out some of my work at

- Martin Tyminski

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Turn any photo into a dot grid artwork with these Photoshop actions. You'll get great results with dots that change size. They get larger in brighter areas and smaller in darker areas. Free download available.

4 comments on “How to Create an Audi A1 Digital Car Painting in Photoshop”

  1. wooooow vrey nice مررره مينوووونه لعيون فطووومه i am speki arabi خلاص

    see you

    I love me ,, pless

  2. Question about step 8. Set it "soft round pressure opacity". What the heck does that mean? Could you be a little more specific, please?

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