Learn how to create this beautiful Audi R8 drawing in Photoshop. You’ll learn how to outline, color, shade, and create textures to create this car.
Preview of Final Results
How to Render a Professional Audi R8 Photoshop Tutorial
This tutorial describes how to render a car from a side view. This particular vehicle is an Audi R8. The entire car was created in Photoshop apart from the wheels which can be found here. You can find a variety of other wheel designs there too, or alternatively you can download some images of cars and copy their wheels.
This rendering took me about two and a half hours to create from scratch. If you are new to Photoshop then don’t worry if it takes you considerably longer and don’t be afraid to experiment, this is only a guide to get you started. Also, its a lot easier to just copy a car so if you’re doing your own design you will have to decide where the highlights are and what the surfaces are doing and what materials you are dealing with. Anyway enough waffle, lets start…
Step 1 – Lines
Use the pen tool to draw your design. Consider where the highlights and lowlights will fall and draw those in too. This process should take about 45 minutes. This will vary depending on the design and your knowledge of Photoshop.
Create a new layer and name it Lines. Select the pen tool and make sure its round 1pixel and the foreground colour is black. Select the arrow and select all the paths. Right click and select stroke. (Make sure pressure is un-ticked)
Step 2 – Base Colour
With the magic wand tool select all the areas within the outer most line.
Create a new layer and name is Base.
Fill the area in using the paint bucket tool.
Step 3 – Layout
Your layout should look like this. I’ve changed the colour of the Lines layer (Right click>Layer Properties) so that it stands out as I will be referring to it quite often.
Step 4 – Wheels
Step 5 – Dark Areas/Shadows
Fill in the dark areas inside the wheel arches, underneath the car and inside.
Step 6 – Background Gradient
Use the gradient tool to create a dark to light gradient from top to bottom.
Step 7 – Ground Plane
Select the area just in front of the car and fill that in with black then reduce the opacity until you get a second shadow falling.
Step 8 – Gradients
Use the magic wand to select the lower part of the car from the shoulder-line downwards.
Select the brush tool and select soft round pressure size. Make the colour black and change the flow to about 5.
With the area selected stroke a gradient as shown. The more you stroke the darker it will get.
Step 9 – Door Shape
Add a gradient to suggest that the door has some body section and an air intake just behind the door.
Step 10 – Wing Mirror Shadow
Add a gradient for the shadow being cast by the wing mirror and just underneath the shoulder to illustrate the undercut in the door.
Step 11 – Beltline Gradients
Add gradients in the beltline areas and hood to give it more shape.
Step 12 – Ground Plane Shadow
Add a gradient to the bottom of the car.
Step 13 – Blade Detail
Continue to add gradients with a combination of a layer mask so you can quickly add and subtract colour as required.
Step 14 – Strip Light Reflections
Car design studios have strip lights in them to make it easy to read a cars design language. Imagine how the light would fall on the car if it was standing in line with them.
Step 15 – Exhaust 1
Select the exhaust pipe housing and fill in the dark areas. Then select the exhaust pipe itself and stroke some horizontal paths along it to give it a chrome like appearance.
Step 16 – Exhaust 2
Add some dark gradient to the lower inner edge of the exhaust.
Step 17 – Exhaust 3
Select the outer-most boundary of the exhaust and expand the selection. Select inverse and add a gradient to the bottom right area to make it look like it slightly swollen for the exhaust.
Step 18 – Exhaust 4
Finally add some some white to the exhaust to make it look more like chrome.
Step 19 – Back Light 1
Fill in the whole light with a red colour.
Step 20 – Back Light 2
Add a gradient from the left side fading into nothing on the right.
Step 21 – Back Light 3
Create a new opacity mask on the layer with the gradient and scribble some lines as shown. This demonstrates a reflective nature of a light can.
Step 22 – Back Light 4
Add a white gradient from the left to give it the appearance of light coming in from the left.
Step 23 – Head Light 1
Select the outer frame of the light and add some gradient.
Step 24 – Head Light 2
Select the inner area of the light and add some gradient to the top.
Step 25 – Head Light 3
Add some scribbles as before.
Step 26 – Head Light 4
Add some more dark. Keep applying and using layer mask until you get a desired look.
Step 27 – Front Blades
Fill in the blades underneath the headlamp.
Step 28 – Front Blade Highlights
Use a combination of white brush and layer mask to give the blades some highlights.
Step 29 – Carbon Fibre
Select the image above and save it in your working directory.
Open it in Photoshop. Select all then go to Edit>Define Pattern
Step 30 – Carbon Fibre Side Blades
Select the side blades then right click > Fill > Pattern and navigate to the pattern created in the previous step.
Step 31 – Finishing Touches
I’ve added a white gradient to the glass and duplicated the lines layer and inverted it to get shutline highlights.