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This last image shows how I applied the light to the rendering – the key areas.  Be careful with the light you add to your rendering.  Sometimes it enhances the whole rendering and can bring a very pleasant feeling to it.  However, if not applied properly it can make your rendering look weird and unnatural.  My advice is to take your time and practise it until you acquire a decent level with it  –  then present it.  It may be a good idea to try lighting the same image in different ways...this will help you understand how lighting works in different situations.  Good luck!
Just before I finished the rendering I decided to add a bit of colour to the image, mainly where the focus of our design is.  This well placed ambient light can contribute much to the whole rendering and the general feeling of a lightsource too. The last couple of touches are too finish a few more details – the headlights, the badge..few accents etc.
The whole thing took me just above an hour.
5-10mins later we’re pretty much done. I have finished with applying the main volumes of the car. I now work into the image, completing the small bits that need the attention and finally – with a very fine brush – the details such as grooves, surface edges, highlights, spokes etc.
I now continue by applying more shadows & highlights to the rendering.  This is the time when you have to pay a little more attention to developing the shapes that describe your design best.  Because the shadow always follows the shape it is very crucial that your shadows follow the design you have in mind.
Well, now I just continue with adding the shadings. I have sprayed a few more brush strokes to darken the body side of the car (the place that doesn’t get illuminated from the light source). Then with the white colour I build the highlights generated from the light on the left (hood, wheel arches…).
Now we can start with colouring the sketch.  With the big brush I spray onto a new layer (on top of the sketch work) forming the basic coat of the car. I usually use a brush with 100% black colour and an opacity level of between 10-20%.  I am also going to concentrate on the front of the car only - mainly the area around hood and the wheel arches.  This is the area where I am going to build the surfaces and pay more attention.  After this, I quickly block in the interior as well.  As can be seen, from the beginning I have established the direction of the light source, from right to left.  Notice the large highlight on the windscreen.
To begin this tutorial, I obviously started by making a quick pen sketch, which took around 5-10 minutes on the paper. As there were other sketches on the A4 page, after scanning it I took few moments to clean the image I intend to work on and render. There are a few perspective things that can be fixed on this sketch (for example the rear wheel), but In this case I was looking more for productivity and didn’t pay much of attention to those details.

Miroslav is a 23 year old designer with a BA in Automotive Design from Coventry University.  His strong passion for design has led to running his own business as a freelance transportation designer, working for both the automotive industry as well as the entertainment industry.  His tutorial aims to show how using simple lighting and shading in Photoshop, with close consideration to the source of light in an image, is all you need for a punchy rendering!  Enjoy!
page last updated; 2014-06-15
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