SMOR.tv : Sam Morris > Tutorials > Photoshop Tutorials > Photoshop Vector Mask Tutorial (changing a car’s color)

Photoshop Vector Mask Tutorial (changing a car’s color)

06.02.2009 Bookmark and Share

This tutorial will show you how to make changes to an image by using vector masks. Vector masks are just like normal masks, but use paths which gives more flexibility and control. With print work especially, you’ll notice your edges will look much smoother than any rasterized mask or erasing. This tutorial will take 30-60 minutes for most to complete.

Files

1. Open Vector_Mask_Tutorial.psd and select your Pen Tool (P). Then select the “Paths” button and “Add to path area” button toward to top left of Photoshop. Now start tracing the car, first go around the outer edges, we’ll delete the inner areas like the headlights, and windows later.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_01.jpg

2. This is your first pass, if you make some mistakes you can leave it and fix them later. Keep going around the outer edge of the car. If you deselect your path by mistake, click on the end with the pen tool and you will be able to continue the path. Also, if you hold the alt key handles will appear which will be needed for some areas.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_02.jpg

3. When you reach your starting point your mask will be closed. Right click the mask and select “Create vector mask”.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_03.jpg

4. If you hide the background layer you’ll be able to see the mask you created. Turn the background layer back on since you’ll need it for reference. Select the Pen Tool (P) again, but this time select “Subtract from path area” located towards the top. After you have it selected start going around the headlights, grill, and driver side window. We don’t want these areas to be effected by the color changes we make, so we need to remove them. Remove the non-silver areas until your mask looks like this.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_04.jpg

5. Now you’ll add an adjustment layer which is what will control the color of the car. In the layers palette select your top layer (Silver) and then click the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” button located at the bottom of the layers palette.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_05.jpg

6. When the Hue / Saturation menu comes up turn on “Colorize” and then click OK. You’ll notice everything is being effected, but we’ll fix that next.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_06.jpg

7. Now hold the alt key and move the mouse between your adjustment layer and your top layer (Silver). You’ll see an icon with 2 circles appear, click and the adjustment layer will shift to the right and an arrow appears. The adjustment layer now only effects the layer below it.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_07.jpg

8. I decided to start of with an orange car. Open up the Hue / Saturation settings again so the values can be changed. Double click the icon on the adjustment layer to bring up the menu. Then change the settings to Hue: 43, Saturation: 90, Lightness: -30.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_08.jpg

9. Now that we have a bright orange car we can see difference between the silver and orange quite easily. Select your vector mask from the layers palette and select the Direct Selection Tool (A), make sure it’s not the Path Selection Tool. They are under the same icon. When you click your mask the points will appear. Move the points and handles until all silver areas of the car are orange. If the path is getting in the way Ctrl+H will toggle visible Extras on and off. Fix any areas of your mask as needed. You can see in the screenshot there’s a little silver above the tire which I had to fix as well as some other areas. You’ll want to zoom in when moving your points, but be sure to zoom out to 100% regularly to make sure you’re staying on track.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_09.jpg

10. When you’re all done your mask should look like this. Hide the background layer if you want to see just your mask. (I decided to remove the orange from the stripe on the mirror and the keyhole)
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_10.jpg

11. The last step is making the logo on the front of the car show up if you have not done so already. I decided to use the brush since it’s so faint. You can draw directly on the adjustment layer. The areas you paint with black will return back to silver. Zoom in and grab a very small brush, then paint black around the logo with the Hue / Saturation Adjustment layer selected. (Ignore the 3 other adjustment layers you see in the screenshot)
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_11.jpg

There’s a lot of debate over which adjustment layer works best for changing the color of something like a car. There is no best adjustment layer, most of the time there will be a few you can choose from to get the same results. I chose Hue / Saturation for this tutorial since it’s very simple to use. My final will be shown below, but I also did a few other tests with other types of adjustment layers. The Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Finished.psd has all my Adjustment Layers.

Here’s the final for the orange car that we made in the tutorial, using a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_Orange.jpg

This one was made with a Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_Blue.jpg

This one was made with a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_Green.jpg

This last one was made with a Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer and a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer. I will say although Hue / Saturation controls are very easy to use, they can easily wash out your image. I added the Channel Mixer to bring back some of my shadows and midtones.
Photoshop_Vector_Mask_Tutorial_Changing_Car_Color_Gold.jpg

Photoshop Tutorials

  1. kind
    August 9th, 2009 at 06:53 | #1

    your website is amazing
    you seem to have worked hard to make it best

  2. December 14th, 2009 at 10:20 | #2

    Thank you. Great post

  3. Maxi
    January 23rd, 2010 at 16:33 | #3

    very good dud

  4. anna
    February 25th, 2010 at 09:45 | #4

    cool!

  5. Caryn
    April 11th, 2010 at 00:55 | #5

    Thanks that was a great tutorial i will enjoy using this skill!

  6. Akhc27
    June 21st, 2010 at 00:28 | #6

    best

  7. Mittzi
    August 17th, 2011 at 20:22 | #7

    I have been pretty lost, but you helped me understand a LOT better, thank you!

  8. saj
    October 18th, 2011 at 01:57 | #8

    nice

  9. December 28th, 2011 at 21:53 | #9

    fantastic effect..

  10. Roshin Alex
    February 6th, 2012 at 08:07 | #10

    This helped me a lot….. Thank you….

  11. December 5th, 2013 at 22:51 | #11

    Excellent technology. I am taking it as very useful.

  12. December 15th, 2013 at 11:43 | #12

    We offer taxi service from London Gatwick airport to Heathrow Airport, London, all over uk. We offer cheap minicab service and airport transfers from London Gatwick Airport.

  13. February 5th, 2014 at 21:36 | #13

    I see a lot of grooming and don’t shed as much other dogs with longer fur.
    Guys imposition 8 up who want to shop for fire pits
    the best place for advice would be your Accountant or professional advisor.
    Firepits and PlanningThe first thing you want it
    to be portable they can still be used as cooking grill for your favorite menu.
    A Pit Bull is happy, on the sort of headlines the newschannel might generate by switching up Bartiromo’s chair might be just the thing.
    However, Vat dye is an obvious major plus.

  14. February 20th, 2014 at 21:38 | #14

    Very informative post. It will be useful for all.

  15. March 21st, 2014 at 01:09 | #15

    I abhorrence when administration tells representatives pieces and parts of what's continuing, being particular with substance to impart, as opposed to passing on the full story of what's truly happening. Executives will say, 'We can't let them know what's truly going on. They can't deal with it. They don't have the development to manage it. They will stop. They won't act as hard. We will let them know data on a requirement to-know support.' They begin altering and turning, deliberately bundling the parts they feel workers necessity to know.

  16. March 27th, 2014 at 04:41 | #16

    Once aluminium doors and windows delhi light reflects off the metallic surface
    of the frame. Adding a strip of foam or vinyl to separate the space into two separate
    sections.

  17. Robert
    April 15th, 2014 at 02:41 | #17

    Though the guys here are photoshop pros, i would like to know if i can get a driving manual for this car http://exoticonlycars.com/miami/ . I just renta ferrari from them. If not, i will reach them for one.

  1. No trackbacks yet.