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Removing street reflections from bodywork of car

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  • Removing street reflections from bodywork of car

    I am in the process of trying to digitally remove street reflections from the bodywork of a dark blue porsche on a bright sunny day in the middle of the city. The bodywork is reflecting buildings and other cars.

    Can someone give me some tips as to how to convincingly remove these reflections to replace them with the natural bodywork reflection of light hitting a metallic surface. I did follow a tutorial at a site by Computer Arts in the UK, and they suggested:

    Computer Arts offers daily design challenges with invaluable insights, and brings you up-to-date on the latest trends, styles and techniques.

    1. Create a selection of a reflection.
    2. With the eye dropper tool at 3x3 option, sample the bottom and top of the selection as the foreground and background colours.
    3. Draw a linear gradient in a new layer using these colours - then change the blending mode to luminosity.

    But all I am left with is a murky green/brown patch.


  • #2
    Is there any way you could post the image?


    • #3
      I have to agree. A lot of the help here is given on the fly, meaning we actually try and see what we can come up with and the only way we can really know your specific problem is if you post a picture or even a portion of a picture showing a trouble spot.


      • #4

        I will do that later on today - about 7pm, I am about to rush out now.

        Thanks for your interest



        • #5
          Well, I suppose it would be obvious why a selection on a layer in luminance mode would turn out brown if there is a lot of that colour in the reflection. Which it has.

          I think now that there is not going to be an easy way around this. I presume I am going to have to just be patient and careful with the airbrush. Building it up in layers, darker to lighter.

          But any tips would be helpful.


          Attached Files


          • #6
            There’s probably a better way of doing this but here is what I tried.

            First I went into quick mask mode and painted the area on the top of the hood (minus the dark indents) with a soft brush. I then went to channels and activated the alpha channel and ran a gaussian blur to soften the selection a bit more.

            When I was finished I exited quick mask and with the selection active, I created another layer and activated that layer. I then used the eye dropper tool to get the color of the car just outside the lower edge of the car and putting that as my background color I used the eyedropper to get the color of the highlighted part of the care but not the brightest part and set that as my foreground color. Maybe a soft grey blue.

            I chose the gradient tool and applied the gradient to the selected part of the new layer so that the shine and gradient followed the line of the car. I repeated this until I got just the right grade and angle of slope. I lowered the opacity slightly until the reflection just barely showed through and added a layer mask to clean up any spill over edges.

            Finally I merged the layers and used the clone tool at about 25 to 50 % to get a softer blend from top to bottom of the hood. After doing this you may need to run a noise filter to make the area look as if it matches the rest of the car better.

            Like I said, there may be others that have a better way of doing it but that’s what I came up with in trying it out. Good luck and don’t forget to let us know how it goes for you.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              That's a more convincing finish than I think I would have got via by own approach. I will, however, not be able to get to grips with this image till the weekend. I will upload the image on to this thread when it is completed, and maybe some people can make helpful suggestions as to how to make it look convincing.

              That's the difficult bit with retouching on this type of imagery. Making it look convincing and 'untouched'.



              • #8
                Nice job, DJ!


                • #9
                  I took a very similar approach as DJ.
                  Made a selection of the hood. Copied it to a new layer and applied a gradient. added noise and Gausian Blur.
                  I erased through the top layer to get the dark indents back.
                  I added a third layer for the reflection. Flattened the layers and used the clone tool to clean up and blend things together.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Thanks Tim

                    I even like your rendition better than mine. You took it a step further and really added more of a shine and carved out the hood better. Excellent job. I think Bernadette has a good outline to work from.


                    • #11
                      Thanks DJ!

                      I definitely agree with you that using the gradient tool is perfect for this photo. Like you said, it’s just a matter of playing with it until you get "the right grade and angle of slope."

                      I have a friend who can draw photo realistic automobiles just by using vector selections and gradients. I have nowhere near that skill level but it has always fascinated me.


                      • #12
                        Wow, I'd love to see a tutorial on that. Maybe your friend can give you some interesting tricks.


                        • #13
                          He works with Illustrator. He generally starts by drawing a basic wireframe of the car and then creates another layer of wireframes denoting where the shadows are. From there he starts filling things in with solid colors and gradients. VERY time consuming!


                          • #14
                            Yes I can imagine it is time very consuming but very fastinating too from the sounds of it. Love watching true artists at work.


                            • #15
                              There's a highly respected book on this subject (unread by me)...something like "Drawing Photorealistic Subjects using Photoshop and Illustrator". The author has been banned from many competitions because you can't tell his drawings apart from photographs. Bert Monvey maybe?
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