Decals are always a good way to personalise your car, and in Paint Shop Pro it’s easier than ever before. Whether you want to add famous brands as your sponsors, or some flame decals to make your car look more imposing you can pick and choose using this software, as well as having the facility to colour and alter them as you like.
Here I’m just going to add some flames to the hippy bus to show you the basic method and how to colour decals how you like.
Step 1 Having found the decal or image you want to place on your vehicle, and decided where you want to place it, select the decal from its original image and paste it into your workspace. T
he method you use to select your decal depends on what type it is; if it is a few simple colours you can use the magic wand to do it easily, otherwise you may have to use the Freehand Select tool to extract it properly.
Step 2 Our next step is to transform and position the decal roughly where we want it in the end. Use the Picker tool (‘K’) to do this easily. If your decal is facing the wrong way like mine, press Control and ‘M’ to mirror the image.
Once the decal is in the right place, hold shift and move the tags with the Picker tool to Shear the image so that the perspective is correct, and we are ready to start thinking about colour.
Step 3 Now, if you want to keep your decal the original colours then skip this step, but if you do want to change the colour press Control and ‘L’ to open the Colouriser. This will allow you to change the Hue and Saturation of your decal; if it is as simple as mine though it will be easiest just to change the colour using the Flood Fill tool to colour it in. The Colouriser is the way to go if your decal contains any form of gradient or shading at all; the Flood Fill method will still work with simple two-tone decals and even ones with more colours as long as they have clean breaks.
Step 4 If you’re feeling particularly fancy you could always try filling your decal with a gradient. If this is the case, select the magic wand and select outside of your decal. Then press Control, Shift and ‘I’ to invert the selection before creating a new layer above the Decal layer. Click the solid circle underneath the swatch for your foreground colour and select the gradient circle out of the options that pop out. Now customise your gradient by double-clicking the swatch itself and use the Paintbrush tool to fill the selection in your new layer. Once you are happy with the new colours you can right-click this newest layer and select Merge>Merge Down to finish colouring your decal.
Step 5 Now, cycle through the Layer Modes until you find one that looks like the decal is actually on the car; the best for mine was Hue, but this depends on the colour of your decal and the colour of your car along with several other factors such as the brightness of the picture.
Step 6 Now right-click your Decal layer and select New Mask Layer>Show All.
Use a small, soft Paintbrush to paint black lines in the mask layer wherever the decal crosses a seam in the bodywork.
Step 7 Now we want to use a larger brush to remove the decal in any places we don’t want it. This means inside the vents, over the wheels, the wheel arches etc. but yet again this depends on what you want to have the decal covering on your own vehicle. Try to follow the shape of your car for the best effect, and once this step is done have one last play with the layer’s opacity to see if it improves the decal’s integration into the image and you should be done. You can do this with shapes, sponsors and even images, try it with whatever takes your fancy and eventually you’ll have the most individual vehicle ever created.
In this series of 10 in-depth image editing tutorials, ePHOTOzine's Michael Bates converts a VW Camper van using Corel Paint Shop Pro. He splits the job into specific elements that you can follow and recreate with your own photos using Paint Shop Pro or any similar image editing program. Click on any of the links below to take you to specific modifications. We hope you enjoy. Please leave comment under each individual section and share the link with as many people as you can, to help promote our tutorials.