Obviously once we’ve gone to all this trouble customising our car, we’re going to want to give it a new paint job to really make it complete. Not only does this allow us to change the appearance of the car and use paints that aren’t available as standard on a particular model of car, it also allows us to get used to one of Paint Shop Pro’s most interesting and easy to use tools; the Colour Changer.
We’ll also look at how to customise the paint job too.
Step 1 Firstly, we need to create a copy of the car that will be easier to colour than going through all the layers that make it up and colouring bits here and there. So right-click any layer in the Layers pane and select Merge>Merge All (Flatten).
Once this is done the image will appear just like a simple image file; just one layer that contains no transparencies or layer masks, press Control and ‘A’ to select all, then Control ‘C’ to copy the image. Now, press Control and ‘Z’ until the image is separated out into its original layers once more and press Control ‘V’ to paste in your new layer before renaming it.
Step 2 In your new layer select the Freehand Selection tool and use whatever method you prefer (I stick primarily to Point to Point) to make a selection around the area you wish to colour.
Then open Selections>Load/Save Selections>Save Selection to Disk, write a name for the selection and press ‘Save’ to make recalling the selection easier.
Step 3 Select the Colour Changer tool (not to be confused with the Colour Replacer tool), which is grouped with the Flood Fill tool since it is essentially the same as the Colour Replacer tool but it works like the Flood Fill instead of a Paintbrush.
Once you have selected this tool, set the foreground colour on your Palette to the colour you wish to make your car, and then left click somewhere in the region you want to change the colour of. Make sure you still have the selection active, or load it from the disk you saved it to, otherwise elements of the background can and will change colour too, and given that my van is blue the sky would be the chief culprit here.
Depending on your tools settings you may end up with something like this screenshot, so decrease the tolerance if too much is changing colour, and increase it if not enough is being changed (as is my problem).
Step 4 I’ve gone for a nice Racing Green to try and look classy, if such as thing is possible with this car, but this has meant that the Colour Changer has added some dark areas to the headlamps. So, right-click the layer, select New Mask Layer>Show All to add a mask to this layer, then paint over any areas such as lights with black using the Brush tool (‘B’).
Also use this method to uncover any grills/decoration on the car that may have been altered too.
Step 5 Now that we have a basic colour change done we can look at some other interesting things we can do. If we want to change the colour of the body along with the decals, we can load up our selection from before and open Adjust>Hue and Saturation>Hue/Saturation/Lightness and by altering the hue, saturation and lightness of the selected area we can change its colour quickly and easily.
Note that you will get different results depending if the ‘Colourise’ option is ticked; I found better results came with having it deselected, but this may have been due to the dark colour of my car after I made it green.
Step 6 Finally, if you fancy adding some racing stripes or something similar you can do this relatively easily too. First, create a new Raster layer at the top of your layers, and rename it ‘Stripes’.
Step 7 Select the Freehand Selection tool and set the mode to ‘Point to Point’. Now, select the area you want all your lines to be within, paying careful attention to the shape of the bodywork.
So, make areas like the top surfaces of the struts across the grill go more horizontal, and make the verticals bend slightly to follow the shape of the body. Double click once you have finished making your selection to finalise it.
Step 8 Now, hold Control whilst you left click to begin removing the space between the stripes you wish to create. Draw the space between the two stripes and double-click to complete your selection. Have a look at the selection you have created and add and remove areas until the stripes look as parallel as possible and in perspective.
Step 9 Fill the stripes with the colour of your choice using the Flood Fill tool and change the layer mode to one that allows the colour to show vividly over the top of your vehicle. Then alter the opacity so that the shape of the bodywork is somewhat apparent due to the highlights and shadows that can be seen through.
Step 10 Now use a Layer Mask to remove any areas that are going over grates/lights/badges etc. Right-click the Stripes layer, select Add Mask Layer>Show All then paint over these areas with a black brush.
Step 11 Finally take the Dodge and Burn tools to create highlights (dodge) and shadows (burn). Be sure to only add these where they are necessary, and follow the shape of the vehicle as you do so. Change the opacity setting for the tool to regulate the severity of its effect where necessary, and once you are done your car should be looking extra special. You can also use the same technique to create a 2-tone paintjob too, have an experiment and you should be pleasantly surprised with what can be achieved.
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.