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Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:33
I originally posted this 'tutorial' in the WMD forums during development, but I thought I'd ressurect it here as well to help out any of those just joining the community. I wrote it while working on the Keon Technologies BMW Z4 GT3. Some of it is general painting tips and techniques I've developed, and the odd thing will be specific to pCARS. These posts will all be direct copies of those in the WMD forum, verbatim, including all of my usual wordiness and rambling and run-on sentences. In any case, some of the guys found it helpful and I hope some more will, too. :)

First up, a little disclaimer: I do not claim to be a painting god, this is simply a display of my methods in the hopes that it might help someone, somewhere. You will be given full access to my process while working on my Z4 GT3 contest entry. You will see some ugliness that, as a designer, I wouldn't typically display. Design choices both good and bad. Some things might not be done in an easy way (hey, I may learn more out of this than anyone else!), but this is the method as I have constructed it so far.

My process has changed a lot over the years, both as my skills and eye for design have expanded and as the tools have changed. My first painting follies were with Papyrus' Indycar Racing I when I was but a wee lad (at the ripe old age of 25, many of you may argue I still am!) and I've been skinning ever since. My first public release was a D2 skin for Grand Prix 2, and I have been quite active for many games since then. Indycar Racing I and II, NASCAR Racing I, 2, 3, 2002 and 2003, SCGT, rFactor, LFS... I've toyed with a lot of them. My favorite aspect of pCARS (despite the fact I've only completed one skin for it so far...) is the expanded functionality that the SPEC and Fresnel maps provide; for the first time, I can put chrome on a car! For real! Awesome! :D

Oh yes; I've had a few beers tonight so some of this may be incoherent, there may be the same thing said several times, and any number of other issues in here. So... I apologize for that in advance. Also, as I'm sure many of you have seen me complain all over these forums, my free time is not plentiful, so this won't get updated on any regular schedule and will probably unfold too slow for most of you. But, thems the breaks, I guess. It will be "finished" before November 19th, though, I promise. Anyways, enough jibber-jabbering. Here we go...

I do the majority of skinning in Photoshop, and I make use of Illustrator as a handy side-arm. Currently I run Creative Suite 5. Some of these methods may not work on earlier versions or in other packages. One little point to note; there are two types of computer image: raster and vector. Raster images are standard pictures made of a series of pixels which are each assigned a colour. Most images you see are raster (jpgs, dds, bmps, etc). Vector images are a series of mathematical equations that create shapes in a 2D plane. Colour is attributed to these shapes for fills and strokes, and other nifty effects. Raster images do not scale well, vectors scale with absolutely no quality loss.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Step-by-Step: The creation of the Keon Technologies BMW Z4 GT3
Part 1 - Vector Smart Objects for logos (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?24719-Ryno-s-Painting-Tips&p=907732&viewfull=1#post907732)
Part 2 - Vector Smart Objects for logos Cont'd (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?24719-Ryno-s-Painting-Tips&p=907745&viewfull=1#post907745)
Part 3 - Vector Design Shapes (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?24719-Ryno-s-Painting-Tips&p=907749&viewfull=1#post907749)
Part 4 - Strokes; Layer Masks and relative sizes (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?24719-Ryno-s-Painting-Tips&p=907753&viewfull=1#post907753)
Part 5 - pCARS: Different Livery Files (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?24719-Ryno-s-Painting-Tips&p=907761&viewfull=1#post907761) Handling the Diffuse, Spec and Fresnel Maps

Standalone Tutorials
Vector Lines (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?24719-Ryno-s-Painting-Tips&p=907767&viewfull=1#post907767)

General Photoshop Tutorials
Getting Started with Photoshop (http://www.sitepoint.com/getting-started-photoshop/) by Sitepoint
Combining Vector Shapes in Photoshop (http://jamesaevans.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/tutorial-combining-paths-in-photoshop/) by JamesEvans

Alright, so after that neddlessly long intro, here is PART 1!

I've began using vector logos whenever possible, even though I work in Photoshop on raster images. The first thing I do when making a new skin (aside from opening the template, deleting any layers that I don't want and setting the background colour) is place the main sponsors. This ensures that the design will fit with the logo, and that there will be a certain flow. I open up the logo I want in Illustrator. Select all of the logo, and copy it.

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Now, go back to your template in Photoshop. Hit Ctrl+V to paste it; you will get a little box that comes up asking you how you want to paste it; select "smart object."

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Using a smart object retains the vector properties of the original file; this allows you to resize, rotate and otherwise manipulate it without any quality loss at all. Much more than that, though, you can double-click it in the layer palette to have it open up in Illustrator to edit it later! Also, if you duplicate this element for a logo on another part of the skin, updating one instance of it will update ALL duplicated versions of it in your skin. This is very handy if you want to change the colour of it half-way through your skinning process, and when it comes time to make your SPEC and FRESNEL maps you can easily change their colours to fit whatever effects you're trying to achieve. Also, sometimes I find colours look far different in-game than they do in Photoshop. This method lets me very quickly and easily change the colours to look better in game.

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These smart objects can be moved, scaled and manipulated like any other layer with the use of the free transform tool (Ctrl+T). One difference, which I really like, personally, is that these layers retain relative information. Their scale, skew and rotation are all saved, so you always know what angle your logo is at, relative to the original import. This is helpful when you're trying to achieve symmetry from one side to the other and your logos are angled. If your left side logo is at 47.6 degrees, you would just make your right side logo -47.6 degrees and it will be at the same angle as the one on the other side. Normal layers do NOT save this kind of information, so unless you took note when you first transformed it (which, if you're like me, you didn't) it's purely a guessing game. And you'll guess wrong. Trust me.

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Like I said about duplicating the logo, the second instance of the full text logo you see in that image is a duplicate of the original, so it is linked to it. If I edit one of them (by double-clicking the layer's icon to open it in Illustrator, editing it, then closing and saving it in Illustrator), they both update. Nifty, huh?

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Of course, I just made that blue to illustrate the point. It's ugly and I'm not keeping it that way.

Now; there is a wee bit of planning that's involved here. Sometimes you want to change one logo, and not another one. That's fine. Just copy from Illustrator, and paste a new smart object in Photoshop. It will NOT be linked to the existing ones on your skin. Any duplicates of it will be linked to it, not the others, as well. So you can, in effect, create groupings that will all update within themselves, not affecting the others. If you wanted that many of the same logo, anyways.

Congratulations, you've pasted a logo! (Applause)
I know this sounds very complicated for just a simple logo, but it really does make it easy in the long run. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this, it really has saved me a lot of time and frustration. It also means my stockpile of logos is smaller on my HDD, since I don't need to keep 3000 pixel logo PSD/PNGs anymore, just the teeny tiny .AI files for them (Another caveat of vector logos; they may have a larger filesize than a small jpg, but they're vastly smaller in bytes than a 3000 square-pixel PSD file).


Alright, enough logos. Now, mock up your design. It's a good idea to have a general idea what you want the end result to look like. You may completely change your mind while working on the skin, but a vague idea will make your life easier. Sketch on a napkin (like ALL the best ideas) if you haven't got an idea, yet. That's quicker than trying to fumble through Photoshop. Now, I know I want a large amount of black on this car, and I know roughly where I want it. Things can be deceiving on a flat template, though, so I just quickly coloured in with the brush (on a new layer!) roughly where I want it and in what shape. This isn't going to be pretty, but it works. It'll help you visualize the 'weight' of the areas, if that makes any sense at all. Mock in these shapes really quickly and then just load it up in the game to see where they all fall. Make sure the lines make sense, that angles don't vary too wildly from one panel to another and look unnatural, that you have enough of the base colour remaining, and so on.

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I fully admit that I have never done this before. But I didn't know exactly how I wanted the black areas and this seemed like a quick way to evaluate the balance of colours. A while back I was working on a scheme, and I drew up all these shapes and then when I looked at the car in the game it was terrible. They had no impact, too much of the base colour was showing through, and it just didn't look at all how I wanted it. I wasted all that time making the shapes look crisp, but I never verified them in 3D. So, to save myself that crushing heartache, I decided to try this. And I'm glad I did. Because it was all wrong. Again. So, I just deleted the rough crap I drew and did it over! That's what you see here, the second try. I haven't looked at it in the game, yet, but I will soon.

And there we go, now you're caught up with me! In the next update, I'll go over layer masks and why they are essential when working with smart objects (in hindsight, I probably should have included that in this update, but I haven't gotten there yet on this skin). And some other stuff... Whatever I happen to do next.

If anyone has any questions at all, please, feel free to ask. If I can be of any help, I'm more than happy to be. (That was a terrible sentence.) I'll be keeping all of my updates in this thread, so I'd like it to stay out of the other painting help threads as this is supposed to serve as more of a tutorial and chronicle than a general help thread, but I invite any discussion about this that you would like. Ask any questions you may have, and I will do my best to answer (and answer in a way that is more coherent than this ramble of a post).

Cheers,
Ryan

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:36
Alright, time for PART 2!

This is going to be a fairly quick update, but it's a necessary one.

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As you guys can see, the Keon logo on the right side crosses from the side to the hood of the car. This spans a gap in the mapped area of the car. As it is currently, it will NOT align in the game (not even close, really), so we need to rectify that. Now, because the logo is a smart object we can't just cut part of it, move it a little, then paste it. That only works with raster graphics (and I still wouldn't advise doing it like that if you're working in raster anyways). So, what you do in this situation is make a duplicate of the logo (remember, duplicates will share any updates you make to it!). Hide the duplicate, then add a Layer Mask to the first one.

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Once again, I'm using CS5 so if you're in a different suite then the menu may appear a little different. A layer mask works a lot like an alpha channel; white is 100% opaque, black 100% transparent, and then there's a full spectrum of greys in the middle to control varying opacity levels. "Reveal all" sets the whole layer mask to white, meaning everything is still visible. What you need to do now is draw some black on the mask to hide the portion of the logo that goes out of the side mapping. To do this, click on the white box on the layer in the palette (this box represents the layer mask itself) to select it. Once you have selected the mask, you can use the brush tool to draw in it. Use a 100% black brush (RGB 0,0,0) and colour away the unwanted area. It will look like you're erasing it. Make sure you leave a little of the logo past the wireframe; this will make sure that at smaller Mip levels you don't get any unwanted pixel bleed. (There's a long explanation for that, but it's not really important for this tutorial)

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Now, hide this layer and unhide the duplicate. Do the same thing for the duplicated layer, but this time colour over the other area of the logo.

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Then, unhide the original layer as well, and reposition the duplicate layer to get it align across the gap with the original. Make sure you click on the little chain link between the layer's icon and the layer mask to unlink them; you want the mask you drew to remain where it is, and just move the graphic itself. You might have to tweak the mask if you didn't blank out enough space around the logo and it shows at the edges if you need to move it far.

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You will have to now load this up in the game to see how close you were. There will be some back and forth until you get it just right. In some cases, depending on how severe the creases in the area are and any distortion in the mapping, you may have to go in and manually tweak it to alter the shape. In these cases I just make new layers above the logo and draw the changes in on those layers, to preserve the smart object. If I need to do that with this spot I will come back and add that into this tutorial with a better explanation than that poor sentence you just read.

Because the layers are still smart objects, you can edit the underlying logo just like before, but now only a portion of it shows up on the skin. This technique is also necessary when you have a part of your graphic spanning onto another area of the car and you don't want it to show there.

I hope that was helpful! The next step for me is to draw the black portions with the pen tool (which I have actually already done, just didn't show because I don't have enough time to cover that part of the tutorial tonight and I haven't decided if I like it or not).

[EDIT] PART 2.5!

Just a quick shot of the alignment of the logo on the side/hood. (GASP! Horror! You've seen it on the car!)

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This was the first shot, and it was pretty damn close. Not perfect, but close. There's a few things to take note of; the white between the 'O' and the 'N' don't line up, and the white in between the legs of the 'N' doesn't align, either. Those are just a little off. The bigger problem, imho, is the warping of the white line as it passes through the false vent on the right side of the 'N.' A little of the orange does, too. To fix this, I bumped the logo further back just a smidge so that the white lies to the left of the bulging part.

Not a big update, just a quick note of things to watch out for. The devil is in the details, they say.

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:37
PART 3!

Again, this one will be quick (probably), since I have made very little progress since the last update (which has a small edit at the bottom of it now, for those who haven't noticed it yet). Remember that rough brushed-in colour blocking I told you to try? Well, I'm glad I did it. Really. I hated how it looked on the car, and it wasn't close to what I really wanted. So, back to the digital drawing board. I went through several revisions and much inspiration searching until I came up with what I will end up going with in the end:

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This is the roughed-in colour. Now, originally I was drawing dark overtop of a light base colour. This was giving me too much white, I wanted more of the black. As you can see, this time there is much, much more black on the car. Coincidentally I now only have one true alignment point; on the top of the trunk lid. That makes that part easier, too. Once you're happy with the general colour blocking, start drawing your shapes in with the pen tool.

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Where it's easier, feel free to use vector shapes and then distort to fit your design. I did this to get the rough radii right in some of the shapes, but that probably wasn't necessary as I had to tweak them all after anyways. Live and learn. Now, just the simple black and white isn't all that interesting right now. I know. I will be adding a lot more life to it. I promise.

I will be doing some kind of bordering between the black and white, but I'm not sure exactly what, yet. Also, these won't be solid black or white shapes, either. I'm planning a couple tricks for those areas, but you'll have to wait for that. In the meantime, I think I'll start laying out a few of the secondary/tertiary sponsor logos and see where that gets me. Wherever possible I will be using the method from part 1. For all the rest, I'll be using the vector shapes from the decal sheets the lovely folks at SMS have prepared for us; I shant be using any raster logos!

If anyone has any questions at all, feel free to shout them out (no need to raise your hand. You're behind a computer, I can't see you. Silly goose.). I'm more than happy to help anyone out.

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:39
Time for PART 4!

In here, I'll cover strokes and their alignments across multiple panels. As we left off in the previous update, the white areas are vector shapes. This allows us to use layer styles to, uh, stylize them. If you want an even, consistent stroke, just add a stoke with the layer style. Small tip; if you want two strokes, you can use the 'stroke' and the 'outer glow' to do it. The 'stroke' will set the inner-most line, and the outer glow will set the outer line. For the outer stroke, set the Blend Mode to normal, Opacity to 100%, and Spread to 100%, then adjust the pixel sizes as you wish. If you want to add more strokes, you can also use the Inner Glow layer style option with the same settings as the outer glow. If you STILL need more, you can also use the Inner Shadow and Drop Shadow styles (in addition to setting the blend mode, opacity, and spread, you'll have to set the Distance to 0 for an even 'stroke.' Try playing with that setting, though, for other interesting results!). You'll achieve something like this below:

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Now, notice how the strokes on the lower section don't align with those on the top of the trunklid? They appear to be thicker, despite the fact that they are actually the same size. This is due to the difference in the angle where the shape of the car terminates. If you cut something off on an angle, it will 'appear' thicker. To those of you who are more visual, like me, here's a quick diagram to explain it:

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The shape is 3.04 thick, but when you cut it off on an angle, you make the resulting line longer; 6.54 in this case. Simple geometry, but easy to overlook while working on a skin until you see it in the game. The easiest way to fix this for our purposes, is to make the stroke thinner for one of these shapes (assuming they are separate shapes). That's the avenue I elected to take here, because you can't really see these two elements at the same time and no one will notice the difference. Probably. At least, not if I didn't tell you all just now, anyways. So, let's go ahead and make the strokes on the lower section thinner, so that they appear the same thickness across the mapping edge:

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And the result, on the car:
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As you can see, making the lines thinner actually makes them line up (nearly) perfectly. After taking this image, I realized that the stripes don't line up on the trunk to bumper transition, though. But don't look at that. Look instead at the top edge of the trunk. You can't even tell that they're not the same thickness. Groovy.

Alright-o, moving on. One of the other side effects to using these kinds of layer styles is that you may wind up with the strokes crossing into other areas of the car.

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You see how the orange just ever-so-slightly creeps into the area beside the kidney grill? This must be stopped! Sometimes it's just simply not feasible to alter the original base shape to stop this, for a variety of reasons. In those cases (and, admittedly, I do this even when I could do that sometimes) you'll need to use our old friend the Layer Mask (not to be confused with the Vector Mask, which this layer already has because that's how Photoshop handles vector shapes. Just a solid fill with a vector mask to hide the unwanted portion). When you add your layer mask, do it just like we discussed in PART 1, only this time you will have to change a setting in your Layer Style.

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Make sure to check the box labelled "Layer Mask hides effects." If you don't do this, you'll just be hiding the fill (the white, here) and then the strokes will conform to the new visible shape. Once you've checked that box, draw in your mask to hide the offending piece of orange:

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Bingo.

As always, feel free to shoot me any questions and I'll be happy to answer.

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:41
Part 5! pCARS: DIFFERENT LIVERY FILES

The majority of the tutorials that will be in here will apply to most games (and most graphic applications, not just liveries) but every now and then a specific pCARS application will come up. Such is the case with the three different livery textures; the diffuse map, specular map and the fresnel map. So, what are these textures, and what do they do?

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The Diffuse Map is the actual livery itself; the colours, logos, lines and general design of the paint scheme. Without any special effects, this file determines what the livery looks like. For most skins, this is all that is needed (meaning, the spec and fresnel maps need only be small white square textures) UNLESS you want to have some special finishes on your skin. The file should be saves as a DXT1, with no alpha.

The Specular Map controls the reflections of the livery. This file tells the game engine how to display the reflections on your car; how crisp they are, how strong they are and even what colour they are. It is the only one of the three livery files that is saved with an alpha channel, as a DXT5 DDS file.

The Fresnel Map controls the fresnel effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_equations) produced by the engine; in layman's terms it will make your skin chrome. This file should only be shades of grey as no colour information will be used by the game engine, and is saved as a DXT1 without alpha; just like the diffuse map.

Alright, so, what do you have to do to these files? Well, firstly, the diffuse map is pretty easy; just paint it how you want the car to look. Done. So, let's move on to the Specular Map.

The RGB channel of the file (the normal channel(s) you see when looking at an image), controls how much light is reflected. White means more light is reflected (brighter highlights), black means no light is reflected (black hole, next to impossible in real life) and any tone in between is, well, somewhere in between. For pCARS, you shouldn't go any darker than an RGB value of about 120,120,120 for matte paint. Gloss paint should be in the 230-255 range. Now, this channel also determines the colour of the reflected light. So, if you want coloured reflections, you have to paint that area in the right colour in this channel. In the example you can see the Keon logos are orange; this is because I wanted an orange chrome effect on the final car. Like with the grey tones, the value (brightness) of the colour determines how much light is reflected.

The alpha channel of this file determines how blurry the reflections are. In real life, all surfaces reflect some light. The different between a glossy surface and a matte surface is the actual surface finish of the material; matte materials have a very fine roughness to them, which scatters the light as if reflects off the surface. This diffusion of light is why matte materials don't have sharp hot spots of reflection, and have a wider area of reflection than a glossy material, which has a much more predictable and 'clean' reflection. Because we can't change the surface of the cars, we have this alpha channel to tell the engine to 'fake' it for us. The alpha channel is all in grey tones, where white is a smoother surface, and black is a very rough surface. A good RGB value for a matte material is about 20,20,20.

And finally, the fresnel map controls the fresnel effect of the material. Black means stronger reflections at shallow viewing angles; in other words, chrome. Anything in between black and white will produce a verying intensity of this effect. As you can see, the Keon logos are black (chrome) and the 'K' logos in the white areas are light grey. Just enough to make them stand out against the gloss white base paint in those areas.


I hope that makes sense. :)

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:43
TUTORIAL: VECTOR LINES IN PHOTOSHOP

On a request from Jamesaeveans, here is a quick tutorial for creating vector lines in Photoshop.

Open up your painting template. Let's say we want to draw a curved line on the side of the car. Start by drawing it in with the Pen Tool.

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See how the open side of the shape is connected by a straight line? That will ruin the curved arc that we are trying to create. To fix it, close the shape so there is no open side (I usually close the shape outside of the mapping area). Doing this gives you full control over it.

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Now that you've drawn your shape, you need to set the Fill to 0%. This option is located near the top of the layer palette, just below the layer's opacity. Basically, what this slider does is control the opacity of the layer without affecting the opacity of any layer styles.

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Now, open up the Layer Styles window. You can do this by double-clicking to the right of the layer's name in the layer palette, or clicking the 'fx' button on the bottom of the layer palette when your layer is active. The first tab in the Layer Styles window is the Blending Options. Click the box beside Layer Mask Hides Effects to put a check mark in it.

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Next, click on the Stroke tab in the same window. Adjust the options in here to suit your tastes.

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Next, add a layer mask. You can do this by going to Layer->Layer Mask->Reveal All in the main toolbar at the top of the screen. This will add a white box, the same size and shape as the layer's icon, to your layer in the layer palette. Click this white box to enable editing of the mask.

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Now you can use the brush tool on the layer mask to hide the unwanted portion of your line. Select the brush tool and make sure the primary colour is black. A layer mask is basically an alpha channel that affects the layer, or folder, that is it applied to. White is 100% opacity, black is 0% opacity, and you can use any shade of grey in between to get different results.

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Using this method you can create vector lines that are 100% editable. Through creative use of the different layer styles you can add two, three or even four more lines with the use of the Outer Glow, Inner Glow, Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow layer styles. Just set Opacity to 100%, Spread or Choke to 100% and Blending Mode to Normal. If that's not enough, you could even duplicate the layer to add more (though any changes to one vector path will not automatically update to the duplicate, so you'll have to copy the layer style to a duplicate of the updated layer).

[EDIT] Thanks to BigRon for reminding me; Layer Styles do NOT scale with the layer. That includes re-sizing the entire document, too. If you are going to change the size of anything and want your layer style to remain proportional to the layer it is on, you must either flatten the layer style with the layer (by adding a blank layer under the existing layer with the style and merging them together) or you will have to manually re-size all the settings in your layer style after you have resized your layer. In the case of the BMW template and you are squishing it into a square (as recommended) then you should flatten the style with the layer before resizing to ensure a consistently proportional stroke.

[EDIT 2] Thanks to Ramon Culell for reminding me; The 'stroke' (and similar offset layer styles) can produce a tesselated curve at high settings; depending on the curve even at settings as low as ~50 pixels. If you want a big, thick line, it's best to use a tool like Illustrator or Inkscape to create these shapes. If you don't have access to them, you should draw the whole 'line' as a closed shape layer instead of using the 'stroke' layer style. This is an unfortunate limitation with the Photoshop software.

I know this sounds/looks like a lot of work, but it really only takes a few seconds once you know where all of the options/settings are.

Hope that helped!

K34sc
13-05-2015, 20:53
Ryno for president!

a true gold mine for our talented painters :yes:

THX for them.

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 20:54
Thanks Greg! :) Hopefully it helps out some of our new members

ryandtw
13-05-2015, 20:57
Thanks for sharing! I wish someone does a tutorial for GIMP users, since I can't afford Photoshop at the moment, and right now I use GIMP and Inkscape, which, to be honest after seeing this, isn't the best way to paint cars...

(Anyways, what about the RWD logo? I've been focused on painting sports-prototypes - particularly the RWD LMPs - as of now.)

Ryno917
13-05-2015, 21:15
Hey ryandtw - I'm sure there's a few guys who use GIMP who could offer a few tips. Also, liveries do not require specific abilities - it all comes down to just learning how to use the program itself. GIMP is perfectly capable of being used for skinning - a lot of guys use it, and some even prefer it over Photoshop!

The first thing I can suggest is learning the program. Get to grips with the tools in it, how they work and most importantly why they work the way they do. Once you understand how the tools do what they do, you'll be able to do nearly anything. :)

ZiggyUK
14-05-2015, 03:16
Nice work Ryno ... I remember it took me a while to work it all out so having this should really give the new members a head start, kudos :encouragement:

Siddo
14-05-2015, 09:23
Thanks for this tutorial Ryno. Going to print it off and have a good read through. I must admit I currently use Paint.net to do most of my skinning work as i've used it for years for other games yet i do subscribe to adobe for the latest version of photoshop, i've just found it daunting to get to grips with and find that i'm quicker in Paint.net at the moment. Hopefully this guide will help ease with the transition.

Ryno917
14-05-2015, 14:19
Siddo - hope it will be of some help to you!

Biggest advice I can give is to get to grips with the pen tool. It's invaluable. Coming from Paint.NET I'll assume you've already got a good handle of layers, so I won't mention that being important, too :P

the_Real_Ole
15-05-2015, 13:25
Thank you!!!
Very helpful!!

knotme
16-05-2015, 00:20
how about instructing how to paint the wheels? that would be cool also. cheers and thanx

the_Real_Ole
17-05-2015, 13:22
Can I second the request for wheel help....

Ryno917
18-05-2015, 22:54
I'll try to find some time soon to do up a small wheel painting tutorial.

As a basic overview, you have to make sure your alpha channel is intact. Any graphics you apply need to get a radial blur added to them for the blurred file to look right in game.

Mr_Velocity1577
20-05-2015, 21:54
What are the DDS settings for the livery files?

Espen S. Andresen
21-05-2015, 10:41
What are the DDS settings for the livery files?

http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?21857-Vehicle-custom-liveries-How-to-FAQ


Size & File formats



FILE NAME
RECOMMENDED SIZE
DDS FORMAT
VEHICLE PART
RELATED TO


LIVERY_PLAYER
2048x2048*
DXT1
Vehicle
Main livery


LIVERY_FRESNEL
1024x1024
DXT1
Vehicle
Livery reflections per angle


LIVERY_SPEC
1024x1024
DXT5
Vehicle
Livery specularity and glossyness


LIVERY_AI
1024x1024
DXT1
Vehicle
AI Livery. If AI uses the "Custom Livery"


PAINT_CHASSIS
256x256
DXT1
Vehicle
Chassi and Roll Cage colors


WHEEL_DIFF
512x512
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel livery


WHEEL_DIFF_BLUR
256x256
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel under rotation


WHEEL_SPEC
256x256
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel specularity and glossyness


WHEEL_SPEC_BLUR
256x256
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel specularity and glossyness under rotation



-> Always all MIP maps

Set the DDS plugin to "create new mip maps".

Ryno917
21-05-2015, 13:15
What are the DDS settings for the livery files?


http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?21857-Vehicle-custom-liveries-How-to-FAQ


Size & File formats



FILE NAME
RECOMMENDED SIZE
DDS FORMAT
VEHICLE PART
RELATED TO


LIVERY_PLAYER
2048x2048*
DXT1
Vehicle
Main livery


LIVERY_FRESNEL
1024x1024
DXT1
Vehicle
Livery reflections per angle


LIVERY_SPEC
1024x1024
DXT5
Vehicle
Livery specularity and glossyness


LIVERY_AI
1024x1024
DXT1
Vehicle
AI Livery. If AI uses the "Custom Livery"


PAINT_CHASSIS
256x256
DXT1
Vehicle
Chassi and Roll Cage colors


WHEEL_DIFF
512x512
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel livery


WHEEL_DIFF_BLUR
256x256
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel under rotation


WHEEL_SPEC
256x256
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel specularity and glossyness


WHEEL_SPEC_BLUR
256x256
DXT5
Wheel
Wheel specularity and glossyness under rotation



-> Always all MIP maps

Set the DDS plugin to "create new mip maps".


Just as a small addition to the above chart from Espen, anything DXT5 needs to be saved with its alpha channel intact. :)

Espen S. Andresen
21-05-2015, 13:41
Just as a small addition to the above chart from Espen, anything DXT5 needs to be saved with its alpha channel intact. :)

Yep, and the DXT1 should not. Imho that should be a part of that table (which I shamelessly stole from the thread ;))

Condhill
25-05-2015, 20:57
Can someone make the same painting tip but with Inkscape and Gimp that are the same as Illustrator and Photoshop but free... because I'm not used to it. I made some photoshop a long time ago, but I don't want to pay for it so I try with Gimp but the rendering changes without touching anything... Thank you and sorry for my bad english

Scuderia Paul
28-05-2015, 08:00
I was just wondering what happens if you leave a part of the livery template blank? I do not intend doing this but was curious and being a PS4 player I cannot test it.

Livery customisation is the type of thing I love so I would like to do some for general member use and will need a volunteer to test them soon. Thanks.

Ryno917
28-05-2015, 13:45
Can someone make the same painting tip but with Inkscape and Gimp that are the same as Illustrator and Photoshop but free... because I'm not used to it. I made some photoshop a long time ago, but I don't want to pay for it so I try with Gimp but the rendering changes without touching anything... Thank you and sorry for my bad english

Hopefully someone can lend a hand with GIMP soon. I have zero experience with it, unfortunately.


I was just wondering what happens if you leave a part of the livery template blank? I do not intend doing this but was curious and being a PS4 player I cannot test it.

Livery customisation is the type of thing I love so I would like to do some for general member use and will need a volunteer to test them soon. Thanks.

Anything left blank will show up as white in game I believe. IIRC the default for anything 'invisible' in PS is to make that area white when saving to a format that doesn't handle transparency.

NemethR
28-05-2015, 14:19
Altough I am aware how to do these, I just would like to say, a BIG THANK YOU to you Ryno for all the effort you put into making the guide.
Ist so good to see people who are sharing know-how, and insight about the game, to see the community so passionate about a prodict.

Kudos man!

Tiaan Dames
28-05-2015, 19:19
Hi Ryno/ All
Man am I confused. I use to paint my cars for iRacing... Now want to do the same here. But hell is this a mission it seems. What format do I save my painted car in and where do I upload or save the painted car into? could anybody assist? I just panted a Clio from the Template I downloaded. Now the question is just where to upload it to and in what format.
Thanks buds

Ryno917
28-05-2015, 20:17
Hey mate, just responded to your PM.

I'll post here for others who are wondering, check out this thread (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?21857-Vehicle-custom-liveries-How-to-FAQ) for info on file formats and where to save. :)

WTFFSwan
01-06-2015, 14:22
Hey Ryno, First I just want to say thank you for making this tutorial. I'm kind of a Gimp/Photoshop amateur, but it's still helped out a lot and I've managed to make a basic livery that I'm pretty happy with.
however I can't seem to wrap my head around the Fresnel effect and how to make parts of the livery metallic.

Do I open up the actual Fresnel file?

Or do I export my .xcf as a DXT1 in the recommended size to the original Fresnel file?

I understand the concept of making the metallic objects black and everything else white or grey, I just want to make sure I'm doing everything correct to get the metallic parts.

Hopefully my question made sense.

Thanks again.

Ryno917
01-06-2015, 18:19
Hey Ryno, First I just want to say thank you for making this tutorial. I'm kind of a Gimp/Photoshop amateur, but it's still helped out a lot and I've managed to make a basic livery that I'm pretty happy with.
however I can't seem to wrap my head around the Fresnel effect and how to make parts of the livery metallic.

Do I open up the actual Fresnel file?

Or do I export my .xcf as a DXT1 in the recommended size to the original Fresnel file?

I understand the concept of making the metallic objects black and everything else white or grey, I just want to make sure I'm doing everything correct to get the metallic parts.

Hopefully my question made sense.

Thanks again.

When making a SPEC or a FRESNEL file, I just make the changes in my PSD file and then save it out as a DXT1 file with the correct name to be the fresnel file - that way everything is in the exact same position as in your main livery file, pixel-wise, so it all lines up properly.

Also, the fresnel file controls the chrome effect, not the metallic effect. Currently custom skins can't use a metallic effect as it's a more intensive thing that has to be set in the shaders themselves in 3DS Max. I'd love to get access to it, like the fresnel effect.

WTFFSwan
01-06-2015, 18:39
When making a SPEC or a FRESNEL file, I just make the changes in my PSD file and then save it out as a DXT1 file with the correct name to be the fresnel file - that way everything is in the exact same position as in your main livery file, pixel-wise, so it all lines up properly.

Also, the fresnel file controls the chrome effect, not the metallic effect. Currently custom skins can't use a metallic effect as it's a more intensive thing that has to be set in the shaders themselves in 3DS Max. I'd love to get access to it, like the fresnel effect.

Yea, I meant chrome but said metallic. I wish we could do metallic as well, hopefully in the future we'll be able to do so.

Thanks for the response, I figured doing it in the base .xcf/psd file was the best way to do it.
That's how I've been doing it, it just hasn't seemed to come out right, I'll keep messing with it I'm sure I'm missing something simple along the way.

I appreciate it man.

Ryno917
01-06-2015, 18:48
Yea, I meant chrome but said metallic. I wish we could do metallic as well, hopefully in the future we'll be able to do so.

Thanks for the response, I figured doing it in the base .xcf/psd file was the best way to do it.
That's how I've been doing it, it just hasn't seemed to come out right, I'll keep messing with it I'm sure I'm missing something simple along the way.

I appreciate it man.

No problem, happy to help!

What issue are you running into?

I find sometimes, on more complex skins, once I have the diffuse map 100% finished I just duplicate the PSD file to make a fresnel PSD file if it gets too heavy for my system to handle (you'll have to do it again, though, if you make a change to your diffuse file so it's easiest if you can keep it all in one file).

WTFFSwan
01-06-2015, 22:57
No problem, happy to help!

What issue are you running into?

I find sometimes, on more complex skins, once I have the diffuse map 100% finished I just duplicate the PSD file to make a fresnel PSD file if it gets too heavy for my system to handle (you'll have to do it again, though, if you make a change to your diffuse file so it's easiest if you can keep it all in one file).

What I want to be chrome just doesnt seem to come out chrome at all.

I'm sure it's something stupid that I'm overlooking. Just got home so I'll give it a go right now and see what I can figure out.

WTFFSwan
02-06-2015, 02:41
Figured it out man, thanks for the assistance.

I was actually making the error on the spec map, had to go back through and read everything again.

WIP pics will be in custom livery thread.

Ryno917
02-06-2015, 13:39
Glad you got it sorted :)

Mancunain
08-06-2015, 16:49
Hey ryandtw - I'm sure there's a few guys who use GIMP who could offer a few tips. Also, liveries do not require specific abilities - it all comes down to just learning how to use the program itself. GIMP is perfectly capable of being used for skinning - a lot of guys use it, and some even prefer it over Photoshop!

The first thing I can suggest is learning the program. Get to grips with the tools in it, how they work and most importantly why they work the way they do. Once you understand how the tools do what they do, you'll be able to do nearly anything. :)

ye, just came to realise this myself :/ D/L gimp just for this stuff, but it will take ages learning that editing software :~) 2hrs later and i couldnt work anything out, couldnt separate the parts to paint individually, fill never seemed to do anything ever.. i mean even after multiple trial saves with just a base color fill, the livery in game is still standard white/black grid on it :/
At 1st i thought about using layers to crop all but the trim i wanted in a color, and filling one layer with base, one with the 2nd color for the trim.. but couldmt even work out what exactly the hell layers are, as i couldnt split any up visually to see what i was working on..
Gimps 'intelligent' scissors seemed totally the opposite.. in fact most tools seemed to have no response once pressed.. seems like u need to click 3 or 4 things to get another to activate or something :/ really annoyed me xD

My dreams of a personalized car are shattered :( i knew it would take a few tries lol, but 2hrs and dont knwpo anything yet is a bit much, and i can find my way around pc's fairly easy usually... hell i used cubase back inthe mid 90's.. very simialr tool based edit software for audio.. but even after all these years, they not made terminology any more user friendly :/

Back to the drawing board.. literally xD

Ryno917
08-06-2015, 19:43
If you've never used the program before, 2 hours is pretty much nothing. :) Spend a few hours learning the basics of the program you're working with. Don't think about liveries or cars or any of that - just learn the main tools of the program. Remember - the GIMP/Photoshop/Whatever is not a livery creation program, it's a photo manipulation and graphic design tool. There's no 'make a livery' button or anything like that - you have to learn the tools and understand what they do, then figure out how to use them to achieve the design that you have in your head (or a photograph of a real car or whatever). Think of it like building a deck - you need a variety of tools and supplies, a bunch of knowledge, and a design. Then you have to use the knowledge to use the tools to build your design. That's how it works. A program is just a tool - it doesn't know what you want to do, you have to tell it using its language.

These are complex programs, and 2 hours is nowhere near enough to learn how to do things effectively. Take some time, find some beginner tutorials, and learn how to use the software. Just like the pros. :)

For reference - I know how to use Photoshop, I've been using it since I was 14 (I'm 28 now), and I've been using other design software since I was 7. And with all the experience and practice I have the Keon Z4 GT3 livery still took me over 15 hours from start to finish (granted there was some design-as-I-went and revisions throughout the whole process). Achieving a nice result won't happen instantly, for anyone, even if you know the tools inside out.

Angst1974
10-06-2015, 17:46
I am using GIMP , I have been able to put on some custom logos so far , and make my GT4 Aston Martin Vantage British Racing green .

This is my first time with GIMP, it is a steep learning curve , remember to install the DSS plug-ins , there are some good videos online .

b_akerlite
22-09-2015, 12:09
Hey ryno. Awesome tutorial thanks
Jus one question. Most livery downloads come with tiny spec and fesnel files. Did you try running the game with your larger spec and fresnel files in your tutorial?
I am asking because I created 1024 by 1024 spec and fresnel files and it bumped vram usage by 800mb.
Is that normal?
Thanks

Ryno917
24-11-2015, 21:05
Hey ryno. Awesome tutorial thanks
Jus one question. Most livery downloads come with tiny spec and fesnel files. Did you try running the game with your larger spec and fresnel files in your tutorial?
I am asking because I created 1024 by 1024 spec and fresnel files and it bumped vram usage by 800mb.
Is that normal?
Thanks

Sorry, only just saw this question now:

Yes, that is normal. Larger textures will use more memory. By default, the SPEC and FRESNEL files will be small squares (32 or 64 pixels IIRC) that are a solid colour because they are simple skins with only one single surface finish. On a more complex skin you need a larger texture to capture the details and transitions between surface finishes. The default skins in the game are 2048 pixels, and special SPEC or FRESNEL textures are 1024 for the skins that need complex ones. I personally paint everything at 4096 because only having one skin high res like this makes basically zero difference on my computer. If there were a full field of cars with all of these textures at a high resolution, it would definitely impact frame rates.

waanders360
04-08-2016, 13:49
How do you export the art in Photoshop? #DDS

bopper2010
04-08-2016, 14:44
How do you export the art in Photoshop? #DDS

You will need the Adobe Texture Plugin from Nvidia, this allows you to export DDS files and edit them too. https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop