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Question on vehicle graphics

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by oc63rag, May 23, 2007.

  1. oc63rag

    oc63rag Member

    May 7, 2007
    I've searched and haven't found an answer to this. I have Photoshop and Illustrator and I'd like to practice designing vehicle graphics/wraps. I've asked a few people and everyone has different opinions on what is the "best" way to to this.

    How can I take photos of a vehicle, import them into either photoshop or illustrator and do the following:
    1. create an outline of the vehicle
    2. add graphics
    3. view original photo with graphics added

    Am I making this more difficult than it actually is? I'm not looking for click by click instructions but general ideas.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. noregrets

    noregrets Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    I am by no means an expert on this - I am just in the playing around stage myself at the moment....but here is what I did.

    1. Took photos of my vehicle
    2. Did a rough design in photoshop on top of vehicle to see what it would look like
    3. Tried to do the measurements etc to get my photo to scale, and decided it would be better to buy the vehicle outline which I did. It wasnt expensive, and saved me a lot of time.

    Hope that helps
  3. grafxxx

    grafxxx Very Active Member

    May 15, 2007
    watertown ma.
    yeah that is what you want to do
    1st take a good side shot of car.
    then imort it into what ever progam your using (i use flexi)
    then apply graphics on it
    take your mesurements eg.from front to rear and top to bottom so when you size it up you have to refferance point.
    then bam your all set.
    here is a quick example of a design i did
  4. mondo

    mondo Active Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    That was nice. Did you print or cut? Thanks
  5. grafxxx

    grafxxx Very Active Member

    May 15, 2007
    watertown ma.
    :thankyou: ,all cut vinyl orange and white refective and black oracal 651 can coburn blue chrome.
  6. here is the approach I have taken for vehicle graphics and it has served me quite well...

    In this instance, I am cutting new vinyl for the Jeep and the Wrangler lettering, but the same method works well on larger designs and wraps.


    Take a photo with a measuring tape as reference, in this case I wanted to match the size of the original graphics as exactly as possible so my reference was the original decals. in a fresh design or wrap the reference points could be the edge to edge of the door to accurately obtain scale.

    THen in photoshop, open the picture, and create a new layer. This is where you will design "on the vehicle" to better see what the finished product will look like.

    Then to view the original picture without losing the design or placement, simple click the "Eye" square to hide the layer(s) you do not want to view.

    Also, if you don't have an assistant to hold the tape measure while you take a picture you can also tape a dollar bill to the window or something for reference. dollars are all the same size within thousands of an inch so you will still get an accurate size reference.

    When you are ready to output you use the original photo for size as seen here.
    set inch guidelines and enlarge the photo until the tape measure inche lines match your inch guides in Flexi/signlab/etc
    Then place your vector design and size to match. Then you can elete the photo leaving clean ready to cut graphics at desired size.


    Hope this helps. Perhaps I'll draft up a photo or video tutorial on this sometime.

    TOucan Graphics.
    Last edited: May 24, 2007
  7. Rod

    Rod Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Measurement tool will scale the photo quickly

    In SignLab, the fast way to resize the photo is as follows:
    1. From the Measure Tools flyout, choose the Measurement tool.
    2. On the "tape measure" portion of the photo, left-click at the 0" tick.
    3. A handle will appear.
    4. Then left-click at the 1" tick to place a 2nd handle.
    5. In the SmartBar, note the Desired Distance value that indicates the distance between the two handles (I get 0.73" using Jason's third photo).
    6. Set the Desired Distance = 1" and then click Apply.
    7. The photo (and other workspace objects) will be scaled accordingly.


    Rod at CADlink
  8. Imminent Death

    Imminent Death Member

    Apr 30, 2007
    The methods that have bee mentioned thus far all work. But if you want to drop a little bit of cash, you can buy a library of vector vehicle templates. I used to work at a sign shop that had those and it made life much easier.

    But when doing it the other way (with photos)... just be absolutely sure the camera is not at an angle or you will get skewed results.

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