Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird Photo Composition

I love Firebirds and American Muscle cars in general. Maybe the universe will be good to me and I’ll be able to afford to own (and run) one some day! Some guy in Leitrim has a Firebird amazingly and I see/hear it pass by the odd time and drool. The Firebird is a version of the car model featured in ‘Knight Rider’.

Anyhow, for a bit of much needed Photoshop practice, I decided to edit a photo of a Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird into a photo of my dining table (no idea why the table!) and try make it look like it was really there instead of on some American highway.

Here’s what I started with, said pic of a Firebird on a highway sourced from Google (sue me):

Original

And a pic of my dining room table top, taken at an angle to try to emulate the viewpoint in the Firebird pic above:

Dining Table

After careful cutout of the car with the Pen tool and placing it at the right point on the Table image as well as a bit of Perspective Lens Correcting of the table, I was able to make it look like it blended in a bit. Here are the steps I took to finish the composition off:

  1. Duplicate the Car layer and set the new layer to Multiply blend mode to make it fit in better light wise, after all the original car pic was taken outdoors daytime and I’m putting it in an indoor, dusk shot,
  2. Select the car layer and add a Photo Filter Adjustment layer with a colour sampled from the table. This helps the car fit in colour wise.
  3. Duplicate the car layer again and completely darken it then use the Transform tool to squash it down to the rough shape of a car shadow underneath the original car layer. Remember to match the shadow direction with the light source coming from the windows at the back of the table,
  4. Blur the car shadow layer until it looks about right then add a layer mask and tidy up with the brush tool,
  5. Create a new layer and select a soft brush, black colour and paint in the shadows under the wheels. The previous shadow step leaves the car looking like it’s hovering off the table and painting in a small shadow under the wheels really brings it back down,
  6. I had to cut out the windows too and lost a bit of the sun shield built into the windscreen but I was able to draw the missing bit back in, match the colour, add noise and blur it a bit to make it look like it was always there,
  7. Reflections for objects like this are very tricky but I managed to get a slight bit of a reflection in my shiny table for the wheels using the Transform – Skew & Gradient/Mask Tools.
  8. I then used the Burn (darken) tool to further darken some shaded bits and the Dodge (brighten) tool to make those beautiful chrome and gold strips really pop out,
  9. Next, I duplicated the Table layer and blurred the new one then added a layer mask and gradient to blur behind the car but keep in front in focus, just to give the image better depth,
  10. Finally, to add a bit of mood to the pic, I added a Vignette on top of everything and stuck a layer mask on it then a gradient on the mask to fade it out towards the back of the image,

And after sticking my business logo on the car door (as you do) using Transform – Skew/Warp, here’s the final composition. Like?:

 

Pontiac Trans Am Firebird

 

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Published by

Leon Quinn

Multimedia Design company in Leitrim, Ireland specializing in WordPress Website Design, Photoshop and Graphics. www.reverbstudios.ie

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