How to use 3DTuning to make your renders more realistic and easier!
It's not hard.
Probably the hardest part of making a face-swap is finding two cars at the right angle to mash together. It's even harder when you throw in colours.
If your angle is just a little bit off, you'll end up with something like this. In case you're wondering, this was my first attempt at a face-swap in perspective. You don't have to be a car designer to realize that something looks a bit off...
If your colours are off, it can be impossible to match them. My biggest problem when I made this Fusion/Mustang mashup was the fact that the Fusion had glossy paint, while the Mustang's was matte. The colours were just too hard to match up. Which is a shame, because this would have been a sick render!
So how can one get around these hurdles? By using 3DTuning of course!
3DTuning has hundreds of cars to modify, and they're all fairly realistic. Best of all, you can match the colours and the angles perfectly!
Be sure to use a computer, rather than a phone or tablet for this.
Step 1 - Choose two cars to face-swap
For your first render, try using cars that are fairly similar, in order to make your life easier.
For this render, I'll be using a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and a 2010 Mercedes C-Class. Just open them both in separate tabs on 3DT.
I would not recommend using cars these extreme for your first render. Maybe try a Civic and a S2000 or something.
From there, make any modifications you want to the cars. I usually just lower it. But just for fun, I'll add a spoiler and some cool rims to the Merc.
Step 2 - Choose you colour
Colour matching cars in 3DT is really easy. Pick a colour on one car, and apply it.
Go into the "Finishes" tab
Click the Colour wheel and select your colour of choice.
Next, copy this code:
Get the other car now
Then just paste the code into the little box. This should make both the cars the exact same colour.
Step 3 - Choose your angle
Just drag to rotate the car. Be sure to switch between tabs to ensure the angle is right. This step is crucial, but very easy.
Step 4 - Choose you background
The default background is a little bit too busy, and that takes away from the look of the car. I usually use one of the studio style backgrounds, because they look professional and are easy to work with.
Just hover over the save icon in the bottom right corner, and you should see a button to change the background
The background is up to you, just make sure both cars are using the same one.
Step 5 - Save the photos
Now that we're done with 3DT, it's time to save the pictures so we can upload them to Pixlr X.
If you have never used Pixlr before, just search "pixlr x" in your favourite search engine, and it should pop up. It is completely free to use, and is fairly simple. I will run you through which elements we'll be using, and show you how to use them properly. Like I said, not hard.
Unfortunately, if you don't have a 3DT account, you must take a screenshot.Be sure to crop out the 3DT menus and try your best to have the car centered.
If you do have an account, simply press "save tuning" and when it says "share this masterpiece with friends!", right click on the image and press save image. This will make the resolution of your render higher.
It won't take the background with it, so find some random image online, or save the one from 3DT.
I took a screenshot for this article
These will be the photos to upload into Pixlr.
Step 6 - Upload the photos to Pixlr X
Open up Pixlr X, and click "Open Image". It should be a blue button on the left side of the screen.
Oh man, look at some of these amazing renders just hiding in here...
Once you press that button, it should open your File Explorer (Finder on Mac), and prompt you to select a photo to upload. Upload the car that you want the body of. For example, my Mercedes will have the Jeep front. I'll be uploading the Mercedes.
You should a screen like this. On the left side of the screen, click on the "image" icon at the bottom of the toolbar.
Select "browse" (should be the top option), and upload the image of the other car. Select "Add current".
The other car should appear right on top of the original one.
Step 7 - Eraser time!
Select the paintbrush icon in the toolbar, and then the eraser at the top of the menu that pops up.
Set the size of the eraser larger, so it doesn't take all day to remove the unwanted parts. 150-200 or so should be fine.
Erase most of the background, (but don't worry if you don't get it all, because the backgrounds should be the same.
If you accidentally erase something you shouldn't have, just press the "undo" button.
Step 8 - Match the parts together
This is the fun part, where you get to go nuts on how the fronts will fit together.
Select the "arrange" icon in the toolbar.
Turn off "lock aspect" if you want to fine-tune how the cars fit. This will allow you to stretch the image.
Now just drag the front so it fits properly. You can also use the blue squares in the corners to resize the image. This will take a bit of fine tuning, so don't stop until you have it perfect.
Uh oh, now the background is messed up! Better erase the offending areas! At this time, you can also clean up any random bits that make the render look dumb. For instance, just above the left fender, there's a dark area. I'll fix that.
Step 9 - Cleanup
The background is fixed, and the render is looking pretty good (Ok, maybe not. This was a terrible idea). It's still not finished though. While this gives a generic idea of what it would look like, it doesn't look very real. Time to bring in the paintbrush!
If your cars were pretty similar to begin with, you can probably skip this step if you like what your render looks like. For example, when I made this Civic/Integra mashup, the cars were similar enough to skip this.
Yeah, I'm aware that this literally just looks like a Civic Coupe.
Unfortunately, the Jeep/Merc needs help. A lot of it. Using the draw tool, pick the paintbrush (right beside the eraser)
Scroll down in the menu to where the colours are, and click the white to gain access to the colour wheel. Click the colour pick up tool, (the little syringe), and click somewhere on the car, near where you will be doing the touch-up. I chose to choose the colour on the Jeep fender.
Just sort of colour over the offending spot, and while it won't look great up close, when the render is finished you'll hardly be able to notice it. Be sure to change your colours frequently, to ensure the transitions are smooth.
This part will take quite a bit of practice, which is why I recommend using similar cars for your first render. I'd suggest using simple cars, such as my Civic/Integra.
Step 10 - Sign your work
You should put some sort of thing on your finished render if you're going to post it online, to prevent people from calling your artwork their own. It also adds a nice touch. You can write your own signature on it, or just use text. I just put my initials on it. If you want, you can add a date to it too.
Good luck with your render, and be sure to share the finished project!
Also, I hope yours looks better than mine.