Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

Project 2: Virtual Race Cars

I’m a big race fan. Other than the Grand Prix, though, there isn’t much racing in my neighborhood. I wish there were some NASCAR-type racing around. Most people will never get a chance to drive one of those stock car beasts, but at least they seem more approachable than those airplane-like Formula 1 race cars. I bet that with a little time, effort, and imagination, I could turn my four-door family sedan into a pretty good imitation of a stock car.

  1. Open the file that contains the car you want to modify (the file on the website for this project is called Gray Sedan.tif). I’m using the shot of a four-door, dark gray sedan that you can see in Figure 3.6.

  2. Figure 3.6

    Figure 3.6 A future stock car...feel the power!

    This is exciting. I’m starting to feel a little like Jesse James on Monster Garage. Let’s light those (digital) cutting torches and get down to it.

Building Some New Wheels

To help with the illusion, I used the Selection tool with the Selection mode set to Circle to grab a copy of the wheels from the truck that was featured in the last project (see Figure 3.7).

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 I thought the stock car needed beefier wheels.

Actually, it’s not the whole wheel that I want—I really only want the mags. I think they look more like racing wheels than the stock ones that came with the sedan.

You can grab the wheel off any vehicle, really. We’ll be deforming it into place in any event. Here’s how:

  1. With the wheel file (White Truck.tif) open and active, select View, Rulers to turn on the rulers.

  2. Select View, Guides to turn on the guides. Click and drag down from the top ruler to create a horizontal guide. Put the guide as close to the center of the wheel as you can.

  3. Repeat this process, but drag from the ruler at the left to make a vertical guide. Position it near the center, as well (see Figure 3.8).

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 Creating a pair of guides to help create a circular selection.

Grabbing a Mag Wheel

Now that the guides have been created, they can help you make a selection.

  1. Choose the Selection tool and set the Selection type to Circle. Using the center of the guides as a starting point, click and drag to make a circular selection. Depending on the image you used and how you placed your guides, it might take several tries to get the right selection. Don’t move the guides, though; just remember where you started your click and drag and then refine your starting point until you get a good selection around the hub of the wheel (see Figure 3.9).

  2. Figure 3.9

    Figure 3.9 A pretty good circular selection made with the help of the guides.

  3. With the selection made, select Edit, Copy to copy the wheel to the Windows clipboard. Then activate the Racing Car image and select Edit, Paste As New Layer to paste the new wheel into the existing image.

  4. Use the Pick tool with the Ctrl key to change the perspective of the pasted wheel by dragging a corner of the bounding box (see Figure 3.10).

  5. Figure 3.10

    Figure 3.10 Deforming the new wheel into place with the Pick tool.

    Use the underlying wheel to help with the placement and shape of the new wheel. They are both really just squished circles, after all.

  6. When you’re satisfied with the shape and placement of the new wheel, duplicate the wheel layer and drag the copy into place over the other visible wheel. You might have to resize the copy, but if the wheels are straight, you’ll probably not have to do any further shaping. You can see both wheels in place in Figure 3.11.

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11 The beefier wheels in place on the sedan.

It’s Time to Add a Racing Number

Things are moving along nicely, but it’s time to add a racing number. I want the number to stand out a little, so I’ll put it on a circular background. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Select the Ellipse tool and select a fill and a stroke color. I chose a bright yellow.

  2. Use the Pick tool to deform the Ellipse shape you created. It should basically resemble the wheels you added, at least in shape.

  3. Use the Text tool to add a number. I used a somewhat fancy serif font with a 6-pixel stroke in red and a bright blue background. Hey, this is racing, right? I used Caslon 224 Medium at a size of 72 points. Note that if you’re following along with the file from the website and you don’t have the Caslon font, Paint Shop Pro X substitutes the font for Arial.

  4. Use the Pick tool to bend the number into place within the circle (see Figure 3.12).

  5. Figure 3.12

    Figure 3.12 Adding a racing number.

  6. Change the Blending mode of both the number layer and the circle layer to Overlay. This makes the new shapes blend into the existing picture rather than looking like they were simply stuck there (see Figure 3.13).

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13 A blending mode change helps add to the realism.

All It Needs Is a Racing Stripe

The final touch for this project, at least as far as we’ll go for now, is to add a couple of racing stripes. The stripes will be added as vector shapes that can be poked and prodded until they bend into the desired shape. I like to keep each shape on its own layer because I find it less messy that way when I need to make any changes.

  1. Select the Rectangle tool and then set the fill and stroke colors. I chose the same blue I used for the interior of the racing number. Draw a rectangle near the hood of the car. The shape and size don’t matter too much because we’ll have to bend the shape into, er, shape.

  2. Right-click the shape and select Convert to Paths. This enables you to use the Pen tool to shape the rectangle. (see Figure 3.14).

  3. Figure 3.14

    Figure 3.14 Shaping the racing stripe.

  4. Right-click the lower-left corner of the rectangular shape and select Node Type, Curve After. Drag the newly created handle to curve the left side of the rectangular shape. The object here is to try to keep to the lines of the car.

  5. Repeat this process for the lower-right corner, but select Node Type, Curve Before. You can see the result of dragging the new handle on the right side of the racing stripe shape in Figure 3.15.

    Figure 3.15

    Figure 3.15 Molding the racing stripe to the car’s shape.

  6. Set the blending mode of the layer that has the racing stripe to Overlay. This enables the luminance (in other words the lighting, or highlights and shadows, if you will) from the layer with the car to show through.

  7. Duplicate the shape layer and, using the Pick tool, drag the new shape into place so you now have two racing stripes on the hood of the car (see Figure 3.16).

  8. Figure 3.16

    Figure 3.16 Two racing stripes added to the car’s hood.

  9. Using the same process you used to create the stripes on the hood, create two more on the roof of the car. At this point—after saving the file so you don’t lose all your hard work—you might want to rename the layers. I have a comfort point in the number of layers I see in the Layers palette, and this project is falling out of that zone. If you ever come back to a project like this, you’ll appreciate the fact that you renamed the layers. I named the layers Left Hood Stripe, Right Hood Stripe, Left Wheel, Right Wheel, and so on. The time you spend doing this now will be instantly paid back if you ever revisit this project.

  10. My final racing family sedan is shown in Figure 3.17. Honey, can I go to the store for something? Come on, we must need bread, milk, something...anything?

Figure 3.17

Figure 3.17 The average family stock car.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020