What is Virtual Tuning?

Virtual car tuning is where you take a picture, of let’s say, and ordinary car like the Honda Civic, and then using a picture editing tool, program or suite, like Adobe Photoshop, or Paint Shop Pro, you edit it and tune it to the way you desire. Many methods can be used to accomplish the final effect. In this I will overview the main three I have seen used in virtual car tuning.

First and foremost I have seen what I like to call “organic” editing, where the car in question is used to make all the modification that the virtual car kit would have – basically using many of the tools available from smoothing, blurring, and blending modes to just sampling the color and painting in new layers the creative car tuner can make that old Honda look really tripped out. Some people are quite good and can create spoiler effects and new rims, along with adding sleeker headlights and tail lights, and tinting the windshields.

Some of the best virtual car tuning experts can create a car that looks so totally different you would not believe it was the original – and not a single part has come from another image.

Second to that are those who are probably the most common, but likely lesser skilled, they are the inorganic. They take other cars and use cut and copied pieces – then blend them together. Basically if they were doing a Lamborghini kit they would take a similar picture of a Lamborghini and then copy huge chunks to the Honda civic, blend it, and pass it off as original. Although not specifically wrong or morally incorrect it is somewhat inorganic and unoriginal – although there are exceptions that stand out.

Virtual Tuning

This kind of virtual car tuning is what you will see most often on armature forums.
Finally there is the third method. This is basically where the person in question takes a car, puts a new background on it, and then changes some colors. I consider this a hack job when it comes to virtual car tuning. Either newbies or jerks do this, and it is almost as common as the inorganic method. Since this is neither organic nor inorganic I call it crapganic – because really not but one in a million look better than pure cow excrement.

I’ll toss this in, as the leetest of the leet method, and that is the virtual car tuning pro that uses vector image formats to create a realistic car. These guys are the best of the best, being able to take a vectored image and make it look like the real thing, basically the only other people who are good at this are those who design the cars themselves. There are also those who are exceptional at car tuning using 3D models in programs like 3DSMAX and others – these are not quite the same as tuning an image but can create, in often cases, working models that can be used in some games. Personally I find this category the best, and one place where you can see this is at a fan site for a game called Mafia: City of Lost Heaven found here: mafiamods.org. Some of the game modders here have made car models so realistic (as seen by the screen shots) it puts the original car models to shame.

On conclusion if you want to be a good virtual car tuning master you need to learn how to use those blending mods, and optimally practice until you don’t need to cut from other vehicles and you can manufacture the parts you need yourself. Well, just keep on truckin’.

Learn more about virtual tuning @ Dutch Tuning.

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