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car design process

Design Education News

Car Illustration in Photoshop Tutorial by Alan Derosier

Alain Derosier is a French young designer working in China. Today looking at his blog I found this nice Photoshop tutorial that I am happy to publish here to show it to you.

As you can see Alan starts from a free-hand simple sketch that already has the right proportions, perspective, line quality and composition on the page. The wheels are very well done following the perspective.

What really is strong in this illustration is the control of its Focal Point (front wheel/hood/ground) with the light effect which is driving our attention to it first before admiring the rest of the illustration. Reading from left to right.

The balance between the light and shadow is perfect and the color treatment, too.


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Car Design Sketching Tips 2 by Luciano Bove

Car Design Sketching Tips e-book comes to its second year with a new edition the N°2 and some new sections like:

  • Wheels in perspective
  • Composition on page
  • Backgrounds
  • Interior car sketching how to start
  • New tutorial & illustrations by designer Michele Leonello (SPD teacher in Milan and freelancer designer)
  • New illustrations by designer Riccardo Cascone (Renault Design India designer)

10 extra pages compared to the first edition.

It is always intended to be your reference guide to have at home or on your PC. Every time you have a doubt about a perspective, line quality or about your background you can check how to do it even if your teacher is not next to you.

I hope it can help you!

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Drawing well cars or products is first step for a good portfolio

I did not know if to write again about “drawing correctly cars, products or whatever you prefer” because it might look like I am repeating myself here.

However, recently I visited two important design schools (Russia and Italy) and I saw final portfolios and projects just before diplomas and bachelors have been given to those graduating students. I also saw few works from other schools (mainly Italians) on Facebook. Again final graduating presentations.

I have to admit that all presentations have been well organized by those schools, you can find online several nice pictures and videos.

What about the content?

Since I believe the content (what and how you developed your projects) is more important than “all flashes and lights” of a final graduating presentation and party…I payed good attention to those portfolios’ content.

-student skills

-student creativity

-student final design oral presentation

-student overall portfolio organization

Those are my main 4 key elements I look at to understand if a graduating student is ready to postulate for a designer job vacancy.

Now, I chose Driven Mavens’ car sketch on top of this article because it is a great example how a well constructed sketch should be at the end of any First Year design student. Believe me I saw only 2 students close to this quality after more than 50 students (between all schools I saw personally or on FB).

Too many students show, in their final portfolios, projects with big drawing mistakes which means they are missing the Basics of Drawing, I saw few with bad wheels on their car sketch perspectives (yes first year mistake when we all learned how to draw an ellipse in perspective to draw our car wheels), I saw many cars illustrations with horrible backgrounds (the subject is overpowered by its background done of course with the magic Photoshop, next time better learn how to place a background first to give value to your subject on paper). I have heard lots of “this is my style”, “This is my personal logo”, “No I do not know how long is my car”, “you right my perspective is not correct”…

Portfolio Creativity

The last thing is a bit embarrassing for me is: the expressed creativity.

Most of projects I saw were a mix salad of what we saw already during last two years of car shows. I still see projects that show a nice restyling execution rather than a new design proposal. When some showed a real super creative project it was about a huge vehicle with no wheel but only for two people (?!?), super aero but intended for city use (?!?).

Is out there a lack of creativity? Is there some light selections operated by some of those design schools?

It would be too easy to accuse the students of not performing as they should have done (of course they do have their faults). However my attention goes to “how some design schools organize and manage this business”. Do you want to help young talents to become great talents and get a job in one of the most complicated and closed professional environment?

Make a strict entry selection! Ask your department Chair to perform, Ask your teachers to do their job or change them!



Design Education News

Future of Car Design & New Technologies

I came across this great article about Future of Car Design written by for

It is about a fairly appropriate Design analysis driven by available and new up coming technologies in automotive world. How Car Design can have several advantages by using these technologies and how Design could change.

The sketches are excellent quality with nice details, too.

Please read it click: Turning 10 Trends in Design into the Car of the Future

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Design Team Projects at school: right or wrong?

Before I start writing this post dedicated to Design Team Projects in schools I would like to declare that I am not against team work, I myself made a team project back in school at ACCD, I am in a team at work & I believe that the one man show type of designer role basically never existed and today really it does not exist.

Every hot shot designer has or had a team next to him/her to help and develop.

Well said this, I will tell you why I do not agree the way Design Team Projects are done in mostly design schools from Italy (where we can find many every year) to other countries.

First of all a Design Team Project should be, for design students, the opportunity to understand the experience to work together on the same project. It will help students to understand “how and what” to do when working with other colleagues. Working in a team will help everybody’s ego to come down in favor of  Team’s objective, and soon everybody will find the right space to participate in a given project timing. It is clear that the team project results (drawings, renderings, model photos, Alias virtual images…) will be used in students’ portfolio as an example of a valuable project developed during school time.

It is obvious that every single team member will put in his/her own portfolio “their” real sketches and renderings for that type of project plus some model photos and team images.

The question is: are students part of a project team doing it? If yes “how” are they doing it?

Here comes my problem, very often…too often…almost always…when I receive students’ portfolios I find interesting (or maybe not) projects + a team project with exactly “the same hot exterior/interior sketches” the same model photos and virtual nice images almost never the team picture in front of their model. In other words: who did what? Who really did these nice sketches if 8 portfolios from the same school have the same images? This is the reason why these portfolio (for me) are missing one project! Yes I do not count that project because I do not know if all that material really belongs to that portfolio student! And if the rest of that portfolio is not that nice…the Design Team Project is killing that portfolio!

I think also that Design Schools are making a mistake. The Design Team Project is associated with the final thesis project (which should be the most important portfolio project to show all you learned in school). I believe this is a big mistake. My first suggestion to Design Schools is to make this team experience during school  period (and not at the end) and leave the thesis project to each student without any type of team activity. Second suggestions  for design teachers or Department Chairs is to check and advice students about their final portfolios before they are presented outside your school, please prevent double copy portfolios on some key projects because it does not look professional at all, thanks!




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