2014 Mustang & Photo-Chops

Update: It's been revealed! I think it looks great and is definitely still a mustang and manages to be both old school and futuristic and even a little anamalistic at the same time. I can see it looking even better in special edition versions and after-market body kits. The interior is a huge improvement. 


Photo-Chopping is when a digital artist uses a picture of something and then alters the image of it to turn it into something else. In this case it's a car - the yet to be revealed 2014 50th anniversary mustang. 

Photo-chops are based on an original image (or images) since it is easier to augment rather than to create from scratch. Someone could do the same thing without a starting image but then it wouldn't be a photo-chop - it would be a digital painting.

 There are a couple different types of photo-chopping. One kind would be to do it for fun and without any specific reason. Another would be to alter the image for a reason based on specific information. Yet another would be for the same reason but without any information.

In the case of the 2014 Mustang for example there are some details known about it's design. There is also 50 years of design language to base the future design off of. So the artist could go one of two routes with their re-design. To try to get it as accurate of a representation of what the new Mustang will actually look like when it's released (this is called a rendering) or to re-design it as they would (personally) like to imagine it. 

I started photo-chopping after finding an online forum that had competitions each week. They would provide a car picture and then everyone would use that same image as a base and create a new car out of it. To get into all the technical details that goes into creating a realistic looking photo-chop would be tedious. They can be really simple and take only a few minutes or dozens of hours. They can be really obviously photo-chopped or they can be so precise that hardly anyone would even know that they are not real photographs. The difference between the two is worlds apart and to produce an artificial image that is indistinguishable from a photograph is one of the most advanced artistic techniques there is. It's the difference between old Micky mouse cartoons and Avatar's cgi.

 The advantage to photo-chopping is that you are starting with "reality based" photo's to start with. 

Here are two examples I made a few years ago. They were also some of my first and last attempts. It's hard to take the time to do them right when there really isn't a reason to. If i'm making one just to see what a car would look like with different shaped head-lights, it's easy and I can do it really quick and sloppy. If I was doing a professional rendering for a car magazine it would be a completely different story. I've never done any "professional" (paid) photoshop work anyways so I don't know how far I could push my skillllz. 

Usually I read through car magazines and use a pen to sketch over the pictures, just for fun. Designing cars is one of my biggest hobbies. I automatically do it in my mind every time I see a car. 

A couple weeks ago I saw a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4 Door) in white, and really really liked it. The only thing is that I don't really like the headlights or the more off road or rugged details. So when I started to think about how I would change it after I bought one (this is called Coach Building) I took to photo-chopping it. 

This is the original Image I started with. 

I started by removing some details and then adding in others.  I used a Rolls Royce Ghost's headlines and Grill. Since this was just for fun I didn't try and make it look realistic. I just wanted to see what it would look like how I wanted it. 

 Then I printed it off and used pencils to change it even more. Once I got what I had "envisioned" out, I didn't need to "finish" it. You could use your imagination to imagine what it would look like with a few hours invested into photo-finishing it. Below you can see what it looks like when someone takes their time.

This is the actual 2014 Mustang in real life - but with Camo covering it. They have to do this so people can't fully see it before it's officially revealed but they have to take it out and test it in the real world. There are actually new car paparazzi photographers! Once these camo'ed pictures are out people can start using them to photo-chop images that get closer and closer to what it will actually look like. 

These are other artists renderings, or photo-chops, of the 2014 Mustang. We'll see how close they got it when it's revealed later this year!

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