Chopping for Dummies *Links Fixed*

I created this tutorial to help everybody overall. If there's a slump in the section where nobody gets their chops done, here's what you may use to aid yourself. Also, for the curious learners out there this is just my input on how to do these chops. If you have any questions, concerns, or found errors you may post in this thread.

Thanks for reading ;)

Note: Photoshop 7.0 or higher is require for this tutorial. Older versions may not be fully compatible.

General Tutorial References

Drop Chop

The basics behind this tutorial are simple. You may think at first that it’s logical to highlight just the car and drop it down on the image but there are a few problems with that. It will leave a huge hole right above the car and what are you going to put there? Unless you’re really skilled, it’s not going to work. We’re going to highlight EVERYTHING above a certain point and drop that whole thing downwards which won’t leave any significant holes in the image.


Step 1: Use the
tool to select the upper portion of the image. This will include the body of the car (NOT the rims and tires) along with everything else that is above it. You’ll understand more on what to select and what not to select once you try a few drops. It’s basically a trial and error process. The following image shows how to select on this particular example. Everything above the dotted line is selected even though it doesn’t quite look that way on the image.


Step 2: Once selected, copy this to a new layer by pressing Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V immediately afterwards. There should be a layer window on the bottom right which will look similar to this:


Step 3: This step is pretty much the core of this tutorial and it is simple. Select the tool and click and drag on the top area and slide it down until you’re satisfied with the results. Here is what I came up with:


Step 4:


Oops, we have a little bit of a problem on the right front fender here. It seems it’s overlapping the tire so we’ll have to make a little bit of an adjustment. Select the
tool and rub over that little area. If you make a mistake, you may always undo it by pressing Ctrl+Z. You might also notice that the top is now slightly messed up but you may highlight the area you want to keep and crop it by going to Image > Crop but it’s not at the utmost importance. Done.


Tint Chop

Tinting may be easy or hard depending on your demands. If you want something that will just give you an idea of what it will look like, then you won’t have any problems. If you want it to look as if it’s real, you might need extra work. The darker a tint is, the more of the outside it will reflect. For instance, if you have limo tint on your car, it’s going to reflect the clouds, trees, birds or whatever else is around it. You may private message me for any tips on that further, but I will not cover that on this tutorial. We’re going to use an easy image for this tutorial that looks real even without adding reflections.


Step 1: Use the
tool to highlight only the windows on the car. This includes any side or rear windows but NOT the front window because it’s illegal to tint the front and it would cause problems in this tutorial due to overlapping anyway. Here is what I came up with:


Step 2: Make a new layer by either pressing Shft+Ctrl+N or going to Layer > New > Layer… The layers should now look similar to the following. I named mine “Tint” but don’t be confused if yours is named something else… name doesn’t really matter except for organization.


Step 3: Be sure the highlighted area is still highlighted at this point. Select the tool and make sure the current paint is colored black. This will be represented by black in the foreground color box like this:


If it is not black, click on the foreground color and make it black. Then, click on the area inside the highlighted area to paint it black. It should look like this:


Step 4: Next up, we’re going to make that black look real. Right click on the top layer (mine is named “Tint” while yours is probably named “Layer 1”) and then click on Blending Options… Here, we have tons of options for layers which you can fulfill your fantasies but I won’t get into it too much. On the top where it says “Opacity,” put “30” into the box on the right like this:


Before, the black was at 100% which is fully showing. Now at 30% it will be only slightly showing and therefore called transparent. You may fool around with this number to get your desired result but take note that the higher the number is, the less realistic it gets. And there you have it! A decent looking tint job for only a little work.


Rim Chop

This may be the number one chop in demand around this section. It isn’t too hard so if you have the Photoshop program, you may be able to do this yourself if nobody is will to help out. For starters, we need two similar pictures… one of your car and one of a car with the rims on that you want AND at similar angles. Using pictures of only the rim such as on retail websites is not as accurate to chop from. It will almost always look fake. We used the following pictures for this demonstration.


This will be used to chop onto


Here is a picture of a car with the rims on that we want the previous car to have. Notice the angles of the two. Both pictures were taken at a low height and looking onto the car at very similar angles. To judge how well the angle is, usually I would look at the front end and see how wide it is compared to the side. Compare this on both pictures and if they’re similar and if it’s at a similar height, you’ve got a match. Let’s play.

Step 1: Go to the slave.jpg image (the one that says and use the
tool to highlight the front rim. It should look similar to this:


Step 2: Next up we need some way to transfer it over to the other image so we’ll use the good old copy and paste method. While it being highlighted, press Ctrl+C and then go to the master.jpg (the other image). While on the other image, press Ctrl+V to paste it on there and it should look similar to:


Step 3: This doesn’t look like it’s going to fit does it? To fix this, we’re going to use a free transform. To start this, you may either press Ctrl+T or go to Edit > Free Transform on the menu. The free transform may be tricky so you can play around with it a bit to get used to. Eventually, you’ll want the new rim to cover over the old rim with a nice snug fit without being bigger or smaller. With other applications such as bigger rims than what is already on the car, you may need to make adjustments accordingly but this example only shows rims the same size. I made the new rim smaller, and rotated it slightly to get:


Do the exact same thing for the rear wheel.

Step 4: Looks good? Well, not perfect YET. Notice how the color is golden and appears to look out of place. Now onto fixing this problem. Click on the first layer (it’s probably called “Background”) and then you’re going to press Ctrl while clicking on the second layer (most likely “Layer 1”). This will then highlight around the rims on the new layer. Then, press Ctrl+C and then click on the second layer. Now press Ctrl+V so that the old rims are pasted over top the new rims again. This should appear as though the new rims aren’t even there. The layers should look similar to:


“Rim” on mine is the new rims while “Rim Color” is the copy of the original rims.

Step 5: Okay, here’s what will bring it all together. Right click on the new layer on top and select Blending Options… At the top again where it says “Blend Mode:” with a drop down menu box, select “Color.” It should now look like this:


And there you have it! You may also fool around with the opacity to your liking or other options such as that. I personally went to the “Rim” layer and made it slightly darker to match the lighting a little better.


Color Chop

So you want your car painted? It could be the whole car or just certain parts of the car… either way this tutorial will cover it. Also, it might help if you see a certain body setup on a blue car but your car is red. All you have to do is change the color and you’ve got a decent idea of what you’re going to get. We start off with this picture:


Step 1: First off, we’re going to use the
tool to highlight the areas you want to color. If that includes the entire car, then you’ll want to highlight all the areas on the outside that are yellow (in this case). I suggest zooming in while doing the highlighting for accuracy. Here’s what I got:


Step 2: Press Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V immediately after to copy the selection to a new layer. This will give us a little leniency to work with in case we make mistakes plus it will broaden our horizons on the options because sometimes we have to use different settings to make it look real.

Step 3: Next up we think about what we have to do to change the color. In this case, we’re making it black. Yellow is a much lighter color than black so we need to decrease the brightness a bit. Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast… as shown below:


Now what I did in this case was I changed the brightness to “-100” and then I immediately went back to that box again and did another “-100.” So in other words… I did it twice. I got this:


This step will vary with what you’re working with. If you want to change black to red, you’re going to want to lighten it with a + brightness. It just takes some experimentation to get it just right.

Step 4: Notice how dull the hood looks now. To fix that, we mess around with the blending options. Right click on the new layer (probably called “Layer 1”) and then click on Blending Options… At the top, there will be a drop down box. Select “Linear Light” as shown:


Then we’ll get something like this:


Reflections look a little better now don’t they?

Step 5: Obviously we all know it’s the wrong color now. It looks golden in a way so now we’ll fix that right up. Press Ctrl while clicking on the new layer (again, it’s probably called “Layer 1”). This will then bring back the selection that we were using before. Now, go to Layer > New > Layer… or you can press Shft+Ctrl+N.

Step 6: Select the tool and make sure black, white, or any kind of gray is in the foreground. If it’s not, change it so that it is. It should look like this:


This step may be altered to whatever color you would like but for this tutorial it’s going to be black. Okay, now click anywhere inside that selection to make it totally black like this:


Step 7: Now we’re going to change the blending options on that new layer to “Color” because that will change the image so that the selected area is in grayscale. Right click on the top most layer (should be called “Layer 2”) and then click on Blending Options… At the top again there should be that drop down box. Select “Color” like this:


This should then get you:


Step 8: There are a few problems with this picture still, though. Notice the yellow haze:


Nothing a little sponging can fix. Select the
tool and select the bottom layer. The layers should now look like:


Don’t be alarmed that my layers have names. I just named them different things so that it’s easier. The “Background” layer is the original image, the “Brightness” layer is the brightness correction, and the “Color” layer is when we changed it to grayscale.

Step 9: Now this step is just mostly experimentation. Make sure the sponge tool is set on “Desaturate.” It should be labeled at the top somewhere with a drop down menu. I usually work with a size 10 or so but it’s up to you. Just work your way around the yellow haze to get rid of it and remember you can always press Ctrl+Z to undo if you made a mistake.

Step 10: Only do this step and on if you’re a little more experienced because it’s more of judgment and experimentation. You’ll notice that the spoiler is a little off color in following picture:


In this picture, it wasn’t too bad but others could be unbearable. Notice the cement jersey barrier in the back… it’s very similar to white so this will make it easier. The tint from the windows is distorting it a bit and it’s also a different color looking through the windshield from looking through the side window. I selected the new tinted color of the jersey barrier on each side with the
tool and then created a new layer for each side. Then I used the
tool and painted only over the spoiler with each color on each side. Then I set the settings to a 50% opacity like this:


And there you have it!


Body Chop

If you want to chop a new bumper on your car, spoiler, side skirts, hood, or any other sort of body part, this tutorial is for you. I don’t see many body chops around the request section so hopefully this will help a bit and change that. This chop will be very easy (in terms of other body chops). We have the following image:


We want to put a 2003 Cobra bumper on this. To do that, we need an identical image of a 2003 Cobra at a very similar angle. And I must stress VERY similar because the better it is, the less headaches you’ll have and if it’s not close you might as well not even try. Here is what we chopped from:


It’s reversed but it’s doable. Look at the proportions of the front to the side along with the height it was taken at and that will tell you if it’s good or not. They were both taken at eye level and at the same horizontal angle so it’s good.

Step 1: Like all the other chops, we’re starting off by using the
tool to select the front bumper. What exactly to select will be learned from experience. You’ll usually only need to select the differences in the bumpers. For instance, the difference between an 03 Cobra bumper and an 03 GT bumper is just the grill and below so you’ll only need to select that. In this case, they’re different shapes basically from the top so here’s what we get:


Step 2: Next we’re going to copy and paste from one to another. Press Ctrl+C and then go to the image you want to chop to (master.jpg in this case) and press Ctrl+V. This will get you:


Step 3: This isn’t exactly going to fit as is so we’re going to need some adjustments. Press Ctrl+T or go to Edit > Free Transform to do a free transform on it. Move it around until you’re satisfied with the fitment. The least you’re going to do is reverse it but you’ll end up something like this:


On harder chops, I usually find reference points to work from. For instance, I line up the fog lights with where they should be and then if it still doesn’t work quite right, I highlight only a section of the new body part and stretch that out to make it fit. It’s a complicated process at times but it takes practice.

Step 4: After you apply the transform we’re going to grayscale this as strange as it may seem. Either press Shft+Ctrl+U or go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. It should now resemble:


Step 5: Now we’re going to match colors a bit. You might think the original color was okay but sometimes the original color is blue for instance and you want it to be red so now we change that. First, click on the little eye by the layer you’re on to make it invisible. Now, click on the original layer (Should be called “Background”) and then make a new layer by pressing Shft+Ctrl+N or going to Layer > New > Layer…

Step 6: First, press Ctrl and click on the top layer with the bumper on to get the selection back. Then use the smudge
tool to smear that red all around the selection. I recommend not smudging the colors from the grill or the colors from reflections… JUST the red. I would also suggest doing it in vertical lines because usually the left side of the bumper is a slightly different color than the right side. Here’s what I got:


Sometimes I also blur it a little using the
tool but it’s not absolutely necessary. The layers should now look similar to:


Step 7: Now we’re going to use our telepathy and realize that there’s going to be a problem with the fog lights and grill like usual with this kind of chop. Click on the empty space next to the top layer where the eye used to be to make it visible again. Now, use the
tool and highlight just the grill and fog lights. Then press Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to paste to a new layer. The selection should look like:


Now the layers should resemble:


Step 8: Now what we’re going to do is bring the color to life again. Right click on the layer with the bumper (here mine is labeled “Bumper” but I’m sure yours is labeled “Layer 1”) then click on Blending Options… and in the drop down box for “Blend Mode:” select “Hard Light.” The box should resemble:


Step 9: Now you’ll realize this doesn’t quite look right so we’re going to fool around with the brightness. Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast… as shown:


Now you may fool around with the options there until you’re satisfied. Different chops will require different settings so don’t be afraid to experiment. Here’s what I came up with:


Now we get the image:


Not looking too bad but we’re still not done.

Step 10: The reflection on the top of the bumper doesn’t look up to par for my liking so we’re going to alter that a bit. What I did was select the original layer (“Original” in my case but “Background” in yours) and use the
tool to select just the top part of the new bumper where you see where it’s lighter like this:


Step 11: Pressed Ctrl+C to copy it and clicked on the top most layer. Then, pressed Ctrl+V to past it to a new layer. It should look like:


The layers should now be similar to:


Step 12: Now we still have a few random things to take care of and it’ll be done. What I did to make it blend better is I used the eraser
tool with a larger radius on the layer with the bumper pasted on to blend it better. This will smooth out the lines a bit more and get you:


Step 13: Now notice in the following picture as in other tutorials the red haze:


Use the sponge
tool in desaturate mode to get rid of most of this. You may need to do it do the bottom layer (original image) and the color layer (second layer up).

Now it’s done!


what cant i see the tool buttons and images you are showing,there all red x's


Custom User Title
can someone please make all the pics show up again? i just got photoshop and would really like to know how to do this. thanks