How much time does it take you to do a paint job?

After doing some painting this weekend, I began to wonder how long it takes people to create paint jobs for the cars.

This weekend I decided to create a simple vinyl group representing a California license plate. Here are the steps I did.

  1. I created a rectangle with rounded corners to be the majority of the background. The rounded corners are too big and didn’t look correct. To fix this I created four smaller rounded rectangles and moved them to the corners to give the correct appearance of rounded corners for the license plate. This gave me the background I needed that looks like a license plate.

I saved this.

  1. I used a font that nearly matches the font used on the license plate for the word “California” and created a vinyl group with “California” written in red like a real license plate.

I saved this.

  1. I created the expiration month sticker. On my truck this has aged to a slight gray. This was simple. I created a gray rectangle with the appropriate dimensions and put the letter APR in blue on it like the really sticker.

I save this.

  1. I created the expiration year sticker. This took some time. I created a red rectangle of the appropriate dimensions. I then added all the numbering and lettering that appear on a real sticker. I changed the information that was on my sticker. I hope no one has sticker X123456. I spent some time getting this all correct. The only thing that is missing is the California seal that appears in white in the background. You can barely see it on the real sticker.

I saved this.

  1. I created the lettering for the DMV’s website, DMV.CA.GOV, that appears at the bottom of the plate.

I saved this.

  1. I took all the vinyl groups that I created in steps 1 to 5 and put them together to create the California license plate.

This whole process took about 2 half hours and I got it wrong the first time. In my first attempt I got the dimensions wrong. I used the dimensions for a motorcycle plate. I then had to repeat step one to get the plate the correct size for a car. Once I did that I only had to do step 6 again. The fix took about another half hour.

If anyone want to check out the results search for my username JimB3 (I only have two vinyl groups shared) or California License Plate. The vinyl group needs to be resized. To put letters on the plate use the first alphanumeric font in dark blue. The size should be 0.65, 0.75.

There are still a couple of minor issues with the plate. The DMV.CA.GOV needs to be lowered slightly and California is slightly off center. I will try to fix those and repost it.

This whole process took me about 2 and a half hours. Is this common?

In terms of how long I’d spend on a license plate, sounds to have taken a little too long. Painting in general though, certainly can lose hours at a time.

Some of the earlier iterations of forza tracked time spent painting & I had some truly scary hours on there.

The more you do something though, the quicker you get as you find your own short cuts. Painting a plate for instance I would have done on the car more than likely - saves the step where it was the wrong size. There are possibly other little tips.

How did you do your text?

I agree this probably took too long but it was by first serious paint job. I also counting the time I went outside and checked the lettering on the plate on my truck. I would say that was 10 to 15 minutes. The only paint jobs I’ve done in the past were racing stripes and numbers. Those were simple.

I created the license plate as a vinyl group so I can easily stick it on any of my cars. It serves a second purpose. If I see the plate on the car, it means I have driven it. I created at private vinyl group to do that with the letters “JIM B3”. Will my plate appear when someone races against my car online?

I entered the lettering by adding a vinyl layer and selecting the letters I needed. This got a little complicated because sometimes I had to resize the letters differently vertically than horizontally to fit the space allowed. I couldn’t select the letters as a group because you can only change the size vertically and horizontally the same amount.

If you are using stock fonts from the game paint shop, pick one and size it/skew it/spin it/color it they way you like it, and then simply copy it and paste a second letter. Then go to the change vinyl option and pick the second letter of the word you need. It will change and retain all the adjustments you made on the first. This can be done through the entire wording. All that needs done is spacing.
Saves tremendous time.
Now, if you’re creating a custom font from scratch, that’s a huge time sink…but well worth it when you’re done.

This was exactly the sort of thing I was going to suggest. Sorry was still on my way home when I posted earlier and got caught up with some jobs when I landed in.

Thanks to OldSchool for explaining what I was thinking.

Ive been watching TheFishE77 paint streams, fastest full car paints take around 7-8 hours, although some layergroups are precreated (used on multiple cars) but majority of them are made from scratch during the streams.

IceRabbitDesigns (Streamed via PTG Mesasphere channel) it might take over 20 hours for one car.

Both are fantasy painters, other does from source image, other just has an idea and works around with it. quality is just as good on both. I would assume some might whip up a paint faster and some might drag over 40 hours to perfect their work.

Depends on cars, depends on being able to find images, I’ve spent days and days trying to find images of cars and the only image I can find is a 400 x 400px image or just one image from a bad angle and this is rather bad for replicas.

The McLarens I have lined up ready for painting have been a ongoing project since Horizon 2, reason being to get a accurate design you need to find images from the exact race from the exact year, each year and race the designs have changed. Also the amount of times a McLaren livery can change is crazy one example is a brown McLaren F1 with gold wheels was owned by a cartel member in Mexico and years later had found its way over to the UK with a Harrods livery and also received the GTR treatment with the HDF kit.

I’ve seen McLarens going from having a livery one race to having no livery and then to having a livery again. Also finding correct chassis codes and history is difficult.

Designs for me can take some time due to work though when I wasn’t working I could get a design or two done a week which was actually good as I had no distractions :slight_smile:

Im guessing about 60 hours on my last paint going by the dedicated painter badge I have

Pfffffffff-t. I have an OCD friend who used to spend 80 hours on a single logo.

Well I can assure you theres nothing OCD about me

Anywhere from few minutes to couple of hours on a logo; easy to drop 20 hours into a car spread over a week but I start pulling my hair out at about 20hrs. Never done super complicated stuff; mostly replicas.

Yup, more you do, the faster you get and pick-up short cuts here and there . . .

I want to thank everyone for their replies and their suggestions. Some of them are obvious time savers. I wish I’d thought of them.

I now have an idea of how long it would take to do a whole car. I thought starting with a license plate would be simple. It should have been. I just went a little too far with the details. Will anyone see the detail in the expiration date sticker? I think the only way to do this is to put the plate on the side of the vehicle and make it a as big as possible.

I’ve decided to try another license plate and see how it goes. I already have the background plate to add things to. Hopefully I can do this quicker.

I do that, but rather than copy and paste just a second letter, I copy and paste as many letters as Im going to need, then I change them to the letters I need, then the spacing

But he’s not OCD…hehe.

The editor is definitely slower than it was. I frequently remind it when painting…and Snakes time estimates on stuff where the logo’s are already done is pretty accurate.

A design can be laid out in minutes to an hour depending on whether the car “speaks” to you , IE the car lines etc, and then it’s just laying out the sponsors and making sure you don’t duplicate something IE Goodyear/Hankook on the same car (embarassing this can be)…

Someone called me a mind reader? Heck I have a hard time in my own head…

exactly that

Yeah … the format a letter - then copy and change to a new letter as needed tip is one that saves a lot of time if you’re using stock fonts. There are a lot of tips and tricks like that that you’ll learn over time as you paint more.

Another little tip on re-sizing vinyl groups … always group your layers within a vinyl until you get down to only 2 groups before applying to any cars. Once you apply the finished vinyl to a car, always un-group it (into the final 2 groups you had before saving) and then re-group those 2 into a single vinyl. Now, when re-sizing, you will have much more finite control over the sizing of the vinyl than if you just apply the original vinyl and try to re-size it on the car.

heres some painting tips

I’ve never painted, but I’ve always wondered, is there like some way you guys scan some of these images into the games? Or do you all literally design them by using the shapes etc?

There is no way of importing or scanning and using in game,all paints logos ect are created using the vinyl editor in game :slight_smile:

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A logo takes me somewhere between 1-2 hours on average. A full car takes me about 2 weeks if I have to create the majority of logos from scratch.

Sometimes the car’s livery even changes from session to session.

I did this illustration based on Michael Schumacher’s race livery at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix:

While researching this I found that additional logos on the car were added in between the Saturday and Sunday, which meant that most of the photos from that event of Schumacher (he retired on lap 1) were inaccurate.

As this was an early 90s illustration I had to draw many of the logos from scratch too as vector versions didn’t become commonplace until the mid 2000s.