Supercar Quick Render – Step by Step

Taking a thumbnail sketch and applying some basic techniques early in the design phase can be a great way to clearly get your ideas across. For this example, I rendered a supercar thumbnail that had a lot of character. Being able to quickly render up your key sketches can be an invaluable tool in working with clients.

As a designer, having a glimpse into the minds of other designers always intrigues me. I thought that sharing my process could be interesting for others – maybe helping aspiring designers to develop a style of their own. Follow through the basic tutorial below!



From the initial pencil sketch above, I knocked back the opacity in Autodesk Sketchbook and digitally cleaned up the linework with a fine brush. Next, I blocked in the areas of the render that I wanted to be a different colour from the body of the car as well as areas that would be in shadow.


A clean gradient was painted in with a soft brush over the body area of the car – I chose a pale blue on the top surface to hint at reflection from the sky, with black for the core of the body. The ground in this case is white so I added a faint white & pale blue reflection lower on the body-side.

The next step was adding more detail – some variation in the shading of the rear and on the side window. Faint white reflections were then added with a hard brush and then erased as necessary, while any upward-facing edges received a punch of white highlights.




Finally, detailing was added to the taillights before adding a red glow with a soft brush and pasting in some 3D rims that I created and rendered in SolidWorks.

People showed a lot of interest in the project and I received positive feedback. Hopefully my followers will be able to apply some of my techniques to their own design projects. I will look to share more of my process in the future.

Follow along for daily sketches, renders and inspiration on my IG:
https://www.instagram.com/nageldesignlab/
Or take a look at my Redbubble & Society6 stores for more illustrations:
https://www.redbubble.com/people/nageldesign/portfolio
https://society6.com/nageldesign

Alex nageldesign

Consulted for design projects big and small; applying the design process to the 2D & 3D world from initial concepts to renderings, CAD, products, graphics, packaging & illustration.