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How do YOU handle fluorescent / neon colors?

Discussion in 'Logos - Decals - Graphics' started by Slipster17, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Slipster17

    Slipster17 "Terrifying Cones Since 1983"

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    Just an open topic I've been contemplating a lot these past few months while working on my current carset. I have a couple different methods I'm testing to make colors seem truly fluorescent - but there are obvious limitations to that in the RGB color palette rendered by your computer screen.

    I wanted to get input from other sim painters and see what tips and tricks you may have come up with over the years. Just use colors that are saturated all to hell? Gradients? Remove the shading layer over the neon color? Darken the colors around the neon a little? What's your favorite way?
     
  2. oddball

    oddball Well-Known Member

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    It depends. If it's neon green, yellow, or blue I just take that color to 255 in the RGB scale. If I'm doing a Menards yellow, I do Red 240, Green 255, Blue 0. I think I got those colors off a picture I took of Paul Menard's car. It's the Day-Glo Orange or red where I struggle. I usually just end up using an RGB of Red 255. I've tried taking pictures of my diecasts and picking the colors using the color picker to get the colors right. It just never works in my eyes.
     
    Slipster17 likes this.
  3. Skyline

    Skyline Graphic Designer Skyline Customs

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    I usually spend a couple minutes creating a color that has bits of neon-ish green or orange or whatever, then I take the shading layer and make an overlay out of that which makes the colors pop better
     
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  4. Slipster17

    Slipster17 "Terrifying Cones Since 1983"

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    Little comparison test - also posting here so I can see the difference between how this look on my laptop screen and my phone screen. The base 'orange' is the same exact color on both bodies - I'm just trying to use artistic trickery to fool your eye into thinking the color is brighter on the second one.
    neoncolor_test01.jpg neoncolor_test02.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  5. Skyline

    Skyline Graphic Designer Skyline Customs

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    Top actually appears more Fluorescent/neon per say, the bottom looks like a metallic-ey look
     
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  6. Slipster17

    Slipster17 "Terrifying Cones Since 1983"

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    How about if I keep the gradient highlights but nix the darkening of the other layers? I think having the white on the rear of the car appear slightly grey is what may have been giving the metallic vibes.
    neoncolor_test03.jpg
     
  7. Mystical

    Mystical Always 110%

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    I always loved fluorescent colors on cars, they really made certain schemes pop such as the No Bull 5 cars and Jeff Gordon's Pepsi scheme with the bright yellow sections. Applying those colors to cars in a video game I always go with the approach of making the fluorescent color look like what I want it to be rather than using the actual 'real world' color. This isn't an exact science and I don't claim the way I use/create bright colors is going to look right to everyone else but for the cars I paint its how I like the colors to appear.

    For example take a look at Dale Sr. 2000 Talladega No Bull 5 car:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    even the diecast:
    [​IMG]

    The color used is called day-glow orange. The color itself is actually quite saturated in orange but in the real world if you take a look at all those images you can see how the color looks drastically different in the images even though its the same color. In the image of the car in the shop it almost appears pink. The reason for the color differences is the way the light is bouncing off the color. So I take that observation into the swatches I make:

    [​IMG]

    #1 Is probably closest to the true day-glow orange color. In game though its just too dull and saturated to appear like the real color (in my opinion). The saturation is at 100% but it just doesn't look right to me as it appears more like standard orange than the day-glow version.

    #2 I take the saturation down to 97 or 98 and bump the lightness up so it looks like the light is bouncing off of the orange color to make it look 'brighter'

    #2 I add I bit of pink into the color and bump the brightness up a tad more. This is personally my favorite 'glow orange' to use. I like the glow oranges to be a bit more pink since its unique and gives that impression that bright lighting is bouncing off the color always.

    The other colors are examples I how I apply the same standard from #2 and #3 to other colors.
     
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  8. Slipster17

    Slipster17 "Terrifying Cones Since 1983"

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    Interesting take @Mystical thanks for explaining the process!

    So applying that idea and taking a paint dropper sample from the real car and some diecest box photos on ebay..... car #1 is using a orange gradient and car #2 is using a pink/ red gradient
    neoncolor_test05.jpg neoncolor_test04.jpg
     
    Mystical, Skyline and Tetronix like this.
  9. Slipster17

    Slipster17 "Terrifying Cones Since 1983"

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    This car is now 100% done but I just can't quit tinkering and refining ideas a little bit - thoughts on A vs. B?
    neon_test01a.jpg neon_test01b.jpg neon_test02a.jpg neon_test02b.jpg
     
  10. BrendonH12

    BrendonH12 Lover of Jesus! #CarolinaStrong

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    Definitely A, Slip. The orange looks just about perfect on the top version, while the yellow looks way too muted on the bottom variant.
     
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  11. JNieder51188

    JNieder51188 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely A. What program are you rendering in? I've had that issue trying to do a Petty Day-Glo orange in 3ds Max and nothing looks right. Same for matte colors
     
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  12. RicardoG

    RicardoG Splash N' Go Graphics Vintage Painter.

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    A for sure
     
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  13. Slipster17

    Slipster17 "Terrifying Cones Since 1983"

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    It's just a tiny little program called CarView that I've had for like 15+ years..... pretty sure it just pulls the in game texture models. Not the prettiest thing in the world but it's stupid easy to use and infinitely quicker than loading up the game everytime you want to check the alignment of decals you added to a car flat. Heh.
     

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