Wrapped and ready

Dec 3, 2009

Even in a slow economy, wraps are a welcome business. While full-vehicle wraps, which can command a price $3,000-$5,000 (even more), partial wraps are becoming more prevalent as a way to promote businesses –  and an attractive and slightly less costly alternative to a full wrap.

In Restyling‘s August special features section, Focus on Film, we explored film kits and software options to produce your own PPF and window film kits. We continue that discussion here by providing information on companies that provide software applications for producing vehicle wraps.

Digital Arts Foundation
Digital Arts Foundation

Digital Art Foundation makes grand-format, photo-realism and abstract backgrounds that can be used for vehicle wraps. These images are unavailable from typical photo websites in terms of both originality and size. Digital Art Foundations’ images start at 240″ x 96″ and are now made at 288″ x 144″ (24′ x 12′). All images are saved as jpeg files at 72 dpi with ICC profiles. Although Digital Art Foundation’s website only shows 900 images, the collection now numbers more than 1,400 images in 12 volumes. All volumes of abstract imagery have 100 images, priced at $199, while the two photo-realism volumes each hold 200 images, also priced at $199. For $699, the entire collection of 1,400 images may be purchased. Each volume of imagery comes with a printable PDF manual as well as a duplicate thumbnail of the images for proofing and quick reference.

Digital DesignWare
Car ‘n Truck / Pro Vehicle Outline Collection

This software provides accurately measured templates for creating vehicle wraps and lettering. By designing directly on the template, users can print the graphics straight from that same template. In the software’s library, more than 40,000 vehicle templates are available, covering all vehicles from 1991 through 2009. There are two software packages for purchase: the 2-D package and 3-D package. With the 2-D package, all vehicle templates, free online service with updates for one year and toll-free tech support are included. The 3-D package offers the same features but also includes the capability to create a 3-D, rotating movie that can be used for client presentations. The 2-D package is $299, and the 3-D package is $599. After the first year of free online service expires, the upgrades are priced at $549 for the 3-D and at $249 for the 2-D package. Users also may purchase additional clip art or full wrap graphics, ranging from $49-$199.

Aurora Graphics
Interactive website features Vehicle Wrap Design Studio

Aurora Graphics’ new website provides high-resolution art as single-file downloads along with the Vehicle Wrap Design Studio that allows users to mock up art on vehicle templates for approval by the client before purchasing the necessary art for that job. By registering for a free account, users may browse the various art files, ranging from $20-$85, and apply them to the wrap vehicle templates to see a finished preview, instead of first purchasing the image. Once the client settles on a design, the wrap designer then can purchase a single-user license and download the file. Every wrap background image is created on a grand-format scale, measuring 236″ x 88″ or greater. Aurora Graphics provides more than 9,000 images, including different color combinations with new art added daily. Also available are DVD collections with prices ranging from $149-$700, depending on the title. Additionally, the company offers $25- and $50-denomination “Art Cards” that may be used toward single-file download purchases.

The Wrap Experts

This three-DVD collection contains more than 100 design textures on an integrated file browser that users can view using a slideshow or thumbnail view. All files are unique and presented in their native color. Textur01 provides the texture, but the color is up to the user. Each file is 266″ x 100″ at 72 dpi, which is large enough to cover any car, truck, SUV or the height on an 8′ trailer without having to scale the image. Files are RGB in TIFF format and work with many design applications, such as CorelDRAW and Flexi software products, though Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator specifically are recommended. Textur01 is priced at $499.

The Wrap Experts
Killer Camo

Killer Camo, a camouflage design collection, specifically is engineered for vehicle wraps and large-format graphics. This collection contains categories for the designs, including military, abstract and photorealistic camouflage made to emulate today’s most popular camouflage patterns. Compatible with most leading design applications, each RGB file measures 266″ x 100″ at 72 dpi and is in TIFF format. Killer Camo costs $299 for 20-plus texture files.

The Wrap Experts
The Wrap Depot

The Wrap Depot is an online store, where users can purchase a single image, instead of the entire collection, along with other layered designs for vehicle wraps. This online store currently offers 140 images, but additional designs are routinely added. Also, users may upload their own art onto The Wrap Depot site for other customers to buy. While files vary from TIFFs to PSDs to JPEGS, all designs are downloaded as a ZIP format. Most images are 266″ x 100″ at 72 dpi and start at $65 for a royalty-free, one-user license agreement. If a user would like to purchase a large bundle of designs, The Wrap Depot can burn the files onto a CD and send it to that customer. Vehicle wrap training also is available.

The Bad Wrap

Engineered by using high-resolution photos of actual vehicles, The Bad Wrap converts those images to working design templates. Containing 320 templates for 1,500 vehicle models, The Bad Wrap software features drag-and-drop functionality and an automatic masking effect for proofing designs. With vehicle templates, users can save up to eight hours of design time, instead of creating their own patterns, notes SAi. The 1/10-scaled images are layered TIFF files at 720 dpi. To run The Bad Wrap, users must have Adobe Photoshop 7.0 or higher with a recommended minimum of 2GB of RAM. Users may purchase the 2008 Master Collection for $795. Individual templates will be available soon for $79.95 on Sign.com.

Digital Art Solutions
Smart Designer

Smart Designer, specifically designed for CorelDRAW, takes routine production techniques and turns them into an automated process to reduce overall creation time. Within Smart Designer are approximately 100 tools that are added into CorelDRAW, thus increasing the user’s design capability and reducing work flow. Users also can create 2-D vehicle images for wrap presentations. Smart Designer also is a tool for presenting the finished vehicle wrap. Priced at $699, Smart Designer is compatible with CorelDRAW versions X3 and X4.

Digital Art Solutions
Graphics Studio

Graphics Studio is an add-on program that drives traditional design programs to more specifically conform to vehicle wrap and sign making applications. This package is composed of fully vector-based design tools, including custom backgrounds, design elements, clip art, fonts and interactive templates. Based on its vector elements, users increase their flexibility and can produce improved graphics in less time, the company notes. Both Adobe and CorelDRAW products are compatible with this package. Graphics Studio is a two-volume package, and each volume is priced at $399.

Adobe Systems Inc.
Photoshop CS4 Extended

Photoshop CS4 Extended includes all the features of Photoshop CS4 and also adds a new 3-D dimension to its collection of tools. With 3-D painting and compositing tools, Photoshop CS4 Extended can now paint directly on 3-D models and wrap 2-D images around 3-D shapes. Users have access to a painting and drawing toolset that will help them create or modify images with fully customizable drawing tools, paint settings and artistic brushes. Also, the new Adjustments panel with fluid on-image controls and a wide variety of presets make nondestructive image adjustments quick and easy. Photoshop CS4 Extended retails for $999 and is available for Mac OS X on Intel-based and PowerPC-based systems and for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista platform.