Car: Mclaren GT
Goal: Create a fade wrap embossed to represent a snake when the doors are up
When Jason came to visit us, he had already looked through our previous projects and fade wraps page. He knew he wanted something very creative and different compared to any other wrap out there. The Mclaren GT is a stunning car, but it’s rather plain and could definitely use a “spice up”. So, we sat around the boardroom table for about an hour discussing potential ideas, options and so much more.
Eventually we landed on a MSO inspired paint design by Mclaren which caught Jason’s eye. It was a cool design and a great reference starting point, but we all agreed our should be unique and different. Jason always dreamt of seeing the Aurora of the Northern Lights, this is how we landed on the inspiration of the colours for this design.
Here is that car.
Sticking Points and Decisions
Whilst we were chatting about the colours, Jason’s biggest concern was the interior colour of his car. It was a brown/tan colour and he wanted to make sure any colour that we chose would match or complement this colour. For any other car, you may not worry about it so much.. but Mclaren’s have scissor doors, which means they often stay up to get attention and all you can see is that big brown interior!
Imagine having a purple outside with the brown interior… It would look odd…
Choosing the colour
Orafol Avocado - Colour Shift Gradient
Flicking through so many different colour options, we always wanted to create a fade wrap on a colour shifting material, but we couldn’t find someone who wanted to experiment with us, until now. That’s how we landed on Orafol’s Gloss Avocado wrap vinyl. This material was perfect, it was an outstanding vibrant green colour, very similar to the inside of the avocado but as the light direction shifted, the colour also shifted to a brownish/reddish colour like the seed of the avocado.
Fun Fact: this film and many of the Orafol colour shifting vinyl’s are non-directional. That means, doesn’t matter where the light hits it and the direction of your installation, it always flows uni-directionally based on the impact of light.
Creative & Design
Our designer Danii created 3 different variations based on our discussions. Jason knew the look we were aiming for but it was important to find out the extend of the fade and brush stroke patterns. With all of these design variations we also provided different emboss patterns. We didn’t think this would be a snake until the decision was made on both the emboss patterns as well as the fade patterns.
All of the brush strokes you can see on the car was hand drawn on the screen using Adobe Photoshop. Then, she created the scales under the wrap using Adobe illustrator. Check out the process and some of the initial designs just below.
Design Continued – Finding the Snake
When the different emboss patterns were coming through, they all looked cool but none of them jumped out as “The One”. Eventually we came across the outline of scales which looked really cool and when we superimposed it to represent the emboss pattern, it all of the sudden jumped out at us.
This design started to look like a king cobra standing with his fangs out.
The two stripes on the bonnet were curved and represented the fangs, with the scales on the front leading to the doors and the colours changing from black to green then reddish brown, you could start to see the project design guide coming to life.
We don’t always have a clear picture in mind to start with, sometimes you just need to make it up as you go, eventually you end up “hitting the nail on the head”.
Final Design Proof
Danii, came up with a really good idea to align the prints and embossing using the PPF cut templates. We will show you these in the next part of the story.
Once the design was approved and ready for production, we had to make sure the the alignment of the fade as well as the hand drawn shading into vents aligned properly. The colour shifting material is expensive, it’s not the sort of material you want to risk testing with. So, we used some old print media, printed the entire side profile as well as the bonnet and laid it in to test the fitment.
It all came up very nicely, our plan to base the fitment using the PPF templates was off to a really good start. This process definitely takes time, you have to print it, install it and do it all properly without rushing… just to remove it straight after. But, you can continue the installation with the correct material, knowing that it will work properly.
The picture you can see is the installation guide for the embossing. We have to get this correct before the wrap is applied over the top. The way we templated this was to use the PPF cut files as our guide. Danii, then laid the material out on a 2D surface by using a 3D templated file of the front half of the vehicle.
It worked like a charm and the snake skin was starting to come to life!
When it comes to printing anything in “high quality” we like to use our solvent printer. The blacks tend to be richer, it picks up colours so much better than our workhorse, the latex printer. That’s the reason we knew this design had to be printed on the solvent. It takes a lot longer to get it to a working state when we use the solvent. We have to place the printed materials on to a fan cooled drying rack and let time do its thing.
Once the inks have cured, we can continue to laminate the material and get it ready for installation.
Installation of this project was far from easy! Even though we were confident in our test prints, the new material we were working with was a lot thicker, less conforming and less forgiving with errors or re-alignments. We actually had to re-print several parts of the car and order more material. Sometimes you can plan as much as you want but things unforeseen issues can come up.
This is not a standard project, we are definitely pushing the boundaries and we expect to have issues as well as changes on the fly. Our installers know their trade, there is a lot of time spent just discussing the project, all of the small bits and pieces, it’s a labour of love.
Our team went above and beyond with the installation.
Albert lead the installation with Cris and A.J.’s help. They wrapped everything, including inside the doors and door jambs. We even wen’t into the detail of wrapping the wheel centre caps and the key so it all matches!
Check out the photos below.
Everything was completed, it was time for us to put the car back together and take out for some photos!
It doesnt end there.
Medusa – The Photoshoot
This was a big project, so we had to dress up and do a photoshoot right??
Big shout out to Marcel from Cel Sydney Photography for taking the time to come out and grab some amazing photos of Naz and the Snake! Most of this came together very quickly. Naz organized her make up and hair along with some extra accent ideas such as powdering the snake skin scales on her arms, as well as getting a little snake cut out of the same material as the wrap of the car.
The costume idea was inspired by the forbidden fruit and snake in the garden of Eden. She took a little spin on this idea and went with a mash-up between Medusa and Forbidden Fruit.