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Retouching the BMW G80 M3

The new BMW G80 M3 is out. See how I used Photoshop to adjust the size of the polarizing front-end design and grille.

BMW G80 M3

I did a write up on the all-new BMW G80 M3 after seeing it in person, which you can read here.

The all-new BMW G80 M3 and G82 M4 are revealed today, and the front end is..polarizing! But if you’ve ever followed the launch of a car closely, you’ll see a ton of renders based on what they think the car should look like.

Well, for me, the grilles are on the larger side, so let’s use Photoshop and make a few adjustments. Keep in mind that this is down and dirty, and not a retouching job like I might normally do.

The original G80 M3 photo

BMW G80 M3
The original photo, from BMW.

So, let’s take a peak at the original photo. Three things stand out:

  • The front grille
  • The license plate
  • The cruise control sensor

So, how can we fix this?

After bringing the image into Photoshop, make a new layer select your paint brush tool. Then, paint over the bottom portion of the grille.

Then, add a layer effect of “Gradient Overlay”, and sample a light and dark green from the car:

BMW G80 retouching step 1
First, paint over the grille and add a gradient overlay for a bit of depth

Next, make a box to select the bottom grille portion, copy it, and paste it into a new layer. Do this twice. Drag this layer up to the bottom of the grille. Then, use the transform tool to drag the grille shape so that it makes a nice shape. The second layer is to adjust the right half of the front end, because you can’t get the shape right with just one.

G80 M3 retouching step 2
Ahh, much better, but what about that big green space at the bottom?

This has the added benefit of hiding the big cruise control sensor, which makes the front end look uneven.

Get another BMW

Still looks a little funky, right? Lucky for me, I have tons of BMW front end photos. This one is from an F90 M5. So let’s bring this photo in:

BMW F90 M5
The photo I sampled the bottom intake from.

And add a mask to erase everything but that front bottom grille. Using the same technique as before, transform and warp the intake until it matches the shape of the front end.

G80 M3 retouching step 3
It helps.

Now, on close inspection, this does not look real, but as a made-up exercise it helps to visualize what the new BMW G80 M3 could look like. Regardless, I like the car, so look for more G80 content in the future!

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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

Email me at with any questions.

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