Kris Horton * Cars by Kris
In high school, Kris Horton knew he wanted to be in the animation industry. He attended the Academy of Digital Animation to fulfill his dream of working in Hollywood on animated movies. During his college days, he spent most of his time drawing cars when he should have been doing homework. Back in 2003, Kris did a project with PHR editor Johnny Hunkins on a Camaro concept that jump-started his career as an auto designer. Out of school, instead of sending his resume to DreamWorks, he started doing design work for Jada Toys, which does toy model cars from big lifted trucks, to imports, Pro Touring cars, and lowriders. Ever since the PHR Camaro concept, Kris has been hounded to do more work for builders, and he finally made the transition to doing renderings full time in 2008. He had maintained his business, Cars by Kris, part time for two years, so the transition to full time wasn't too difficult.

Kris Horton is one of the youngest guys out there in the rendering business, but by no means the least experienced. His business is thriving and the product is outstanding. Kris starts the project by getting to know the client and learning what he has his heart set on (as well as what he's open to). Kris begins and ends the processes on a computer. He uses a highly involved 3-D modeling program that can be viewed from any virtual angle once the model is done. This is particularly cool when the project is finished, and many customers choose to have a photo and a rendering side-by-side at the same angle. Kris has always had a thing for muscle cars, and this is reflected in his favorite work with the Pro Touring muscle car crowd.

Kris' work is so realistic, it can be hard to tell what is a studio photo, and what is Kris' work. The rendering shown here has lifelike paint, shadows, and reflections. A front and rear three-quarter shot starts at $375, and can go up to $750 for a five-view layout.

HERE'S THE DEAL:
Price: $375 for front and rear three-quarter views, $750 for five views
Style: three-dimensional computer rendering
Contact: www.carsbykris.com, 760-481-5542

Zee Rehman
Zee Rehman was born in South Africa, but came to the United States to get away from the crime and poverty and live in the land of opportunity, where he has been for 13 years. This served him well ever since he started his business, ZVT Designs. He's self-taught, and traded years of schooling for even more years of research and practice.

Zee knows that sometimes a push in the right direction is all some people need to get the ball rolling on their project. That's why he can start with simply modifying a photograph in Photoshop. We say "simply," though it really isn't. It takes an eye for design and a steady hand to cut, skew, recolor, and transplant images in Photoshop. He charges $120 for this work where you can change wheels and colors to whatever combination you desire.

The next step is to have Zee hand draw your car, then scan it into Photoshop or Illustrator for a final product. This way, you can choose from infinite colors and change the look and shape of the car. This raises the price to around $225 for one view. Another option is to add an engine bay. This is a more complicated part of the car, and takes the most amount of time to create.

Zee does these renderings part time, as he is an event coordinator in "real life." This job allows him the flexibility to get everything done. Most of his clients are outside the U.S., and by comparison have more money to play with on their toys than we do right now. The kind of people he works with have more words than pictures to go by, so Zee makes their vision a reality. He's spent a lot of time with clients who request renderings to show potential sponsors. Having a clear vision of the project is very valuable in the hunt for support, and helps prove you will follow through.

HERE'S THE DEAL:
Price: $120-$225 per view
Style: Photoshop and/or scanned sketch
Contact: www.zvtdesigns.com, 727-388-2003