Phantom Drawings and Ghosted Illustrations

Portfolio of see-through transparent cutaways by KHI

car ghosted illustration

This collection of digital and conventional airbrush images were executed in the "ghosted illustration" style, also known as a "phantom illustration," or transparent "see-through illustration" style of technical rendering. Typically, ghosted illustrations are used in both product and automotive illustrations to make the exterior shell of a subject appear to be transparent or translucent in certain locations in order to reveal important internal components which are being referred to in the corresponding text of a brochure or poster.

Samples of Ghosted Illustrations:

Toyota 4Runner in Action

This automotive photo-illustration of the 4Runner compact SUV was done digitally, using Photoshop to illustrate the engine, chassis, suspension and driveline over an action shot by LeBon Photography.


Toyota 4Runner ghosted illustration

Gas-Electric Hybrid Car Overhead Top View

This high-resolution ghosted aerial view of a current model hybrid car was created as a generic car with no brand identification. The image comes as a layered digital file that can be customized to fyour individual taste. This image is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.


ghosted hybrid car overhead top view

SUV Ghosted illustration

This profile-view ghosted illustration of a compact sport utility vehicle was created exclusively in pencil, ink and acrylic airbrush on board.


SUV ghosted illustration

Ghosted Car Starter Motor

This airbrushed illustration of a car's starter motor is ghosted through to see the electric motor's magnets, windings and solenoid. This image was done for American Honda.


ghosted car starter motor

Audi TT

This image shows an Audi TT that was ghosted through to reveal the front-engine sportscar's engine, suspension and driveline, visible over a photographic image. This image was created for Venables, Bell & Partners and the client was Audi North America.


Audi TT ghosted illustration

Ghosted Overhead of a 4-Door FWD Car

This high-resolution ghosted aerial view of a current model luxury car was created as a totally generic cutaway that is loosely based on a American car and a German luxury sedan. The cutaway is a fully layered digital file that can be easily customized to fit your needs. This image is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.


ghosted car aerial view

300Z Magazine Ad Overlay

This driveline illustration was printed on a semi-transparent velum overlay over glamor photography. The image was created for Nissan's international ad campaign, and was used as a spread in Road & Track, Car & Driver and Automobile magazine.


300Z magazine ad overlay

Toyota Land Cruiser SUV

This image is our personalized version of an actual illustration for Toyota's Land Cruiser. The ghosted photo was overlaid with a ghosted illustration of SUV chassis, placed against an antique map.


landcruiser ghosted cutaway

Non-Automotive Ghosted Illustrations:

Linear Accelerator Collimator

This ghosted illustration cut-away was created for Siemens AG, showing the inner-workings of their Oncor radiation therapy machine.


linear accelerator collimator

Bicycle Fork Front Suspension

This illustration shows the interior workings of a front fork assembly and mountain bike suspension system.


bicycle fork front suspension

Baseball bat

This image was done for the famed Louisville Slugger bat company, showing their Spring Steel baseball bat with the steel spring ghosted through the bat exterior.


Ghosted baseball bat

Digital Camera

This image shows the inner electronics and optical sensor ghosted through the outer body of a Kodak digital professional camera.


digital camera

Honda motorcycle ghosted illustration

This image was created for Honda of North America, showing their VFR Interceptor with a ghosted layer showing the bike's linked braking system, engine components and single-sided swing-arm rear suspension.


Honda motorcycle ghosted cutaway

» Phantom Views, Transparent Cutaways & See-Through Illustrations «

This style of technical illustration is especially well suited for products, cars and machinery where the exterior skin is not too complicated so as not to distract from the internal components, gears, electronics or mechanical devices.

If the exterior of the subject is highly complex it is typically better to use the traditional cutaway method. The ghosting method is also helpful for products that have a distinctive outer shell with logos or graphics, as these busier elements provide extra depth when they are rendered as semi-transparent over the internal machinery or electronics. Our artwork is typically used in print advertising, consumer dealership brochures and automobile-related collateral marketing materials and campaigns. You can see how these images were created by following this tutorial link: creating a ghosted illustration

All Images Copyright © 1994-2015 and KHI, all rights reserved.

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