The Dark Side of L.A. with Markus Wendler | CGI

Digital Art
A creative collaboration to capture an ambiguous moment in a nighttime LA story that never gets truly resolved...

Combining vintage cars, recreated in loving detail by Recom Farmhouse, with the LA noir settings shot by Markus Wendler. 

Scroll down for more about how we did it - sketches, processes, details...

How we did it.

Making crashed vintage cars in CG has some fascinating creative challenges. Of course it's great to make something so different to the perfect glossy surfaces we're more used to. 

Thinking through the details, we considered the creative decisions. 
Where does the tire smoke come from? 
Which windows shatter, and how does debris hit and scatter the road? 
Where does a crashing car come to a stop? 

We made some initial renders to work with, and began to plan and think, modelling a variety of scenarios.

We studied online references to understand how the metal of similarly crashed cars deforms on impact.
Sketching gives us a feel for the shape of the car, before drawing it in the final position.
Once the initial deformed geometry is established, it's exported to Zbrush to sculpt the creases and dents. Early test renders allow us to fine-tune the shapes.
We added the subtle colours of twilight to make the cars fit perfectly into the darkly enchanting atmosphere of the settings. Here are some details of the final renders:

At exhibitions, Markus has been asked if he really crashed a Corvette - we at Recom Farmhouse are very happy with that as a compliment :)

Check out the full MAKING-OF on our blog here and here.


Photographer: Markus Wendler
CGI-Director: Christoph Bolten / Recom Farmhouse
Lead CGI-Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
CGI-Artists: Richard Jenkinson, Simon Watts, Dariusz Makovski / Recom Farmhouse
Post-Artist: Pepe Alram, Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse

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The Dark Side of L.A. with Markus Wendler | CGI

The Dark Side of L.A. with Markus Wendler | CGI

Personal project made in collaboration with photographer Markus Wendler. The vintage cars have been created completely in CGI.