For this image the brief was to make a night shot using Narek Gabazyan's great model of the Dodge Charger. I wanted it to be a drag car doing a wheelie so I blocked out the road and found an angle I liked.
I dropped the front wheels and axles as that's what was happening in the reference footage I found. I turned the wheels a bit because I thought it looked cool, it does mean the car will probably end up in the barrier when it touches down though (pointed out to me by Oliver).
After roughly prepping up the car I animated it to lift off. For the camera I tried to replicate the motion of a spectator following the movement of the car's nose. Maya's viewport motion blur helped here.
Happy with the composition I dropped in an HDRI that I thought worked with the black/chrome car. The scene then needed to be populated, I did a few sketches of where I wanted the props to go and went ahead sourcing and building the components. Knowing the amount they were going to be wiped out by motion and depth blur gave me some freedom to use low-res assets.
Here are some crops.
The post-production was quite simple as I didn't split any of the light sources, so only the render passes needed assembling and balancing. This is one of the only images I have found where I felt justified to use such an obnoxious lens flare. Turnaround time including rendering 6 hours approx. without an asset and texture library it would have been a few days. Here is the buildup:
It was really fun to make, I hope you like it!