In 1911, Bob Burman ripped across the immensity of Daytona Beach at a record speed of 228.1kmph. The sound and speed of his Blitzen Benz as it carved through the sand changed man’s perception of what was possible. Now, for the first time ever and in stunning detail, Bob Burman’s reminder of what we can achieve with technology can be seen in a new light.
Photos of speeding cars taken in the early 1900s often showed a distorted image; the vehicles appear to be leaning forwards. This is down to the design of the shutters in the cameras of the day that operated like two window shades with a small gap between them (the gap moving upwards when the shutter was triggered). If the subject were a fast car such a Burmans's Benz, the lower part of it was captured first and the upper part last. Since the car was moving while the shutter was moving, its upper part was captured after it had moved forward a short distance, hence the distortion and awkward lean.
He was born on April 23, 1884 in Imlay City, Michigan. He was the winner of the Prest-O-Lite Trophy Race in 1909. He competed at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Racing for racing promoter Ernest Moross, Burman set world records in his 200 horsepower Blitzen Benz racecar on the sands of Daytona Beach and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911. (Wikipedia)
The first step was creating the car. We set the standards high, defining the width of the visual at 15000px, a target that required several detailed visual references and finalisation to the smallest wire and screw. The final push was left until postproduction thanks to the complexity of the model. We ended up creating the bacgkground scene of the beach with all the details in the CGI as well. The level of perfection in the work ranges from the blades of grass visible through the sand to the specks of oil running down the side of the car, details that were made possible with extensive use and knowledge of light mapping The preparation of the model took us 21 days.
Since we wanted to acheive the maximum level of authenticity in each detail, it made sense to make the driver in 3D as well. This was mostly done in zbrush.
The whole project was like a challenge to ourselves. Could we create something in such a big resolution? The work demonstrates a unique level of innovation in detail that can be seen in the cutouts here or after downloadning the file in high res for free.