Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Breaking virtual ground // A behind-the-scenes look at Red Bull's excellent video coverage

Published by Mr. C

Red Bull 2009 chassis render

Back in February, Red Bull Racing released an F1 season preview animation entitled Rip Through the Rule Book which featured tour guide Sebastian Vettel covering the important changes in the 2009 regulations. The video was not only massively popular and but also of such quality that we ended up using it twice before the season began.

Recently Maxon, the software company whose Cinema 4D tools were largely responsible for bringing the animation to life, released a behind-the-scenes look at what went into making the production. Tomorrow, AixSponza the creative force that assembled most of the 3D motion for the project, are hosting a workshop at the FMX09 conference in Germany, dedicated to discussing the rendering and compositing involved. That's a lot of talk about a 110 second Formula 1 video.

Initially, we thought the team had hit upon a pretty neat way of explaining a complicated set of rule changes, but the more we learn about the project, the more groundbreaking it appears to have been.

While AixSponza handled the majority of the animation work, Peter Clausen Film & TV oversaw the project's production. The two had previously collaborated on Red Bull's Singapore preview film back in 2008, and managed to reuse much of what they'd created back then. Additionally, RBR were able to provide original CAD data to form the basis of the car. However, during production, the look of the '09 chassis was continuously evolving as 3D work got under way. By all accounts, the problems associated with having the single focus of attention in a continual state of flux, required some innovative use of technology to overcome.

It's a credit to Red Bull that Formula 1 is able to innovate just as much off track, as it does in head-to-head competition. Hopefully the success of the production will inspire the team to invest more time and money into similar ventures in future, although it is a shame that the team who did the best job of explaining how KERS works, have yet to offer that same technology to its drivers.

As a final point, it's nice to see the Cinema 4D software scaling up to create such fantastic looking projects. The spinning earth and various animated flags used within last year's Inside Track videos were created using the very same toolset. If only the creative talent was as easy to come by.