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Midnight Queen

Created by

Vibhav Singh

Assisted by

Derek Domnic Dsouza

"I was there when Ashwini Bhargav made history. That entire weekend  something felt off. You could tell by the general air in the paddock that there was something going on behind the scenes, bigoted people  pulling dirty tricks to stop Ashwini. Cause if she won that night, she would be the first ever female world champion in the sport. Most of us supported her run wholeheartedly, but it looked impossible after they slammed her with those penalties.

What she did that night was at a level I had never seen, and haven't seen since. She drove through the field like a woman possessed. Every corner, every overtake, sheer perfection. She crossed the finish line as  the clock hit midnight, and claimed her crown to the crowd chanting her new moniker - Midnight Queen."

Midnight Queen

Creator's Note:

I have been thinking about this piece, or versions of it, for a couple of years now. Ever since I got into the Formula 1 games (and subsequently the sport) basically.

So it was an absolute dream to work with Derek and bring this vision to life utilising the beast that he is with Blender. He was somehow able to match and exceed what I had in mind for the look of the world, the cars, and everything in between.

A brief look at what went into setting things up for this piece. The car’s design was inspired by open wheel, open cockpit, formula series style of cars, but in order to simplify things for ourselves we had to cover up the front suspension and the cockpit. With a blueprint drawing ready, we proceeded to model the car in Blender, which had to be done with meticulous attention to detail, so as to not mess up the topography of any part. This was important for the cars to catch the lighting in a proper way throughout the film.

Making a storyboard inside Blender allowed us to have the basic animations of the cars in place before we even began modelling the full sets. After that, most of the modelling and animation work could happen simultaneously. We spent a lot of time tweaking details like suspension shifts, weight transfer, racing lines and braking points, in order to make the cars’ movements feel realistic. For the sets, we used a lot of clever tricks by utilising the array modifier on a handful of assets, including the lights. The texturing was done entirely in Blender as well, using the inbuilt nodes.

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