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CEDAR FAIR COASTER RACE

THE IDEA

FUNTV needed a refreshed racing game to entertain park guests as they wait in queue lines for rides. Different versions with changing outcomes are played at random to keep park goers guessing which coaster will cross the finish line first.

THE PROCESS

As the sole artist on this project, it was up to me to build the concept, design 3D assets, rig the coasters, animate, render, composite, and design the sound using our licensed sound library. I had a hand in every step of the process.

This was my first major project in Cinema 4D, so the biggest challenge was developing a proper workflow in the program to achieve the results I wanted. Through trial and error, I eventually figured out how to achieve the movement of each coaster on their respective track while existing in an environment that was stylistically coherent. Once I figured out the right workflow, I knew this project would be a rewarding one.  

Blue Bird Render
Coaster Concept Sketch

BUILDING THE CONCEPT

Diving into a 3D program I wasn't familiar with proved to be intimidating, so I approached it step by step, beginning with sketches to develop the look I wanted for the coaster carts and their environment. Instead of simple coasters moving along a track, I wanted each racing cart to have some sense of personality that could be achieved through simple design variations.

Designing the track became a beast all on its own, but I eventually settled for a white wooden coaster that I think holds up for all of the Cedar Fair parks. Because I work over at Kings Island, I took inspiration from the Racer - a dual-track coaster featuring red and blue trains. Rather than designing one continuous coaster, however, I split it up into individual scenes that I could clip together in Adobe Premiere.

ANIMATION

I endured a lot of trial and error to figure out how to properly capture the high-energy vibe of the video without sacrificing the characterization of each coaster and the imaginary world they inhabit. Once I figured out the right pacing for one scene, all of the others were a piece of cake.

Aside from the coasters, I wanted to throw in details in the environment to liven it up, like wind blowing through trees and flat rides going in the background. Not to mention my little bird guy - my favorite part of the project.

Below are some quick clips of some scenes I made while working on pacing and camera movements. Click on each video to play it!

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