Ready to Race?

Race games for iPads are nothing new. But simulating a scale-model racetrack is! And this is exactly what Thirdframe Studios did using Maxon Cinema 4D.

The team at Thirdframe Studios loves computer games like anyone else – and race games are especially fun. And everyone remembers the fun they had as kids playing with their racetracks. The rest of the crew at Thirdframe Studios also loved the idea, and creating a game for iPad and iPhone had been something everyone had always wanted to do anyway. But nobody had had the time to turn words in to action. A few months later, when Andraz Logar had some time to spare, the idea of making the race game could finally be realized.

Andraz had a special look in mind: he wanted an isometric landscape that resembled Minecraft. The cars had to look like toys but be realistic and look like real 3D cars – even though they would appear as sprites in the game. Andraz decided to use his and his team’s software of choice, Cinema 4D, to create all graphic elements for the game, which would carry the name Groove Racer.

Because of their extensive experience with Cinema 4D, the team knew it could effectively be used to create numerous types of graphic elements for the game without having to arduously switch back-and-forth between other applications.
After the 3D models had been completed, they were used to set up the scenes for the game. In the end only six large renderings were needed, which were cut down to size in post-production using the Slice tool so they could be integrated into the game engine. Cameras with parallel projection were used to create the isometric look.

At first, the decision to create voxel-style graphics seemed to be a limitation,” remembers Andraz. “But using a series of simple cubes to create everything from trees to mountains and all sorts of other things using Cinema 4D turned out to be fun and the result is a real eye-catcher. Technical restrictions for the target devices meant that we couldn’t use real 3D models. We had to generate the graphics as sprites, i.e., tiny PNG files. All animations are made up of sprite sequences. Thanks to Cinema 4D we were able to meet all challenges this workflow presented.” Andraz adds with a smile: “With Cinema 4D you can always find a solution for any challenge!

Groove Racer in the APP-Store:

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