Santa Maria, California-based Computer Café has created photo-realistic 3D animation simulating a NASCAR race for an Electronic Arts product demonstration. Produced by Western Images the video showcases a new game
EA is developing for the Sony Playstation II platform. The 3-minute video features a fast-paced race sequence with more than a dozen cars speeding around a track in a stadium filled with screaming fans. At one point the camera dips down into one of the cars as the driver hugs the steering wheel. "The new platform will support a lot of detail, including shadows and reflections," said Computer Café director David Ebner. "We wanted to reflect that level of quality in our animation. Accuracy and level of detail is extremely important to us. We are able to optimize the models and adjust the level of detail as required for each shot. That allows us to work quickly and keep render times to a minimum. The software is set up to eliminate the crowd wherever the camera is not looking, rendering them only as they come into view. That kept the polygon crowd down to a reasonable level."