Public Enemies was the big winner of Polycount’s The Escape challenge; using Crytek’s CryENGINE®3, Team Penyx created a 1930s car chase scene that blew everyone away.
The team consists of Christian Bliss, Robert Hodri, and Ron Froelich, all employed at Crytek. Their goal was to create a 1930s era setting with the CryENGINE 3, including a detailed chase scene between an escape car and police car. The theme tied in perfectly with the contest’s requirements, which main goal was to depict an escape while allowing users total freedom of imagination and interpretation.
“The contest started shortly after we shipped Crysis 3,” says Ron, 3D Artist. “With that behind us, we figured it was the perfect time to focus on something entirely different in our free time; we worked on post-apocalyptic sci-fi for a long time, so the complete artistic freedom this contest offered created a challenge for us on more than one level. We wanted to make something shiny now!”
Work in progress by Team Penyx.
Soon after deciding to participate, the team got together to pitch ideas. “Our first thought was no sci-fi or fantasy, but rather a visually impressive era of our history – something the 1930s fit beautifully,” says Robert, Environment Artist. “Once we decided that, finding inspiration was easy: we looked at Bonnie and Clyde, the Dillinger Gang, the Mafia Games, and several other movies focusing on the Great Depression. The getaway car in the scene is actually modeled after a Ford V8 that Bonnie and Clyde used and the police car is a remake from the original Mafia game – pretty close to a 1930 Chevy Confederate.”
“The original idea was to show a single car crashing through a fence with money bills flying out from the trunk,” Chris, also 3D Artist, chimes in. “With a time frame as short as this you have to start small but try to go big. We spent some time on whiteboxes and looked for camera angles we all liked. The framing of the first shot had to be changed only once or twice at the very beginning and then stayed the way it is, which made it extremely easy to plan what we had to create for the shot.”
The fact that collaboration was easy and natural are easily seen in the final results. “We were in a comfortable position that we all had the same vision of what we wanted to create,” says Ron. “We were all just working on what we thought would enhance the quality of our piece the most, ignoring what would have been the easiest way, and instead working towards something we could genuinely enjoy for a long time.”
Watch this video for a project walkthrough and more images in the gallery below.