Fantasy Racers by Federico Ciuffolin

Fantasy Racers by Federico Ciuffolin

Federico Ciuffolini loves cars, light, and polygons. Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) has been a passion for Federico for more than half of his life now. His interest was piqued at 15; and, even though he went on to study computer science and coding, his passion was always CGI. For the last seven years, Frederico has worked as a 3D artist – a Pipeline Technical Director to be exact: Essentially, building a scene up to the point where it is ready to render.

Frederico said: “Working for a UK-based automotive company producing on-line configurators was a primer for me. I was always passionate about cars, but my work isn’t always specifically in the automotive industry.”

Fantasy Racers by Federico Ciuffolin

Federico started toying with the idea of producing a personal series of work after experimenting with a 3D model of the Stratos Zero.

“The Stratos Zero really kick started the whole project – I had long been an admirer of the classic design, but found immense pleasure in messing with it.

There was a huge spike in cyber-punk works at the time: and that was the inspiration – and, inevitably, distilled the basis for the ‘What if?’ project.”

Snapping Turtle 1958

Federico enjoys the creative freedom which personal work, like this, affords him. “You can let your imagination go wild – engage in the process and have ‘freedom of expression’. You take your own creative liberties, too; as it becomes frustrating when you try and replicate every detail precisely – creative freedom is what makes a project like this fun!”

Queue lockdown and the “Fantasy Racer” project gets the attention it deserves. Federico was still working full-time from home, but weekends were all about racing … well, sort of. The Lucifero was the first in the series: taking its inspiration from the 1924 Fiat Eldridge Mefistofele. Federico indulges in a fanciful narrative to give his creations a more solid basis-in-reality. The built-up dust and slightly deflated tires give the images a distinct kick of reality which CGI can sometimes lack – due to the exacting, almost clinical, nature of the process.

Snapping Turtle, the reimagination of the D-type was heavily influenced by the T50 design of Gordon Murray. “There is always a green light in my process – I need to get the model to a point where I think: ‘Yes, this will work!’.” Then, Federico will start collecting references to give his renders authenticity. “The ‘orange Miura barn find’ images were a big part of the inspiration – I wanted a really thick layer of dust on it. Lighting was aimed to be a little more dramatic and moody.” The detail of the tires being a little deflated is genius!

The race-ready Lamborghini Miura – the latest in the series – was based on a model Frederico’s Co-Worder developed: meaning that most of the hard work was done, and Federico could concentrate on developing some of the more subtle elements.

Inspiration was drawn from 1970s racing – stripes, checkers, alcohol sponsors. (The pallet came from a period advertisement for Cynar.) Adding new spoilers, wheels, and livery, the Miura began to morph into a very convincing representation of what a Miura would like if it were campaigned in the 70s. You can see the full range of Federico’s incredible work at...

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