This 20,000 Car Trackmania Video Is Creepy

I will never get sick of Trackmania [official site] videos, whether it’s of the Press Forward variety or the lots-of-replays-merged-into-one variety. The latter is what you’ll find below: a video showing 22,000 Trackmania cars speeding, leaping, flipping around the same track, each one of which was originally controlled by a real player.

Here’s the video first, since that’s why you’re here.

I love the way the cars look like a kind of fluid when they’re all bunched together.

The video is the culmination of half a year of work by organiser L4Bomb4, who collected the replays recorded in Trackmania United Forever and Trackmania Nations Forever, then converted and rendered 12,000 of them in the newer Trackmania 2: Stadium. “Unfortunately, the skins of the cars got lost in the process, but I could render with 12k cars at a pretty high quality without the game crashing,” writes L4Bomb4 on the video’s YouTube page. Another person, Danixks, edited the video and used a compositing technique to include 8000 further replays that would crash the game if rendered at the same time. The result is 20,000 cars on a single track.

Kudos to them for putting in all that effort and the results, which I find fascinating and slightly creepy. I would watch an Avengers movie where they fought a phaseshifting swarm of 20,000 cars each containing a faceless, motionless driver.

Thanks, PC Gamer.

23 Comments

  1. Da5e says:

    That’s weirdly beautiful. Can’t wait for Trackmania 40,000.

  2. thelastpointer says:

    I love the way the cars look like a kind of fluid when they’re all bunched together.

    In fact, that’s how fluid simulations work. Yes, they are all made of tiny racecars.

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      Bluerps says:

      That what I thought too, at first – but it’s not really like a fluid, is it? The cars don’t interact with each other, because each player drives down the track alone.

      But you are right, of course, that fluid simulation is based on tiny racecars.

  3. Synesthesia says:

    That is outstanding.

  4. karthink says:

    “I love the way the cars look like a kind of fluid when they’re all bunched together.”

    Any collection of discrete, identical things behaves like a fluid when it’s all bunched together. I’ve seen sand and ball bearings, but this is a first for cars.

    • surgeonufo says:

      If there were 20 million of them would they behave like a solid?

    • LionsPhil says:

      These shouldn’t be quite right, since they don’t collide with each-other. If you “poured” them all into a narrow flask, they’d only make a pool at the bottom as deep as a single car’s longest axis.

  5. cmxavier says:

    Looks like a T1000 trying to put itself back together.

  6. jonahcutter says:

    Who won?

  7. Urthman says:

    My money was on the silver car. The odds were 20,000 to 1, but I won!

  8. racccoon says:

    Now that’s insane!!
    Some nice camera work, a little over played/stretched/theatrical, I got a little bored in the beginning & so on.. but well done anyway.

  9. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Creepy? Well, I wouldn’t say creepy. The cars do remind me a bit of blood cells or drops of quicksilver.

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    MOOncalF says:

    Isn’t Trackmania one of the greatest racing games of all time? And the community helped make it so!

    Still this reminds me of my super meat boy playthroughs more than anything >.>

  11. Jakkar says:

    Somehow expected more, but it’s certainly eyecatching. Ten minutes might be a bit far to stretch the footage.

    It doesn’t quite have the beauty or surreality of this Crysis experiment from years ago. And while neither musical style is quite my taste, the latter seems a lot more tasteful and less overblown.

    Ther content is also considerably more creepy to my mind, and fits the music better. There’s something threatening about those invisible vortices appearing so suddenly.