20,000 car pile-up: crazy TrackMania video is crazy


20,386 is a pretty big number. 20,386 of anything is an awful lot of anythings. Cramming 20,386 cars onto a single TrackMania track, for example, would be utter madness – but that’s exactly what a small group of dedicated humans (led by organiser L4Bomb4, with help from another person called Danixks, who managed the editing and camerawork) has done, and they’ve created an impressive video of their record-breaking feat in action.

The video took half a year of work, with the pool of volunteer drivers submitting replays of their runs in TrackMania United Forever and TrackMania Nations Forever, which were then imported into TrackMania 2: Stadium, dusted with a little technological magic, and spliced together to create the desired effect.

“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,” explains L4Bomb4 in the video’s description. “Then, for the 8k remaining, Dani made a custom green mod with which he could easily “key” the environment and blend the cars all together. The method turned out to have quite good results, but it still needed some crazy “rotoscoping” of some cars which even though they were further away, they were actually “on top” of some closer ones.”

Here, have a look:

Honestly, the video makes my skin crawl a little. Maybe it’s because at times the cars remind me of a swarm of wheeled locusts, or an army of ants chaotically marching towards whatever it is ants chaotically march towards. Probably my cupboard’s stash of unspoiled, ant-free sugar. F*ck you ants. No-one likes you anyway.

I do like how the cars start to look like a liquid when they all bunch up though. No matter how you feel about it, it’s a really remarkable thing to see in motion.