For some people, building their dream car can take many months or even years to complete, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. For local car enthusiast, Glen Cordle, he can build his dream car in a few short evenings after work, from the comfort of his living room. Glen is a master industrial designer and CGI artist who has turned his love for cars – Porsches in particular – into an art form that he shares on Instagram. Sometimes he’ll model his creations off of his friends’ cars or modify existing designs into what he considers to be their perfect forms but his eye for detail, colors, and smooth lines has opened up a whole new door of creative opportunities. We recently asked Glen a few questions to find out how he got started and how he got to where he is today.
Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection: So, how long have you been making renders of cars and how did you get started?
Glen Cordle: I split my history with automotive renders into two time periods. The early years were vector illustrations only. About two years ago I transitioned to doing 3D models and photo rendering them. I have an extensive history in 3D as a profession so it was a natural transition. I got started because I had seen some very interesting artwork online that I enjoyed, I wanted something similar but with a different vehicle so I made it myself. Then I wanted a set in the same style, to hang in my office, so I made those too. Then it just snowballed.
MHCC: You go so far above and beyond anything else I’ve seen in terms of details, down to individual engine and suspension components that people will never see in the finished renders. How long does it usually take for you to create a full vehicle render like some of your more recent work we see on your Instagram?
GC: It can vary quite a bit, a lot depends if I’m using any purchased geometry or not. Or components from past artworks i.e. wheels/tires. To build a complete model of a car from scratch like the Porsche 914/6 GT with the engine detail can take months, taking small steps here and there. Once the geometry is set the initial material and scene setup can take an evening, or a day, depending again on several factors. Rendering out the images once those are all set also varies depending on image size, if it’s meant for Instagram or for print. On the short end of the spectrum with a fully purchased car model, start to finish could be a day of work, on the other end with lots of scratch-built detail it could be 6 months.
MHCC: Your work has been getting recognized more and more recently, including, if I’m not mistaken, an ongoing section in 000 Magazine. Did you ever set out to get to this point with your renders? Do you have any ideas for where you’d like to go with your skills in the future?
GC: Yeah! 000 has been a wonderful opportunity, the next issue is breaking the mold for sure. I had not envisioned that it would become what it has, I still think of it as a hobby which is probably why it’s still fun. Before 000 I had a pretty large advertising firm contact me about some of my work, it would have been “pay the bills” type of money but in the end, it didn’t work out. It was then that I saw that this could someday be more than a hobby. I’m building it naturally though, I don’t want my drive to make it big outgrow my drive to create better artwork.
I’m not sure exactly what the future holds, there is certainly more I can do in the 3D/rendering realm to expand on my current skill set. I have a few ideas of some fun interactive things, but I really need to finish a few test cases before I talk too much about it.
MHCC: That’s really cool! It’s great to see you start getting more of the recognition you deserve and to have your work alongside all the other really talented people that put 000 together is incredible. For the cars that you render, do you get a lot of outside influences or suggestions on what to create next? Or do you tend to focus on recreating the cars that especially resonate with you?
GC: I’ve never responded well to peer pressure, so if someone asks for a specific car or look I tend to move further away from it unless they’re paying me. For the stuff I usually post it typically goes with the ebb and flow of whatever I’m into at that moment. By nature, I try not to be predictable. I understand the absurdity of that statement when I post nearly 100% Porsche, but that brand loyalty serves another purpose.
MHCC: I suppose that focus on Porsche helped lead to the work with 000 but you’ve been an enthusiast of the brand for quite a while, right? Did the rendering work do anything to help with the build of your 914? Or did rebuilding the 914 play a role in any of your renders?
GC: I’ve been into cars since I was very little, as many car enthusiasts will echo. Once I started focusing my automotive passion on German cars there was one brand that immediately stands out as the pinnacle. That said, I’ve only owned a Porsche for a few years. The purchase of my 914/4, and subsequent project of turning it into a 914/6 is what lead me to create my 3D model. The sharing of those initial renderings through a club forum is what lead Pete Stout, editor of 000 Magazine, to them and ultimately to me. Pete is also a lover of the 914, as it was his first Porsche as well. Sometimes I think about the path life would have taken if I had purchased a 944 instead of a 914. Who knows.
Make sure to check out more of Glen’s work and give him a follow on Instagram at @autoillustrated.