How I turned a car photo into this 18-layer aluminum art

Timothy Inzana combined his skills as a motion artist with his love of automobiles into a unique project using math, metalcraft, computer illustration programs, and a lot of creativity to create multi-layered works for art.

Inzana spent months transforming a fairly normal photo of a Porsche 911 into this large 18-level aluminum piece of wall art using an algorithm he developed to translate a 2-D photograph into a 3-D photo-sculpture.

When he posted the image on Reddit last week he suddenly found an influx of support and orders. Now a sideline project's going to be come a small business for Inzana, who says he'd been overwhelmed by the interest.

He took a break from setting up a website for his company to answer a few of our questions about how he created this clever project.

Jalopnik: How long have you been working on this art?

Inzana: I have been developing the idea for some time now. I'm very interested in animation which uses the concept of layering heavily so I imagine it came out of that.

J: How long did the yellow Porsche take?

How I turned a car photo into this 18-layer aluminum art

Inzana: The yellow porsche piece took several months to complete. I had to figure out what material was best and how to get the pieces cut. I also developed an interesting algorithm to help me interpret the 2-D art into 3-D space. The bolts and spacers were also difficult to understand and it took me a few assemblies to get the look I was aiming for.

J: Is this your first attempt?

Inzana: The Porsche is my first metal piece. I created another with heavy illustration board when I was initially experimenting with the concept.

How I turned a car photo into this 18-layer aluminum art

J: How do you go from image to finished piece?

Inzana: I use Illustrator and Photoshop to prepare the image — which is by far the most time consuming step — I get the layers figured out and sort out how I want each layer to appear. Then the files go to a machine shop and the metal is cut by a laser! I take the pieces and treat them for paint, paint, and then assemble after doing some math to figure out how many spacers I need.

How I turned a car photo into this 18-layer aluminum art

J: You're clearly a car enthusiast, what do you drive?

Inzana: I drive a 2003 Honda Element. Two years ago I was driving an 03 Eurovan that I took around the country for three months with hardly any money. Before that an 02 Mini Cooper. My dad is a huge Porsche guy and we've been going to car shows since I was a little kid.

J: What's your background in art?

How I turned a car photo into this 18-layer aluminum art

Inzana: I studied film, art, and computer science at UC Santa Barbara but I ended up dropping out in my 3rd year because I was doing projects outside of school that I was more obsessed with. Luckily I was able to get a job doing motion graphics work in Los Angeles - where I live now. My only real background in design is watching a lot of movies, drawing since I was a kid, reading graphic novels, and learning Photoshop and video software when I was 13.

If you're interested in getting your own version of the interesting art keep an eye on his website.