ABOUT THE TUTORIAL
This is a 25 min tutorial going step by step using blend shapes in Autodesk Maya to animate a car being crushed. Rather than using dynamics to simulate collision, we can hand-animate an initial and target state. Blend shapes will interpolate the deformation. Once we have the animation, I take it into The Foundry's Nuke for color correction, and finally into After Effects for sequence and compositing. You can add your own smoke, debris or glass break effects in After Effects using your stock package.
INFO FOR OTHER SOFTWARE USERS...
You don't need to have Nuke to follow along. You can do similar color correction in After Effects. Likewise, you can obviously do your composite in Nuke if you don't have AE. Finally, if you don't have Maya you could probably do the same car deformation process in another 3d program such as Blender or 3DsMax. In Blender, blend shapes are called "shape keys" and in 3Ds, they are called the "morpher modifier."
3D MODEL INFORMATION
This is not a tutorial about modeling a car. I did not make the model, but you can download it for free from this link:
TIPS FOR COMPOSITING INTO LIVE FOOTAGE
This tutorial is limited to creating a standalone scene. If you want to incorporate your car into a locked-down live plate, you'd simply need to bring in a still frame of your plate as an image plane in Maya so you can match the camera and car's position/scale prior to rendering.