Drone from Silent Running

Thumbnail: Current state

I still remember my first impression of the drones from the movie “Silent Running”, when I watched that movie as a kid. I immediately wanted to have one of these. Now, tens of years later, I can make one. Well, sort of. This is a little holiday project for fun during the Easter break. I’m not striving for 100% accuracy, since it is somewhat difficult to find good references in high resolution. Let’s see how far I get with this. Here is what I have after one day of modelling the shapes.


Hi minoribus,

I remember this movie fondly and quite like your robot. To me it looks spot-on. Just a few things left. Also, this must be Dewey our unsung hero! The movie’s message, I believe, is still applicable today. Perhaps even more so.

Have you seen this paper craft of him (http://www.papercraftsquare.com/silent-running-dewey-free-paper-model-download.html)? Which is also amazing.

Good reference here and is quite amazing also https://modelermagic.com/destiny-models-silent-running-drones-by-katsuya-西坂-克也/

Cheers and happy blending!

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Hi @pxlpaul, thank you very much for your encouraging! And also for the links. The models there do look fantastic and I can see some details more clearly than in the references which I collected. This is especially true for the arm.

Today i continued modelling and went to said arm. Quite a complex mechanism.

I have to fix some of the origins for the parts, but a first rough test looks promising :slight_smile:

Here is, what I have so far. I adjusted the scale of the drone in real world dimensions. And after that I started to refine some of the shapes with subd modelling to get nicer bevels, which fits better to the new size and hopefully will catch the lights better.

Other than that I organized the parts in several neat collections and named them properly. And I did some tests for rigging the mechanics of the arm.

This works nicely. Nevertheless it is challenging to rig and complete the arm. Just look at this reference image and you will understand it :slight_smile:

From tomorrow on will be less time for this little fun project after the Easter break. So I spent a good part of today at it. I continued to refine the shapes and gave this little dude some basic materials. These are mainly meant to check the color palette. Weathering, wear and tear have to wait for now.

Rendered with Cyles, 2,500 samples and FGI, post processing in Darktable and Gimp.

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Today I started texturing the little fellow. Mostly everything is uv unwrapped and i use the texture painting methods which Blender provides. So far i have done the left side of the trunk with plenty of 4k and 2k textures.

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Working towards the final scene and composition …


Hello together, little update …

I added some more story telling elements and fixed this and that. Also I added some spot lights as fill lights and a rim light to get a better separation from the background. Denoising is a bit aggressive on the following renders.

Here are just the fill lights.

And this is the AO pass. This is’nt denoised when the denoiser is used? That’s a bit of a problem, when this is used for compositing outside of Blender, I think.

I use the trial version of Graswald for the foliage for the first time by the way. This addon produces very nice results out of the box!

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Nice work!
Have you seen this? https://youtu.be/9xtsNdLj1F4

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Wow brilliant, one of my all time favourite films!

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Thank you very much, I’m glad you like it. And also thanks for the link. I haven’t seen this, but will surely watch it. I knew already that these drones were operated by amputees. But I always like some nice behind the scenes info.

Thank you, very much appreciated!

@all: I posted the final render in the finished section if you haven’t seen it already

I ditched the blue watering can and replaced it by a metal one. And I changed the background to blue, because I wanted to have blue in the color palette.