I modelled this project from scratch, as an exercise in instancing. I used a lot of array modifiers for the basic brick pieces, there is a centre section and two end caps on the array. Then, all of the pieces that are duplicated are duplifaces. This has significantly reduced the memory allocation. It was a new way of working for me, something that I’d been meaning to try for a while, and Ray Pump influenced this method as I wanted the scene to be light enough to pass the stress tests and free renders.
The following renders were all done with Blender 2.70a/2.71 Test build. The ones with the little Ray Pump icon in the bottom left were rendered online by Ray Pump, on GPU’s, each taking about 6mins to render, and all qualified as free renders. In comparison, the images below without that icon, I rendered myself on CPU’s, 23 GHz Dual core Xeon’s, and took 8 hours each! Even though those are larger (19201080 compared to 1280*720), and 1 subsurf modifier less, to keep it under the GPU RAM, that’s still an amazing time saving.
Here are some wireframe renders to show the geometry somewhat clearer.
They are done by using the wireframe modifier on top of other modifiers, and in combination with duplifaces instancing. They are rendered using the branched path integrator, as there are only 3 shaders: the bricks, the wire, and the floor, and all of these are ambient occlusions shaders, so there are no lamps or GI in the scene. This really helps to keep render times down, even though the wireframe modifier adds many faces, especially as it is here, on top of a bevel modifier (reduced to 1 segments), and a subsurf modifier (reduced to 1 subdivision).