This is a project for myself with a few goals: improve general proficiency with Blender, with a soft focus on hard surface modelling; tell a story – or rather, establish a world and atmosphere – through setting with static camera shots and environmental animation only; and produce a finished video of around five minutes. Essentially, learn stuff, make stuff, finish stuff.
Background: A century ago – our not-too-distant future – an autonomous factory controlled by a poorly-implemented AI went out of control, growing and displacing all living things before its rapidly expanding frontier. Human pushback was ineffective and it overgrew the whole contiguous landmass of the continent.
Present Day: Humans have given up the “Mechanical Labyrinth” as a lost cause, and entry is forbidden. The machines, expending great effort and producing nothing in particular, have hollowed out the ground beneath for tens of miles and seem poised to eventually undercut the whole crust, but for whatever reason growth has slowed (perhaps the AI has overreached itself, or is dumping energy into a futile effort to expand into the mantle).
The labyrinth is now in decay, and we see it in its dying years. It is in one sense a hopeful thing, the existential threat being averted, while in another it is bleak, as the rusting husk forming a scar over the Earth will be a lasting testament to a great folly.
Basically we’re exploring a sort of brutalist Aperture. The general concept came first, and the above story is there mainly to motivate in fleshing out details. (and while it reflects some anxiety I have about future technology, it is only a basis for a setting and not intended as any sort of moral tale.)
The video will be a series of disjoint scenes from within the labyrinth, each about 5-10 seconds long. The nature of the setting provides room to try out a lot of different little ideas that wouldn’t necessarily stand alone. Scenes will be accompanied by ambient soundscapes that vary distinctly from shot to shot.
This sketchbook piece gives an example of the kind of little vignette I’ll be making.
All assets will be my own work except where specified.
I expect to have somewhere around 40 scenes/shots. Production time I expect to vary from a week for the lightest shots to a month for the heaviest. I hope to take no longer than a year to finish, but things happen.