This was my entry for the Blender cookie robot competition. I had the idea of making a really long centipede thing, so I started, I built the torso piece with two legs. After duplicating that twice Blender coughed and spluttered, and after duplicating twice more, Blender went into a complete seizure and crashed. I didn’t know what to do at this point, since the absurdly long body of the machine would have been the main appeal of the model.
Then, in a sudden moment of inspiration, I realised… the robot centipede was cursed. I immediately opened a new .blend and began working on a background: The frozen wasteland. My plan was to have a leg sticking out the ground, frozen at the bottom and covered in snow (It’s owners had left it there, because it was just too high poly to be unleashed upon society). I carefully ventured back into the dark laggy depths of “Robot competition.blend” to retrieve that one leg, and quickly scrambled back out before I was overtaken by the lag tsunami that would have crashed my computer (Tip: Bounding box view works for this).
I worked a long time on a lump of ice and snowy ground, I played around with hundreds of different snow shaders of my own creation, but none of them looked remotely believable. I tried to make ice, it failed. Finally I made a decision to keep all the snow in the background, on the mountain, where the magic of camera focus would hide it’s shameful blemishes. The ground underneath the robot was replaced by sharp, jagged icicles. I looked at the test render and thought: “that does NOT look like ice. I shall replace it with grass.” But then I immediately thought of all the endless horrors that come packaged with making grass. So I stuck with the ice. It still looks terrible, however I came up with a pretty decent excuse for myself: My art does not aim to look like real life, it just needs to look good. I see realism every day, but I only see fantasy when I (day)dream.
The ice, however, is not realism or fantasy, it’s just a bunch of spikes with a glass BSDF thingy, and that’s probably why I didn’t win(or get an honourable mention). Anyway, Moving on…
The “final competition render” was completely uninspiring. So I made one more perilous decision: More legs.
Before I knew it, I was back in that horrible .blend again. Jumping into bounding box view, I swiftly deleted the other modules and rescued one body piece and two legs. After dragging them into a fresh file, I added an array modifier, desperately hoping it would reduce lag.
I didn’t push my luck with too many modules, but I got a decent render. Some nice compositing gave me lots of glows and streaks and glitter and sparkles, which is what I like. I particularly love the snowflakes. The glittery, sharp flakes in the foreground contrast perfectly with those blurry ones behind, at least in my eyes. No, they don’t look like snowflakes, but I couldn’t care less. Who hasn’t dreamed of glitter falling from the sky???
The final render. I do have a custom of pushing the quality levels up to insane amounts(2920, 2080, 3000 samples, you get the idea), so naturally I had to exercise an awful lot of self control to pull off the render before the deadline(THE NEXT DAY). Then there was GIMP. saturation levels, lens flare, all lovely, uploaded, everything finished in a flash. Then I realised: The rust is RED. I’m fairly certain centipedes don’t bleed, so robot centipedes definitely shouldn’t. Oh well.