Outside the Cave of Unknowing

After several weeks of tweaks and revisions, this morning I concluded what I personally consider my most important conceptual piece, Outside the Cave of Unknowing:

This is a Pure Blender 2.43 render, no post-processing. 1.2 million verts, all hand sculpted and textured in accordance with the artistic approach I wanted for this work.

Here is a look at the 3D view:

There is a world of philosophy and symbolism in this piece (not just Platonic/Western but Biblical and eastern/Zen as well), particularly around the mouth/head of the cave, but I will leave it to the viewer to decide what the visual metaphors mean.

For those who might not recognize it, this image also alludes to my Mount Reckon in the background. It is not there for appearance’s sake; its presence and description are connected with the thinking in this piece.

Above all, I am most interested in hearing your thoughts on the ideas in this image. Interpretation! :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for your interest in my creations,


You’ve done it again RobertT, another amazin piece of work. Only crit I have, is that the human figure seems a bit odly shaped. I know, it’s way too back to even make out any details, but still it looks very odly propotioned.

But as for texturing, modelig and rendering, amazing job. It’s very nice mixture of photorealism and surreal.

Great render and modeling. Yes for some reason the figure looks a bit deformed? Is it an actual model or is it just a flat template?

Yeah, well, I hate pondering on your stuff, because I know there’s no possible way I’ll ever have any idea what you mean by any of that. :stuck_out_tongue:

Beautiful picture, though. Great, hand-painted look, sweet job.

Also, I can get some of the more rudimentary symbolism, but the rest of it is just straight over my head.

Plato would have been sooooo proud…

:eyebrowlift: Nice picture. The lighting and the color… It’s dark yet it’s not monochromatic…


Your best in a while, and one of your best ever IMHO. The sense of scale is spot on. The balance and composition is very good also.

Really, really spectacular to look at, really hits thanks to the colours.


Wow! Great image. I had to zoom in and explore this one.

I see many faces and silhouettes and beautiful colors and textures. There’s a mongoose or some sort of animal head in the rock. I see a dinosaur head looking at me too. Many shapes and faces.

Ooh, pretty stones or alien eggs? Let’s go in and find out.

I don’t see any of the visuals you mentioned -or rather I don’t recognize any (ignorance on my part). I love expansive colorful scenes like this. This is your best work yet, imo.

I’d give this 5 stars if the visitor was about half that size, or more detailed. :yes:

Messages and meanings i have summed up from this piece:

Exploration into the unknown: how people are reluctant to explore that wich they know nothing about or has little light.

Confusion: peoples reaction to the unkown.

Chaos: how things on earth that are yet to be discovered are often more strange and wonderful than anything we can normally imagine ( yet you seem to have done a good job :slight_smile: ).

Life: how organisms can thrive in even the most unusual or harsh or environments.

Surprise: how even massive things can be concieled completely, especialy in remote places.

Worlds: how to define what a world is and where the edges of a world are.

Boundries: Beginnings or ends, which is which, exit or the entrance?

Persevirence: the lengths people will go to to see something they have never seen before.

These are just a few of the thoughts that have sprung to mind. This is a really inspirational piece andf it deserves 5 stars fro concept alone. As for technical or atistic quality, i am less sure, sometimes they do not always go hand in hand and there are definately some issues, this is not technically your best work, branching out is by far the technically best work you have produced and no matter how much work you have put into this piece i am not ipressed by this on that level (i have to agree with everyone berfore me’s crits), yet that is not to say i am not impressed.

This deserves 5 stars from the beggining just from the thought that went into this but even if the concept and thought were crap I would still rate this four or five stars. Well done on another great piece of work.


Amazing…5 stars

I love it.

Who is looking out at someone looking in?

Is that the same mountain from a previous image way in the back?

Great work though.

ATTN: Cyborg Dragon. :stuck_out_tongue:

great stuff RobertT!
5stars as usual :slight_smile:
you really have talent for great textures AND modelling!
keep up the amazing work :slight_smile:

im speechless.
well all i can say is utterly amazing as usual, your works are inspirational.
5 stars

Amazing, it is so refreshing to see something and go… aaahhh, that’s nice. Reminds me of caving with friends.

RobertT u are making fun of us…It’s a photo, not a render!!! :ba: (just kidding :rolleyes:)
Unbelievable!!! impressive work dude…10stars!!!

Magnifico…very nice concept and rendering as usual…

Great Work as usual RobertT, i think to tell you that you’ve done is great is a bit dispensable, because, all of your work is great and its always a great pleasure for me to see a render you have done.

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The idea puts me in mind of the 19th century art of the sublime and casper david friedrich in particular, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspar_David_Friedrich. His painting ‘the wanderer above the sea of fog’ seems to me very similar to ideas that you are trying to put across, I wonder if you agree or even know the image about which i’m speaking. As far as the look of the work is concerned,I really like it. In one or two of your other works I find the colouring, I dunno slightly odd, but here you have got it just right. Well done, great work.