QT-3A - blendercookie robot contest WIP

WIP for the blender cookie robot contest. Not sure whether I’ll be done in time, as I am getting lost in animatable features, and this will be a big rigging job, but we’ll see.

EDIT: replaced first image with (almost?) final render

“Hallway encounter”

A bit more progress:

I like the use of the basic shapes. I am trying to imagine what this robots purpose would be in real life? Perhaps a messenger bot, or a worker bot for use on a farm? Interesting design. looking forward to seeing it completed


The idea is either a

  1. personal assistant/security guard (it could serve drinks by the pool, say, film a party, clean up, detect possible intruders, for instance), or:
  2. a janitor/security guard in an office or lab.

The third arm on the back has a camera/laser combo :wink:

For the final render concept I plan to make a dual copy with pink/purple tones to be a girl version, and imagine this boy version to see her and fall in love… If I can pull all of that off…

Mostly rigged, now. There will probably be a bit more detailing, but I wanted to see how it looked posed.

“too-doo-doo! Hi, you guys!”

fully rigged now

A bit more progress: texturing with scratches and a bit of dirt

From the back

dark lighting experiment

staging my first composition idea

Pink! Lol Funny. I think you shoot for that “cute” attribute. :wink:

Indeed. :slight_smile: Hence, “QT” :wink:

Lots of environment work to do, still, lighting, fine-tuning dirt/rust texturing, and a little bit of animation to get some good motion blur in so it’s obvious the girl-robot is rolling through the hallway. But it is starting to slowly come together!

I am considering some volumetric lighting in BI (Cycles will be too late) to really capture/center her in (a) cone(s) of blue light, if I can pull this off. This has been a great exercise in using some techniques I haven’t used before.

progress update

this is 5000 samples, but with all the glossy shading, there is still a lot of noise. More tweaking, but I guess final render will be in the 10,000 samples range… (this is downscaled to 1280 from 1900). The noise makes it a bit tough to judge lighting before a long test render. The balance between the hallway lights and the robot lights is not quite right yet.

More fine tuning under way. I am happy with the walls and floor, but may need something more to make the environment a litle less bare. Maybe some airco vents, or something.

One thing that I completely do not understand is why the “boy” robot shows its (alpha overlay) label only in black and white (the label on the back should be blue). Both these robots are the same, with just some colors changed and a different label image texture. Then linked into an environment. Works just peachy for the girl, for the boy it’s always black-and-white. unlinked, relinked, no difference. Even when I gave it the girl’s image texture it stayed black and white. I can live with it being black, but still weird and confusing.

more progress

using an environment texture now for lighting, which helps a lot keeping the noise levels down. A bit of compositing as well, which also brought the blue back in the back label.

I think this is close to being or already finished. I guess I just need to stare at it for a little while longer to be sure.

“Hallway encounter”

The how:

I started with the single robot, which I then duplicated into a separate file to make the girl version. I then created a new environment blend file with a hallway, floor, ceiling, walls, lighting, etc. and linked the two robots into this, and created the proxies. Then spent a long time posing, camera positioning, etc. I ended up creating parented mesh lights hidden from the camera for the robots’ “camera” for better lighting of the blue and pink lights, as without it, it was either too dark or light went everywhere.

First test renders, due to the glossy and the multiple light points. showed a ridiculous amount of noise even at 5000 samples - which took something like 2.5 hrs per render - that I decided to dramatically reduce the number of bounces by making a separate HDR environment texture for environment lighting. That allowed me to “open up” the scene (no walls on the left or ceiling, main lights removed, most of the floor gone, etc.), clearing up a lot of the noise, and give a more natural lighting.

The only thing was that it left the hallway wall on the mid-right mostly unlit, so in the main scene there is a meshlight off camera.

The final rendering was done with just about every pass, and I started off with playing with the various diffuse, glossy, etc. passes, but in the end other then modding the diffuse to show the blue in the back label, some glare and blur on the transmission (the pink lights), and a bit of blur/glow on the emission, there wasn’t much change.

The whole image was then run through a vector blur to show movement of the girl robot (and a bit of the boy), but had to strike a tough balance between too much and clarity of image. It then has a defocus blur for depth of field, but it doesn’t seem to do anything, despite having the Z-pass connected, but no problem.

Then, a touch of extra saturation, an RGB curve to add a bit of contrast, and finally a vignette. First time using a vignette, but in this case I thought I needed it to focus the eyes on the robots, as the pink and blue lights over all are quite dark.

Any feedback appreciated, as I debate with myself whether it is ready to be submitted.