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.
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.