Steampunk Power Generator

Latest Version:

I’ve had a little more time to Blend lately, so I’ve started a pretty big project. It’s a sci-fi/steampunk power generator station. I’m going for super high detail, so this is going to take a while; I’ll post updates here as they come.

No shading yet, so everything’s OpenGL at the moment.

Tentative camera angle:

The idea is a whole warehouse-like place filled with these things, all sorts of pipes and the like running across the floor from the generators to the ceiling.

Let me know what you think!



Worked on the tanks, added braces, gauges, hoses and a couple more pipes. Also fixed some of the pipes coming out of the top of one of the corner power cell tower things. I’m already up to 2M tris (on viewport subsurf levels).

Cycles clay render this time:

To do:

  • Control panel on front.
  • Various greeble.
  • Pipes and stuff running along the ground.
  • Surrounding environment (won’t be quite as detailed and high-poly since it will be mostly out of focus).
  • Shading. (duh!)

I am open to suggestions and criticism, so please let me know what you think!

Looks good! I like the detail your putting in to it. I do wonder if you can get away with less polys and smooth shading in your textures? depends on how close your final render will be though.

Add more wires, holes and ridges to it.

Very nice hard surface modeling so far. Looks rock solid and super clean.



  • Misc. details to main generator.
  • Cables.
  • Floor pipes.
  • Warehouse walls, ceiling, lights (multiplying rendertime and fireflies by 10x).

Thanks for the comments and suggestions guys, keep 'em coming!


I love steampunk stuff and im looking forward to watching you develop this. I use a laptop with an average spec so Im always watching polycount closely. Any chance of occasionally giving a polycount as you go along?

Thanks for reminding me, I meant to include that info. Currently I’m at 1.8M verts, 1.3M faces, 2.6M tris across 284 objects (that’s at viewport subsurf levels).

I should mention that I’m on a pretty beefy machine (16GB RAM, 8GB vRAM on my Quadro m4000) so I’m not paying super close attention to polycount. There are a few things that probably could be optimized without having a big impact.

I am making heavy use of isntancing though, every duplicate pipe, socket, beam, etc. is instanced. (No mirror or array modifiers either, it’s all instanced.)

Here’s an OpenGL Matcap render if you can’t stand all those fireflies!


Love the geometry so far. Especially those ceramic disk doo-dads.

Appreciate that this is just a low sample test render, but it looks like the upcoming Blender denoiser (if it’s anything like the one in Renderman) will be a great firefly destroyer for this type of thing.

Can’t wait to see more…

@@paulchambers3D Thanks for the comments!

Where did you hear about this upcoming denoiser? I haven’t seen anything about a new denoiser recently.

Check in the latest news section re the Denise’s. It’s very early development but even so it’s working really well.

when you refer to using instancing are you meaning that your using duplifaces and dupliverts?


That looks great, don’t know how I missed it. I guess I have been too busy lately to follow Blender news too closely.

I instance using Alt+D (instead of Shift+D). It creates a new object without duplicating the mesh datablock, which saves quite a bit of memory (not quite as much as particle systems or dupliverts though).

Thanks for the explanation of your approach. Enjoy the Denoiser!

Looks sweet! Makes me want to watch Doctor Who. :slight_smile: One suggestion is to make the disc thingies different sizes. Like one big and one small and then let the follow some pattern. Or perhaps just shrink the one size you have. Just a tad.

I´m really looking forward to see this thing evolve!

I’ve been pretty busy for the past couple months so I haven’t had much time to do anything in Blender. But now I have a little bit more time so I’ve started working on modeling some pipes and other various greeble that I can just drag and drop wherever I want it. I’m modeling the various joints and segments separately so that I can just duplicate and drop them in place instead of having to model every pipe separately which would be a pain since there are going to be a ton of pipes pretty much everywhere, especially on the back wall (it took me over 2 hours alone just to setup that mess of pipes around the power cells).

Here’s the basic set of small pipes. I’ll be adding some more sizes and shapes of elbows along with other sizes of pipes as well.

The displacement texture used to warp the pipes uses global mapping coordinates so the pipes will always line up when placed end to end. The straight pipes use array modifiers with start and end cap objects so I can easily adjust the length. The amount of warping and size of the dents are both controlled by a couple slider empties via drivers so I can tweak them all easily without having to select every single pipe to change the displacement strength.

More updates coming soon (I hope)!