"Waiting"

The robot sits quietly and obediently, waiting for someone to tell him it is time to flip the switch… someday the time will come.

I like the concept, and have no objection to a blocky looking robot. The composition is fine. But I think the lighting and textures can be fairly easily improved to make a much stronger picture.

First, select different textures for the chair, the floor, the wall, and particularly, the various parts of the knife switch and wires because that is the “joke.” You need to establish contrast and separation between them.

Next, consider the lighting. You’ll need some rim-light to further separate the pieces, and you’ll need key-light to clearly draw the viewer’s attention to the switch. There also needs to be a definite mood – this 'bot is the ultimate government savant. :wink: The lighting needs to say that.

(Incidentally, I’m not too concerned about the bulb. “It’s a bulb, and it’s on.” You can twiddle it for realism, for a glow and all of that, if you want; or not, if you don’t. Do let your fill-lights soften those shadows, and consider using different-colored lights in your setup.)

Last, consider a few props and set-dressings that will help to reinforce the idea that the 'bot has been waiting a long time. A spider’s web is an oldy-moldy but it might work. Maybe you can come up with something more original. At the same time, perhaps give a bright, alert expression to the 'bot since he’s in an “indefinite wait-state” but, being a 'bot, doesn’t care. (“Waiting for Godot.”) It’s the contrast that makes the story.

Here’s an old photographer’s maxim… During the first three or so seconds of looking at this image, the viewer’s eyes will trace a route around the picture. Her eyes will first go to the brightest area of the shot. She will also emphasize “rule of thirds” lines. If allowed, her eyes will wander straight out of the margins of the picture, which is bad. If there’s a character, she’ll study the expression if she can see it. Knowing and using all of this to your advantage, compose and light the shot to tell a complete story in those three seconds. To tell this story well, you need to bring the viewer’s eyes to the switch, to the robot’s face, and to something that conveys a sense of “a long time.” You also should consider some element, maybe a prop, that will give a sense of why this 'bot is in this position.

I like this render a lot. You’ve created a robot which manages to convey an emotional feeling and there is also a sense of curiosity - what does the switch do (and why is it in color?)? What is the robot doing in this room and why does it look unhappy? ie you’ve managed to create a sense of drama and story.

Textures and modelling need some work as sundialsvc4 said, but the core ideas are good.

texturing and lighting need improvement…

try adding several layers of procedurals.

the lighting also needs work.

good start though!

These crits appear in the order that they came to mind:

If you need metal textures, I have a bunch of tileable ones that look pretty nice. Right now, the textures make your entire scene look less than six inches high – that blotchy pattern is much too large. You need to bevel the corners of the walls, and add some grime in those areas (which would be harder to clean).

Your wires are all segmented unnaturally – you need to make them curvy.

Your wood texture on the knife switch is pixelated; PLEASE fix that. Pixelated textures make me gag horribly, regardless of how nice the scene is.

You need some glow around that light bulb to make it look like something other than a white splotch.

The knife switch is a bit strange. When it is flipped, it will be switched off, not on. There are no electrical contacts at the bottom, so it looks like the robot is being executed, and turned off. The robot’s sad expression further expresses this idea, that it has solemnly accepted that it is obsolete and no longer useful. Perhaps the switch should be down, waiting to be flipped up, so the robot looks like it is waiting to be activated.

If you start with that, you will have a much nicer pic.

Matt

It’s SUPPOSED to be on, I’m not stupid. I didn’t intend to imply that the robot was in any way connected to the knife switch, it’s connected to something else, and he’s in charge of flipping it.

Thanks for the critiques, guys, just one idiotic question: what are procedurals? :o

BTW: the wood doesn’t look pixelated to me, and I examined it very carefully. I honestly can’t tell what you’re talking about.

I think you could improve it by coloring the light yellow and adding some blue or green AO (or Area Light from top).

The mood is already nice, but you can make it even stronger.

Let me explain myself a little further on the pixelation issue. Your texture is not pixelated in the standard (and incorrect) sense that it is composed of square elements; it is pixelated in the sense that there are not enough samples in the image.

Consider: A Pixel Is Not A Little Square! at ftp://ftp.alvyray.com/Acrobat/6_Pixel.pdf

(the article http://www.csbruce.com/~csbruce/cynic/pixel.html displays a blatant misunderstanding of the subject; I can explain in a PM or here)

A more visual example might be suitable if you haven’t taken a course in digital signal processing.

Consider:

http://www.princeton.edu/~mplough/img/unattended_norm.png

The above image does not appear pixelated. However, if we scale it down by a factor of 10 and then scale it back up (as you effectively did with your wood texture), we get:

http://www.princeton.edu/~mplough/img/unattended_resamp.png

Like Blender, I did not scale the above image back up by resizing. Instead, I resampled it – I performed bicubic interpolation on it (which the first article mentioned above explains).

See why I gag now? :stuck_out_tongue:

Matt