a gallery of computer-generated images

Exploring Rorschach


This image has been a long time in the making.

It was inspired by a scene in Peter Watts' novel "Blindsight", a favorite of mine. In the novel, the crew of a spaceship encounter an alien construct in orbit around a supergiant planet in interstellar space. The construct, which identifies itself as Rorschach, is the size of a city, something between a machine and an organism. When the crew try to explore it, they find themselves in a maze of dim corridors, bombarded with electromagnetic and ionizing radiation, and subject to bizarre hallucinations and other threats.

This image shows two of the crew, the soldier Amanda Bates and scientist Isaac Szpindel, accompanied by a 'grunt' -- a purpose-built robot drone, hardened against the lethal radiation that pulses through Rorschach's innards and equipped with weapons intended to defend the crew against whatever they might encounter.

I built the passageway and the robot 'grunt' using Carrara's spline modeler. The 'grunt' is actually quite a complex model, but unfortunately in this rather dark image it's merely a vague shape floating against an almost equally dark background. Its glowing orange eyes are spheres textured with the basic Glow shader, with the Aura effect enabled to increase the impression of glowing lights. The scene itself is lit by a number of bulb lights, and there's also a single spot positioned beyond the rather toothy 'iris' at the far end of the corridor.


Carrara 8.5 Pro