This image was created for Carrara Monthly Challenge 30 at DAZ 3D.
It's inspired, once again, by the novel "Blindsight" by Canadian SF writer Peter Watts. Or, more accurately, it's inspired by what I thought I remembered from the book. When I re-read the scene in question later, I realized that there's never actually a moment when the alien 'scramblers' and human astronauts confront each other quite the way they're shown here. I could say exactly which scene I was thinking of, but that would risk spoiling the book for anyone who hasn't read it. Just go read it: it's good.
The challenge required use of Carrara's replicators to produce multiple copies of particular objects. In this image, I used a surface replicator (based on an invisible terrain) to produce a random flood of 'scramblers', rushing across the hull of the starship. The base 'scrambler' was a custom model, built using Carrara's spline modeler.
The spline modeler was also used to create Rorschach, the sinister alien space station in the background (for a view of what Rorschach looks inside, see my image "Exploring Rorschach"). It's basically sets of spiral objects, reduplicated and rotated, then duplicated and resized. The texture applied is slightly shiny; a light source within the composite object gives it a kind of glow.
The planet in the background is a set of nested and textured spheres. The spacecraft in the foreground is assembled from components from two modular science-fiction construction sets sold by DAZ 3D.