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March of Robots: Daily Render Attempt Recap

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BlueBlankey polycounter lvl 5
I've been posting these in a sketchbook thread but decided to put them here for easier viewing.
I recently participated in an event called "March of robots", where artists attempt to make a robot everyday either for fun or experience.

All robots are exploratory speed models made in Sketchup, UV unwrapped in 3dsmax, and textured/rendered in Substance Painter.

The first 7 were made one per day, and slowly tapered off until the final count of 13. To make it a true learning experience I tried doing something new with each one, make it a colored render if possible, and also attempt to follow the official prompts.


Learning how to subdivide, first use of hdri render in Substance Painter


First model created specifically for subdivision


Realistic damage masks and painted decals, hdri resolution improvement


First time using cloth simulation in Sketchup, faster boolean operations, bezier curves, translucent textures in Painter, decal mask usage


New plugins used for mesh bending and UV texture coordination


Advanced texture masks, stencils, layer flow, copy objects along spline plugin

Obj import, 3ds HD rig object linking

Import procedure for live model updates in Twinmotion

Procedural texture usage, VFX rendering in Painter


Advanced material detailing

FumeFX shape manipulation, refraction rendering


Helix plugin usage, mesh displacement effects


Did not finish render, will revisit at a later date

13 falls way short of how many I was shooting for, but the last attempt with something like this only made it to 3, so I count it as a personal success.
Thanks for viewing, hoping to make more on the next attempt.


  • CybranM
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    CybranM interpolator
    "wheel" and "tool" are the two best ones imho, "patch" is also good. "float" reminds me of Supreme Commander haha

    Good amount of variety but they all look very basic, which might be hard to avoid when working with a tight timelimit but would be good to improve upon. The background in the renders are all solid but I think you can improve the robots. They all look very monolithic, try to cut up the big shapes into smaller parts with more panel lines and less "5cm thick solid metal" pieces.

    Think of how this wouldve been produced in reality, would they be able to machine a solid metal piece like this? Would they really make every edge 90°? Would all of the edges and corners be equally worn?
  • BlueBlankey
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    BlueBlankey polycounter lvl 5
    @CybranM Thanks for the critique, patch is probably my favorite from how the details turned out- and that's not the first comment suggesting influence from Supreme Commander, maybe I play it too much lol.

    I guess the reason they look basic is that Sketchup is a very basic program, trying anything more complex would eat up too much time. The potential IRL industrial processes for these was the absolute last thing on the mind going into it, the only goal was a lineup of scifi robots with consistent visual style using a workflow I already knew. I did make a point of avoiding edge wear where it didn't belong, but for some it had to be left to compensate for the simplistic design.

    But everything you said are very good points, I need to try new workflows specifically to combat these monolithic designs. For many of them I wanted a more "serious" look but it always ended up "cartoony", which is hard to avoid with this approach. I'm very much not keen on only being able to make things in this style, so thank you for the tips.
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