Clockwork VFX


Nigel at it again

What does a visual effects artist do in his spare time? Thats a trick question, cause there is no spare time to be had in this industry :) It would be more accurate to ask what one does when he should be sleeping!

Speed Modeling Challenges is the answer. The concept is a simple one. A time limit, usually an hour or two, and a theme are established at the start of each weeklong challenge, you’re then free to create what you want within those constraints. Its purely a modeling challenge, meaning that lighting and texturing are excluded from the time limit, aswell as the judging process. A simple render and wireframe are required for judging.

I tended to push the renders further than they needed to be pushed, but for me, the whole point of taking part in the challenges, was to polish my modeling aswell as my lighting and rendering skills.

Many of the topics were inspired by real life objects. I take no credit where it isn’t due for the design of some of the objects I recreated in 3d. When you’re pressed for time, its just easier to model from a reference image, than to either wing it, or sit and design something yourself.

A special note, and nod of appreciation to Lawrence Northey, the creator of Dave The Robot. (the robot at the top) That little personal project was not part of the Speed Modeling Challenge series. I love anything retro, and had stumbled upon Dave The Robot one evening while browsing. I thought he was definitely worth my spare time (err sleep) and decided to create a 3d version of him. With only a few reference photo’s of the original metal sculpture available on the internet, there are a few inaccuracies, but overall, I was really pleased with the end result. Take a few moments to visit Lawrence Northey’s website at, and have a look at his other amazing work.

Dave the Robot – Still

Dave the Robot – Turnaround


Shell Lights

Cocoon Lights

Green Radio

Clock Robot

Rocket Launch

Rocket Launch

Rocket Launch Wireframe