Models Created for “Econo-Bot”

This project started right after I had surgery, I was stuck at home and hopped up on pain pills. Pure boredom was biggest motivator of this project. I wanted to create a Full 3D animated short film and previously set a goal of learning how to hard surface model in Blender (2.8). However, I had no story, or idea to build from. From past projects I learned that settings are strong starting points for storytelling.

The image of an Abandoned house in the rural part of town popped into my head. So, I looked up reference images of abandoned country style houses, put on some Creedence Clearwater Revival and started modeling!

Here is what I came up with after roughly 12 hours of work:



Next, I made an interior, the idea in my head revolved around horror, so the interior reflects that with colors of brown, maroon and dark steel. A bigger challenge was designing the stairs. The house was small, and a stair case can potentially take up a lot of room. The stairs I designed are very industrial and contemporary. At the time I didn’t know the short film would end up sci-fi, but the contemporary stairs fit well with a semi-futuristic world.

Here are a few renders of the interior:


Finally, I needed a basement! There was no script for this story but I had a hunch that it needed to end in the basement. During this part of the modeling process I had begun modeling the main character, “Burt” a robot. I wanted the basement to be believable as a basement, not a whole new world. A big challenge throughout this project has been maintain proper lighting continuity. The basement has no window or a source that can provide light. To solve this meant finding the end of the film. I settled on creating a hologram projection as both a conclusion and source of light.

Here’s how that turned out!




Making the robots was very educational, I learned a lot about hard surface modeling and rigging. “Burt” was designed to look like he was made out of recycled parts. Besides that the initial idea for Burt was a robot that was far past expiration.


His head a combination of a VR helmet, CD player, and a retro gaming system all atop a tripod. The torso was modeled after a Volkswagen car engine.

Here is a final render:

Also Included in this project was a small, small robot that Burt finds in the abandoned house. His name is Walt.


The entire project came together really well, and I learned more than I could ask for. If you would like to see all these pieces in action, stay tuned for later this month when it is officially released!



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