Trekkie or not I'm betting that at least once after a hard days work, returning home to an empty fridge you've pondered 'why the hell hasn't someone invented those Star Trek food replicators yet?' You may want to hold that thought the next time it crops up, at least until you've seen Andreas Wannerstedt's science test gone wrong short Consumed:
As with much of his previous work, Wannerstedt applied 3D software -- in this case Cinema 4D rendered with Vray -- to create the photorealistic test space and its tasteful artworks and furnishings. The text effect was also done in that package, each letter render out and then set up in After Effects. This breakdown video reveals how the piece was built up. Without the power of a render farm at his disposal, patience was definitely called for with some of the exterior scenes ramping up to a blistering 1 frame / hour render time.
On the source of inspiration for Consumed, Wannerstedt says:
This is very similar to a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario called “Grey goo”, a term coined by molecular nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler back in 1986. He illustrates exponential growth and the dangers of self-replication is his book “Engines of Creation”:
“Imagine a replicator floating in a bottle of chemicals, making copies of itself…the first replicator assembles a copy in one thousand seconds, the two replicators then build two more in the next thousand seconds, the four build another four, and the eight build another eight. At the end of ten hours, there are not thirty-six new replicators, but over 68 billion. In less than a day, they would weigh a ton; in less than two days, they would outweigh the Earth; in another four hours, they would exceed the mass of the Sun and all the planets combined — if the bottle of chemicals hadn’t run dry long before.”
Well, obviously my scenario is all science fiction, since the required technologies to create this kind of self-replicating matter won’t be invented until.. hmm.. no sooner than 2014?
Perhaps because of the slow camera moves across and through the building and photorealistic aesthetic, Consumed reminded me of Alex Roman's The Third & The Seventh in its opening moments, which it would be a sin for me to not share here on the off-chance it passed you by previously:
Anyway, back to the destruction. If the idea of seeing the world rapidly consumed by goop is something that appeals to you, along with a desire to target the epicentre of the chain reaction, then you'll be pleased to know that interactive developer Christian Wannerstedt has built a webGL project based on Consumed where you can do just that.
What do you think of the photoreal world Wannerstedt built and destroyed? Are there similar pieces you've created or seen which we should check out?