I don’t know where on earth this idea that I’m obsessed with The Crystal Maze has come from. I’ve only spoken briefly of it a couple of times, haven’t I? Well, as it happens, I’ve been encouraged to post about it (by a staggering two fellow bloggers) and with that I have a pair of Maze posts planned for December (admittedly one will be a repost of something I wrote for elsewhere, earlier in the year), so if I wasn’t coming over obsessed before, I probably will be later on.
Here’s the first. I decided to go back to my pledge to try and crack 3D modelling. And what better way to do that than to also try and crack The Crystal Maze? For those unaware, the team of six contestants travelled around a ginormous set… ‘the maze’… comprised of four ‘time zones’: Aztec, Industrial, Medieval and Futuristic. Each zone housed fiendish games, and when beaten, said games yield a time crystal. Each crystal won bought the team five seconds inside the Crystal Dome, the show’s hilarious (and blustery) finale.
The idea of achieving a realistic crystalline (or, to be boring, glass) texture, was a little daunting. It took a long time, and at times felt as though I was going in circles and not really knowing where to get off. I pressed a lot of buttons… most often, I’m sure, the wrong ones, but it was certainly an interesting experience, dealing with several channels of transparency, refraction, reflection and specular. I’ve shown my ‘progress’ in the selection of shots above. The caustics on the floor are a treat – I confess I’m not entirely sure how that happened.
When I’d done/had enough of texturing, I then applied dynamics to it and built a maze for it to roll around in – quite literally, a crystal maze. (So that’s why they shoehorned one of these into almost every series!)
It’s a pitifully easy maze – two minutes should be plenty enough. My second shot, though, is a reasonable estimation as to how the archetypal Crystal Maze contestant would likely have fared; just throw the screams of “COME OUT!” over a familiar harmonica riff, and the memories of Thursday night perfection will surely come flooding back.
It’s time for me to race toward the door and bang on it until someone sets me free, but in departing, here’s a clip for you; it’s very Crystal Maze indeed.
How I love Richard O’Brien.