The Gardener

This project was done for the Creatures and Critters competition held by CGCoach.com. The task was to first create a short story about some non-humanoid creature. (Story at bottom of the page) The contest was sponsored by a 3d print company, so the model had to be designed in a way that was 3d print safe. This meant the model had to be watertight and high resolution.
After writing the story I started on several pencil / ink concepts until I was happy. From there I built the base mesh of the tree and all his parts in 3ds max. I then imported each individual piece to Zbrush and began sculpting in all his major forms. I progressed through the sculpt adding in details as I went.
I received an Honorable mention for my work on this piece.

Software used: 3ds Max and Zbrush

Total time: about 3 weeks


Story:

There once was vast and beautiful world that was inhabited by a great society of scholars and gardeners. The planet once had vast gardens that stretched on for many thousands of miles in all directions. In the middle of each garden was a small but striking city which consisted mostly of libraries and laboratories.

For millennium the gardeners and the scholars worked together to create many technological wonders that aided them in their daily routines. They created a wide variety of mechanical and biological creatures that were each specifically designed to do a single task. As time went on the inhabitants got lazy because they had created a ‘thing’ to do all their daily work, leaving them with nothing to do.

As the years went on the laziness turned to boredom and eventually to anger. That’s when the riots broke out and suddenly the whole planet was at war. There were no clear sides to this war, it was basically every individual fighting for the sake of fighting, mainly because there was nothing better to do.

When the fighting stopped and the smoke cleared there was little left of the cities and the inhabitants. For those that did survive they found themselves alone and lost in vast gardens. Since they had created something to do all their work for them very few knew how to live and survive in the vast expanses of the gardens.

Every one of the inhabitants simply faded away into nothing. All that remained was the vast gardens and the wide variety of mechanical and biological creatures the inhabitants had created.

Many of these creatures continued doing what they were designed to do and eventually broke down or wore out. Many, though, were designed so well that they self repaired and were built to produce their own energy, so they could effectively live forever.

Over the course of many more millennium the creatures began to evolve in interesting ways. Many simply merged with their biological counterparts, while many others learned how to reprogram themselves. This led to rise of The Gardener.

The Gardener was the first to become self aware and soon after doing so he seized control of all the others. He merged his roots with the roots of every plant in the garden which gave him the ability to reach and control every living thing on the planet.

At first The Gardener was cruel and destructive, mainly because he didn’t know any better. He was like high energy insomniac infant that had been let loose in a toy store with no supervision and no threat of any kind. Many of the his subjects, plant and creature alike, perished because of his childish ways. This brought on the invasion, because there were so many dead that The Gardener lost the ability to reach and control the entire planet. There were vast gaps in his network and in these gaps the insects festered and multiplied. At first they fed on the dead and dying left behind, but eventually they had grown in numbers to the point that they devoured all of the dead and dying and began eating what was left of the living.

Before the Gardener even knew it most of the plants and creature had been devoured by the vast numbers of carnivorous insects. In a last ditch effort to survive the attack The Gardener miraculously produced and released a toxic pollen that quickly eradicated the invading hordes. But the damage had been done and a dark gloom enveloped the world for many centuries to come after that. Eventually the light succeeded in breaking through the gloom and re-awakened The Gardener.

Plant by plant, creature by creature he began reconstructing his world. Since almost everything was wiped out he had to create everything from scratch and from memory. He created small clones of himself and used those as a base to create all the other living things on the planet. It took many thousands of years for him to rebuild and reconstruct the world and much of it could not be restored so it was replaced by something of his own design.

Now a days he resides over his strange and beautiful world like a benevolent caretaker He strives to keep
everything balanced and in complete harmony with everything else, but he is very lonely.

There’s not likely to ever be another like him that he could share his world with, and he knows that. Unless….