With the Steampunque aesthetic in mind, the premise of the work is to create a scene with a half realistic / half cartoony look, similar to those found in many video games. The model represents the engine room of a retro submarine, similar to the watercraft commanded by Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's work.

The Concept

What if computers had appeared in Victorian England? And what about robotsí What could the world have become? It seems that these questions have already settled in the minds of many people with interesting ideas.
Inside the book The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, the term is exactly that: the computer was built from mechanical (not electronic) pieces during the nineteenth century in England. For some people, this was ground zero of
Steampunque literature.
At first, Steampunque was a literary genre, a sort of old fashioned science fiction dominated by techno-logical and historical speculation, usually associated with the nineteenth century and steam power.
Based primarily on works of authors such as Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Mary Shelley, the genre has many features in common with the Cyberpunque and Gothic genres.
The Steampunque genre influenced other kinds of art and became an imaginary complex with a clear philosophy containing concepts such as the enhance-ment of technology and mastery of it. This is usually represented by the inventors / technicians who, in many aspects, are quite similar to hackers (as they are represented in the Cyberpunque genre). This idea can be understood as in opposition to the way some think of how the technology industry and bureauc-racy dominates the world today, where an individual is just a number and knowledge of science is devalued. This ideal reinforces the importance of human potential, somewhat similar to the Punque ideal of DIY (Do It Itself).
Among the forms of art influenced by Steampunque are fashion, video games, including Thief and Bioshock, comics, such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and animations like 9. In the context of Japanese anime, the list is huge, including Steamboy, Full Metal Alchemist and Last Exile.
The Steam Side To give an antiquated look to the machinery, the first step was to create mechanical parts: gears, valves, pipes, tanks, coolers, air ducts, chains, bars and a metal door to populate the scene.
The valves were created from a path made in the open source Inkscape vector editor. The gears were constructedfrom cylinders, with teeth shaped by múltiple extrusions.

Building a Steampunk Engine-1.jpg

Furthermore, it was used with the Sub-surf modifier. The links of the chains are torus shapes modified by extrusion. The tubes were generated as Bezier curves and then converted to meshes to add some details.

Building a Steampunk Engine-2.jpg

The Punque side

To give a dirty, rusty and irregular look to materials, the textures were composed of bitmaps edited in the image manipulation program GIMP, mixed with procedural textures, influencing both color and intensity of the specular and diffuse reflections, as
well as normals.
The material of metal pieces were configured with stronger specular reflection than other elements of the scene. The walls have a bit of gross mirror reflection to give an appearance of moisture. The liquid on the floor uses transparency, reflections and various procedural “Cloud” texture combined on different scales.

Building a Steampunk Engine-3.jpg

Building a Steampunk Engine-4.jpg

Lighting, Composing and Rendering

The light sources of the environment was represented by “Point Lights” in various colors (strong red and yel-low, weaque green and blue) and a “Sun” to control the atmos-phere. Additionally, the “Ambient Occlusion”, “Environment Light” and “Indirect Light” options were alos used.
The “Defocus” node was used to create a small amount of DOF (Depth of Field) effect to simulate the behavior of camera's lens.
The rendering was done using the internal render in Blender 2.52, which tests showed is faster and produced a higher quality output than the production versión (2.49).

Building a Steampunk Engine-5.jpg

Building a Steampunk Engine-6.jpg

There are many parts to explore (and model) inside the submarine (it's a work in progress), and a possible next step is a future animation.