A material / modeling test. Based on photos of a nudibranch (a kind of underwater worm), the needles are extruded faces from a geosphere, then moved around. The material is a complex layering of procedurals, the only unique thing about it is how I mapped the color banding on the individual needles. I applied a vertex color of white to the tips of the needles. Then a grew my selection by 1, removed from that selection my original needle tips, assigned that a vertex color of grey, then inversed the selection, removed the needle tips again (hence, selecting the rest of the vertexes) and made those black. Now I had a smooth gradation from white to black along the length of the needles. I then used the vertex colors in the mapped slot of a gradient ramp to apply my gradient following the vertex colors, and then noised up the gradient. Rendered in Brazil with a little skylight and some soft subsurface scattering.