Creating Robots

After finishing the portraits, we were introduced to a new concept: creating robots from a vehicle. Tony tasked us with finding a vehicle we might see some potential in, so of course I chose a personal favourite vehicle of mine.


This is the War Rig from the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. I could already see plating in the metal tank, the body from tyres and the broken cars on top, as well as a face in the grill on the front…

Using the lessons we’d learned in the past, I used layers to create a frame, actually starting by seeing what the magic wand would grab when I clicked on the tanker. It ended up looking like a skeletal torso down to the pelvic bone, so I began with that.

I then began picking apart the different pieces of the war rig using the lasso tool, seeing which shapes could fit best where and utilising the tyres as a central “spine” in the middle of the robot.

Keeping the picture of the War Rig handy on a separate layer at all times was very useful. I found rotating the picture to different angles helped me see and pick out different parts that I could use as body parts or just layer in for extra detail. I decided a bipedal robot was the best design, since the vehicle itself is quite long.







Some of the robots actually remind me what Iron Giant looked in the 1999 film by the same name.








We were also introduced to a Swedish artist by the name of Simon Stalenhag, who is known for his realistic paintings of robots in the real world. Tony showed us a couple pieces of Stalenhag’s work, one of which I’ve set as the featured image for this post, just because I love the reality/fantasy contrast in it, with the kids climbing the robot like a jungle gym.

Of course, there are many other sources of inspiration for these sorts of robot designs; the biggest being Transformers, who of course start off as vehicles or everyday machines and transform into robots, designed to convert the parts into their bodies. Funny enough, I think Real Steel had a lot of the same sort of rough and rugged designs to their robots, where it looked like pieces of other machinery were slapped together to make a whole robot.

I think this task was a really good one, where it had me thinking about all sorts of other video game robots and how they may have started out, or what parts they were inspired from. There are also almost infinite possibilities with all the kinds of machines and vehicles you could pick out there and alter. Even doing what Stalenhag does and using them as a base and then painting over them for a smoother look is a great idea.


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