In class yesterday we were continuing with the Robot Character project by engaging in some group criticism/feedback. The goal was to narrow down which thumbnail to use moving forward. I think this is probably the most important thing in a creative field; being able to take constructive criticism and work with it to further develop an idea. It’s an extremely difficult thing to do, especially when you know you already aren’t the best artist, but I think our class is very supportive in that respect. They point out useful things to work on, as well as generate ideas that I personally wouldn’t have thought of.
There were a few people who quite liked the spider-like robot from my first lot of sketches, but I think the general consensus was to go with the At-At inspired, dog-like robot. There were various points of inspiration all melded into one drawing: I’d drawn the bulbous backside of it with Serenity from Firefly in mind:
And then, of course, the AT-AT look can’t go unnoticed. However, I wanted the “eye” to actually be more of a lens than something someone would sit in. The legs are chunkier, to account for the size of it (which, in my mind, was about 3 or 4 stories tall).
I thought the robot itself could be used in a more functional capacity, rather than fight like the AT-AT does. There aren’t any weapons on it, so perhaps there is a loading/unloading platform that comes down from its belly. It could be used to traverse difficult terrain or remain safe during adverse weather. I liked the idea that its “head” was attached to its body with pistons, probably bigger in width than an average human.
It was nice to hear the ideas Tony had for using this one, which actually ended up being his favourite, too. I’d previously been torn between this one and the spider-like robot, but I suppose having the teacher pick this one out just solidified my decision to move forward with its design instead. Tony suggested it be massive, perhaps putting a human in the shot to show its size, looking up at it in wonder.
Immediately that reminded me very much of the drawings we looked at by Simon Stalenhag – I commented about him briefly in one of my other posts when we started looking into making our own robots. I’d been looking through a lot of his work and I could remember there being a few that had the same sort of situation: the robot, larger-than-life, with a human or two standing beneath it looking upwards in wonder/horror/interest.
While I’m not even going to pretend I could create something as amazing as this, it does give me an idea of how I would like my final piece to look. The size of the robot takes up a majority of the piece, but there are elements of the human world that are so vivid and apparent, including the young boy right at the feet of the giant.
If we have enough time, I’m hoping that I’ll actually be able to quickly put together a simplified version of my robot in Maya or 3DS Max, so that I can use it to help me with drawing in perspective. I know Tony said that we could model our robots in 3D, but then apply painting/texturing in a 2D package. I think I’ll ask if I could model the robot, then use Substance Painter to texture the robot, which still exports the unwrap as a 2D file. If that’s not okay, then modelling it can still help me. I could then take a snapshot a the angle I want and then use it as a base to draw over in Photoshop.
Overall, I now have a direction and a chosen thumbnail, so after this it’s time to begin producing a final piece!