Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Fighting Robots

I'm writing this article to share how I will go through my thinking process if I were to design fighting robots.

It's always good to list down your design specs, the guidelines (usually set by your art directors or clients).
Usually before I went into creating silhouettes for my robots, I will brainstorm or construct a mind map on how my robots will function. Attached are two charts or simple keywords that I can think of. I will list them down and feel free to mix and match the elements to suit to my design specs.

It is my preference that I kinda know what I'm heading towards, so that I am more confident on the task and it helps me to see shapes, derives object that make sense from plain silhouettes.
Its always good to keep an open mind about possibilities. For example; Earthburrow robots that can teleport? How about mixing more than 2 elements? Mechanical birds type that swim? Robot penguins? It is advisable to do research on how things move. Chains, pulley system, hydraulics and etc. Usually just these 2 list can create almost unlimited amount of ideas. Let's look at the next chart.

Over here, I focus on lists that might give me ideas on the level 2 and 3 details (look wise) and how your robots attacks and possible weakness. Being a fighting robot, its going to be able to deal damages and also defend from attacks. How long can it attack and how can it detect it's foe.

The coolest thing is nature. Not only we can derive silhouettes from nature but also on how she works. How does the snakes detect prey? Smell, taste and even heat. What about vibration or even something simple like an eye that can detect any light spectrum (Eg; Predator).

Chameleons and octopus sometimes changes their skin color to blend into environment. This gives them the ability to avoid detection. Stealth planes are made with special material and shapes to make their radar visibility on enemies reduce to the minimal.

Now to the fun part. How does your robots fight? Well, we have the conventional way. Projectiles + Heat = Explosion. Most of our modern weapon belongs to this type. Using the chart above, what about chemical. Robots that throws acids? What other way we can use heat? What if the robot has a pincer that has a high heat strips inside and it melts the foe as it grabs. Just by cutting, we can have drills and slash. Punch or crush or it can propel (like a magnet) the foe to a wall to deal damage. They say that time, is the greatest destroyer or all things. Maybe the robot can throw the opponent into a time portal that causes the foe to deteriorate (rust, disintegrate) at a speed of 1000x faster than normal space time.

Usually I prefer to go for functions then the look. But its equally important. You do not want to have a walking water bottle that holds a knife. The above process, if you get it right, it helps you to generate silhouettes and simply anything can mean something to you. The most common problem people faces are when they have no idea what qualities their robots have.

Hope these help. Feel free to design your robots and if you like, can show it to me too!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Project Icarus

Project Icarus is my personal project since I am told not to do too much sci-fi stuffs. Being a sci-fi fan, I need an outlet. Icarus is going to be an on-going project even after I graduate from FZD. This name is based off a mythology figure, the son of Daedalus who uses technology to escape. He made a pair of wings using feathers and wax. He gave specific orders to his son not to fly too close to the sun. But his son got carried away. The wings lose the wax to hold the feathers, thus, Icarus plunged into the sea. So my concept revolves around high tech stuffs in the future and definitely going to have tons of 'mishaps' from over reliance of technologies.

Work done from time to time. Time spend ranged from 4 hrs to a day.

Portfolio Website

Portfolio website is up! Can take a look at my works there and I welcome all critics. Some quick paintings that I did from time to time. Try to keep it within 4 hours.

Most of these paintings I painted with an objective in my mind and most of the time I am pretty sure where they will fit in into my school projects.

Grad Show!

My batch's grad show is held together with our juniors from the 3rd batch. Gonna be held at FZD School of Design (200 Middle Rd, Prime Center, #16-01, Singapore) on the 12th and 13th of Nov 2010. Also to mention, my class blog is up with the help from our mentor Kingston. You can visit and take a look at our work there. FZD02

Did the banner for the class blog. Its been a year and it feels like a decade. Purposely choose band of brothers for the theme because I feel my class is really close to one another. 7 of us, went through all the hardships. Could be because I just watched cool films like Pacific and Band of Brothers. :/

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bots Design

Design fighting robots or mechas that can fight against each other. This is a very fun assignment. Most of us who grew up watching MazingerZ, Macross, Gundam and etc will love this. For my assignment, the background story for it is that in the future, human has the technology to build giant robots and they are still irresponsible in the handling earth's resource so much so that the Mother Earth, Gaia, decided to rid human off the surface of the planet. With this, she uses natural elements to create Sentinels. Basically the Sentinels are giant robots as well but uses natural elements like rocks and stuffs. But nature has a irony sense of human that is to use the human's own technology to fight human. Thus in my design, the Sentinels will have mechanical parts. I starts off with plain silhouettes and also quick but loose line thumbnail sketches. Kinda juggle between these two methods to see what I can come up with.


Throughout the course, Feng shared quite a bit of painting techniques with us. Also some quick way of applying colors or getting color palettes. 2nd paintings are done with greyscales already established then overlay with colors.

More Sketchings

Some sketches that I did during my term 2. In the term 2, all our drawings are to be done digitally. The straight lines (except for vertical and horizontal) have to be done free hand. No holding shift and anything else. I can only show what was done before week 5. All the sketches I did for the modules are for a commercial project. Thus, can't be shown here. The first image has to be done within 6 to 7 hours. Pretty rushy but the quality wise, I quite ok with it.