Long time no post. Anyway, I decided to post some of the conceptual work I did for an announced project.
These are just a few of the many exploratory sketches I did for a huge space station design. I usually do speed paintings like this to establish shape language, mood and get a general feel for the subject matter. I will post the finished design in another post soon.
Hi folks! I decided to do a little step by step on my design process. A big thanks goes to Anthony Jones, this man is a great inspiration to me.
Intro: I always begin with an idea and a little backup story. Without it, it’s all a random act of technical display. For this piece I chose a subject that I explored too little (until now) – robot heads. I imagined a security robot and invented a little back-story for it. I tried to come up with a cool design and also to display some visual cues about the functionality features and the universe in general. During the brainstorming I do self art direction, choosing reference material according to the theme.
__________________________2) From shape to form, I start defining the edges and planes. This stage is critical to the design. The visual language is composed of slick rounded forms and flat planes. I am aiming to show forms that are rounded because of two reasons: a) in my little context story this robot is used in interior spaces (hospitals, banks, office buildings, malls) and it must not look too oppressive. Although not a brawler or roughneck, it should communicate a mix between the classical police enforcer and the polite, at-your-service bureaucrat. How do I do that? Using a ‘dance’ of rounded edges and flat planes: strong, vertical frontal plane tamed by curved, sleek sides. Oh…and trends are also important :) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3) It is still looking like an angry dog, and that will be addressed soon. I am almost done with the light material, pretty happy with it as a big form. This will change a little as I refine, but the big landmarks have been established. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4) I started with detailing the dark material into forms. I am thinking of design and functionality. This isn’t just a mask, like the light material, this is actually the bits that allow for movement. I will render this into a plastic-techy material, like a smart rubber. I find this to be an ideal solution for aesthetic reasons (it’s rubbery, soft and dark, contrasting to the shiny hard, metallic mask) and functionality (it’s flexible, allowing for bending). ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5) Rendering. From now on it’s more exploration and detailing, while molding the piece into a coherent mass of pixels. That means I am looking for ways to make the character tell a story (or at least give hints) through details. As you can see, I changed the frontal plane to something more rounded, taming the angry, blocky look. I added a soft part resembling a nose, as I wanted to make it a little more human. That change in the dynamic of the lines turned our robot into a more calm, neutral individual. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 6) I changed the temple area into a more complex system. I made that decision because there already were two big, simple light areas around it. This way I introduced more visual balance. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 7) More details. As you can see, I am moving from big shapes to small, while trying to maintain a balance between simple areas and condensed details. Hinges, straps, lids, structural stamps, screws and bolts, these are all great space fillers and also add functionality and authenticity to the design. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 8) This step might look somewhat redundant, but actually it is very important: reestablishing the light source. During the design a lot of the initial form might get flat due to constant exploration and brushwork. After I am happy with the overall design, I do this extra light pass, to reinforce those areas, insinuate more 3d into the piece and show more materiality through specularity. Also, I take a break because the next step is crucial and i need to tackle it with fresh eyes. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 9) Finishing the head. Phew! After careful consideration, I add a final pass of detailing, establishing the personality of the ‘face’ Neutral look, neither, threatening, too friendly, dumb or smart. I add more complexity to the ‘chin’ and ‘mouth’ areas to contrast with the big grey eye-resters on the left. Remember I was talking about 3 materials, on of them being lights? Finally, here it is. I think they are a good indicator for 3 things: technology, stance and aesthetic. The default stance in my depiction is orange – right between green (friendly, assistance) and red (hostile, threatening). Also, it serves the purpose of the robot “Behave, I am dangerous!”, as the yellow/orange + black color scheme is used in nature by wasps, hornets, poisonous frogs and reptiles. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 10) Finally, I painted the torso, for better framing and pose. Also, it adds to the personality. Same proportion rules, same visual language, alternating between materials, rounded areas with hard surfaces. Same process. Voila!
Afterthoughts: in the presentation image I added some stickers, more details and changed the torso a little bit to make the robot bulkier and give it more resolve. Traps and deltoids, that’s the trick ;)
I hope this will be helpful for some of you. It’s in no way academic or a ‘must do’ process, it’s just how I am doing things. I will follow up in the future with more processes and case studies, in which I’ll talk more about design, aesthetics and “why did you do that and not the other thing?” situations. Cheers!
Mi-am imaginat un univers paralel in care Romarm a renuntat la productia obisnuita si a sarit in secolul XXII. Context: Regimul politic e din ce in ce mai restrictiv, asta in timp ce tensiunile sociale cresc. Milioane de romani isi vad suljbele amenintate de noii roboti umanoizi. Acestia nu au liber arbitru, nu necesita salarii, concediu sau hrana, si in plus au un AI care le permite sa ia decizii simple atunci cand nu sunt comandati direct. Societatea sta pe un butoi de pulbere care aminnta sa explodeze intr-o varsare de sange. ROMARM, producatorul national de armament, tocmai a primit din partea statului comenzi pentru noii boti de securitate dezvoltati in laboratoarele de la Cugir si Sadu. Schimbarea a inceput in forta. 8O
Some recent work I did for the game Starpoint Gemini 2, from LGM Games. The concept was a remote space station. It was supposed to function as a self-relying entity, like a city in space with different districts. I chose to go with a circular design for two reasons: a) in order to produce gravity you need rotation b) I wanted to have the look of a calm, serene outpost, a place where ships can dock and their crews spend time between trading or fighting. As for the technical aspects, I started doing a 3d model because of the sheer scale of the station and the necessity to have various angles to see it. There is no up or down in space, so basically an object can ‘sit’ in any perspective. Below are some basic renders from the finished 3d model. In the end I chose one that showed the entirety of the station and did an overpaintig.