Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Drew Robots Then I Built A Robot

My final project for VIST 106 at A&M was pretty cool. We built human-sized sculptures which were grouped into themes like jungle, aquatic, sci-fi, etc. I got asked to join the "industrial/mechanical" group and about 5 seconds into the brainstorming we decided we wanted to sculpt a team of giant fighting steampunk robots.

Drawing inspiration from Big O, Power Rangers, and others, we formed our team with specific combat roles in mind. Think your typical D&D campaign. We had a heavy brute robot, a sniper robot, a rogue/assassin robot, an engineer robot, and even a mage robot. My robot was the valiant leader of the group.

Here are some pages from my sketchbook showing my creative process. Since I draw robots all the time this wasn't really work.

Above, I started with a rough silhouette to figure out the pose. The leader needs to show confidence, courage, etc. Though it didn't appear in the final product, I liked the wide legged stance. Very Kurosawa. The big sword with the saw blade stuck til the very end.

 Above I was working out design details, trying to figure out the steampunk look.

 Eventually I inked out this concept: adding gears was cool, and it was fun to explore the possibilities of the heroic sword. Unfortunately it all just looked menacing and cruel when I was done.

Once I had a general concept of what I wanted, I simplified the body and proportions until I had something I could actually build with my limited time and college-kid budget. I guess it became less evil-looking on its own, perhaps due to the pose:


...And there's the final project. I'll post more of the actual construction process later. Looking back, it's fun to see my process of working out a design for the robot.

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