ANIM 623: Beginning of Final Project

I now officially have the coolest master's program a nerd like me could ever ask for. My introductory Maya is essentially going to be a series of exercises that will culminate in the creation of a short animation at the end of the semester. As such, our semester-long project is going to apparently include a robot doing something. How cool is that?

This week we were assigned to develop our robot ideas and sketch them out. Later those sketches will be used as reference images to build upon. I like sketching digitally for projects like this, so a majority of my sketches were done with a graphics tablet. By sketching all in one file on different layers, I can get the size I want and keep all the sketches organized in one file. It is quite convenient. My starts with drawing the rough forms using a digital 10% marker tool on the canvas. If I like what I come up with, I then switch to a pen tool and add the detail on another layer. That way, I can turn off the marker if I want to render it all out.

I started off doing a lot of drawings of technical killer space robots. I have a thing for making autonomous death machines. I liked the floating panel look of this one.
This guy was intriguing in just how massive he was, but I needed to explore something else.
This was a clever idea, sort of inspired by the movie Nine. However, I started moving back towards killer robots.
You can tell that I'm studying anatomy, can't you. Eight heads tall. This concept was intriguing, but I wanted to try going back to the floating panel look.
This was a take on the I, Robot design. However, this direction was making it all seem like some sort of creepy alien and less like a robot.
I took a drastically different approach and tried drawing a mini-mech. I've always like the predatory look of the reversed knees, but decided that I shouldn't try this on my first attempt in Maya.
Bleagh.... don't look at this one.
Starting to go more massive now.
I liked this idea of having these big cans at the end of each extremity. It seemed to give the drawing a much more robotic feel.

I liked the contrasting proportions of the limb members in this design, but it just didn't really have soul to it as it was... plus it kind of looked like Gizmoduck.
I had to go to institute and didn't want to stop sketching, so I brought along my sketchbook and set about to doodling a page while listening to the lesson. That's when I drew a little thumbnail that I fell in love with.
So I set about to make a larger scale of the thumbnail and this is what I came up with. I was leaning heavily toward a steampunk style with this one, which, oddly enough, really appealed to me. So I decided on this character to work with for the semester.
Finally, I did an illustration for him, front and side. I can then use these images as a reference while modeling in Maya. Next, I believe, is to model him up and get him textured. After that, I'm going to need to set him up for animation, which should take a bit of time. Look at all those little parts. He is a jovial character, though, and I think I will have fun trying to make him come alive.


Adam said...

"I have a thing for making autonomous death machines"

That explains a lot...

P.S. I like the guy you came up with. He looks like he could be my friend.

Elder Max and Sister Pat said...

You know I will like him. I especially like the eyes. They have feelings.
Many of the other robots remind me of your early sketchbooks and doodling during church and classes. :-)