Remember this guy? I’ve made some additions and modifications. [Note: you SHOULD be able to click on any of the images to see a larger version in a new tab, if you’re using a computer, that is.]
Working on the legs. It’ll have probably more than two, not sure about 3 or 4. You first design one, and then simply duplicate it as needed. The pose is just testing out the movement of the joints. It has a wide possibility of movement.
I put a lot of thought into the design of the joints. I wanted it to be conspicuous and plausible how they worked. I’ve already “rigged” them, which means I’ve assigned relations between them so it’s easy to pose. So, or example, if I move the shoulder the whole arm moves, and so on down the joints.
The legs tuck up on the underside of the droid.
I haven’t finished the ends of the legs, obviously. Each will have a kind of foot — even if it’s just a spear — so that the droid can walk if need be, as well as a specific tool.
Here’s another angle.
And from a distance.
The head, 5-gun cannon, and eyes can also move. [By the way, this is all what’s known as “vanilla Blender”, which means I’m not using any of the add-ons that make hard-surface modeling a lot easier, and all one to tack on all sorts of bells and whistles.
I altered the cavity that the, uh, laser or photon guns are housed in so that they can swivel to a full downward position (here depicted midway].
Some things are just design details, like the L-shaped panel on the leading wing-shapes. When working on the design I think about what is an elegant solution. Here, we just have a panel for accessing the inner workings of the droid, but the angles remind me of vintage European sports cars.
The whole droid is reminiscent of many things: 50’s American cars (in addition to the European variety), Futurama, jumping spiders, cuttlefish, Cylons, vintage tin robot toys… I didn’t set out to infuse the droid with my own grab bag of references and associations: it just naturally unfurled in that way. Lots and lots of people make robots of all kinds using 3D modeling software, and it’s hard to do anything at all original, but I think by the time I’m done this droid might be something that only I would have come up with.
It even has personality.
I really enjoy working this way. I’ll go to bed and envision different possibilities of how to engineer it, or imagine it in a battle. Usually, when doing visual art, most my energy is directed at the process of rendering the image. Here, that’s pretty much done for me. But this frees me up to be creative in a myriad of other capacities, like figuring out how the hell to make collapsible legs for a droid, or what the droid’s purpose is.
Aesthetics still play an enormous role, but more on the design, concept, and “engineering” end of the spectrum.
Stay tuned to see how our droid develops.
~ Eric Wayne
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