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Create a robot concept

Keith Thompson runs you through the process of creating a robot concept design, from sketches to final touches...

For this workshop, I’m going  to guide you through a traditional artistic process involving pencil on paper, through to the digital process – using Photoshop – to create a robot concept. Note that the specific artistic techniques used in the following would simply be one way to come to something closely resembling the finished result. This is just the best way for me.

The initial step in any concept design  is often nebulous and regrettably hard to detail, it being an idiosyncratic process often unique to the artist. There are two common approaches to the conceptual realisation of your design, and these are applicable to cases where you have a detailed brief or a completely open slate to work with.

One is the on-paper shotgun effect, where you put down a rapid series of thumbnail sketches, often simple silhouettes, and begin to home in on areas that catch your eye. Another approach is to obsessively roll detailed images around in your mind’s eye for a period of dedicated time before laying down a single, definite thumbnail sketch to ensure that the visual imagery is working. The latter technique is how this particular design will be created.
For this robot concept, a time and setting has been decided upon: a relatively near future in a post-nuclear war Europe. Despite no background or additional elements, this environmental concern will run as an undercurrent through the appearance of the robot. The robot itself would match its setting with a bleak, worn and muddied impression.

From issue 21.

Click here to download the full workshop for free (PDF)
Click here to download the support files (13.98Mb)
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