The most recent P:R redesign contest theme was Shadowman, a superhero from the Valiant Comics universe, with super human powers based on voodoo concepts and magic (you can learn more about the character from clicking the link on his name to take you to the corresponding Wiki page) – the series even spawned a successful game on the N64, where the character was re-imagined as a guy with sunglasses and a skull-like mask protruding from his bare chest (this is the version I remember) – the original was very 80’s, with long black hair and a rock musician background (think The Crow, only less goth…) but the new design is pretty cool, with an all black SWAT-gear type costume and skull face-paint.
I wanted to keep this voodoo priest/skull look for my design, and extended it to a full head and neck job (partially inspired by my brother’s recent halloween costume) but I went even further by changing his whole costume into a voodoo-doll type thing, complete with ‘pins’, which are actually spears, knives and gauntlets made to appear that way. My design suggests his powers have become more magic-based too, as he can paralyse his opponents by muttering a special incantation, and plunging a ‘pin’ into a limb of his choice, disabling his enemy, but not himself (except when he pushes one into his heart – this will kill his target, but leave him comatose and vulnerable for days afterwards – only to be used in one-on-one fights) – this particular magic will only work when he is in possession of something previously owned by his victim (like hair for example).
Another thing he can do is wrap himself completely in his costume for protection/regeneration (this would come in particularly handy if he’d just pulled the pin-to-the-heart move) – this was meant to encourage the spooky voodoo-doll look, but I can’t help but feel it reminds me of The Scarecrow for Batman Begins… damn. The diamond shaped belt buckle is a simplified version of his logo, removing the man shape, but keeping the ‘3 horns of Bosou’ – perhaps suggesting a departure from humanity maybe…? (deep)
So this was fun, and ever since i’ve been working my ass off… I’ve got a day off tomorrow, but I have numerous commissions to do before I can draw anything I actually WANT to draw, and as it’s almost International Gift Exchange Day (or Christmas as you Christians like to call it) I’d better get on with them, as I need the money – no rest for the wicked as they say -sigh-
This weeks Lines Of Work theme was to redesign Robocop, inspired by the so-far unimpressive looking redesign photographed by paps at the shooting of the new Robocop reboot movie. This proved harder than I imagined at first, as it was difficult to modernise Robo without straying too far from his original, iconic design. My thoughts on the reboot design that there was not enough silver (in fact there was none) and while I reduced quite a lot of it in my own, it’s still there, and it really helps identify who he is I think.
There’s a lot in this design I DIDN’T include, as it was just taking far too long, and I have other things to work on – it’s strange though, once my brain got going on it I couldn’t seem to stop! Some parts were harder to get right than others – the shoulder pads for example, still don’t sit quite right to my eye. The wheels were hard too, but I’m pleased with how they came out – lots of mechanical men (and women) in the sci-fi world have little wheels that pop out of their feet (Iron-Man had them at one point) but rather than give him roller blades I wanted his legs to transform into ACTUAL wheels – I think they work quite well – they certainly make him look more nimble.
Anyway, as I said, I could go into way more depth on the design, so I’ll feature a little ‘Interview with the designer’ – which is of course, me – to fill in any gaps…
Thoughts from the designer, Dr Chris Saunders
The challenge with the new Robocop model was to create that balance between performance and personality, function and friendliness – the approachability of an automaton. The reason the original Robocop design was more popular as an law enforcement device, as opposed to the ED-209 for example, was not only that it was better designed (in my opinion) but also because of it’s human element – people could relate to it on a very basic level, it’s one patch of human skin showing on it’s jaw bridging that gap between cold hard steel and comforting human flesh. People trusted it, people got behind it – after some time it was even accepted into the Detroit Police force as an equal (although of course, it was far superior) and it was this likability factor I was encouraged to develop (after all, who wants to buy a product nobody likes?).
My first move was to create a more accessible face for the Robocop 2.1 design – his helmet now swings up to reveal a handsome face with minimal cybernetic enhancements to the actual face itself, and even a crop of hair on the front, top-half of his head (polls revealed that most people found the originals bald, stretched skin creepy) – this makes Robocop instantly more approachable and less menacing should say, someone simply want to ask for directions, or a sweet of granny wanting to report the theft of her handbag, or even a comforting look/reassuring smile for the crying rape victim (of course, if they were wearing my OCP funded, patent pending Chastity Belt 3000 it wouldn’t be an issue). he problem with having flesh on show however is that it’s vulnerable to explosives. fire and stray bullets, so the design features a series of retractible face plates for protection. The head also features a blue stripe and gold DPD shield as a nod to it’s fellow human police officers – it’s the little touches.
Another thing we did to keep this element of human interaction/acceptance was to include more of the original host’s personality in the Robocop 2.1’s system memory – this is made up of carefully selected memories, and desires/motivations revealed through the subjects initial psychiatric evalution, all vetted and approved my OCP – so that he is now able to laugh, so disgust, make jokes. In fact, more of his original digestive system was left in tact, so that he is now able to eat actual solids (again, polls indicated that the public feel police officers should be seen to eat doughnuts/hot-dogs – it’s just an image thing) and even ‘share a brew with the boys’ after a hard days patrol. Of course, alcohol and other solids are not processed in the same way as in human, and aside from a few essential vitamins and nutrients are broken in liquid waste, and passed through a new disposal unit located at the groin, developed by my associate Dr Win Ang. It was discovered that doing basic human things such as eating, drinking and going to the toilet not only help it to be accepted by it’s human co-workers, it also helps the mentality of the host itself – the process to cybernetic enhancement can be quite stressful on the brain, it’s amazing how much comfort it can take in the simple pleasures.
The Robocop 2.1 is modular in design, and many parts of it can be easily switched out and replaced if they are damaged, or if a larger, heavier weapon is needed – for example, at the moment we have a replacement left-arm unit that features a collapsable tri-pod and locking unit that houses a massive 50 caliber machine gun, with an ammunition pack that fits on the back of the Robocop 2.1 unit itself (not available in the standard pack). My proudest feature of the design are the wheels that can be activated for Pursuit Mode, but again they can be switched out into something that maybe more suitable (we are currently working on an aquatic prototype for the military know at the moment as ‘Roboseal’, but a similar device will probably be made available for the Robocop series). It also features OCP’s multi-purpose grenades, which can work as the standard grenade by holding the red button down on the top, and activating a 5 second timer that with explode when it is thrown/released. By clicking this button multiple time before it is held down, you can extend the timer by 5 second with each click. The explosive core at the bottom of the design can be removed, leaving a stun grenade that can be adapted into a smoke grenade by pulling back the timer section and allowing the phosphorus gas to escape before detonation. The explosive core meanwhile has a magnetic strip on the back, allowing it to be attached to another grenade for double the power, or for the entire grenade to become a mine, that can only be detonated by the Robocop 2.1 unit at a time of his choosing, at a distance up to 5 miles away!
The new Robocop is a human-friendly device able to patrol tirelessly, and cover almost any emergency a precinct might encounter. It’s amour and weapons make ideal for riot control, but it’s added ultraviolet enhancements enable it to investigate forensic police work too. It is tough, and our team are ready to repair any damages that might occur, and at the end of the day, unlike human police officers, it is expendable – why send a guy with a wife and two kids in to diffuse a bomb, when you can send the Robocop 2.1?
Dr Chris Saunders, PHD
Chief Scientist at OCP Robotics and Cybernetics division, OCP Headquarters, Detroit
And now a word from our sponser….
The Robocop 2.1 unit is available for pre-order now from OCP.com at only $1,499,999! That’s cheaper than a Race car! With it you get the Robocop unit, recharging station and a team of experts into your station to maintain the unit/repair any damages. If you order now, you can get 20% off our Flightpack extra (usually a further $500,000).
Alternatively, if you’re after something larger, with more powerful weapons as standard, why not check out the new QUADROPED-209 at the OCP online store now!
OCP – Building a better Future for Everyone*
*this does not include the destitute, the mentally unstable or the uncultured.
As promised, here’s a post including larger versions of my finished Fantastic Four costume redesigns, complete with the roughs that lead me there. Project Rooftop tweeted recently that the winner of the FF: FF competition will be announced soon, so good luck to all those that got their entries in on time 🙂
As always, click on the image to enlarge, this may help when trying to read my hastily scrawled notes, or if you want to look at one of the alternative FF logos or even just fancy a better look at Reed’s equipment… *cough* (warning: I forgot to resize one of the Invisible Woman roughs, as well as one of the Human Torch’s, so they’ll be quite large).
For my thoughts on the finished designs, or explanations to any thing you see here, please visit the original post, which you can find here: Q.U.A.R.C.S – everything should be covered, I went on quite a bit…
The FF Logo
It hasn’t really sunk in for me that University is now over… projects are “completed” (some may require some ACTUAL finishing) Assessment is over (I passed!) and my work is framed and currently hanging in the end of year show (I might do a blog post about that in my new blog… when I BUILD my new blog…) – but it doesn’t really FEEL like it’s all over. Having been to three Graduations already (none of which were mine) I’m well aware that not everyone goes… seems strange that apart from random encounters, I’ll never see some of my classmates again. While I never got to be as close friends to some as I would have liked to, I’ll miss you guys – good luck with all you hope to achieve 🙂
*ahem* Anyway, to celebrate the end of deadlines, and some actual time off before I start my job at Mecca (thrilling as THAT will be) I now have time to catch up on all the drawing I haven’t been able to do, including birthdays and anniversary cards (whoops!) I simply haven’t had time to do until now… but before all that, I wanted to draw Spider-Man 😛
I’ve had this design in my head for a few years now (see how long it takes me to get around to things) and I think it started to evolve in my head whilst I was watching an old episode of the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon. As awesome as it was (and still is in many ways) it was annoying me at how bulky they had made him – Spider-man should always be spindly, and light-looking in my opinion, like spiders themselves. I originally had planned this Spider-Man simply to be a mutant replacement for the original (maybe he had abducted the original… maybe he had been drafted in by S.H.I.E.L.D or something) simply called ‘Mutant Spider-Man’, but in drawing it I started to develop a proper character behind the ‘mask’ – a mutant named Facsimile; who’s mutant power enables him to replicate any superpower in his own, unique way (an interpretation of that power if you will). He is limited to one power at a time, and can’t successfully replicate weapons (such as Thor’s hammer) or machines (Iron-Man’s armour) to their full extent. There was more, but hopefully it won’t be years again until I get to draw him, or other superhero Facsimile forms (such as the Hulk), so I’ll say more about him some other time.
Here’s a few sketches showing him doing ‘whatever a spider can’ to demonstrate how the design works…
Incidentally, I’m attempting to build myself a website, so unless I can find a way to splice it with this blog, this could be the last time I post here – or at least when I post that I’ve successfully completed the website, THAT will be the last post – thanks so much to those that follow me, stay tuned for more ramblings; different web-time, different web-channel!
Some peeps on my course had taken some initiative over the summer and banded together to create a joint blog entitled WeDrawStuff – as soon as I saw it I thought it was a brilliant idea and I wanted in… which makes it a total mystery as to why it took me ALL SUMMER to join. Anyway, eventually join I did, and if you follow the link, there I am. unfortunately for me, I requested membership at the exact time they were experiencing a lull in ideas for the weekly topic, and therefore as part of my initiation, I not only had to come up with a topic, but also a banner to go atop the blog, to provide a theme. This was a little more than I had bargained for, but I eventually decided that what I would most like to do, is to redesign the London 2012 Olympic Mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville (who you can find out more about here) because I hate them. Well, ‘hate’ is a little strong, I don’t hate the designs, I think they are very bland and unimaginative designs that any first year Uni student could some up with – what I ‘hate’ about them is that SOMEONE got PAID to design them! Grrr!
So anyway, first thing first, I had to design a banner. As our countries International reputation was at stake, I went for a parody of the famous YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU World War 1 posters featuring Lord Kitchener, except with a moody teenager version of Britannia instead (I have no idea why I made her moody…) giving the finger, rather than pointing with one…
Lord Kitchener style poster – I had to re-arrange the lettering for the blog’s banner
Next came the task of designing the new Mascots themselves. The little praise the original Wenlock and Mandeville DID gain, were that they avoided any cliché’s – but when you’re looking for something to represent your country, I don’t think you SHOULD avoid clichés – you need familiar symbols and colours that people can rally behind and support – do you think if you told New Yorker’s they couldn’t use the Statue Of Liberty to represent their city as it was a massive cliché that they’d actually LISTEN to you?! Of course not! So I went with two animals that (despite one of them being a native african) are the definition of BRITISH – a Lion and a Bulldog. I had initially toyed with the idea of two native british animals, such as a fox and a badger, but they are very much country animals, and the Olympics will be in the middle of London, so if I wanted to go with relevant animals, I would have had to pick a Pigeon and a Rat, and I didn’t see how that would work (although if you visit the WeDrawStuff bog, you’ll see that Daisy managed to make it work just fine!) so I started with the lion character…
As you can see, designing the lion character proved the most problematic (click to enlarge), but after that the characters just spilled out of me….
Mandeville: Energetic Lion always keen to prove himself, he takes part in the running, relay, jumping and cycling events
Wenlock: Muscle-bound Bulldog who despite his gruff exterior, is a real team player. He’s a keen wrestler and takes part in the fighting, lifting and throwing events
Britanni: Graceful Spirit of Great Britain, who is determined and focused, and whose kind and caring nature often has to make way for the fiery temper she needs to employ to keep her pets Wenlock and Mandeville from being TOO competitive. She takes part in the dance, gymnastics and swimming events.
So there you have it, all three mascots. I decided to keep the names Wenlock and Mandeville, as they weren’t bad names, with good origins (see Wenlock and Mandeville link above for more details) and besides, Much Wenlock is right next to where I used to live, so it had sentimental value for me. I also kept the Olympic-Rings-as-arm-bands idea from the original design, as other than the names, they were the only part I actually liked. The third character Britanni (I really hate that name, but it works so well) was simply a way to tie everything together, and provide a ‘little girl friendly’ mascot that could be bought alongside the more macho Wenlock and Mandeville, pleasing a bigger audience, and creating more money for me muhahah! The final image of them all together is below, featuring a whole bunch of new tricks I’ve just learned on Photoshop, and I’m really pleased with it 🙂