Art: Detailing Robotics and Machines
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Thread: Detailing Robotics and Machines

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    Detailing Robotics and Machines

    I'm having some issues with drawing technical looking machines and robots. The problem I have is that I simplify everything and when I'm drawing the item, it looks horrid. I realise after that it's not that bad, but I still need to get past this deatil block.

    How do you, my fellows, make your robots and machines (and vehicles) look detailed?

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    ..draw the details?

    heh
    not shure what you mean, can you specify?

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    What I mean is, "how do I make it look detailed?'"

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    Search for good reference photos and make some studies of mechanical elements. If you start a picture first draw simple forms than addd more and more details, try to imagine what you can add and look at your studies for typical machine parts or something.
    It's good to look at some cartoon stuff, search for anime mecha designs, theay are not too complicated and you can bild up on them very good.

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    NERNIES. That's the word you are looking for. The extra fluff, made up detailed bits and peices of whatever that end up making mechanical stuff actually look mechanical are referred to as Nernies.

    As for how to come up with them, look at all of the tech drawings you admire and get ideas. Also try to think about how it is your machine works. Actually design it. Think about its intended purpose, what it can do, what obstacles it might run into, how your design would overcome them, how it interacts with its environment, etc.

    Take pics of stuff that looks technically cool to you and figure out how to incorporate that into your design, and then before you know it, you start to have something.

    So take that something and put it away for a week, and then go back and redo it and then you'll really have something.

    ~S

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    is there a tutorial or a collection of nernies that are typically used that I can use as reference so I can get a better idea of where to start?

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    check out the concept art of The Matrix. That artist (I forget his name) does MAD detailed pieces.

    EDIT

    His name is Geoff Darrow.

    Last edited by glikster; March 1st, 2006 at 04:22 PM.
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    Didn't found a tutorial but some good pictures:
    http://www3.mb.sympatico.ca/~isamu/TA-17%20Raiden.jpg

    http://gundam.anime.net/images/mecha/FA-010S.HMC.GIF

    there were much more, just search with google for mecha or something like that.
    Not sure is this is what you're looking for but maybe it helps.
    If you want some very good mechanical references have a look in the star wars concept design book, all the machines, vehicles and robots are explained there.

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    Will do. I've got a book "Essential Guide to Vehicles..." for StarWars. Maybe that'll help.

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    HunterKiller_ is offline Registered User Level 15 Gladiator: Spartacus' Hoplomachi
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    Personally, i think adding details bits and pieces to machines very easy, just make up a whole lot of nuts and bolts and wiring, techy stuff, but creating it so that it makes sense and fits, like in StarWars, that's a different story.

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    Shiznak ya'll. Okay, I seem to be safe for now. I did a bit with simple shapes and used dividing lines with nernies in them and nernies against the negative space inside the shape. Had some fun with building on the shape as well, adding more and then connecting them. Thanks for the help dudes.

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    "Greeble" look into that as well

    check this for more info
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble

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    Well, I've actually to thank yo gusy. Your tips have let me advance quicker than I expected. When I get a chance I will post the results (You've got to remember I'm still in secondary school arts, so it won't be spectacular.)

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    You have to look at what you drawing as shapes. Everything in the free world is made up of shapes from massive detail to the simplest form. Also light verses dark. Simple highlights in a dark area can give you something that (looks) like it has a ton of mechanics involved, but really doesnít..

    You donít need to go in and draw every part. Not unless your drawing a piece for an instruction manual. Which I guessing your not. Anyway I drew a few arms to show what Iím talking about. I know there a ton of people on these boards that could help you much more than I, but I hope this helps.

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...roedge/Arm.jpg

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    I'll try to post for you guys what I've done, from the past few days, tomorrow.

    I've been working on one style of ship design. I build up layers of rounded out polygons. As I do that I try to think of what the parts could possibly be. Then I distinguish the layering of the shapes and fill in with panels (the "greebles"). After a bit more of the last two I add some more to the shapes and put in whatever landing bays and docks and bridges and whatever. And windows. Windows make the world go round.

    The last one I did kind of lost it's purpose and just looks like some generic crap. It is pretty good crap though. My first good one was what I called a "mobile monitoring station"

    It's a three legged mech with an open cockpit and monitoring sensors.
    You'll get to see it soon.

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    There is only a day's difference between the first sketches in colour and the rest of the sketches.







    I would like if anyone could provide creative feedback. I am going to really need help with developing perspective sketches of ships using the same sort of shape-layering that I have been doing.

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    First of all, your examples are all side views, which will not let you get into any views that have much depth or 3D substance. It gets hard to tell what's close and far from the viewer if everything is like ... orthographic.

    Try drawing a box in two point perspective, and then cutting it up in two pieces.

    Try the same with a ball.

    Like one guy said. Nernies are for the most part silly extras. Most nice machine parts and wholes are about the form being an interesting volume, be it sleek curvy and perspective defying or organic-shaped or tied up in wire cables or whatever.

    If you look at Scott Robertson's work you'll also see that it's not only about shape when you are doing a cool pic it's about camera placement -- if you are just looking blank onto the side, then you lose a lot of drama. High angle, low angle, close to the nose, trailing in its dust.

    Finally, depending on the size of your machine (yours look pretty big) you won't see details often on really large things ... well, it all depends.

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