View Full Version : Weekly Challenge #9-1 Steampunk: gauss
05-08-2005, 09:59 PM
edit: so a bit of clarification: these are both robots. not zombies. how so? well, instead of doing my same-old again for this contest, i decided to think about what the criteria for what makes a robot a robot. specifically, challenging ideas about material choices. robots need not be made predominantly out of metal... and there are several far more interesting scenarios that alternative materials present.
these robots have been built to utilize orthodox materials: dead bodies. again, they are not zombies nor cyborgs, they are fully dead as far as the human component. but the deranged inventor who made them was a... disturbed man to say the least.
the first robot was built out of the corpse of long held enemy, to forever mock and desecrate his corpse. the inventor substituted weights into his coffin at what should have been the man's proper burial, and brought the body back to his 'lab'. using preservatives, formaldehyde or what have you, the inventor hollowed out the man's corpse and installed a robot 'brain', engine and the like. so the robot that shambles about his outer gates rather harmlessly (with a number '1' scrawled onto the now worn paint) is not a zombie, but a robot with dead man parts.
which is frankly a little more disturbing in my mind /images/graemlins/smile.gif
the second is Leslie Anne (points to anyone who catches the reference to a song), which is a newer robot that incorporates the bones of the inventor's dead sister. i really wanted to move into some edgar allen poe type territory with this one--again, swapping out the body with weights at her funeral, the inventor carefully cleaned the bones of his sister. once properly bleached, he built his most advanced robot chassis yet--built it to accomodate most of the major bones of his sister's skeleton. the skeleton itself provides no support, no actual motion; the robot bits fused to the bones are what do all the work. much as he did the first robot, he cut open her skull to place a robot 'brain'. but unlike his great enemy whose body is a part of a sad, shambling robot that he cares nothing for, the robot with which he installed his sister's bones he truly does believe is his sister, albeit... changed.
now Leslie Anne, the robot attached to his sister's bones, keeps the deranged inventor company. between her ribs no longer beats a heart and set of lungs, but a convenient selection of dusty tomes, so that the inventor need not travel all the way to his library. the robot plays with uncanny grace a Stroh Viol, (an actual instrument, more info on them here (http://www.ohek.co.uk/instruments/stroviols.htm) ), which was his sister's instrument.
05-08-2005, 11:18 PM
you are sick and twisted. the mad dr. monahan at work again..
really great stuff. love the rendering on the sister bot. though i think your cheating a bit fading off into black there /images/graemlins/tongue.gif she gives me the feeling of an angel of death heralding the coming of the apocalypse.
the first one is really great too but the bright orange eyes bother me for some reason. they look too alive or something, not 'i seem to be made to suffer' as C3P0 said. i think it's the black pupils. maybe deaden them up a bit with some milky white overlay?
05-09-2005, 07:00 AM
Nice ones there gauss. I dig the first more than the second, mostly for the rendering quality.
I think ultimately these don't read as steam punk. All the mechanical parts are so fine and well machined, that it seems more like mecha, or more modern day. I know when I think steampunk and steam era, the larger, clunkier components come to mind.
Nice work all the same. http://www.drackett.com/drackett_graphics/SNUGGLE%20%20BEAR%20LOGOw.jpg
05-09-2005, 08:48 AM
These are both good, i like the sister quite a bit better tho. I love the little back story and the fact that you didnt do the typical boring steampunk stuff that i think we've all seen you do 10 million times before, the creativity and thought you put into these is really impressive. I really dont see what poop is saying about the first having a better rendering quality, to me it looks more like the first is still WIP while the second is a throughly polished piece.
05-09-2005, 11:06 AM
Gauss: Quite the original concept! I will confess however to being slightly dissappointed.
I agree with Poop that upon inspection, neither of these scream "SteamPunk" to me. Also, the 2nd one, while is has a slightly superior composition, its rendering makes it seem rather flat (2 dimensional). The torso & dress in particular.
Good use of color on the 1st, and fantastic job articulating your stories visually.
I think another 45mins or so on the top piece cleaning up your rendering, adding some needle guages or valves would help sell the idea for me.
05-09-2005, 02:34 PM
Man, if I'd known "Leslie Anne" was your go-to name I would've stayed up later.
05-09-2005, 02:58 PM
well i appreciate the good comments and the crits.
snemmy: on sister, the black around the edge is a roundabout way of referencing the way those old black and white photos faded out toward the edges. i didn't want to do the whole thing in black and white, but some sort of nod to the period (and a way of helping the atmosphere) i thought was appropriate.
as far as corpsebot, i understand your comment, but just because there's a relatively innocent robot in there doesn't mean he still doesn't look the part of being absolutely horrifying /images/graemlins/smile.gif he was built to scare, eyes particularly.
poop: i can see what you mean, personally i do feel that the first as-is works better than the second because it's less stilted, has a lot more life in it. but i plan to keep working on the second, i ran out of time toward the end of last night and rushed a few things. i think i'll have a more properly polished look which, while it still wont be the same as how the first one is finished, will look a lot more consistent (especially in terms of lighting).
and as far as the steampunk comment goes, i can see where you're coming from. but frankly 'steampunk' as a visual/literal genre is rather poorly defined... and if those are your criteria for what you consider steampunk, then i'm happy not to call this steampunk.
first of all, the association with clunky, overt mechanics flies against victorian sensibilities particularly. before industrialization truly took over in the early 20th century, machines were still made with a craftsman's touch; filigree and the like. especially given that these two bots are uniques, and not factory built. basically, the whole idea of retrofuturistic technology such as this is pretty absurd anyhow; i fail to see how me not exaggerating proportions or adding the stereotypical big mechanical underbite would improve these pieces or make them seem more 'authentic' steampunk, when there are very few examples of steampunk character designs that i have actually liked at all.
that being said, who said this isn't a little more modern day? /images/graemlins/laugh.gif when i designed Churchill it was actually meant as a contemporary design of Boomer, which was clearly a futuristic robot. now i tend to think of Churchill (as well as these robots) as being built near the beginning of an alternative version of the early 20th century.
EQ: thanks, that's exactly what i was trying to do... explore some different territory for 'steampunk' (whatever the shit that silly word means). thanks. Touchhhdown /images/graemlins/smile.gif
Scoob: thanks, my response to poop pretty much addresses my thoughts on the subject of how 'steampunk' they look. i think those expectactions for what steampunk is like is just a recipe for stale design, and steampunk is weak enough as it is.
however! you've rightly caught the rendering problems with the second one. i was rushed a little too much and where i was able to bring up certain areas to my liking, other areas got horribly rushed over (like the skirt). i think i'll put in another hour or more possibly until i'm really happy with it. i was just trying to keep the sunday deadline somewhat seriously /images/graemlins/smile.gif
samp: quiet, you! let's hear your suggestions for dead sister robot, mr.... name-having-man!
This would definitly fit into a more macabre steampunk flavor, and I think is a good diversion from the standard tic-toc boiler plate monkeys (like the one I'm making).
I'd say that they could both use some more exposed inner workings to show that they indeed have some sort of contraption moving them, but meh, this is a minor point.
good game gauss, go get girls
05-09-2005, 04:51 PM
The second one is SICK man..
The first one is really nice too, but u messed up the proportions a little.
Ye if it bothers you and you think about incorporating more steam stuff, you could try and organically play with sekelton, make the head for instance an entire organic receiving-air-with-tubes thing that produces music. Kinda andrew jones style.. gotta dig his stuff /images/graemlins/wink.gif
05-09-2005, 06:41 PM
Both gorgeous concepts. I must say I enjoy watching your skill increase gauss.
05-10-2005, 07:00 AM
05-11-2005, 12:34 PM
I am working on a model right now of a robot built to look similar to a human cello player except with a robot head, maybe we could play a duet, he is wearing a stylish tuxedo. Gonna pimp soon.
I got the idea when I was trying to think of a steampunk robot, its super-neato that we both had similar ideas. I love both these paintings btw, but I prefer the subject of the second one and the style/rendering of the first.
05-11-2005, 01:52 PM
Not sure why you edited your post, Poop. I agreed with you, and it's fine to criticize. These concepts barely depict the philosophy of steampunk, and appear to be a random mix of themes. Although the artistic side of Steampunk is hard to find without modern interpretations, or the trendy exhaust pipes and thin jointed limbs. Gauss' images are kinda spooky.
Remember: gauss' website portray's the he knows MORE than enough of the steampunk style/genre he could probably write a book on it. I like the fact that gauss is reaching with this one. I very much so like this and glad to see it.
When I saw the theme I figured gauss would chime in with something, only I Had expected to see some of the same from his site - was refreshing to be surprised.
Keep it up G:)
Don't listen to the crits gauss they're just jealous. A creepy render. The back stories are great.
Steampunk for me, conveyed a high craftsmanship and quality. I think that these concepts fit into that definition.
05-17-2005, 11:01 AM
I very much love the boney man, I'm not really into the other one. I get the vibe that some are saying here but it really does fit into the steampunk thing of things for me, and for lots of others, so thats fine and dandy. I reckon that Gauss has challenged himself, can't wait to see what model pops out of this.
05-17-2005, 02:55 PM
Just now found this. UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE!!
And thoroughly successful in conception and execution. Just goes to show you that a solid backstory is half the work. Inherently creepy and solidly placed within the genre, very much in the Poe/M. Shelley branch of the Weird Victorian Science area. Something familiar about both of these, I would guess that there's something very Guillermo Del Toro going on here as well. I think the 'inventor's sworn enemy' detail rings so true for the intended time period.
There is an actual book called Steampunk (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568581025/qid=1116366283/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-0570879-8821667), and I haven't read it, but I know that Paul Di Filippo is one of the '-punk' masters. He would be totally behind this, especially the dead sister with the obscure Industrial Revolution-era instrument.
Go, Gauss. You hit it dead center.
05-17-2005, 03:48 PM
Ok, we get the point. Gauss is beyond Steampunk and a god. So who's going to design from these concepts before deadline?
Some people are trying to work on this months challenge so we can have another afterwards.
06-06-2005, 02:18 PM
It's not that obscure actually:
The horn is used to carry the sound further, and you often see streetmusicians sporting it (well, often i say... more than once a year /images/graemlins/wink.gif)
It has a pretty cool sound, actually.
Gauss: top notch work!
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