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Robotic Modeling/Design Workflow Advice

So I’ve been overtime, working on this one project on and off for awhile. Primarily because, I’m a little confused on the overall workflow. 

The project is a futuristic robotic horse carriage (right now it’s just the robotic horse) when I was looking for concepts and ideas I found this idea severely lacking and underwhelming but, I did find some cool concepts of other animals in robot form so I used them along with horizon zero dawn ideas, Vitaly B was a big source of inspiration, and most importantly a lot of horse anatomy. Even though I’m not rigging and animating I still want it to “feel” like it could move fluently.

now that I’ve pretty much got all the basic shapes and forms of the plates I keep hitting a wall in the design. I’ve looked at most art, I read robotic design books, I asked from advice from one of my friends who is a mechanical engineer, I’ve went it to Zbrush once more to quickly iterate some ideas, failed, and repeated this process over, over, and over. Right now I’m taking a step away from it, busy with other projects and I just needed a breather.

whats happening is that I can’t seem to connect what I’m seeing and reading of other works to my own creation.

For instance the panels in a lot of areas aren’t tightly lipped together, and you can see in the cracks, this was the first issue I started noticing.
Two approaches I starting seeing were as followed

When looking and hard surface characters for instance I saw a lot of armor design have plates and a black fabric underneath it all.

secondly if you look more at a mech design, and after awhile of observing I noticed this was closer to what I was going for at a basic level, these design have a more “blocky” design, bigger forms connect together.

i tried merging the two ideas together because I wanted there to pieces under the plate in areas like the legs you could see kind of easy like hydraulics, struts and what not which kind of resembled the mech approach but in other areas on the body I need/had to put something because if not the whole think looks hollow, and I figured the armor approach using a “black” mesh underneath. Well I can’t seem to connect it all into a good overall design.

second issue I’m struggling with seeing other concepts and applying them to adding the high detail on plates, etc. just small stuff that give it that extra touch. I know about the 70/30 ratio rule and all. At first I wanted it to be insanely intricate but I started wanted to go for that simplistic yet cool look sci fi look and I feel like I fall brain dead when trying to reproduce on something that’s my own.

like I said Vitaly Bulgraov style is what I most wanted to “replicate” I guess is how you would say it? I don’t want to flat out copy him but, I mean I wanted someone who also enjoys his work to look at it and be like “oh hey, this guy takes inspiration from Vitaly” In the 3D world he is a big role model for me, his interviews and work has helped me a lot get over some mountains of self doubt and anxiety. 

I know all of this seems like rambling rather than straightforward questions I just really need someone’s advice. Any advice on hard surface design, mechanical workflow, anything. I would appreciate.

And I know I know, maybe I know a little to late but, I know concepting something completely original and on top of that concepting something this complex is not a easy feat. 

Replies

  • Eric Chadwick
    Did you post a pic? I'm not seeing it.
  • Panupat
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    Panupat polycounter lvl 12
    While waiting for your pic, check out the videos posted here. Very good source of insight. https://polycount.com/discussion/comment/2707698/#Comment_2707698

  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    @jdellinger98 said: ...Vitaly Bulgraov style is what I most wanted to “replicate” I guess is how you would say it? I don’t want to flat out copy him but, I mean I wanted someone who also enjoys his work to look at it and be like “oh hey, this guy takes inspiration from Vitaly” In the 3D world he is a big role model for me, his interviews and work has helped me a lot get over some mountains of self doubt and anxiety.

    Fausto Di Martini is another top tier artist with an aligned design perspective, both men follow a strong emphasis upon form and clean interpretation of design ethic alongside plausible functionality without over doing superfluous detailing. I also recall years ago having the sheer audacity critiquing Fausto's "Light Infantry Marine" over on CGTalk, which was the actual character that had initially led too launching his stellar career...heh still sub-consciously cringe when thinking about it.

    BTW...are you able too share what you have thus far?!       
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