Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Robot 006: Gort (Day the Earth Stood Still)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 0
one ugly robotIf there was ever an uglier robot in the whole history of mechanical men, I have yet to see it. This is the second, better known robot named Gort, featured in the science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. The film itself is something of a classic; Gort's design is not. Well, textbook example of what not to do, I guess. The first time I saw Day when I was younger, I wrote off Gort's hideous appearance as the movie being old and the designers not knowing any better. But Day came a full 24 years after Metropolis, which featured one of the best robot designs of all time, so it's not for lack of good examples. Gort has a number of unsightly features, from the motorcylce helmet head to the stubby, finger-less hands, but my personal favorite would be the lines of robo-briefs. That's right, an 8 foot tall, featureless robot with a belt and underpants. Awesome.

Robot 005b: Gort (Mysterious Dr. Satan)

This bot sure looks familiar. Here we have the first of two Gorts (a popular name for robots in the 20th century), as he appears in the 15 part serial Mysterious Doctor Satan. Gort is of course not-so-heavily retooled version of the robot seen in Undersea Kingdom, rendered in the previous post. In the spirit of this reusal, I reused most of my Undersea Kingdom robot illustration and flipped it to draw Gort. As with many of these robots, more information can be found on David Szondy's page.

Just between you and me, I'd like to say that this is my favorite Gort. The second, and more well-known Gort will be coming up shortly.

Robot 005a: Undersea Kingdom

Created in response to the popularity of Flash Gordon, Undersea Kingdom features some very funny designs, including this robot minion. This very same robot, with some minor alterations, would again appear in the serial The Mysterious Doctor Satan. I haven't made up my mind as to whether I'll depict that version too, but in the meantime be sure to check out David Szondy's page for more info on Undersea Kingdoms.

Dominance War: Epilogue

Now that the Dominance War submission period is officially over, I thought it might be interesting to cobble together all of the concepts I did during that rather fecund period of February 1st to February 26th. My friend and fellow moderator MoP gave me a good critique after seeing this image, remarking that my characters lack dynamic postures, which is something I'd like to spend time improving on in coming days. We'll see.

This gave me a chuckle, though. Combing through all the concepts I was doing, I found this little thumbnail from one of the earliest rounds of concepting. Since Polycount's side includes all the evil characters, I was really trying to come up with some threatening, massive characters... and this came out instead. It made me laugh, but the Whalephant hardly inspires terror.


A bit of self-depracation and computer graphics humor for this thread. This is pretty stale to anyone who's spent some time working with CG, but for those unfamiliar with the significance of the teapot in 3d graphics, here's the wikipedia entry for the "Utah" teapot. It's self-depracating because since early college, I've been associated with "steampunk" style work. Things with smokestacks.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Robot 004: Elektro

Thursday, March 02, 2006 0
Meet Elektro, the cigarette-smoking Westinghouse Motoman. Noted on this page as now being the Oldest Robot in the United States, Elektro was built as a showpiece by Westinghouse, an appliance manufacturer. One of the more popular and visible robots of the '30s, at a time when it seemed like a sure bet robots would at the very least be cooking or doing menial jobs around the house of the future. David Szondy's page has more info on this one as well.

With this illustration you may notice I took a bit of artistic liberty: Elektro very likely could not tilt his torso back at such a jaunty angle, but it seemed so fitting to his disposition that I couldn't resist. With that cigarette in his mouth and his hands splayed, I can just hear him make some salacious comment at your girlfriend.
gausswerks: design+concept. Design by Pocket