Sep 25, 2010

The RoboFish Procedure

Well, I'm back for an update. It's the first big thing in a while that I felt was worth posting. I wanted to track a drawing from initial idea to final version, so here's my attempt at being thorough...


The initial idea just came from something I doodled absentmindedly in my sketchbook. I liked how it was shaping up, so I rendered it a little further, then scanned it in...




The idea was to make some kind of mechanical angler fish.



Next, it was a matter of cleaning this up, so I opted to trace it in Flash. While I worked, I kept adding more dimension and shininess. The fish went from a simple sketch to this shiny, semi-3D behemoth. After that whole process, I ended up with this...





I wasn't UNhappy with it, but it didn't look like the polished version of my original sketch. Felt a little off. Plus, I had no idea where to take it next, which was frustrating, since it was clearly unfinished.

Luckily, I was able to turn to my coworker Bob Rissetto for a little direction. He was nice enough to look at the fish and provide TONS of helpful feedback. We went back and forth with a few different options of where to go next, and here's what I got...





Muuuuuuch better. I felt like it had really been taken to the next level. Overall, it just felt so much more...complete. It helps to have someone else holding me accountable to these changes, too. It's possible I would've let this die had I not asked for some help. Sometimes you really need other people to throw their hats in the ring to keep the ideas flowing. Thanks, Bob.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It still wasn't totally there. Was the fish just gonna float in the blue nothingness like that? And what about all the little details? Was I sure every little change was improving it overall? How about those colors? The more tedious questions popped up after I'd done the initial design work.

I hammered out a background and changed a few more little things here and there based on further conversations Bob and I had. Eventually this popped out...






Suddenly things felt so close to the finish line. It didn't feel finished because I was dry on ideas, it just honestly felt COMPLETE. There's a big difference, and I'm really trying to recognize the difference in my work process. Of course, you can ALWAYS change something, so there were a few more minor alterations. I wanted to make proof positive that when I stared at this thing I was comfortable calling it 'finished'. In the end, I got this guy...





Now it's all wrapped up and I can finally blog about the experience. This whole process took a little longer than I'd like to admit, but I took a few lessons away that can ensure a more streamlined process in the future. On to the next one...



P.S.

Oh, and I apologize I couldn't articulate the changes made between the versions more specifically. I can't really remember every little thing that was changed, but if you feel like playing detective, the pics are right up there.






Until Next Time.

2 comments:

Melisa Des Rosiers said...

Definitely made some major progress with that sketch! Most awesome! I especially like how you didn't give up when the fish looked better but finished with a background. If you still feel like experimenting with said bg, maybe make those glowing "fish" or lightbulbs... sealife of some artificial kind... more detailed? Like smaller and possibly more of them... at a varying size to add some depth further... BUT... I think it is still awesome and finished where it's at. Just something that popped into my head.

oh, and... MAKE MORE BLOG POSTS. I like seeing what people make. ^_^

winscdo said...

Am I the only one who hopes this little beasty shows up in the next Piranha 3D movie?

RoboFish: This calls for RoboFish.
Villain: This calls for RoboFish to get shot.