Hi, I'm Renato Gonzalez, an animation student from Chile. I'd like to tell you about how I made my picture Trooper, and I hope you enjoy this Making Of.
A few months ago I started to work on a new personal project – a short film that needed droids, robots, guns and machines – and this character was born there. So I started looking for references, which is an important part of the process. I spent days studying references, because I knew this would help me to make a credible character. I looked at robots from different artists, one of whom was Josh Nizzi. When I saw part of his artwork I decided I wanted to create a droid with very light armor.
Normally when I make a 3D model, I start by doing a very basic sketch in Photoshop so I can try out different variations of the same idea and text out the possibilities (Fig.01). At this point I don't spend too much time on the details; my only purpose with sketching is to find a stronger silhouette and the basic shape of the character.
For this character I used Maya and the ordinary polygonal technique to make the model. I needed hard surfaces, so first I started blocking in shapes to get something similar to the initial sketch. When doing this I like to work with an instance duplicate so I can model in a symmetrical way.
Once I was happy with the overall proportions, I started to crease edges to get a nice surface and the closest shape to the original design. Later I added the details, like the screws, wires, grids, little lights, etc. For example, the chin (Fig.02 – 03).