Tuesday 27 October 2009

District 9 Exo Suit Concept Art - part 2

images©wingnut film

In this weeks instalment, we see two more of the Exo suit concept pieces - it's like a sequel you see.

The head close up was done for Weta Digital and Embassy VFX to aid the modelling and texturing of the final model. It shows the mandibles that were there to reflect the alien physiology externally. I figured if the aliens had the equivalent of a 'hand' on their face (the complex crab like feeders as well as tentacles) they would use them for communication - a more complex, maybe pictographic version of our facial expressions.
If that was the case, then this would be integral to them and it would be necessary to make an analogue on the robotic suit too.
It also makes it look 'mean as' and also 'muy alarmante'.

The second illustration was a simple frontal plan view - very quick and dirty but showed the frontal proportions for the modelling process.

There were also side on views, internal views and diagrams showing how the chest opened and the internal system extended out to take in the pilot.
But you can't see those here because I have pasted them in using invisible pixels.

Tune in next time when more pictures of things are accompanied by hyper-nerdy descriptions.

Friday 23 October 2009

District 9 Concept Art - Some Guns...

images©wingnut film

Guns! I like to design guns. What a sad human being I am.
They're pretend guns so that makes ok though eh? Hello?....

These three designs were all based on a phrase or concept that Neill threw out to me:
An electric 'lightening' gun (the Arc Generator), a Gas Thrower- something that would project out gas or liquid like a flame thrower, but unlit - perhaps some destructive, corrosive gel or gas (it ended up just blowing shit up in the film - corroding humans costs a lot of effects budget...) and an Assault Rifle.
The Assault rifle has all these little tubes down the side - the idea being that each tube discharges an explosive burst of gas one after the other down the length of the barrel behind the projectile - a linear accelerator gun, like a rail gun but without the magnets. Of course it would fire these all rapidly to get a high rate of fire.

That shit is nerdy.

We went through a few colour schemes - the arc generator was originally black with red accents (we tried a few colours) and Neill sent back a tweaked version to me (hence me crediting him on the design, and the leftover watermark).

There were also versions of the Arc Generator and the Assault Rifle adjusted to go on the Exo suit.

Thursday 22 October 2009

ImagineFX Isssue 50 - District 9

Issue 50 of ImagineFX mag is out soon (now?) and has a feature on the conceptual design we did at Weta Workshop for District 9.
There's a good compliment of our concept art included as well as interviews from David Meng, Leri Greer and myself.
There's some really nice photos of David Meng's incredible Prawn sculptures and a lot of Leris' preparatory work for the graphic design of the alien language.

Saturday 17 October 2009

District 9 Concept Art -MNU

images©wingnut film

More District 9 concept work.

We built two armoured Hilux's at Weta Workshop and both got pretty messed up on set (as you may remember from the film, one crashed into the Exo suit, and one ended up on it's roof).
Neill provided me with the render of the model which he had added bullbars and guns to, and as a starting point I referred to one of Christian Pearce's very early sketches - that's why I put all three names down as signatures.

I don't tend to work over renders or photographs for the bulk of my work, and almost never for personal work. For a design job like this though, I was adding to an existing vehicle, so I worked into the render adding photographic elements like lights and guns and illustrating the armour panels and anything I couldn't find.

For the final build, we had to lose the MG's and mounts due to cost but everything else stayed exactly the same.

The MNU armour was a lot of fun. This full armour set was intended to be the heaviest version available - some guys would have less, some none.
The idea was to have this armour reflect some of the alien tech, a hint that perhaps MNU had learnt something, however little from the Alien technology over the 25 years or so since arrival.

The logos ( and all the graphic design for the Aliens and MNU) are by Leri Greer - every time I added his logos it brought the designs to life.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

District 9 Exo Suit Concept Art - part 1

images©wingnut film

I can finally start showing a little of the concept art that I did for District 9 - these two images along with a few others are up on WetaNZ.com promoting the work on the film we did at Weta Workshop.
I also talked on a Weta podcast a little while back if you want to know more about the process we went through working on D9.

These two images are two of maybe fifteen or so illustrations that I did on this particular design.
I probably did forty or more on earlier designs. (as I mentioned earlier, we actually built a full scale prop of one of the earlier versions but we changed to this design after principal photography was finished)

This version became the final design and went through a few iterations but really didn't change much from the first pass.
It started out as predominately white/grey with black extremities and orange markings. Neill asked that I make it black near the end of the design phase.
Definitely looks more menacing in black, but I kinda liked the mainly white version.
The very first version also had little external arms that Wikus's (or in it's intended form, an alien's) arms would slot into and you can kinda make those out from the back view.

Now that I think about it, I probably did a lot more than fifteen illustrations of this design....
I'll show a few more soon as well as a few other designs.

I've seen some really cool home made models of the Exo Suit now, some in Lego that are particularly good.
This one is great, and this one is proportionately the most accurate.
Pretty impressive considering the lack of decent reference.

More soon.