Gallery 2

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Chappie Concept Art - part 3!

At one point the poor li'l robot gets punted with an electro-magnetic pulse weapon that incapacitates him (oops that's a spoiler). These are the initial sketches for this Chappie-zapping device. It was described as a prototype, one-off workbench thing but Neill thought the ones on the left were a little too rudimentary.

This is the design we went with. It was one of my first attempts at modelling something in Sketchup and it was shabby as hell. I had to paint over it a lot to make it even slightly presentable.
This is an image from the book with Leri's graphic pass on it, here's Huge Ackman waving it about:

Rough and quick sketches of the vehicle that Ninja and Yolandi cruise around in, suggested title "Die Vandwoord"

Some of the designs for the neuro-helm used to control the Moose

A few of us in the design room had a couple of goes at designing what ended up being the Moose over the years Chappie was in production. Most of my early ones were awful and I sure aint gonna put em on here, Aaron did some rad ones though and you can see them on his blog
None of them really clicked with Neill though and he ended up sending though a rough model he'd made for me to paint over and resolve. It was rad, dunno why he doesn't just do all his own design work. I'm glad he wastes his time being a successful writer and director though or I'd be back out sleeping in the streets.

He also wanted some weaponry options so I did a pass with a ludicrous amount of missiles, guns, grenade launchers, saws and lasers on it with note saying "pick the ones you want to use". He just went "yip, all of them". That's my kind of directing!

Here's the full scale prop built here at Weta Workshop. Seeing this thing come together was amazing. I used to go steal peeks at it during construction but towards the end I held back from sneaking in there so I could take in the finished build with fresh eyes. Cripes, it worked! That thing was magnificent! It really had a commanding presence and felt totally convincing as a piece of military hardware, a super impressive combination of skills and techniques coming together to create something quite remarkable.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chappie Concept Art - part 2!

Here's some more robots from Chappie that I assume will get their own spinoff films at some point.

Rory and Dexter are Deon's homemade pals designed for maximum crib-chillin' and anti-lonely abilities. They were to be made from various toys n' junk and utilise his high-end custom AI software.
These guys were fun to work on, really quick designs and after a bit of tweakage from Leri they went to the workshop floor to be built. They were both brilliant little radio-controlled builds, fully practical characters and their performances were captured entirely in-camera.

Some of the first sketches for the Robo-Yolandi. RoLandi? These ones were a bit generic, there were a few I did later that I thought explored some more interesting ideas and construction techniques but are currently confined to the ever growing library of unapproved film art AKA the Cosmic Trash Receptacle.
I'll do a post about the Moose and some other bits soon

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chappie Concept Art - part 1!

Chappie was a pretty big project for me (at Weta Workshop obv), one that was a lot of fun and a heckuva lot of work over about 4 years. Here's a few images from the art-of book.
So many of the jobs we work never get art approvals to show our work so I'm grateful to be allowed to share this odd selection, I'll try to fill in the gaps!

The first designs of Chappie himself unfortunately aren't covered in the book. The world's best Greg Broadmore did a bunch of rad concepts right at the start and got it to a pretty well resolved state, after some more notes came through I did a bunch of head designs, Leri did his thang with the graphics and he was kinda done. For a while! This was back in 2010.

We used that design to generate a bunch of images for what Neill Blomkamp called the graphic novel, kinda key-scene story boards to help pitch the film to the studio. A bunch of us in the design room bashed these pieces out real quick and rough, we didn't really expect them to ever see the light of day but of course they were the first concept pieces released. Shame! Here's a few I did, you can see an early version of the scout robot in 'em. Just don't look too close, yearghhh!

We were working with Neill on Elysium at the same time as the early Chappie stuff and finished that project off before he came back with Chappie developments. He'd had the too talented/nice/hardworking/humble/obese (I'm assuming he is obese) Doug Williams develop the design some more. This became the basis for the next round of designs I worked up and there's still a lot of Doug in the Chappie that ended up on screen. Seriously! He's all over it!
These head sketches were after a few more rounds of notes from Neill, still pretty rough:

I had a crack at some first-round paint schemes, Neill wisely got Leri Greer to do the finals though:

This is pretty much the final design with Leri's masterful graphics and decals helping to hide my wonky rendering. I should say there were a lot of iterations getting to this point! There were dozens and dozens, all pretty incremental though.

Weta would be building full scale, highly detailed mannequins that were to be used throughout the film. We needed to know how the story events would affect his look so I did a series of damage progression illustrations using the script as reference, here's a couple of them:

Shield design sketches for the Scout robots

More shield sketches and unused optics attachments for special-ops Scout robots

The 2D designs informed the 3D model build, which was handled by the geniuses at Image Engine. Their work was fantastic, they totally nailed his character right from the get-go. It was really rewarding and fun seeing their work progressing every couple of days. There were often tweaks, details or new features that needed to be added so I'd paint onto screengrabs of their work-in-progress models:

These pictures are a very small fraction of the art produced on the film, it'd be cool to go more in depth with some of the details, features and dead-ends at some point if we get more image approvals.

Right at the end when the practical, screen-ready mannequins had been finished and were just about to be crated up and sent to the filming location we got a new note from Neill. He realised he needed a point of eye contact on the robot's face, something that would correlate with where the actors were looking at Sharlto's face and give the audience something to connect with. I did a few visor designs real quick, Neill picked one and the guys here at the workshop built it and sent it attached to the robot the very next day. Crazy fast! I don't have an approved image of that design to show here but here's how he looked it the film:

Odd how similar it is to the early designs from way back^^^ looking at it now... huh!

I'll post stuff about the other robots and bits n' pieces soonish

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Hi! How's things? You're looking good! Like real good, dang!
Here's a few of the little airplanes I've been drawing lately, been trying to do one a day and am just about up to fifty of 'em. They're all done on my phone (Note 3) using the Sketchbook for Galaxy app.
I think I'll do a poster if I get enough of them done before I get too bored or start doing anything useful with my life, probably something similar to the Deadly Sleds one.

I'm posting them daily* over at my instagram if you're into that kinda thing

*almost daily

Friday, February 20, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hercules Concept Art

Some stuff for Brett Ratner's Hercules

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fight Fire With FireTron™ /// BOSS HYDRANT

The retardedly talented suggested the much better name of Boss Hydrant so that's what it is from this moment forth. Process giffage:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rumble in the Jungle 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014


When working on the Hobbit I decided to focus on unused and rejected designs and in that respect I was highly successful! Here's just a couple of mine that came nowhere near the mark:

Mr Bitey H Smaugenstein went through hundreds of variations and you can see some of 'em in Weta's rad new book Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Here's a couple of illustrations I did that were used on billboards waaaay back in dickity-twelve. I had a great time doing 'em!
When the nice folks at contacted me to do some drawings inspired by the Weird Wheels trading cards I was all like "yes. Yes please."
Did I ever tell you I have a complete set of those Weird Wheels cards and they're framed hanging on the wall next to me right now? No? Remind me to tell you that sometime.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Last Days on Mars - Lander Concept

Along with the rover there was a brief for a flying vehicle that would be able to transport peeps from low orbit to the surface. It was to be a pretty classic dropship type thang. Oops I mean thing!
I started with these pencil sketches...
...then painted up some quick variations based on the director's notes and selects.
Another round of feedback and a bit more development.
Ruairi drew over a couple and I painted back into 'em resulting in these^
One last variant I worked up that I kinda liked.
I'm not sure what it ended up looking like in the film, this stuff might have all been binned for all I know. Was fun to draw though!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Last Days on Mars - Rover Concept

Here's some of the designs I did for Ruari Robinson's the Last Days on Mars through Weta Workshop
The first brief was for the rover/mobile lab vehicle and these were the initial sketches I submitted.

We went into a bit of an exploratory phase but quite quickly settled on a basic layout and scale.

Starting to figure out functions and internal structures. The shoot would involve a physical build of the cockpit mounted onto a truck chassis with the rest of the vehicle to be added with CGI so that helped define size and configuration. 

Quick entry point sketches.

Cutaway showing the guts. I worked pretty closely with Ruairi to make sure all the required elements from the script were represented inside. I love doing this stuff! I've always been fascinated by technical drawings and cross-sections, would have really liked to have put a lot more polish and work into this illustration but this type of job is usually very... "time critical"

That's the final drawings that were submitted for the build to be based on. I really enjoyed working this up, it was really cool to be able to spend some time and nut this thing out.

The team at Screen Scene VFX did an amazing job modeling it I reckon. Right from the first images they sent through they had nailed the character and visual language of the vehicle, really brought a smile to the ol' dial. I painted over some of their work-in-progress 3D to clarify and resolve some elements that weren't too clear in the concept art.

The robotic arm had some specific functions it needed to enact so I did these breakout drawings to make sure it could perform 'em.

Here's another drawing I did... nah that's a pic from the film! Gosh what a trickster.
This was a great project for me. Ruairi's always fun to work with and I'm really grateful to him for bringing this film to Weta and, more importantly, me! I'll post some of the other stuff I did for this movie soon.

Check out some cool vfx process gifs at Ed Bruce's site over here