Arachnobot by Shawn "Fuzzy Modem" Weixelman
Hi. My name is Shawn Weixelman. I’m a 3D concept artist working in Maya and Photoshop. On the internet I go by "Fuzzy Modem". You might have seen my entries in other art contests for Star Trek, Eve Online, Star Citizen, Ballistic and StarCraft (if not, feel free to check out fuzzymodem.com)
I once had the pleasure of meeting Stan Winston at the San Diego ComicCon. I told him I was a CG artist, but that I had enormous respect for practical effects artists. He told me he had no problem with CG, but that it was one tool of many, and not always the best choice.
It was with this in mind that I created my entry for this contest. I wanted to create a robot by combining CG with real world objects. I got permission to take photographs in my local power plant, and modeled in Maya on top of these photos using polygon extrusion, then I used the same photos as textures, and assembled the parts into the shape of a spider.
I then captured a real spider from my wife’s herb garden in a jar, and photographed the jar, then released the spider onto a leaf, photographed it, and combined the two images. In Maya, I positioned my robotic spider to match the position of the real jar. Once rendered, I took the final image into Photoshop for compositing with the photo background.
I wanted to create an image that told a story, and rewarded a second glance, while leaving much in the subtext, inviting imaginative extrapolation. I envision an eccentric arachnologist inventor, who created the robot to collect samples, but many of you will likely have a more interesting take.
As we can enter the contest three times, I’ll keep a brain storm on the back burner and see if I can’t come up with another two ideas before the deadline. I look forward to following the competition, and seeing all the fantastic entries flow in from my fellow competitors.
Best of luck to you all!