The Untitled Robot Project — Kickoff

Welcome to the Untitled Robot Project.

What is it? Well, it’s personal project designed to make me a better designer, illustrator, art director & 3d artist. If that sounds both vague & ambitious, it probably is. The thing is, if I work hard enough, there’s no way for me to fail. Either I create a kick-ass project that I’m really proud of, and a learn a ton along the way, or I make something “meh” and I still learn a ton. Obviously I’m aiming at the first option.

I’ve had some success with robot-based personal projects in the past, see here & here. This one’s a little bit different in that I’m not producing any physical goods or asking anyone for money. This time around I’m just making pictures. If it blows up, it would be a blast to make some robot toys or print some posters but that, if it happens, is just gravy. The point of this is to get a lot better at making the kind of stuff that I like to make. And have fun.

Another way it’s different this time is because I’m doing it all out in the open. This is inspired by Matthew Law, who’s in the middle of his second personal design project and has been documenting them here. I know Matthew through the Motion Design Slack & watching him work on his projects has been great. He’s doing a really cool & gutsy thing. I couldn’t let him have all the fun!

End Preamble, Enter Brief

Great. Cool story. But what the hell am I actually making?

Robots. It is super-fun to make robots.

For this project, I’m designing three robots, building them in 3d, creating their backstory & a little bit of their world and making a title sequence for a film about them.

Here’s what I’ve got to do:

- Create a robot manufacturing company & design any needed assets (logos primarily).

- Design 3 robots.

- Create 3 promotional posters, 1/each robot. These will serve as beauty shots for the ‘bots.
- Make a new car-style promotional video. This is the robot company’s video. “Introducing the 2015 line of SuperStupendous ‘Bots!!!”

- Pitch boards for a movie starring the 3 robots.

The last is slightly different than the rest of my deliverables. All the rest are, to borrow a role playing game term, in-character. All of them exist within the world of the robots, the world I’m excited to build. The last idea, the pitch boards, are for a film about the robots. Why? I work primarily as a motion graphics artist. I design & animate graphics for tv & film. Mostly tv. I’d like to do more film. I’d like to work on more title sequences & higher-concept projects. This here is me working on one in front of everybody. If I kick some ass, maybe some opportunities will come my way.

How’s it going to work?

I’m wary about giving myself a hard deadline. Freelance is crazy variable and I don’t have total control over my schedule…But if I never ship this, then what’s the point? There is no point if it doesn’t ship.

A month seems legit, but makes me nervous. Six weeks seems long, too long. I’m tentatively giving myself five weeks to work on this.

Today is Friday, July 17th. This is the first post of the project. Every Tuesday & Friday I will post new work, thoughts, struggles and design.

This is going to be a blast.

Wait, where are the robots?

Technically this is just the kick-off post, but it seems silly to have all these words about robots without any robots. So here’s a taste:

Next post will reveal more & will go into the thinking behind these ‘bots. Five are pictured because I’ve not made my short-list yet. I’m leaning towards three of these but I’m willing to hear anyone’s thoughts. Y’all really want to see one of these in the project, holler!

Thanks gang. I’m super-stoked about this.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.