View Full Version : Machineflesh 3D Challenge Entry: Michael Crawford

03 March 2004, 02:06 AM
Michael Crawford has entered the Machineflesh 3D Challenge.

03 March 2004, 02:49 AM
Well, I'm hoping to build on what I learned by entering the Alienware contest, and THIS time I'm getting out of the starting gate with a full three months to work on my scene. :-)

This should be a very interesting Challenge: a chance to delve into skin shaders, head modeling, and SSS. Yowser! So where to begin? With the concept, of course!

The time: near future -- say, forty to fifty years from now. Medical technology has advanced to a point where we can not only replace your worn-out limbs and organs, but actually "improve" on nature. Of course, as William Gibson once pointed out, "the street finds its own uses for things," and so it should surprise no one that tomorrow's "medical miracle" soon finds more ... questionable uses.

Such as 'borg porn. Or gang symbols.

Or, as I once described it in a story I wrote:

Leroy's an original -- a self-styled o.g. into stylin' himself: got a thing for props that pop, visual display, Cathode Rayz; doesn't just ride the Edge, abide the Edge, he creates it, controls it, then doles it out along with the drugs. Has a keen eye for biz and keener for buzz, knows who's who and what's what. "Wheeler-dealer": that's him to a tee, mobile m'man, and livin' large, dealing dose-packs of "Big."

Leroy's vials carry brand-names: BMOC, 'Roid Rage, a colorful assortment of recombinant genes, protean product, it's all cream-of-the-crop, what his gang stocks.

Though what his gang stalks is another matter, the meta, the structure of things. Competition is fierce, you gotta lay down the law, 'cause everyone wants a piece of the action, packs their own piece, acts first, asks later. Meaning it's jungle out there, synaptic jangle out there: dyspeptic, dystopic, and you just gotta hope to survive in the end.

And as the ends come fast, the kids travel in packs, no pax between 'em, sides armed with the latest in low-tech lethal. They're quarrymen, mining their turf with Balkan surplus, L.A. gear; beepers are sensors, rigged to recognize tech, proximal warnings that this is war zone, congested, contested, so don't tread, capiche?

Leroy is twelve, but looks twenty, a mulatto in years: razor stubble and angry eruptions on a f___in' kid's face. Got swagger, yeah, that's his religion, hips rolling with the confidence of the Street; the eyes: focused, expressionless, pure shark, and proud of it.

Lives in the projects with his cousin and aunt, and the scant attention his mamma affords, woman's all spent on self-loathing and drugs.

Leroy's father? Just a figure-of-speech, the man's long gone, and good riddance, too. Leaving Leroy to his own devices: cast-offs from his cousin's job in the 'borg porno biz. They make for intriguing playthings: preening prosthetics, Pauline aesthetics, "adult with a jolt" ... perilous stuff. And on a kid?

Thoroughly Nasty.


Going to be one interesting contest! :-)

03 March 2004, 10:13 PM
Okay, I've been thinking about the basic requirements for merging man and machine, and one thing really stuck out: currently, there's a lot of research being done into regenerating damaged nerves. Presuming medical technology reaches a point where we can generate -- or successfully graft -- new nerve tissue, given that there have also been a lot of advances in using nerve signals to control prosthetic devices ... well, it seems to me that it would be theoretically possible to lay down new nerve pathways which could then be used to control a whole battery of prosthetic attachments -- in effect turning a human being (since it would take quite a bit of training to be able to "multitask" with additional "limbs") into something akin to a set of USB hubs. :-)

Seriously, you could have a medical procedure to turn yourself into a "nerve hub," and effectively become a human Swiss Army knife!

So ... I'm envisioning a scene set in a shady "surgical procedure" clinic -- a "Chop Shop" where gang kids go to get altered into the biomech phenotype that identifies them as a member of a specific gang. Gruesome stuff ... but could make for a really compelling image.

So that's the plan. Will start work on the sketches asap.

03 March 2004, 10:17 PM (

:-) A starting point -- the image that started me thinking about "nerve hubs" and the kind of stuff that would make possible.

Proper concept art will be forthcoming.

03 March 2004, 01:54 PM
I think you've just disqualified yourself, you're supposed to submit original art for your milestones. You've submited Leonardo's work as your concept Milestone.

03 March 2004, 06:26 PM
Um ... have the rules completely changed since the Alienware contest, Riki? As I wrote at the bottom of that post, I would be putting up actual concept art shortly -- I was just attempting to show a historical precedent for the idea I was playing around with. I was NOT trying to claim Da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" as my entry for the friggin' milestone (see the disclaimer at the bottom of that post). During the Alienware contest, Pyke put up some pictures of microscopic creatures that he was using as inspiration for the "Temple of Bone" piece, and then put up the actual "concept sketches" later. I fully expect to have several pieces of original work posted for every milestone, and, towards the end of the three months, will put together a series of "official" milestone pics -- one for each milestone -- to make it easier for the judges to ascertain that I've fulfilled both the letter, and spirit, of the contest.

I hope this clear things up. However, I *will* go and check the rules for the contest, and, if I'm in violation, either take the picture down or send a formal letter to the contest board asking that my thread be deleted.



03 March 2004, 10:42 PM
Sorry no stress intended. I just thought it strange, posting Leo's image as a Milestone. To avoid confusion it's probably better to post reference pix as a normal forum image. Anyway just my opinion, no stress intended. Best of luck


03 March 2004, 10:52 PM
Thanks, Riki. Not sure how to post images within a regular message, so perhaps I'd have been better off simply adding a link. I got stressed because, for some reason, the server kept locking me out when I'd try to respond this morning. Must've been a glitch, but my initial reaction was, "Oh sh__! I've been kicked out!"

Spent the afternoon trying to figure out how to sketch with my new Wacom tablet (just NOT used to the process -- it feels really unnatural at this point) before abandoning it in favor of the good ol' pen-and-paper method.

So, time to upload. Apologies in advance for my crude sketching skills.

03 March 2004, 10:58 PM (

After further thought -- and a bit of extrapolation from my post on nerve grafts -- I've decided to focus in on military applications, though I may later go back to the "gangbanger" angle. Anyway ... presenting the "Battle Buddy," a mechorganic interface for watching your back. "Face" optional. :-)

03 March 2004, 09:57 PM (

Still developing the concept of the military modifications. While I plan to model and then graft on Jensen's "Battle Buddy," the first stage is obviously to work out the additional modifications to your typical Army infantry man -- the kinds of things that would net the best "return on investment" by helping to keep an individual alive. As I was playing around with sub-ds -- trying to get the hang of modeling a head, since I've got a LOT to learn -- the contest scenario line about "flesh is weak" made me think about the skin itself, so I used my a rough draft of Jensen's head to try out a look for "battleskin."

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