View Full Version : Machineflesh 3D Challenge Entry: Jon Berry

03 March 2004, 10:37 AM
Jon Berry has entered the Machineflesh 3D Challenge.

03 March 2004, 05:17 PM

Iím having trouble visualizing my idea. Letís try to describe it instead.

I had the idea of a creature in some landscape. On its back, around its neck and going into its lungs is some kind of breathing apparatus. However the apparatus is not for this creature. The creature is carrying a small sort of biodom in which another creature is living. Or even another creature is living in the skin, mechanical parts of the creature. So the main creature has been turned into a means for which to breath in this harsh environment.

Also the main creature whoís being used as a means to breath could be hollow and full of liquid or some sort of gas. So the biodom is getting power from hydro electric or geothermal gas from burrowing into this life form. Not sure if the creature is humanoid or not.. but some kind of shell in which liquid or gas is present.

I canít decide how to take this. For the biodom life form its very much a breathing apparatus. But for the other creature its very much a torture device, someone using you to breath and burrowing into you for power.

Its like how these creatures explore, using other creatures for transport and life.

So is this horror or not, cant decide at the moment.

I need to get this down on paper.

03 March 2004, 05:56 PM
Furthering my idea, i kinda thought that the creature could be bones, muscles but ontop of that a metalic see through case. I dotn know mummy esk i suppose. Maybe. Inbetween the case and the muscles could be fluid or liquid or something that is used fof geothermal power or soemting.

It will all come together :)

Sorry for the rubbishness of this image, my scanners not working.

You can kinda see the bone, muscle then on the left the type of transparent metal case that could capsulate it all.


03 March 2004, 06:05 PM
That sounds like it could be an interesting idea. If you are going with the parasite\host kind of deal, maybe it could be the parasite\"driver" who is encased in fluid\sheath as a means to protect him from the harsh environment and the host could be some kind of creature indigenous to the planet.

03 March 2004, 07:27 PM
Thinking about my idea more, the fluid inside between the bones, muscle and the outer metalic shell. I started to think about different colours and maybe bubbles being blown through them.

It made me think it might start to look beautiful. Parts of the body removed, replaced with a metal structure and different coloured liquid being put inside.

So could it be maybe a fashion. People today do very odd things with there bodys to look beatiful, this could be a drastic version of that.

Yes I know its a crap drawing :)

So youve got the hand on the right, a metal join, then the new caseing with colours, but you can still see the working vein, muscles and bones.

I still like my earlier idea but now im not sure. This fashion has got me thinking. The interior of a body, displayed with a metal, see thought cast ad inbetter coloured liquid and bubbles might look really nice. Who needs cloths ?

Imagine the torso of a human or alien for that matter, not with skin but as ive said before metal see through structure, coloured liquid being pumped out by the heart. I like this idea \o/

03 March 2004, 12:59 PM (

An amazing drawing :)

Ive got the idea in my head but putting it down on paper is hard.

I still cant decide between the Fashion idea or my breathing aparatus / power source idea. However I think im moving more towards fashion. Both ideas will require a similar design though.

Ive only really visualised my idea in these 2 sections but I am going for this across the entire body. I find it hard to visualise my idea on paper.

After a few 3d tests I think my idea will become clear. Because its so dense I cant draw all the layers without it looking a real mess :)

Human or not is still up for grabs.

Ian Jones
03 March 2004, 01:58 PM
If it helps... I can say that the parasite concept really has a lot of impact. The fashion is an interesting point, very thoughfuil of you... but I think that the parasite idea is much more evocative.

03 March 2004, 02:02 PM
interresting ideas. I'm following your entry closely :)

03 March 2004, 03:05 PM
Thanks, what do other people think. Fashion or parasite ?

I should start a vote :)


03 March 2004, 03:45 PM
I do think im moving toward the fashion one more. It could end up being very dark. A women who had this done to her body because of pear pressure. Its the new craze so she ended up going under the knife. Its fashion gone to far. Something that cant be undone. So now shes sitting alone, barely clothed alone with her new 'look'. Looking into her self (literally) and thinking why did I have this done. Maybe behind her on the wall is a poster advertising the procedure and showing how wonderful it is.

One thing I dont want is this to turn into another sterotypical nude female figure. I want this to be emotional.

Obviously this has to be semi real so the parts of her body that are now altered would be soemthing like this.

Areas shaded will be the new look.

Parts of her body like her reproductive orgains remain intact but her chest area, parts of her leg have been altered. Also because she has a new chest she no longer has the flexibility she once had. she cant bend as well as before because of the metal structures.

But then again.. the parisit ones more orginal :)

03 March 2004, 04:51 PM
I could combine the two ideas. What I really liked about the parisite idea was the differnet emotions. For the parisite its an image of life. A breathing aparatus. However for the other creature whos being used as a power source, breath etc. Its an image of torture.

I do think those themes are running though my fashion image aswell. I could have the fashion as both a fashion but also it could be a transport device for a small lifeform to allow it to breath in earths atmosphere. The women has it in her chest area. So according to the poster on the wall behind the character. You get great looks, everyone will look at you because you are now part of the latest craze. But also you get loads of money for carrying this creature inside you. I dont know about you but that really makes me feel ill just thinking about the prospect.

Also maybe she needs to keep her insides charged, like 3 times a day she needs to plug herself into something to keep the colours of her insides rich and vibrant but also to keep herself powered up.

So its still an image of different emotions. Looking at the poster on the wall you would think its the best thing in the world. However looking at the women, what its actually like and the fact its unreversable.. its torture.

03 March 2004, 07:29 PM (

Well I need to start somewere. As my persons (havent decided male or female yet. I dont think ill go alien) new Fashion includes the chest area. I need to model the bones, organs etc.

So this is were it begins.

03 March 2004, 10:05 PM (

This is a new concept idea ive had. However im not sure whether it full fills the comps guide lines. It is a lifeform inhanced by a machine but they arnt really phyiscally attached.

Imagine a liquid, gas.. something like that life form. It wants to interact with humans, other solid lifeforms so it has a kind of mechanical suit. It is metal plates that roughly form the shape of, for argues sake a human. These plates push away from themselves and push the liquid away from them. Numeous plates in a specific organisation can force the liquid, gas into a humans face shape or a hand or whatever.

So I had the idea of this lifeform wanting to interact with humans and using these plates it manages to form itself into a head and an arm with a hand. Holding out the hand trying to touch a small child or whatever.

What do people think, do you even get what im going on about :)

03 March 2004, 11:16 PM (

Ok, update.. im liking this a lot now. I decided not to have liquid or gas.. to boring. So im having a huge collection of these cell like objects (seen top right in image). They are all sending out electric bolts to each other. Kind of like a nervous system.

There are still the metal shapes, the shields that repel the organic cells (as seen in concept) From there pushing force, they are forming the cells into a shape.

I still think im going to do, it maybe, kinda forming, depending on how you look at it a human face and an arm/hand pointing, reaching out towards a small girl. Trying to touch her.

03 March 2004, 12:39 PM (

Ok, when the shield pushs the organic 'cells' into an arm/hand/finger. The finger touchs a piece of skin. When it touchs the skin the very tip of the 'cell' finger for a brief time has the properties of the skin so the very tip has skin and flesh on it.

Each 'cell' has its own mechanical eliments. Inside each sphere in each cell is a small machine and then along each join between the spheres is a long thing electrode. On the ends of each electrode is a tesla coil type device that gives off electric feilds, small lighting bolts.

Something like this amazing drawing :)

The combined force of all the cells electric fields is what the metal plates repel against allowing them to be pushed and shaped.

phew.. complicated :)

03 March 2004, 11:25 PM (

Well ive started on the cells. I want a real Dr Frankenstein feel to it. Also ive tried to make it more cell like in appearence but still have the machine parts. I really like the middle of the cell, im going to have that spinning really fast on each cell (however dont know how to do that other than a PS alteration afterwards :)). Ill try to make the coils more obvious aswell.

Oh yes, the lightening was done in PS in about 4 seconds :)

Its coming along.

03 March 2004, 12:44 AM
this is looking good so far .. like the concept and the modelling is coming right along:thumbsup:

ya got me interested and i'll be checkin back :thumbsup:

03 March 2004, 10:06 PM
Another quick update. Im just playing at the moment trying to get the feel I want.

Im just playing with placement, how close or far apart should individial cells be. I need to start to put in some metal plates to see how they look in the image aswell.

I think most of the cells in the image will be, distance away from camera wise, like the ones top left. I think. I do need some really close to the camera like most of this image is to give some sense of what the metal plates are pushing around. Im thinking the finger tip and skin will be right close to the camera, real finger print detail.

Another thought, I could have some other tiny machines who live in and around the cells that look after them, like micro repair bots or something. As the cells get repeled by the metal plates surely they would need repair from time to time. Ill think about that.

03 March 2004, 10:15 PM
i'm liking the concept so far. interesting potential here.

03 March 2004, 10:52 PM
Thanks :thumbsup: I appreciate your comments.

03 March 2004, 03:23 AM
I have to agree... nice concept... looking forward to seeing this come together!

nice modeling as well! good job.


03 March 2004, 04:24 AM
Very cool Idea, thank god we dont have to animate our characters for the challenge. Render times would be a b**ch on this character .


j5 oUt

03 March 2004, 01:05 PM
Cheers guys :)

I had an idea last night. For a concept like this you would expect, and its the route ive been going so far... all the machine parts to be very Frankenstein esk. Dark, moody etc. Lighting all over the place.

How about this:

... inside each cell is a small propeler, like a good-ye old plane or something leonardo da vinci might draw. Then the metal plates that repel the cells have 4 large wind pipes and 4 large propelers that blow the cells away.

Am I going way off track here or does anyone like that idea ? Or should I stick with my lightening.

Opinions please.

03 March 2004, 05:19 PM
Come on guys I cant decide :shrug: :)

03 March 2004, 01:12 AM
WOW, very very original and interesting idea! great visual concept and I also love the 'future fashion victim' idea, there is really great potential for a very striking image, both visualy and emotionally.
Showing fans might be useful to convey to the viewer that they are in fact 'repelling' the cells inside them, but then again maybe the contrast between the detail of the inner cells, and the smoothness of the outer shells might work nicely.....

hmmm, I wasnt much help there, sorry.
Either way, Im sure you will do a great job, Im loving it so far

Ill be watching this thread :)

03 March 2004, 03:51 PM
More thinking:

I wasnt to keen on the earlier cell image. It looked to messy, to confusing so im trying to redesign the cells to both have that orgainic, nerve system feel but also look nice. So I decided to shrink the main body of each cell but give them the long, barley visible stranges to connect them. If they are all cluttered they look rubbish but they need to touch, so this seemed logical.

Instead of the bolts of lighting, I thought small electric currents could move along the connecting strands. It would give it that 'alive' feel but not be to much.

One thing im having problems with is really deciding were to take this creature next. I lov its concept but what can it be, do. What shape, position can it be formed into. Im starting to think along the lines it could be a probe. Something thats sent into a new land, world for recon. It can be any shape so it can move around in any enviroment.

However im still back to my original problem, what pose, shape should I have this in for a final render. It can be anything really.

Oh yeah, im definatly going to have the small bots swimming around in the gaps between cells. I like it. Gives the scene more life.

Im glad you like the fashion concept, im thinking can i incorporate that into this.

Shadow Seraph
03 March 2004, 03:56 PM
most impressive concepts... really enjoying your preliminary design... as your model comes together definitely keeps some close ups showing so we knows whats going on ;) sometimes a full image just doesn't give us the feel of the close up detail and i think your detail work is superb

keep up the great work

03 March 2004, 04:52 PM
i feel that i missed something here ..
nice work friend keep it up
good luck ,

03 March 2004, 05:04 PM
Thanks guys.

I think I do want the finger idea in the image somewere. It will give something to relate to. Ive been thinking how I will adapt this concept:

into 3d :) So i was thinking it could happen like this.

The cells kind of blend into each other until they are totally blended and become the finger. Imagine each octagon is a cell. Im sure you will get the idea :) Does it work ? Ill try to make one with actual cells later and not just plain colour.

03 March 2004, 05:37 PM
This is a great idea! Very interesting and original. It kind of reminds me of the movie "lawnmover man", where a guy get dissolved into small particles.

03 March 2004, 06:46 PM
I love the idea. I am glad you decide to go with a electrical
current instead of the propeller. (Sorry, I'm a newbie and I had to wait for the mods to finish) If it was animated the propeller
might work. But, since it is a still, the electrical sparks/flares will
look totally sweet especially against a dark background.

I love the idea that you had originally about the cells coming together and taking on proprieties when they touch something. I think you will need that to establish the flesh part.

As for what shape they should have, I think the idea that the finger/hand is touch something is good. Like in the center of the pic there is a hand/finger touching a face/body part of someone else. Where the finger?? and the face?? touch there is some structure and flesh. And the rest of the pic is a mass of the cells flying everywhere.

Sorry, for the long post!! But, I love the idea and can't wait to see more. I hope I helped. Good Luck!!


03 March 2004, 09:25 PM
I like your idea about one half of the screen is the cells in a mass, the other half is a figure and they are touching in the middle, very ET-esk :) Also very Abyss.

If I had to give my mechanical eliments a purpose, id think they are for form, shape. To allow the cells / creature to 'fit in' with its surroundings. Its longing to be accepted.

Oh I just cant think of a good composition.. grr, I need that spark of inspiration.

Ready.. and...... NOW :)

I just dont want another attractive female, I think id prefer to have the object the cells are touching to be just off screen to leave to the viewers imagination.

03 March 2004, 04:30 AM
This is a great idea! Very interesting and original. It kind of reminds me of the movie "lawnmover man", where a guy get dissolved into small particles.

ha ha, yes I remember those dodgy particles in Lawnmower man, well dodgy by todays standards at least. I really like the finger idea, I think we should see the cells start off constructing the inner flesh/bones/nerves of the finger, which graduates into skin, sort of like how Mila Jovovich gets constructed in that machine in 'the fith element'.

03 March 2004, 10:37 AM
I agree with Spindle. Well done, hon, 'The Fifth Element' is an
excellent example.
As for it being a woman, it doesn't have to be!! It could be a
child or a guy.
If you want it more off screen so more of the cells are seen then
it will still be awesome, however, I think you still need some flesh object on the side to establish the fact that the cells are taking on the flesh particles from whatever is off screen.


03 March 2004, 11:22 AM
Outstanding idea ~
Hope to see more .

03 March 2004, 01:17 PM

I either had inspiration last night, or im really loosing it, hehe.

How about a baby sitting on the floor holding the finger of someone. Like this:

See this is what you get for leaving your scanner at university over the break. Sorry for the image quality. Im going to try to finish the concept later today. The baby is the collection of cells sitting on the floor holding a human finger. Now because its holding a finger the right hand starts to become fleshy etc. The left hand is right up close to the camera so you can really see the detail of the cells. Of course its still going to have the metal plates that push and form the babys shape.

I lov your Fifth Element comparison. I think that is what im going for. Every time i try to draw it i fail, heres another go:

I much prefer getting ideas locked down in 3d than 2d :)

So what do you think, the height of innocence, a baby.

03 March 2004, 01:56 PM
OHHHH, I get it! Now, its clickin'.
The baby is hold the finger off to the right that maybe attached
to a hand (not the point). Machine babies (kind of scary)!
However, the idea isn't bad. Will the baby still be an outline of cells except for the hand that is touchin' the finger?
The baby could be laying in crib and reachin' up like an aerial shot.
You know how babies will hold their hands up and grasp things.
Just some ideas if you're going to stick with the baby idea.

Sugah, I think w/you concept you have unlimited ways to attack
this challenge!


03 March 2004, 03:02 PM
Yeah, the baby will be totally made up of cells that are being held in place by the force of the metal plates. Except the hand thats touching the finger, which will slowly be turning into flesh. Of course each cell is part organic, part machine so its a healthy mix

I thought about having the bady in some kind of crib but I want the creature to stand on its own (and its the creature thats being submited not the environment) and not have to reply of scenery. So the baby sitting on a white background seems most suited with just the finger to the right.

Yeah as you said ive really got an unlimited scope for compostions with this design and I think i need to say 'thats the final concept' soon. Easier said than done.

I thought, the cells making the shape of a baby would be the last thing you would expect.

so atm the babys it.

03 March 2004, 03:13 PM
You were right!
A baby shape was the last thing I expected you to pull out of
your bag of tricks!
YEA, for originality!


03 March 2004, 01:14 AM
Seven, if you haven't already seen it, I'd suggest you rent the movie 'virtuosity', in this movie Russel Crowe plays a computer program who comes to life by forming a body out of nano-bots. There are many shots where he repairs himself by soaking up glass and using it to rebuild his damaged parts. Im not sure if it would be any use to you, but it may be worth a look anyway :)

03 March 2004, 07:25 PM
Thanks spindle, I might do that.

For the plates that hold the cells together. I think ill have them in the shape of the muscles that would be there if it was indeed all organic.

I think im still doing a baby

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