View Full Version : Machineflesh 2D Challenge Entry: francis tsai

03 March 2004, 04:53 PM
francis tsai has entered the Machineflesh 2D Challenge.

03 March 2004, 05:21 PM
aaawwww crap! not the great francis tsai! i can see that prize getting farther and farther away. :bowdown:

03 March 2004, 05:29 PM
This merely just add more flavour to the contest - great to see you'll be contributing too francis...and the very best of luck

03 March 2004, 07:59 PM (

Bernard is/was a 19th century occult researcher at a university. While trying to invoke or make contact with an elder god from a billion years ago, he somehow found himself transformed across time and space into an unwilling deity.

Yes, I have Lovecraft on the brain...

03 March 2004, 08:02 PM (

By the way, thanks for the votes of confidence guys! I appreciate it, and I'm looking forward to all the different interpretations of this theme.

03 March 2004, 08:11 PM
Here are links to larger versions, since I see that some details are getting lost... ( (

03 March 2004, 08:36 PM
rockin! :buttrock: that Lovecraftian touch is very palpable in your concepts. Can't wait to see more.

03 March 2004, 10:41 PM
Beautiful concepts! Nice work

03 March 2004, 10:59 PM
francis, very good to see me comenting on some of your recent work. see if i can give you a run for your money, well i got a bunch of chucky cheeze tokens anyways, as always keep it greazy, one eye pen the other peepin through the curtains at the girls getting out of high school, its 3:30!!

ninos smut shak and laundrymat services!!

03 March 2004, 11:19 PM
Nice i very much enjoy the middle concept in the first page...smashing :D

Good to see i'm not the only one with gods on their mind :)

03 March 2004, 12:20 AM
Amazing stuff,

You have an interesting style i just sat here for a while with a fixed gaze and my mouth open....:eek:

will be watching this thread with anticipation...

03 March 2004, 12:45 AM
oh my god, those are beautiful!
you see what i mean?! you see?! i can't even SEE the first prize anymore!

kust kidding. i'm not giving up that easily! :)

03 March 2004, 02:32 AM
fcuk it! thats it! im out! :)

(i dont suppose when someone of your caliber wins, Francis, that you'll be donating the proceeds to charity? :blush: )

03 March 2004, 04:45 AM
Hey Francis.

I really like your sketches bro. ...some f*%&$@ $#!t. I LOVE IT!


03 March 2004, 04:12 PM
Your conceptual sketches are great!
each one depicting very unique ideas

My favourite is the character in the second sketch.

I'll be checking your progress.

03 March 2004, 04:31 PM
Something in your first sketch reminds me of Jabba the Hutt. That fat squishy slug-like body!

And the concept reminds me subtly of Herbert's 'God Emperor of Dune'.

Those are some good sketches, by the way! Bring on the next stage!

03 March 2004, 04:50 PM
I am very exited to see what this one turns out like. I actually like the first concept better. Something about the person sitting inside of the creature cought my attention. Is he the controller or maybe the offspring?
I like it a-lot!

03 March 2004, 05:13 PM
alright ! your the man
I LOVE your style.. those are soooooo nice! you can be sure that I'll be watching your work.. eheh.

man, I love everything about it.. hell I even like your handwriting lol..

03 March 2004, 06:54 PM
good luck :)

03 March 2004, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by darkefire
fcuk it! thats it! im out! :)

(i dont suppose when someone of your caliber wins, Francis, that you'll be donating the proceeds to charity? :blush: )

i am not sure why everyone are crying ... i dont know about anyone else, but i am sure i am not as well known or the best of digital painters, but i do plan to give them a run for thier money ;) figuratively speaking. to tell you the truth the only fellow that really troubles me is anry.. but hey... keep in mind they are all human. All humans make mistakes, and eventually they all go down. how ever i do wish best of luck to all. :)

03 March 2004, 09:21 PM
hi francis
sheer quality.
I admire the way you can come up with one great thumbnail and not get stuck on it and the details, you just pop another classic out. One of them reminded me of a Dune character

03 March 2004, 06:10 AM (

Trying some color ideas. I'd like to really get a sense of anguish or sadness in his expression. At the moment I am not too happy with the integration of organic and mechanical - I think the particular aesthetic of his mechanical portions still needs some investigation.

This is a crop of a larger sketch.

03 March 2004, 06:14 AM
By the way, thank you for all the comments and encouragement! This is a great topic, all kinds of possibilities came to my mind when I first read the description. It will be great to see all the different interpretations.

There is some Dune influence here isn't there? Hm, I need to figure out how to infuse some Lovecraft back into him. Any comments or crits are welcome as always.

Thanks guys.

03 March 2004, 09:33 AM
Good Luck Francis!:beer:

03 March 2004, 09:39 AM
Try to turn his look up to the sky a little bit. Sadness could be about asking somebody from upstairs "what did i do wrong" or something. Great sketches!

03 March 2004, 11:38 AM
That is wonderful! Hideous... but wonderful! :D

03 March 2004, 01:17 PM
wow. this is definatly my fav so far.
all the images are fantastic.

I havn't seen too much emotion in any of the other pieces... mine included.

Tommy Lee
03 March 2004, 01:56 PM
Very, very fine Concepts!:thumbsup:

Good Luck for u,... I keep an eye on this:eek:


Tommy Lee

03 March 2004, 09:02 PM
really good concept!

Good Luck :)

03 March 2004, 12:00 AM (

Trying some different directions - looking at some figures from mythology, like Prometheus or Sisyphus who were subjected to some sort of eternal torture for daring to defy a god.

In this sketch our guy is more anchored on the ground, possibly looking out at the ocean. I was having some issues with the hanging guy reminding people of Baron Harkonnen, plus it wasn't quite as grim somehow. So this guy is jammed into some sort of mechanical outpost, his fleshy bits suffering from exposure to the elements and creatures.

03 March 2004, 12:03 AM
Thanks for the comments. NinjaASSN, thanks I think that's a good suggestion. I did have in mind that this guy was *made* into a god himself, so he wouldn't necessarily be praying to one. But then I thought well, he was made unwillingly into one, so perhaps he still prays to his own god for some sort of release.

03 March 2004, 12:29 AM
Boahh, great sketches, wish I could it too...:rolleyes:

Great man, great

03 March 2004, 06:57 AM
Originally posted by francis001
In this sketch our guy is more anchored on the ground, possibly looking out at the ocean. I was having some issues with the hanging guy reminding people of Baron Harkonnen

Actually I prefer the last one myself, that colour test above really did remind me of God Emperor of Dune and Leto II .

03 March 2004, 08:07 AM
Very nice,...I have always been partial to combining rather large puffy things with skinny twig like things, so i especially like this entry. Really cool. Good luck to you.

03 March 2004, 11:54 PM
really nice sketches , i like the baron Harkonnen "touch" and the floating one really need some investigation !
keep the good work !

04 April 2004, 03:18 AM
i feel uncomfortable while lookin at this gigantic lump of fat alien...
How should i destroy it when it getting frenzy?...It's Horrible!
I dun want to know how its parents looks like. I fear to feel the pictures inside my head oredi.

i like ur writing too. It's cute~ :thumbsup:

The body reminds me of Akira. & his features looks like Freddy & the finger claws dat make scary sounds on d surface.

i won't let this creature live dat long in my world. It can spoilt my beautiful world.

04 April 2004, 03:48 AM
G'Day francis,

I love ur illustrations i am thinking the second one is the way to go. Love the idea!!

Is he being constantly tortured and thats why he is screaming? I cant wait to see the colour version with the weathered metal.


04 April 2004, 08:21 AM
Great to see you here Francis !!

Nice idea and love your firsts sketches.

I think that your coloring wip hasn't get all the intensity of your sketches, but it's interesting where you'll get your idea !

04 April 2004, 05:01 AM
Your drawings are macabre. I dig it. Good Luck.

04 April 2004, 01:24 PM
gooooooood sketchs and original concepts

04 April 2004, 02:36 PM
Hi those sketches are great and the concepts are even better. I loved the last one. that metalsuit and the expression of the man makes you think about what is going on underneath.. I also liked the first one the man with just the head and the spinal cord. Wonderful

04 April 2004, 03:07 PM
Good stuff, keep it coming

04 April 2004, 10:32 PM
Extremely repulsive. nice job on the concept.

cheers, Jared Simeth

04 April 2004, 04:46 AM (

Still exploring the theme of "reluctant gods" - this time, borrowing from the Persephone and Cassandra mythologies. The character here is given some sort of unnamed godlike powers, but is banished to a plane of existence where her powers are useless to her. Blah blah blah...

04 April 2004, 04:47 AM (

A close up of the above image...

04 April 2004, 04:48 AM
BTW, thanks for your comments guys. My concern is that I was treading too close to the Dune look and feel with these guys, and wanted to shake things up a bit. I will probably end up incorporating a lot of those original elements back into this design...

Crits and comments welcome as always.

04 April 2004, 06:02 AM (

A few steps in the painting process. I abandoned the female figure idea and went back to the "tortured professor" idea mentioned in the first post.

04 April 2004, 06:19 AM (

Here is a larger version of the painting at the moment. It is still pretty early in the process.

04 April 2004, 06:48 AM
My god! What have YOU been smokin'? This is some twisted ideas here, LOVIN' IT!!!!! I prefer your bulbous sloth grotesque ideas over your others like the female figure. Seems more interesting and original. And alot more twisted, but I like that and definitely think that anything machineflesh is pretty much along those lines (at least in my mind, heh).

You're definitely one of the few that raise the bar way high for the rest of us in this competition. I eagerly await your next milestone.


04 April 2004, 07:45 AM
Damn! Awesome rendering...
BTW: Interesting transformation:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Great!!!

04 April 2004, 07:48 AM
yes , i prefer this way too , sad and terrific entity lost in badlands , i like it ! nice coloring :thumbsup:

04 April 2004, 08:00 AM
you have some of the best sketches I've seen so far, your painting surely isn't that of a beginner and the idea've got a big chance in winning this whole comp!

good luck and greets

04 April 2004, 10:35 AM
Well I'm not sure that is the good way.
Maybe it should'nt be the central character of your painting.:wise: :hmm:

04 April 2004, 07:40 PM
i'm still commin for you francis!!!,,, damn lets see i tried booze, i tried weed, hmmm maybe this viagra will help, down the chute!!:surprised

05 May 2004, 05:41 AM
First post ever on a forum for me...:thumbsup:

I like the way you pulled the red out and shifted the mood... Very nice.

Also the familiarity I see in the original sketches with priest like characters make the concept much stronger...

Great work as always...

05 May 2004, 06:15 PM
good stuff Francis.

YO. Freever
how's it goin'?


05 May 2004, 01:57 AM
Good ... Hows it going with you?

this instant messenger things slow.....

05 May 2004, 06:27 AM (

Here is a minor update to the painting. As I'm working on this guy, different versions of the story are sort of evolving in my head. Originally I pictured the character as one of the protagonists from a Lovecraft "elder gods" type of story - a researcher of the occult who somehow stumbles onto a different plane of existence. The (current) imagery borrows a lot from the Clive Barker/Hellraiser aesthetic, which is a little closer to my heart than the Dune look and feel.

At this point, I'm thinking that the image depicts a 20th or 21st century researcher or scientist who tries to devise a mechanical time machine based on his research into occult and/or time and space bending forces. Due to some sort of fundamental miscalculation, he finds himself stranded at the end of time, fused with his time travel machinery. In the "place" he is now, time has dwindled to almost a dead stop, and so he has all eternity to exist and contemplate his folly.

Creepy huh?

Or maybe he just got caught in some sort of futuristic wood chipper...

05 May 2004, 06:32 AM
BTW, thanks for the comments and crits. I'm stretching this process out a lot more than if I were designing a character for a game or a movie. I'm enjoying going in different directions, trying out (stupid) ideas, getting good feedback on what's appealing and what's not. This might not be the correct approach, but I'm looking at a single 2D image as the final product, and so I'm making choices with that end in mind.

Freever and jk, where are your entries?? This is just like the design exercises we were doing with Steven Olds. Great opportunity to practice the sKiLz! What are ya, chikkin? BOK BOK!:p

05 May 2004, 06:00 PM
Man...nothing to say, Awesome work!
just keep up:thumbsup:

05 May 2004, 10:48 PM

just wait.... 2 many thangs hanging around....
ain't that sad? =\

how's everythang Francis?
maybe lunch someday?


05 May 2004, 01:44 AM (

Another work in progress step.

05 May 2004, 02:37 AM
Great move.... that really works for me.

It feels like the human has become nothing more than a ornament on the time machine... very nice.

Very strong move with the canvas...

05 May 2004, 06:24 AM (

Oops I noticed that my sketches of the time machine component got deleted with that hacker attack.

These sketches show some exploration of the machine component of the character design. I recently read a great book called Art & Physics by Leonard Shlain, in which he talks about some of the parallels between various art movements and various theoretical breakthroughs in classical physics and quantum mechanics. Part of the discussion talked about time travel (theoretical of course) and how certain art styles could represent that phenomenon visually.

Anyway, that was part of the inspiration for this piece. With the time machine design, I was more interested in it as a shape design exercise to counter the human form. Not so interested in showing a design for a time machine...

05 May 2004, 05:23 AM
I used that book for my thesis in school...

cubism and its relationship to time was a huge thing for me.

ahhh ... you're right, this is like the Steven exercise ... nude descending the staircase.

I would like to see a little more about the time machine... not sure if a person would know the functionality of the machine currently.... what I'm thinking is that by looking at the image anyone would know that it was a time machine... not sure how you would do that but... I think that type of clarity would make the piece much more grand that it already is.

I guess I keep hitting the same point... but I think in art or in architecture ... as a designer, we need to allow small amounts of functionality to guide the ornamentation... I think something as subtle as a clock-like element... form follows function.. is not what I'm pushing... What's your thoughts on that?

Do you feel it's necessary that the concept should convey a clear sense of its purpose?

05 May 2004, 05:27 AM
NICE. realy love your work

06 June 2004, 06:37 AM
yo francis... i love the sketches you've made so far and the comps too. they kick ass. your direction is great, there is so much you can do with the unwilling god theme. drawing on myths is a great resource. your composition is good right now...but i think that there needs to be something else on the left side...something vertical to balance the figure on the right. other than that it's looking good so far. see you at the finish line.

06 June 2004, 06:24 AM (

I think this is close...

I have to sleep now.

06 June 2004, 06:51 AM
:thumbsup: i really love your style - lovely use of brushstrokes to achieve that painterly feel.

the composition works well because it is minimal and not overworked, adding to the feeling of torment of the proffessor / person.

Really great work...sorry I've not come across your link until now...and good luck:applause: :thumbsup:

06 June 2004, 07:29 AM
Ilove it a lot man...nice tuning colors..cheers

06 June 2004, 07:29 AM
I love it a lot man...nice tuning colors..cheers

06 June 2004, 07:33 AM
it is quite simply sublime... :applause:

06 June 2004, 08:10 AM
I like the mood of this image.

06 June 2004, 01:04 PM
I just... Loooooooove it ! The composition is just great ! And the details of the shouting face merging with the machine... WOHAAAA !!!!! Great work ! :bowdown:

06 June 2004, 03:50 PM
Awesome job dude!!:eek:

06 June 2004, 04:22 PM
SUPERBWORK. :bowdown:




"Del pecado de mi pueblo comen, y en su maldad levantan su alma..." (

06 June 2004, 05:40 PM
Very impressive work! Color harmony is great, and mood.........very "strong". I like how you made the sky and his soft fog-ambient-light..The composition, with this perspective, give the desire to run outside this world, but the details of characters and the little ones so far make my eyes stay in...
Impressive and effective work !

And good luck !

Best regards.


06 June 2004, 09:07 AM
Simple and strong work!
A great painting!:p

06 June 2004, 06:11 PM (

A few tweaks here and there. There are some elements hinting at the time travel ideas, especially as described in the book I mentioned. There aren't going to be any literal time-travel device gizmos like clocks. I was more interested in referring to different relativistic phenomena like multiple versions and different stages (i.e. the twins example), "seeing backwards" (due to time dilation/space contraction), etc., but on a second-read level.

I realize this is essentially a character design exercise, but my interest was more in creating an emotional character study rather than simply a drawing indicating how something should be modelled. Because of that, I didn't want the design of the time machine to distract the viewer's attention from the overall piece. I am hoping that the character and machinery "read" as a single entity, and that it conveys a visceral feeling of torture, remorse, horror.

Anyway, thanks for all the input and suggestions. I had a lot of fun thinking about this guy and working on the painting. This has seriously tapped out my attention span though, so I think it's time to move on to something else!

06 June 2004, 09:48 PM
Absolutely beautiful work... darkly poetic. I love it! Wonderful atmosphere and great emotion evoked from the character design. Definately a top runner for sure! :applause:

06 June 2004, 10:44 PM
In my opinion, your **Mystic World** is very nice and amazing ...etc. Your design (composition) and colors are impressive!!!


06 June 2004, 11:04 PM
OMG!!! THat's frikkin sweet man! Very well done. Great choice on the colors. I love the depth you created with the pillars and other machines in the distance sorta fogged out. If this doenst win in the competition, Id say it shoudl at least be published in Expose 3 or something.


06 June 2004, 01:47 AM
BTW, I was looking back over your sketches earlier in the thread. Did you do a lineart milestone for this? I didn't see it anywhere but was interested to see.


06 June 2004, 02:09 AM
beautiful work bud, im sorry i hadnt noticed it many entries so little time if you know what i mean. There is definatelly something strangely beautiful about the image. cant put my finger on it but i like it a lot. The huge monoliths in the background are a nice touch. Good going.:thumbsup: :D :beer: :bowdown: :D

06 June 2004, 02:29 AM
:scream: :scream: :scream:

why I haven't seen this before??!!

no words...



06 June 2004, 01:02 PM
Beautiful work man!

06 June 2004, 03:01 PM
It's like a painting, very good painting... I like the mood of your work, really beautiful colours. It could be the illustration to William Blake's poetry. Congratulations!:)

06 June 2004, 05:27 AM
really nice work, the square pillars added a lot. Nice colors too.

06 June 2004, 06:41 AM
A truely haunting piece. :thumbsup:

06 June 2004, 06:53 AM
Very nice piece! I like your composition and the design elements that you used in the character. Your painting technique and restrained choice of color is nice also!:thumbsup:

My Machineflesh Entry (

06 June 2004, 07:07 AM

06 June 2004, 12:45 PM
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: the final piece looks amazing...

As I said before, I loved the composition and use of space really works well.

The dust / mist and lighting really make the final image really something....

good luck in the next stage / voting :thumbsup: :drool: :thumbsup:

06 June 2004, 05:44 PM
yes ! i love the final image , mood of apocalypse ! nice texture and colors this is great ! :eek:

06 June 2004, 02:23 AM
Amazing style:buttrock: REally great piece you got here. The univers you have created is just fantastic. I wish you the best

06 June 2004, 11:05 AM
Excellent work !

06 June 2004, 01:23 AM
I'm so glad I don't have to judge any of the 2d or 3d entries, hate to say it but the 3d is a cakewalk compared to the 2d entries, So much fantastic work in the 2d.

Friedric P
07 July 2004, 04:11 PM
Beautiful work. Excellent originality. +1 vote!!!! :scream:

07 July 2004, 07:01 PM
amazing work. I imagine that you'll at least make it too the judges. Good luck. :buttrock:

07 July 2004, 09:17 PM
One of the greatest pictures I have seen so far in the 2D challenge.
I love the universe (close to those I try to create sometimes myself).

The mood is perfect.
Your lighting is perfect...blablabla...

Action not seems you got my vote...:thumbsup:

Cya !

07 July 2004, 02:34 PM


07 July 2004, 04:44 PM
hi francis, i am a great admirer of your art i like this image alot

and i was wondering if you can stop by my thread and let me know what you think of my image.

thanks alot. good luck.


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