View Full Version : Machineflesh 2D Challenge Entry: Michael Murray

05 May 2004, 02:16 AM
Michael Murray has entered the Machineflesh 2D Challenge.

05 May 2004, 03:10 AM
Hello all. :)
Just came across CGTalk recently and looking through the forums I was blown away by the calibre of the work here. Its inspirational stuff for creative folk like myself.

The Machineflesh challenge looked like a fun place to start contributing, so here I am.
I'm a bit of a late starter, but I think I've got enough time to produce something decent.

05 May 2004, 03:38 AM (

The first concept I had was the Brain Tap. A device you'd plug into your brain to tap in and make use of the unused parts of the brain. I'm kind of getting into the metaphysical here.
It's quite difficult to think of a way I can depict this concept.

05 May 2004, 04:22 AM (

Concept number 2.
Got the idea from an inventor who has built electronic circuits into little modules that you can attach to a larger circuit board like Lego blocks. They can be made into robots then programmed to perform tasks.
My adaptation of the idea: What if you could attach flesh modules to a basic metal skeleton. The modules are programmed to grow according to the programmers specifications. So you can design your own little weird looking pet by changing limbs, body shape, colour, fur, etc.

05 May 2004, 02:29 PM (

My third concept and the one I have chosen to go with is on the theme of Biological Control.

Some years ago Government scientists backed by the powerful farm lobby introduced a new species of leaf eating beetle in an attempt to combat the rapid spread of a weed, toxic and lethal to cattle. For a time it seemed to be working, there was a dramatic reduction of weeds. However, these little beetles were highly adaptable creatures and they soon took a liking to a particular native plant species, a plentiful food source. Their ally the beetle had now become their enemy and the problem only escalated.

Some years later...
With advances in genetics and nanotechnology it was now possible to control the biology of the biological control agent (the beetle).
A new release of beetles took place throughout the effected region. This batch of beetles was very different to their predecessors. A nano-bot (tinny robot) soup is squirted onto the beetles. The nano-bots then go to work, first identifying that they have the right species then building technology onto and into the beetle's bodies.
The nano-bots first objective is to build a head plate, the mechanism that integrates with the brain to controls the beetles behaviour. Now the beetles will only eat the weed they were targeted to eat.
To be effective the tecno-beetles must recruit new beetles of the same species. To do this the nano-bots build an ejection tube onto the body of the beetles. Out of this tube shoots the soup of nano-bots, ready to start the process of integrating the technology into another beetle. The beetle's bodies become a factory for building more nano-bots and so the process goes on.
All tests indicated that the beetles could be eaten by predators with no ill effect.
If the beetles leave a predetermined geographical region a kill function is activated. The beetle is killed and the technology ceases to function. This prevents the techno-beetles being introduced back into the species natural habitat.
The perfect solution???

05 May 2004, 02:42 PM
Some nice concepts - I like them all, but you can have some real fun with the beetles and nanotechnology.

Great start and good luck - I look forward to seeing how the sketches / ideas develop:)

05 May 2004, 03:47 PM (

This is my first thumbnail sketch. I'm trying to get a feal for what I'm trying to depict and how I'm going to depict it. What I want is one beetle recruiting another beetle, squirting a glob of the nano-bot filled fluid from the ejection tube. I want to have a very natural setting to contrast with the technology. Beetles aren't the most dynamic creatures, so I'm going to have to change a few things to make the scene more dramatic.

05 May 2004, 10:40 AM (

This thumbnail sketch is more what I was looking for. The Bionic Beetle is now in a dominant position over its victim and this 'I hope' will make it look more powerful. With the beetle in this tilted back position I've realised that I'll have to bring in another Bionic Beetle, drawn at an angle that will actually show off the mechanical additions to the Beetle's body. I might have to work on its positioning a little to make it part of the action.

05 May 2004, 12:29 PM (

I'm messing around with the positioning of the third beetle, let's call him George. I think George needs to be elsewhere.

05 May 2004, 12:56 PM (

Here's George in his new home. I've closed him in on 'Paul' so it looks more like he is participating in the recruitment with 'John'.

05 May 2004, 04:43 AM (

This image shows the progression of the design for the mechanical enhancements.
The mechanical components are designed to break through the beetle's hard outer skeleton and into the fleshy interior.

05 May 2004, 06:11 AM (

Hopefully now you can better visualise where I am going with this drawing. The Beetles standing on a branch with a rough bark texture, I've also added a bit of moss and lichen to give it age - The nano-bot fluid squirting from John's ejection tube and splattering on Paul.

06 June 2004, 01:07 PM (

Zoomed in a bit on the Inked line-art.
This baby's screaming out for some colour.

06 June 2004, 12:45 AM (

I've completed laying down the flats and am now adding the contours for the light, shadow and textures.

06 June 2004, 12:57 AM
Nice quick colour work and your linework is great, it has definately made it easier for you to drop in the colour. I can definately see where things will begin to take shape, should look great in the end. Goodluck and keep the updates coming.:thumbsup: :D :D :bounce:

06 June 2004, 01:20 PM
sketchfiend: Thanks for the kind comments. :)

I've inked for a few artists, so if I had to pick a forte, I guess inking would be it. Not that I'm a strict traditionalist, but with the advent of digital inks and the focus turning more to colouring, good inking seems to have become less and less a priority as far as mainstream comic art is concerned. But so long as there are rough pencillers around and the line-art comic style subsists inkers will continue to exist in some form or another.

06 June 2004, 02:56 PM
What in Ringo's name was I thinking!
As they say, 'Silence speaks volumes' and the silence was near on deafening.
Time to change tact, time to get hip to the groove.
People don't want to see quirky, cutesy little bugs, no matter how solid the story/concept behind it. This is about visual impact and mass appeal after all (excuse me while I slap myself around a bit). (No cynicism intended).

People want to see something with a little more Grit. Something you can get your teeth into. This, strangely enough, is the subject matter for the next concept I am working on. I'm calling it Future Eaters.

More shortly...

06 June 2004, 03:19 PM (

What to eat when there's nothing left to eat.
Eating to feed the machines.

06 June 2004, 03:53 PM
The story behind the image:

Future Eaters.
Humans began to integrate intelligent machines into their bodies so that they could live longer healthier lives. They created a utopian, automated society.
That was until the planet entered a phase of instability. Massive volcanic eruptions filled the skies with ash and almost blocked out the sun. The planet turned cold and dark. Not enough food could be grown to feed all the people and many were pushed to the fringes of civilisation where a bleak future awaited them. The machines that dwelled within the bodies of these poor soles were tasked with keeping humans alive and they also began to learn that if the people die they too would perish. The machines began to modify the bodies of their hosts unchecked, taking over the functions of internal organs and patching up injuries with cybernetic additions. The fringe dwellers could now consume anything that could be converted into sustenance and energy by the machines and used to keep the body functioning.
Life for the hosts became androgenous and disconnected. They were prisoners within their own bodies.

06 June 2004, 04:11 PM (

Near complete pencilled line-art.

06 June 2004, 06:24 AM
Looking good dude,

not much time left, i want to see updates.


06 June 2004, 06:36 AM
interesting concept, yea lets see some updates

06 June 2004, 08:56 AM
Interesting idea...............get a move on!

Good luck!


06 June 2004, 09:02 AM
A change in concept, neat...., As always your line work is sweet, Keep the updates coming im looking forward to more naked chicks....opps, i meant future eaters .:bounce: :beer: :thumbsup: :D hehehehe, great work bud, keep it up.:beer:

06 June 2004, 12:18 AM (

The completed line-art drawing. Minus a few background details.

06 June 2004, 12:37 AM
Yep, the pressure is really on and I was planning on going away for the weekend just to increase that pressure by a factor of 10. I think I can still just scrape in there.
Cross your fingers for me.

06 June 2004, 12:04 PM

I think you shouldn't go away for the weekend. You must stay behind your screen and go on.... :deal:

I'm joking :p

You're depicting a terrible world.

Will you paint it with high contrast between character and background, such as gray skin versus reddish sky ? It's just a question.

Looking forward for updates.

06 June 2004, 12:07 PM (

The colouring begins at last.
Iíve gone for my favourite hard masked airbrush style.

06 June 2004, 12:35 PM
spacesnail: I was thinking of having the background quite dark with the light peeking out from the horizon, then layering some snow sweeping across the landscape.
I'll probable have to cool down the darker skin tones. I'll give it some thought.

06 June 2004, 12:20 PM (

Iíve almost finished colouring the girl, time to get stuck into colouring the rest of the scene.

06 June 2004, 02:33 PM (

Just enough time to make a few more adjustments.

06 June 2004, 07:02 PM (

Feew, itís done. And just in the nick of time. Thanks to a marathon colouring effort.

06 June 2004, 08:25 PM (

I better post this final image now to stop myself from fiddling around with it any more. I think Iíve stayed fairly true to my original concept.

06 June 2004, 11:48 PM
Congratulations on finishing in time, even after changing tack near the end! It's a nice strong image with a great inking style.

06 June 2004, 03:42 AM
Thanks BlackLight.
It's a little unfortunate that these line-art illustrations don't compress as well as other images. I had to compress the heck out of it to get it under 150k.
I wasn't initially going to be so bold with the colours but I figured this kind of pic aint about subtlety, so I went mad.

06 June 2004, 04:49 PM
congrat man great work:thumbsup:

06 June 2004, 08:55 PM
:applause: Good to see you finished the piece...

Really bold and dynamic style..Good to see something original and unlike other works in the challenge

Good luck in the contest and see you in the next :applause: :applause: :thumbsup:

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