Some doodles showing possible different directions for the face:
the first face doodle (top left) i would go for as it looks feminine and sweet.
The basic styling isn't bad, but the eyes are WAY too close together on all of 'em. I'd strongly recommend you work out front-view sketches on all of these, or at least the ones you think are promising.
Looks OK...to expand on my previous comment, I think my main response to this is that the forms need to feel decisively either "human" or "mechanical." Right now you've got a very stylized/mechanical head with a pair of fairly human-looking eyes placed very close together, and the net effect is sort of disturbing (in an "uncanny valley" way.) I'd suggest you either hew more closely to the actual forms of the human head (i.e., give her a brow and cheekbones), or else redesign the eye forms so they look more robotic (i.e., perfectly circular and/or more widely spaced, or else a single cyclops-eye in the center.)
Just my two cents.
Thanks for the feedback Giacomo. I'm not really following the "uncanny valley" reference though. I'd say this last design is hardly human-looking, with just mere suggestions of features (nose, mouth etc); enough to hopefully make the viewer associate it as feminine more than anything else. I've discovered when sketching robot concepts that a) it's very easy to make it look male, b) it's very easy to make it look menacing, c) it's relatively easy to make a female robot look sexy (in a slightly aggressive way). But trying to create one that doesn't have obvious human features, but still looks feminine (and non-threatening) is proving a challenge!
My main concern is obviously trying to make something aesthetically pleasing, whilst designing to the limitations/requirements I've set myself. This most recent iteration of the robot head seems to have been met with approval by others I've shown it to - in that it looks feminine and doesn't come across as scary/menacing.
As always, just my two cents.
some jap cars and products have really cute faces while avoiding uncanny valley and still looking like products, maybe look at them for a guide
I'm trying to squeeze some sketching in between client work, so here's a quick update. I'm leaning more towards wanting it to look functional and yet still female, rather than 'cute'. It should primarily look like a machine (ie industrial) but still retain some kind of femininity.
I'm also starting to think that I'm getting bogged down with focussing on the face (though it is one of the most important features of the robot) and should perhaps just get on with the robot as a whole.
At the risk of being tiresome: I recommend you find some concrete concept.
FYI: "Wildebeest on rollerskates" and "a cross between Hedy LaMarr and Joan of Arc" are concrete concepts. "...Functional and yet still female, rather than 'cute'...like a machine (ie industrial) but still retain some kind of femininity" is meaningless gibberish until you define those terms ("functional," "female", "cute," etc.) in some real-world way.
HeyJamie...Istill sort of have the same observations. personally I think you're making micro-tweaks based on one possibility and I would like to see (just because it might help) much more variation as mentioned - an industrial but feminine look - non-human but functional head/skull, etc. For me it still exists in that uncanny valley place. Just my two cents.
Aside: I had to look up the "uncanny valley" concept and found it fascinating - so thanks to I think VK for bringing that up.
Thanks for the feedback.
Giacomo - I don't want 'it' to look like anything specific, other than a female robot that doesn't feature the usual 'human form' face (ala "All Is Full Of Love' video) and fulfils the visual requirement of her primarily role. I don't feel I need to specifically define exactly what it should look like/resemble. Aren't the terms 'industrial' and 'feminine' self explanatory? To clarify, this concept is a robot that will play a variety of roles in the pit crew of a motor racing team. Thus, she serves an 'industrial' purpose (eg as a mechanic) and I want her to be more feminine than masculine in appearance.
JeffX99 - I guess I'm doing micro-tweaks as I'm generally happy with the overall concept/forms, and am thus focussing on the details (eg the eyes). The fact that I'm still receiving these 'uncanny valley' comments is starting to befuddle me slightly though, as I'd never consider this last iteration as anything of the kind; I think I'm missing something that others are seeing which is concerning me somewhat.
Incidentally, all of the Japanese toy robot suggestions are not the approach I'm after.
Yeah, I think we understand what you're shooting for...but for me she's still caught between industrial and feminine...to me she should be decidedly one way or the other. As a designed thing, if she's supposed to be feminine, she should hit on those cylinders. If she's supposed to be functional, she should hit on those first, then maybe see how forms could be "feminized".
It just feels like you're holding back on either one. Like I mentioned earlier, and I think what Giacomo is saying with concrete concept, go for either end of the spectrum...explore an industrial/functional design and a pretty/feminine design. Then sort of reverse engineer from those extremes...what does it take to feminize the industrial version and what can you simplify and "mechanize" in the pretty one to make her feel robotic and functional.
She just feels stuck in the middle still and hasn't really evolved since the first idea, except in micro detail. So basically that leaves out a lot of possibilities and development that could bring you closer to a design that people respond to and makes sense in the context. Anyway, that's just why I was recommending a broader exploration at either end of your two design criteria, then working backward to discover various solutions.
Last edited by JeffX99; February 16th, 2012 at 08:56 PM.
"I don't feel I need to specifically define exactly what it should look like/resemble. Aren't the terms 'industrial' and 'feminine' self explanatory?...
Incidentally, all of the Japanese toy robot suggestions are not the approach I'm after."
Why not? Theyre successfully doing what youre not.
The peevish tone and unwillingness to accept any crits.. youre here for asspats not feedback right?
To reiterate the last 20 comments, the face looks wierd, the brief is ill-defined, the idea of a 'sexy' femenine robot has all sorts of slightly mysogyinist undertones... but if you really insist why not at least analyse how the better jap designs look cute rather than creepy.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 16th, 2012 at 09:53 PM.
(I was going to edit last post but it grew)
Another way to put it...it feels like you settled on a design somewhere between mechanical and feminine, and have just been making the detail adjustments since. But the feel of this is not in the details...it is more in the fact that you have a very realistically proportioned skull and figure...but the "human" details within are simplified/mechanical...and the viewer is left wondering why? Why doesn't it go all the way toward some ideal of "pretty"? No real reason except your self-imposed challenge limitation. I think this is what is keeping the uncanny vibe. Whereas if it was clearly very industrial and functional, and you "feminized" it I think it would read better.
VK's Japanese robot examples are actually really good solutions for what feel very functional and industrial, but dressed in a feminine form to not seem so threatening and provide some personality. I get that you don't want that look...but maybe try see behind the style and understand the theory of what they've done more?
JeffX99 - Thank you for elaborating. Your 'focus on it from one direction first' suggestion makes a lot of sense. Perhaps I've come to a dead-end and I need to backtrack somewhat to head in a different direction. I've never designed a humanoid robot before, so am still finding my feet with this (when I can find time).
Velocity Kendall -Because what you've suggested in your attached images are cartoonish, and that's not at all what I'm after. I don't want the robot to look like a Manga character. Even the Lambo Miura headlights are cartoonish (though it is a beautiful car!)."Why not? Theyre successfully doing what youre not."
Dead wrong, and where's this lash out come from? You're mistaking "peevish" for confused and frustrated. I've actively put many of my personal projects on design forums welcomingly open to crits, as a lot of the feedback people have offered has helped steer my work in better directions. I wouldn't be putting below par WIPs on here if I was here for "asspats". I very much appreciate all the feedback people offer (including yours) and always encourage C&C, but just because I don't jump to action and follow the exact recommendation someone makes doesn't mean I'm being ignorant or not wanting to hear crits."The peevish tone and unwillingness to accept any crits.. youre here for asspats not feedback right?"
You've not read what I've been saying previously - I'm not after a 'sexy' robot at all. Looking feminine doesn't have to equate to 'sexy'."the idea of a 'sexy' femenine robot has all sorts of slightly mysogyinist undertones…"
OK, so its not manga cute, its not sexy, its feminine/industrial...
"You're mistaking "peevish" for confused and frustrated"
ok fair enough, i misinerpreted you, but youve had tonnes of good advice here from Jeff and Giacomo, might as well set confusion and frustration aside and try to use some of it. There are specific things to sort out. The eyes are small and too close together. Attractive women dont have tiny close-set eyes. Try making them bigger, that will automatically make the head look cuter. WOuld the tyre remover benefit from having a tyre gun instead of a hand? Would the other members of the crew be similarly evolved to suit their specific functions, while maintaining team colours and graphics? Etc.
Why would a pit crew be made up of gynoid robots? Taking the low-grade misogyny as part and parcel of high-octane racing culture, Why WOULDNT they be hyper-stylised femenine caracatures, like the titsy models that teams pay to strut around the F1 grid today? If youre going to exploit the female form to attract men's attention you might as well go all out..
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 17th, 2012 at 07:12 AM.
Out of all the robot heads that you have done in this thread my favorite is the one in post#5 because it kind of looks like a racer's helmet. I think in general the head would look better if it didn't have the eyes specfied.
I think it's cool that you don't want it to look like one of those japanese robots Velocity posted, a lot of them look more like some creepy sexual fantasy rather than a robot that has a function and purpose.
I think you should focus on what does a pit person do, and what do they need to make their job good and fast and apply that knowledge in the functionality of the robot, later you can change her shape to make her more elegant looking and feminine. Anyways, this is just my suggestion.
Velocity Kendall - I really am appreciative to everyone that's contributing, and am not disputing the fact that I've had lots of advice. It is this advice that's caused the confusion in the first place (it's my fault, I know!). I have an idea of the kind of 'look' I'm after, but it's not meeting with approval, which i accept. If I was so inclined I'd just steamroller ahead with my hands over my ears and do what i want. But I want to create something that is better received by all. After all, a robot is a glorified product, and product design is there to appeal to the masses. So PitGirl needs to appeal to the masses too - hence why I'm posting here. But I've hit a speedbump en route, and need to try something different now.
Regarding the robot having different features depending on the role of the crew member, your comment is spot on - and is something I mentioned in Post #24. At the moment I'm trying to nail down the 'generic' look for the robot, but once this is established, there will be different 'looks' for each robot role, including different equipment and livery. The below image shows an idea for a detachable back-pack, that would be interchangeable depending on the function (communications, fuel supply, motor for power tools etc)
The big boobs model approach was closer to what i originally started off with (you're right - the initial seed of the idea was melding the male pit crew with the starting grid models, and forming a female-looking pit team), but since I've come back to this I've gone off the sexy approach somewhat; it seems a bit cliche don't you think? Perhaps I'm wrong?
Voodoo Mama - I think you've cottoned on to something I had briefly played with early on, in terms of a more clean helmet/mask approach. Instead I'd more recently decided to try and tackle a female-looking face. Perhaps I was wrong, and should go back to making the robot's head more racing helmet-like. There are some very cool Pit Crew helmet's out there which are very inspiring. Your 'functionality' comments are much closer to my heart; this is why I veered away from adding big breasts, and human-like facial features such as a nose etc, as there would be no logical reason to have them (from a robot functionality POV). I think, as others have suggested previously, I should look at the functionality side firstly (which I believe the latest full-body concept in Post #26 is moving towards - ignore the head), and as I've done here, rely more on changing the proportions to a more feminine shape. Thanks again - I appreciate your feedback.
saw this in the news today
giles walkers stripperbots
I've been messing about doodling some other designs when I can grab a few minutes here and there - the first group are older, and are related to my last approach (more humanoid looking), and the second group are more robot/helmet&visor aesthetically based. My concern with the second lot is that she is possibly veering towards starting to look masculine, though when mounted on a femininely shaped torso this might not be such as issue? I'd appreciate thoughts, C&C etc?
the ones on profile are my favourites.
I don't think they look too manly, since they have thin necks and very refined jaws, which is the opposite of manly lol. I too think that when you add the shape of the torso it would look clearer that she's female.
I think they are an improvement from the old head sketches you did, but it's up to you and the vision you have.
lol those dancing camera robots.
Thanks for the feedback Voodoo_Mama. Yes, it's still an ongoing evolution, and I'm doodling away when I can. Hopefully the overall female proportions of the body, matched with softer, curved forms will help sell the 'female' perception without having to resort to a human-like face.
And talking about doodles, here's another one...
Last edited by JamieMartin; March 19th, 2012 at 02:11 PM.
i think its starting to look good, i agree with voodoo mama about the more refined jaw profiles as being the best.
itll be really interesting to see it in 3d and with test graphics overlaid!
Looking good. I think the lower page of head sketches in your 12 Mar post is really heading in the right direction.
The new body sketch looks OK, but I think you really need to consider how the shoulder and hip mechanics will work. Right now her mobility in those joints is going to be extremely limited.
what about something like the eyes on eve in Wally? Those look very feminine.
"Now punch that laziness in the face!" -Bobby Chiu
Thanks all for the C&C. Giacomo - I'll work out the functionality of areas such as those you've mentioned once I've nailed 'the look' - which I want to get done and dusted ASAP.
This little project has dragged on far longer than I ever envisioned - mainly due to work commitments getting in the way, but also due to my not being able to hit the mark yet with the design, primarily due to this being my first venture into creating a humanoid design. And I want to get it right, so I won't develop it further (ie 3D) until I'm happy.... and everyone's happy!
Others have commented that they don't feel that 'she's is yet looking like a 'she', and that perhaps I do need to return to the more feminine, buxom breasts look - it has been pointed out that this early sketch is still the most feminine looking to them. Any thoughts on this?:
CreativeSage - that's a valid point. Here's the last render with some 'digital' eyes added:
yeah the screen as face thing worked well in Wall_E
she reminded me of the telebugs
JamieMartin: I actually kind of like that first one, though I'd definitely change the mouth area because it resembles a deep laughter-line wrinkle which is not very attractive. I think the smoother and rounder you make the face, the more sleek and attractive it'll look.
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