Concept Art


I wanted to go with a round organic feel to complement the boxy tennis machine. The TV head does an excellent job simplifying facial animation since that is not the focus of our animation. The shoulder joints use ball joints and the other joints have fairly simple constructions. Most of the shapes seen are cylindrical or a box with rounded edges. Subdivision modeling will be used to model it. The robot is slightly bigger than the tennis machine. He also has a tennis head band, wrist band (for controlling the tennis machine), tennis looking shoes with white rims on the bottom, and a pattern on the torso resembling a polo shirt.

The overall proportions of the robot won't change and the mobility should stay the same.
Old sketch here


  • Name: Your comment.

Tennis Machine

I had a lot of fun designing this one. Most of my decisions either were to simplify modeling and animation since this is a secondary character. I wanted to make it look like an old machine without intelligence which lead me to look at old computers. The body of the machine was inspired by my furnace, air conditioner and also the VAX computer. The hole where the balls come out was inspired by Spacewar!.

There is a hidden panel on the side of the machine where a tennis racket slides out. To swing the racket the machine spins around. The vents on the bottom part of the machine will be where the steam comes out. To show the computer has a vengeance the hole where the balls come out will have a red glow sort of like HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The wheels are hidden to simplify the animation. On the back of the machine is a control panel where the robot turns it on in scene 1. Instead of the turret popping up the machine could vibrate and make some noises.

One prominent design of existing tennis ball machines is the launcher built into the machine as opposed to a turret and the balls being fed in the top. Not everyone knows what a tennis ball machine looks like but with the balls visible in the holder the viewer can easily make that connection. I drew the box containing the balls as having a lid because without it we would probably need to animate balls moving around and falling out as the machine moves around the court.

This design will be tweaked but the overall shape should remain the same — although perhaps a bit slimmer. It will still be a rectangular box with wheels and a racket that comes out of the side.

Old sketch here


  • Chris: While not practical, I still think a turret would be a good idea. It would give the machine more character, make it look more menacing, and provide us with something to exaggerate (I do like the idea of it swelling to fire a basketball).


Note that these environment shots will be changed slightly so the court will not take up the whole building. At no point do we need to show the building from the exterior.


Here's some quickly redone interior stuff. Basically boxes in one corner, machines clockwise of that, a log in front of the big door, and then barrels and a machine to fill in the gap. Also a redesign of the vines and a back door on the far wall.


Concept exploration

I created quite a few pages of different parts and experimented with various ideas. I don't have time to scan them all but I'll post any that may be useful.

Different types of ball holders.

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