Skip

Nuke me, baby
August 8, 2012 11:35 PM   Subscribe

Homebuilding a 474mm tall model of "Robocain" from 1990's Robocop 2, complete with a working head. Clips of Robocain and the other Robocop prototypes from the movie. All photos from the project. Bonus music link: Front Line Assembly performing the Robocop 2 sampling Mindphaser live.
posted by Artw (20 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Robocop AND FLA? A glorious post.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:00 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now, if we can get the working Robocain to stomp on the stage with FLA.... (they are still around, right?)...
posted by Mezentian at 12:08 AM on August 9, 2012


Wow. That's really cool. It's a beautiful piece of machine work.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:16 AM on August 9, 2012


It's been a while since I've seen Robocop 2, but I watch Robocop frequently. When did he turn blue?
posted by thecjm at 12:18 AM on August 9, 2012


Now you have me really curious about the effects. Even though the majority of the positions are fixed, they clearly venture into using stop-motion with a moving camera territory. I assume that means you need to record the position of the camera? Also starting at the 3:49 mark there is smoke billowing in the background. Was that CGI? What an insane amount of work for such a shitty movie.
posted by phaedon at 12:21 AM on August 9, 2012


Meh, it's no ED-209...
posted by mikelieman at 12:54 AM on August 9, 2012


Also starting at the 3:49 mark there is smoke billowing in the background. Was that CGI?

Probably just standard compositing (Introvision, etc.)

The amount of machining / milling in all of those aluminum parts in the replica is insane.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:45 AM on August 9, 2012


Brilliant ! But - scrolling through the forum to see the pictures was a PITA.
I've half a mind to email the maker and offer to let him put those pics on my Flickr* ( or indeed suggesting hosting them on his own Flickr) because the widest possible audience deserve to see this, and they won't on that forum.

* Other hosting picture services are available.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:30 AM on August 9, 2012


Oh, just wonderful. The beauty of this is that it both celebrates this modelmaker's skill/patience and Craig Davies' original design, which is still absolutely phenomenal I think.
posted by specialbrew at 3:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now you have me really curious about the effects. Even though the majority of the positions are fixed, they clearly venture into using stop-motion with a moving camera territory. I assume that means you need to record the position of the camera?

I don't think motion controlled cameras were in common use yet, even shops like ILM were just doing their first experiments. I don't have the movie around to check, but usually SFX shots that composite live action with puppets have the camera locked down to a fixed position, which looks lousy because usually you want big action but the camera stays still. That's why motion controlled cameras were such a big thing.

If you read some of the Robocop archives, it says that some shots were performed live with a full scale Robocaine model that was moved around by puppeteers wearing black suits and moving the model with poles. On those shots, the camera is free to move. Here's a pic of a full scale model on the set and here is another. I think this pic is my favorite, it shows what SFX was like in the era before CGI, it was mostly stunt work.

Meh, it's no ED-209...

I went to see Robocop 1 at a theater in Universal CIty, about 2 days after the premiere. I walked into the building, gave the usher my ticket, walked toward the theater door, and as I turned the corner, HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT? A full scale ED-209 model that was used in the movie. It looked like it was made mostly out of vaccuum formed plastic. I came back to the theater with some friends to see the movie again, the model was all busted up, I guess kids were climbing on it or something. It was a lot more fragile than it looked.

Anyway, I am dissatisfied with the Robocain model, it needs patina and grunge, it's too shiny and new. The job is not finished. Typical of a model maker to not want to mung up his shiny, clean work.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:01 AM on August 9, 2012






I don't think motion controlled cameras were in common use yet, even shops like ILM were just doing their first experiments.

Motion controlled cameras were pioneered in 2001 (1968) and widely used in Star Wars (1977).
posted by entropicamericana at 8:05 AM on August 9, 2012


Wow! I'm retired and I don't have that much time on my hands!
posted by TDavis at 8:26 AM on August 9, 2012


entropicamericana: I think CDS meant motion control cameras outside of the special rigs in the SFX workshop.

Like a way to put a RoboCain into a scene with people nowadays might involve filming the actors with a camera that records its movements and settings, and then running the scene again with no actors to get a clean image to play with.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:32 AM on August 9, 2012


Looking at them now, I saw some shots that are definitely stop-motion, and the camera is moving. But they could have had a model-sized background and stop-motioned the camera movement. Shots with both elements that are clearly stop-motion and live-action are locked off.
posted by RobotHero at 1:24 PM on August 9, 2012


RobotHero: Looking at them now, I saw some shots that are definitely stop-motion, and the camera is moving.

I checked the credits, Phil Tippet did the stop motion work. Tippet worked at ILM in the early days of motion controlled cameras on the Star Wars films. But it was still expensive when R2 was filmed, so you'll see mostly locked-down shots. For example, the film of the failed Robocop prototypes that commit suicide, that's a straight on lockdown shot, and it's really badly composited too.

ROU_Xenophobe: I think CDS meant motion control cameras outside of the special rigs in the SFX workshop.

Like a way to put a RoboCain into a scene with people nowadays might involve filming the actors with a camera that records its movements and settings, and then running the scene again with no actors to get a clean image to play with.


Right, this was all miniatures on a tabletop. What you're describing is called Motion Tracking or Match Moving. The camera has free motion, but its position is continuously tracked and recorded, so the CG can be positioned accurately relative to the camera.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:20 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's funny. My Robocain keeps trying to sell me shitty pizza and get me to sign on to his flat tax plan.
posted by jonp72 at 7:02 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tippet also did some moving camera stop-motion work in The Empire Strikes Back, although again, that was in a pure miniature environment.

As far as stop-motion with a moving camera *and* compositing, I'm not sure. I think there may be some in Army of Darkness (which used the Introvision system) either during the scene when the flying gargoyle takes the princess away, or at the end when Ash is fighting the skeleton-ized Evil Ash.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:19 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Robocain thing is cool and all, but this, from the related videos on YouTube, blew my WTF meter completely off the scale. (My favorite part is the recursive bird-flipping at 6:15)
posted by xedrik at 10:49 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older an enigmatic people dedicated to the life of the...   |   Male Superheroes See How The Other Side Lives Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post