Mechanical creature. Those are the words you usually include in such phrases as, “Do my bidding, mechanical creature!” Or, “Touch me and you’ll face the wrath of my mechanical creature!” It’s also the answer to the age-old question, “What can we build that will totally awe geeks and scare the spit out of thier children?” Legacy Effects, Stan Winston School and Stratasys, in conjunction with WIRED, answered that question and all it took was six weeks, a full team of artist, designers, engineers and artisans, and 7,500 collaborative hours.

Last week, many a geek got a dose of all things comic, cosplay, toy, tv, movie and toon related at Comic-Con 2014 in San Diego, California. It’s well known that you see more at the show, not in the exhibitions, but on the streets, in the hallways and throughout the guest panels. Outside the San Diego Convention Center is where you’ll find our friend, The Bodock.

The Bodock is a massive creature created to surpass last year’s 10-foot Robot suit project from the same team. This year, they go bigger and furrier with a beast that looks like one of the most complicated piece of animatronics ever built, but in reality, is a mechanism that is smart, simple and uses but four very adept puppeteers working the left arm, right arm, head and (wheeled) legs. All together, the welded steel tube frame, foam, fur and mechanisms with puppeteers attached weighs in at 2000 pounds.

Here’s the breakdown put together by WIRED, that highlights the making of the beast with a fair bit of insight from the people who made it happen.

Scaling up the design of a giant creature
From the sculpt, designer Greg Smith goes through the process of scaling up the massive beast to see how much volume is needed to create it–13.5 feet of creature with two 9 foot arms. Print, measure, make.

Building the prototype
Watch the team go from little wire mock-up to fully-welded articulating version and what they have to consider when making a giant creature puppet functional and safe.

Sculpting the creature
Bodin Sterba is the character designer the team went to for the concepts of Bodek. You can see all the version developed in ZBrush on his blog. Here he talks with the team on the look and feel of the creature.

3D Printing the small-scale figure
Why is the 3D print so important? Jason Lopes shows you how it serves as the first physical model, constant reference and key delivery for setting the project in motion. In addition to the initial figurine, over 1/3rd of the parts were printed using ABS-M30 thermoplastic.

Creature mechanics in action
The team demonstrates the mechanical structure that will be stuffed with four humans to operate an adorably massive high tech creature with alien driving pod.

You can see more clips, previews and the creature on Jimmy Kimmel live from the Legacy Effects Youtube channel.

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Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.