Making ROBOT

Hey kiddies! This is my new photograph called ROBOT. This time the theme is addiction and dependence, especially as it pertains to technology.




I began this project by acquiring the materials necessary to build a life-size Robot. I consulted with a local Steam Punk artist named Cliff Robinson, who helped oversee construction. Cliff taught me how to paint plastic objects so that they looked like metal. The body of the Robot was made from a baby bicycle seat and a diaper genie I found at a thrift store.



I spent weeks rummaging through thrift stores and flea markets looking for potential body parts. I used pieces from Tonka trucks and golf carts, grape juice bottles, tripods, plastic plumbing elements, flashlights, toy lightsabers, and knitting needles. Rivets were made by spray painting ‘googly eyes’ and then glueing them onto the body.


The head was made from an air humidifier, radio antennaes, and different Star Wars ships pieced together. We placed a small LED flashlight inside the eye so that it would glow. It was important to me that my Robot have one red glowing eye like HAL in 2001.



I recruited my friend and frequent model Bob Barber to play the part of the Robot’s willing victim. Bob has played the villain in several of my photographs, including DEVIL, BABYSITTER, and most recently KEYHOLE. But this is the first time he’s been cast to play the victim in one of my images.

We glued latex appliances onto Bob’s arms to create the oversized junky track marks.



I used eye shadow to accentuate Bob’s gaunt features and bulging veins. I used black clown make-up on his shirt so that we would appear to be covered in engine oil.



We attached metal rods to the Robot’s arms so that my assistants Matt Tady and Demian Vela could puppet them into position.


We used Fullers Earth to create the atmosphere of steam. Demian and I made a rig with an air compressor to blast it into the air. The grit and texture of the Fullers Earth looked more like steam than the smooth fog I usually use.


After placing Bob into position, my only directions to him were to look as if he were in a state of religious ecstasy. I removed the puppet rods using Photoshop.


I also used Photoshop to replace the yellow plastic syringes with actual glass containers of fluid – in this case Barq’s rootbeer. I did this separately so that I would be able to backlight the fluid and highlight the air bubbles inside.

After photographing Bob with the main Robot body, we photographed the Robot legs. Here you can see Demian positioning a leg with heavy guage fishing line. The leg was made from a weedeater, a Star Wars lightsaber, part of a tripod, an old fishtank purifier, and bicycle sprockets. By this point I had run out of money, so I made only one leg and photographed it in four different positions, adjusting the lights as we went along. I added the legs to the original photograph in Photoshop, completing the insect-like Robot design I was aiming for.


See you next time!

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45 Responses to “Making ROBOT”

  1. Carolyne Says:

    Amazing. You are truly inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing this great making-of with us, I feel like I’m working on the project with you! :)

  2. Hannah Collins Says:

    Holy crap, that is AMAZING!

  3. Cliff R Says:

    Looks damn good man. Top notch work!

  4. Link roundup | weeklypop Says:

    […] Horrifying new photo by Joshua Hoffine. As always, he posts several photos showing how he achieved the final […]

  5. Cady Says:

    Great job! This is spectacular.

  6. Jessica Says:

    As usual, I am blown away. Beautiful work, ingenious use of materials and that model is just about as creepy as you could make him. Well done…

  7. IPBrian Says:

    Brilliant!

  8. Michael Corey Says:

    Holy crap! Once again you have transcended expectations! I am beyond floored with this one Sir! You’ll be seeing me at the next Cinema Wasteland, and I’m positive I’ll be wanting this one just as much as I wanted (and got) the Elizabeth Bathory one.
    Tremendous image Sir!

  9. Philip Says:

    As always, AWESOME work Josh!

    I’m quite envious of Bob— being of similar body type [and former model status], he’s got a versatile ‘gaunt look’ pegged…

    Excellent work- and I’m glad to see you continuously growing.

    Your article said the piece started out as a commission- did they not take it after it was finished?

  10. Mike Padua Says:

    I was introduced to your work 5 minutes ago and I feel like a fool for not knowing about you before. Not only are you inspiring, you are absolutely inspired.

  11. Jill Says:

    Good Lord, this is a tremendous accomplishment! WOW! Bravo, bravo, bravo. Amazing.

  12. ulises Says:

    muy bueno

  13. nickverso Says:

    Nice one. Reminds me of Nightmare On Elm St 3 – “In my dreams I’m beautiful… and bad!”

  14. Chris Says:

    Fantastic work! Always impressed and eager to see your new stuff! This definitely did not disappoint!

  15. Patti Says:

    F’ing awesome as usual……Thanks!!

  16. chickey Says:

    Wow…just WOW! This is amazing! I love your work and if you ever need another model to work with or if you want to teach an up and coming photographer, don’t hesitate to let me know!! I am so impressed by your work. I heard Johnny Dare pimp your website the other day, so hopefully you are on your way to getting the whole city under your web of facination! Keep at it!!

  17. Wazzra Says:

    Wonderful use of the random parts… especially the weedeater!

    great job!

  18. Medea Says:

    Stunning! To accomplish such an incredible result, through focus and huge preparations, really shows that the right idea is worth working hard for.You are truly an inspiration to others. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Brendan Bell Says:

    This image is absolutely amazing. After reading this article about the making of it I am just blown away that you were able to take ordinary things and turn them into something so eerie and unsettling. I’m actually the lead guitarist for Raggedy Angry, and I would just like to say thank you for doing such an unbelievable job, and completely crushing any and all expectations we had for the artwork. Perfect is an understatement. Your work is nothing short of genius. THANK YOU!!!

  20. Jessica Peterson Says:

    Love your creative mind & finished work, Josh. So great :)

  21. Happy Halloween Mr. Roboto! Joshua Hoffine’s Killer “Robot”… | Cherrybombed Says:

    […] one of my favorite creepy photogs, Joshua Hoffine. But, as usual, it was worth the wait. Check out the painstaking creative process that went into creating his latest scary snapshot, […]

  22. Anthony Servante Says:

    Been a fan a long time. Haven’t been let down once. Your imaginative work gets more creative with each piece. And I loved being walked through the process of your artistry. Quite a treat for Halloween. Thanks.

  23. Joshua Hoffine takes us behind-the-scenes of Robot | My Fantasy Art | A gallery and community for creators and fans of fantasy, sci-fi, futurist, stor Says:

    […] published on Joshua Hoffine’s blog. […]

  24. ReelyBored Says:

    You never disappoint! simply amazing!

  25. SF Signal: SF Tidbits for 11/1/10 Says:

    […] Art Joshua Hoffine offers an incredible behind-the-scenes look at his awesome photograph "Robot".More Fun Stuff Some neat visuals in the German Sci-Fi feature film Nydenion. Cthulhu invades South […]

  26. NEKROTIKO Says:

    hola!! muy buen trabajo, muy buenos efectos, enhorabuena. Saludos!!!!

  27. Spitball Says:

    Once again you show that you are a unique artist that separates himself from the pack. I will be purchasing this one as i also purchased “Babysitter”. We need to keep you funded so your genius and our entertainment continues.

  28. Addicted to technology – Where is the line? « Anguished Repose Says:

    […] Making ROBOT […]

  29. neorackle Says:

    this is awesome dude!

  30. transgressivecinema Says:

    Wow! that is incredible. You are very talented, I’m looking forward to following your work. That’s quite an imagination you have there!

    http://transgressivecinema.wordpress.com/

  31. jonathan waugh Says:

    dude you are a genius i absolutley love ur work and i look forward to ur future work

  32. Christine Javier Says:

    I randomly came across your website and am amazed I haven’t heard about you before. I am a huge fan of horror flicks myself so I really enjoyed browsing through some of your other pieces. Outstanding work!

  33. Sophia Walker Says:

    That is fantastic! Any chance I can do a story on you and your work for my blog???

  34. sadmarvin Says:

    hi, your art is really catchy, not only because of the threatening you give to the images (in a general sense – from make up to virtual design), but mainly because of the thematics you explore, such as death & innocence. still, as it speaks for a personal matter (heh), I loved the one with the big spider. probably because I hated it. congrats.

  35. greg urbano Says:

    dude … you rock !!

  36. simonthomson58 Says:

    Spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Malcolm Says:

    Amazing work, as usual! :)
    When I first saw this image, I thought the guy was practical and the robot was CG. I obviously forgot who the artist was for a moment! I love the post work done on this as well. Top notch!

  38. Dean Bowman Says:

    Hello. I was really impressed with this piece and would love to include a link to it in my ezine: HALF LIGHT Magazine. Would it be alright to include your Gravatar image with the link?

    Best Regards,
    Dean

  39. ROBOT | HALF LIGHT Magazine Says:

    […] View ROBOT here: http://joshuahoffine.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/making-robot/ […]

  40. screen_scribbla Says:

    Wow – exquisite work and most inspirational.

  41. Matthew Harmon Says:

    Awesome work. Amazing attention to detail!

  42. The Robot King « Therein lies a story… Says:

    […] ThenI found out that he has a ‘behind the scenes’ blog, and has included a post about ROBOT that goes through everything from initial sketches, to the construction of the robot, from the prosthetics to the post-production. As I have, simultaneously to my film trip, also been getting steadily more and more interested in the whole world of special effects, this really captured me. You should check out Joshua’s blog detailing the full making of, his thought process behind creating the shot, etc. (it’s a WordPress blog, of course) over here: http://joshuahoffine.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/making-robot/ […]

  43. Lenore Arcangelo Mellotron Says:

    HI Joshua!
    Your blog is various and nice, but your artwork…well, simply amazing.
    You are such a talented artist. I especially love the concept-artwork you did with this image, and the whole behind-the-scenes-thing… It’s hard to believe!! Spectacular!!!

    Keep up the good work, and drop a visit to my blog if you wish ^^

  44. Becky Nelson Says:

    I love how you construct the robot out of everyday things! Makes me giggle to hear how many Star Wars bits contributed to it… :)

  45. David Says:

    Looks like some great work. I always appreciate seeing “good old” latex prosthetics and hand done f/x. Beets CGI any day.

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