Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Call of Duty! This project has been my primary creative focus for the last couple of years, and it's been a great honour and a pleasure to have been involved with such a potent franchise. There's not much bigger than COD! The development studio for Infinite Warfare, Infinity Ward, has been my home since January and part of last year, and it's been a dream come true to live and work in Los Angeles. Ever since I was a kid, looking through art-of books of my favourite movies, LA has been the place I always wanted to be.

I had been working remotely, as a freelancer, on the IW project for a while, creating concepts like the C12 here, so it was a natural next step to join the team in house in sunny California. The project needed a dose of solid, believable, and badass science fiction flavour, and that's exactly what I love to do! The C12 was the first thing I designed for the project, and it turned out great. The brief was for a walking tank, an enemy robot with a threatening presence, bristling with armaments. I love the right hand appendage, a combination door breaching hammer and articulated claw. The arms are mounted on curved shoulder rails, so they can rotate around and track various targets. There is so much articulation in this guy, it really taxed the rigging department! Bone count be dammed! ha ha

This is the accompanying human sized enemy robot, the C6. A menacing eyeless axe shaped sensor head is mounted on a 360° degree swiveling pintle frame, so the head can target you from any angle. I imagined the player shoot one in the back, only to have the head spin 180° round and target you, the weapon following a split second behind, helped by the highly mobile shoulder and upper arm sections, allowing the robot to move in ways a human can't, and creating a unique adversary. The work done by the character department to model and texture these robots was insane. It was a true honour to have my concepts brought to life by such a talented team!

A couple of variations on the standard SDF enemy soldiers. The idea was to create an iconic look, something clearly a guy in a suit, but still dehumanised and threatening enough to make them clearly the badguys, and worthy of killing by the hundreds. I added some frames to the 'muzzle', similar to the mounts on a modern day soldiers helmet, that can have additional optics or emergency breathing apparatus attached, to create an aggressive look. The reinforced polymer face pieces have a variable opacity laminate, I imagined a scene where you see a soldier seal up his transparent mask, then the mask turns cloudy white from the bottom up, obscuring the face and turning the visage into an eyeless skull. These SDF soldiers live in their suits, and have multiple redundancy life support systems, with visible added connective cable and hoses, to create a unique inside-out look to contrast against the clean and slick suits of the Earth forces.

Ethan, or E3N, the buddy brobot you as the player have alongside for the game. This guy was fun to design, and I love how the head and upper arms worked out. My brother was the inspiration for this character, he's a big badass dude with the right friendly demeanor that I thought was perfect for this robot. I wanted Ethan to look and feel like someone who would have your back in battle, and be down for some extreme sports in down time. My bro is into motocross, so for the articulated pistons on Ethan's neck, I gave him gold cylinders to reflect the awesome looking forks you find on race bikes. Ethan's head is also a combination of elements from a motocross helmet, with articulated lens hood pieces from a camera lens, and the top hood piece forming a cap and visor peak shape.

Really happy with how his head was resolved. It's tough to come up with a unique and iconic robot head with the right character and ability to emote.

The final design for the UNSA SATO Marine helmets. With the hero Marines, I wanted to create a rugged and tough suit that paid homage to some classic Marine ideas. Mainly the thick armoured neck and arms. The thick neck was an attempt to create a different silhouette than the usual space suit form of thin neck/big helmet. I kept the helmet as slim and 'operator' as possible, while pumping up the neck, to create a unique look that feels badass, and harks to the leatherneck moniker of the Marines.

With the arms I wanted the suit to feel like the rolled-up-sleeves look that's popular with Marines, and seen in some classic movies like Aliens. The lower arm sections and neck utilise mechanical pressure to protect from the vacuum of space, while the rest of the outfit is a traditional gas pressure space suit. Taking inspiration from the latest concepts of future space suits from places like NASA, with their elasticated tight fitting sleeves and lines of non-extension, I created a rugged military look with a thick armoured feel and beefy grid like pattern.

I've loads more concepts to share in the future, so excited to show some of the other cool characters and weapons I was lucky enough to create for the project. Be sure to check out the game too, I'm playing through the final product now and it's rad, so cool to see my work realised to such a high level by a huge and talented team. Cheers!


  1. Holy shit, that C12 tank is one of the best walking tank-style mechs I've seen in a long time.

    It is absolutely covered in detail, all sorts of neat guns and gadgets from the breaching hammer-articulated claw, the prehensile grabber-Jaws of Life tool, the (dual-feed?) minigun on the shoulder that looks very much like a blockier GAU-19/Phalanx CIWS hybrid, and the crazy railgun head thing (is it two weapons stacked together?).

    This design really does feel like a walking tank, very big and beefy, the upper body feels like the turret of a tank complete with cannon, point-defense weapon, defensive launchers (smoke, chaff, etc..), reactive armor plates, and that slanted armor on either side of the main turret and optic. It also feels very robotic, from the actuators and pistons everywhere, the Hexapod structure for the main turret, and the articulated toes and heel of the thing.

    Very space-feeling as well, feeling a bit of Star Wars inspiration from the many random lines on some parts of the C12's armor — greebling is the term for it, I believe? Definitely creates a very nice, rough, gritty textured feeling to it, a war machine of sintered metal designed to impress with functionality and ferociousness, not smooth curvy surfaces. The gold accents on the pistons also add to the space-feeling, reminding me of the gold foil on satellites and probes. The little pads on the arches of the feet make me think of the wheels on the Mars rovers, somewhat.

    The thing also reminds me a bit of a rhino in the leg area, and the big "horn". Bit curious as to what that thing is on its left-shoulder with the three ports, a missile launcher maybe? Also on the left leg, 2 biege blocks of something, a block of C4 or something like that?

    As for the other designs, they are also fantastic. The C6 is a very nice, gritty, toothy-looking fella, very bare bones (in a good way). Would love to see that idea you had for it in the game (not sure if it was or not). The space suits look incredible, definitely reminescent of future space suit ideas while having a very modular military vibe to them, from all the attachment points mostly. The fogging helmets idea is super rad, reminds me of the work you did for Avatar with the idea of electrochromic face shields for the exo-pack gas masks.
    Also that second dude's P90-style shotgun is ultra fucking badass.

    Ethan was my favorite character from the campaign, so I'm stoked to find that you designed it. I like the little hexagonal sphere things on his shoulders, sorta like the geodesic domes of radars — proximity sensors in this case, perhaps. The shoulder defensive launchers remind me of your old Robot with Laser design, and the big optic on Ethan makes me think of a space telescope.

    Overall, really rad shit, hope to see more. I'm willing to bet you did a few designs, like the Volk energy AK, the multiplayer rigs (well, Synaptic was def designed by you as its just a slightlt modified C6), and the C8 droid with the shields. Been having fun with the game by the way.

    Sorry for the poor formatting and run on sentences, by the way, I just woke up.

    Oh, and if anyone wants to see more Infinite Warfare concept design stuff, go look up Mike Hill design, he did a lot of carrier and fighter stuff, very neat shit.

    1. Thanks man! Again, you pretty much nailed it. To answer some questions, the blocks on the thigh of the C12 are defensive munitions, a kind of rapid expanding two-part epoxy material sprayer. To create a defensive barrier to incoming projectiles or explosions. Yes, there's two weapons in the main head canon, the upper is a rail gun, and the lower was a standard large bore canon, but we filled the muzzle port due to the weapon not being utilised in game. So now I guess the main head canon is a giant sensory array perhaps. The three holes in the front armour of the left arm ammo tank box are mainly there to look interesting, but my rational was they were either holes for mounting the piece to the ammo box, or perhaps some metal storm type stacked defensive munitions launchers.

      Glad you like the work man! Lots more to share soon, including all the multiplayer RIG designs.

  2. I fricking knew it! lol.

    I've been watching the Blomkampf films and then playing COD infinite warfare - I've been getting the feeling that I'm playing the films.

    Fantastic stuff bud.

  3. I wish you would teach a class sir, I would love to learn from you; but I know you are super busy; which is a shame.

  4. Facking GREAT! Please, show concept of R-C8!!!

  5. Amazing. I've been a fan of your art for a few years now, I was excited when I heard you were working with the Call of Duty development team, although I'm not much of a fan of the call of duty franchise as it is mainly a multi-player focused series, I've always had tons of fun playing the campaign and exploring the desolate multi-player levels, appreciating the work that the developers had put into the game. Infinite Warfare is so far my most favorite game in terms of visual art. I hope you get to release more of your work sooner.

  6. C12 is a very good one. Especially in the game, when it moves. Lower chassis has a bit of MGS Gekko influence, right? Upper body seems to have a bit of russian T-80 turret look with reactive armor. I feel so even stronger when it dies in the game it has the same cook-off effect when russian T-72/80/90s get penetration of the turret by RPG and it ignites the ammunition in autoloader.

  7. Mint seeing all your bits in piece again! it's been too long seeing your mean designs bol! Nice mix of classic and new bits from ya!

  8. I didn't know of your involvement with IW, but when I saw the designs I knew it was you!...Good Job. The armored sleeves are very unique. Loved what you did.

  9. Great job. I really liked the design of the Marines in this game, more than I did for the members of scar team if I'm being truthful. And the C12 was awesome, especially when it started fighting with the SetDef C12. Ethan was also probably my favorite character, so it's really cool that you designed him. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing what other projects you work on

  10. Gotta say you've got quite the characteristic futuristic scifi design look to your stuff.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Hey Aaron, I attended your workshop this past weekend in LA and just wanted to say I got a lot of knowledge, inspiration and encouragement from it all. I appreciate you hosting that workshop!

  13. Thank for the good topic,Thanks for your sharing.


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