The Orchid Mantis Project is something I’ve been wanting to tackle for a while, and I decided to finally give it a go. This whole thing started as a one-off character from my sketchbook a few years ago that has grown into something more. When I originally designed her, I was still learning a photoshop and digital painting techniques, so it was mostly to gain some practice.
While at San Diego Comic Con that year, I had a portfolio review from some of the professionals there. They looked over it and gave me some good advice on changes I could make to the character. After coming back home, I wanted to take another shot at it.
Version 2 was more satisfying to me, and I learned a lot while working on it. During my senior year in college, I decided to make this character part of my thesis project. After a some further sketching, I wanted to do another version to fit the overall project, and push the insect features further.
After the 3rd version, I was satisfied with the direction it was going. At the same time, I started getting into some 3D printing projects. One project I really wanted to tackle was making an action figure. I figured why not make one of this character I’ve been working on? Once again, I wanted to redesign it, this time to work as an articulated figure.
Since it was going to be a figure, I thought it would be cool to try to work in some little features, like making the helmet open, or giving it some small transformative features. I’m writing this blog as a way to keep myself accountable to this project and keep a log of my progress. Hopefully it can also serve as a guide to anyone else interested in doing something like this.
I’ve given myself a year to finish this thing. Here in January, I am working on some new concepts and breakdowns for the figure (officially Version 5). By March, I want to be modeling in 3D, and start some prototyping by May. I’m looking forward to where this journey takes me.