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Abakan 2288 and 2301

By Andrew Lovett-Barron
Published in Reading
November 07, 2021
1 min read

You all know by now that I’m a huge sucker for process books. Whether it’s art, industrial design, fashion, and world-building — process stories and imagery always get me. I discovered Luca Zampriolo’s work earlier this year and was pretty interested in his process. He builds small scale robots for film and video games, helping to construct and define the worlds that those games inhabit. Through a combination of sketch, collage-style scale imagery, and custom-assembled resin models, he constructs a sense of realism and weight to scale models in a way that’s pretty compelling and “feels” realistic.

The books themselves (the first one seems to be out of print) are an interesting combination of world-building (describing the individual characters and the why of a particular design), conceptual illustration around those concepts, and technical process around the modelling. What’s interesting with the modelling is that each component of the model seems to have considerable attention paid to that submodules functional raison d’être. Padding in a helmet, wires surrounding a capacitor, the mechanical actuation of a leg, or the line of where rainwater might collect.

Ultimately, it tells a story of details recognized and pursued with a doggedness that most hobbies don’t fully permit and a set of supporting skills that reinforce the need for that realism. As someone who certainly doesn’t have this level of attention span, I find that I really value reading through these books, to understand where such source material comes from, and how it might be applied in the domains that I do have well-developed skills in.

Anyway, definitely recommend these books. Again, the first one is out of print, but the second is pretty easy to get your hands on and I’d suggest always flipping through books like this (irrespective of discipline) if you come across them. They can be a trip.

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Andrew Lovett-Barron

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