What's Your Design Process

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What's Your Design Process

Postby schoon » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:29 am

For me, I like to sketch a general shape on paper, draw in a few key parts that I'll need to make the "shape" work, and then hit MLCAD for the serious work of brick fitting. I tend not to build till I have a digital design that I like.

How about you, how do you brainstorm about your designs?
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Mantisking » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:33 am

It really depends. Sometimes I dump parts out and start sorting, and while doing so I'll start combining pieces. Other times I'll get an idea in my head -- like last night with this idea for a microscale bus I had in my head -- and do a rough sketch on graph paper and then try to translate it into real bricks.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby OrangeKNight » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:23 am

For me, it's LDD for about 90% of my work, when I came out of my dark age and started designing my Gundams there was no way my collection was large or varied enough to build those(Sooooooo many 1x1 5 stud bricks D:), I mean, I didn't even have any bley, all I had was light and dark grey! xD

I will admit that now I'm starting to need it less and less for smaller stuff like the MFZ frames but habit is hard to break and sometimes I'll just start something in LDD and then go on to build and change it a bunch in the brick.

But I still need it plenty for my larger projects, projects like my Gurren Lagann, Canadian Mechanized Regiment or Strike Cruiser just simply wouldn't be possible without LDD and Bricklink.

But you do have to be careful thought, digital design can lead you towards "Learning Experiences", but the good thing with Lego, is that you can always use more parts! xD

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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby mchnzr » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:45 pm

I can't design on a computer. At most I do a loose, cartoony sketch of the frame, but for me it's all about seeing the parts, how they fit and interact at various angles.

In my limited experience, I seem to start from one body part - a leg, a gun, a head shape and build the rest around that theme.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Forged » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:36 pm

It starts with just looking a pile of pieces, if I find a couple that I think fit together in a cool way, I go from there. This of course leads to piecemeal designs, and I tend to only like 1 or two features of anything I make. Once I run out of parts or patience, I tend to try to cannibalize my models into one perfect model.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby zeekhotep » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:25 pm

I have gotten to the point where I build about half of all my new mechs in my head. If I don't have the parts in the colors I need, then I order them and build the mech when the parts come in. Of late I have incorporated more technic parts into my mechs and I am not as mentally familiar with the geometry of these parts, so there is more hands on experimentation as far as they are concerned.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Dukayn » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:04 pm

I've been playing with MLCad quite a bit because of my limited parts at the moment. I try to design frames that I can make with what I have and then once it's done I'll usually sit down and put it together, see if it works and play around with the design to make it work better than the digital design was.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Hawkn » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:19 am

I dump stuff on the ground, and keep going until I have something that works.

Then again, a lot of the time a "design" just comes to me, and I'm able to figure it out in my head - what parts fit where, etc. I would like to mess around a bit with LDD or something though.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby MittenNinja » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:47 am

Usually, I start with an idea in my head. For example, for this guy I thought about how slick a wheel with two radar dishes on either side would look, and then went from there. Everything else just kind of fell into place after that.

If that's not the case, then I usually start with a few 5 studded 1x1's slapped together for a torso and start slapping pieces on until I get something that I think looks cool.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Olothontor » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:58 pm

Most of the time I don't even do very much designing before I sit down. I walk into a build with a handful of bricks and a concept for a one or two pieces of said build, whether that means the head, a foot design, a neat jumpjet, whatever. I just fill in the rest by fiddling until it "looks right." It's pretty spontaneous, but I find that it works fairly well for me, alltold.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Ken » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:50 am

I start with my pile of Legos spread out on the dinning room table and my iPad open to either Soren, jed_september, or Squieu's pages and start by putting bricks together. I usually try to build something exactly as I see it so I can learn, then tear it down to build it back the way I would like it. Every time I build I learn something new, usually it's because I have to figure out how I can solve a problem using just the parts I have.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Malcolm_Craig » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:36 am

I kind of like taking inspiration from drawings, concept art and so forth. I've got a folder full of images on my laptop, all of which I want to use at least elements of in some MFZ frames. Soren makes a particularly good point about this in this interview. For example, the Lansen was (rather obviously if you know the source) based on the Hannibal from the Patlabor series.

Beyond that, I tend to just sit there with all my boxes of Lego until inspiration strikes. Oftentimes it's something that someone else has done in one of their builds, a nice arm joint, a particular style of head that really sets you off on the road to building something of your own. I am, however, trying to move away from looking at other peoples stuff when I'm building, unless it's for little technical details.Then again, I'm not particularly prolific when it comes to building.

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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Mantisking » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:42 pm

Considering the age of this topic I doubt many people have seen it. It's still a question worth asking, so I'm necroing it.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Atavism » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:39 pm

I don't typically start with a full design or inspiration in mind. Usually there's something specific I want to try- using a certain part/connection, an integrated weapon design, microfig pilots, etc. -that serves as a seed for the rest of the build. When I'm happy with how the seed part turned out I have to engineer a body to accommodate it, then arms and legs to support the body. I sometimes feel like I'm handicapped by that process. There's some terrific builders out there that make these super intricate architectures that required planning from the inside out, and I'm just trying to find something to weld my fancy bits to! :lol: I think that's why so many of my designs end up being that brick block body type...

Most of my other stuff is just seeing someone else's build and feeling very strongly they should have/could have gone some other direction with it. There's so many possibilities out there! It's hard sometimes not to see a design hidden in another build.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby VitorFaria » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:01 pm

I usually start trying to homage something I like, sometimes it ends up like the intended homage, sometimes it goes wild and turns into something else entirely.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Alexial » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:52 pm

Throw parts together until it starts to resemble a frame, then take parts off to streamline it. Repeat.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Zerovirus » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:56 pm

I find incredibly niche and ridiculous pieces that nobody else knows exist, which cost like eight bucks a pop, and build entire frames based off those.

Then I cry a lot about how I will never be able to build any of these in real life because of their exorbitant cost, which is pretty much entirely my own fault.
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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby √∆£ » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:19 pm

I sit down with a big pile of Lego, with either a loose idea of something cool, someone else's design which I particularly liked, or I just see where the wind takes me. No digital design, though. I don't think O could do that very well.

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Re: What's Your Design Process

Postby Mantisking » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:53 pm

Zerovirus wrote:I find incredibly niche and ridiculous pieces that nobody else knows exist, which cost like eight bucks a pop, and build entire frames based off those.

I can understand that. I have a bunch of early designs that use Bionicle parts I only had two or three of and those Frames are sitting in the "never gonna hit the table" bin.
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