1. Design & Illustration
  2. Inspiration

Inspiration: Cyborgs, Robots, and Mecha


Many artists are drawn to visions of the future. In this article you'll see a fresh view of robotic and mechanized artwork. Learn some digital painting techniques from some great Photoshop tutorials on the subjects of cyborgs and robots. Get inspired by multiple artistic visions and various technical approaches to bot artwork. Get inspired by how man and machine are melding today. The future has arrived. Let's check it out.

Digital Art

  • Joancharmant

    Joan Charmant

    This artist was placed in our Tutorial Suggestions area. It has some great photo manipulations—lots of melding of man and machine. Realistic robots, cyborg animals, and mecha creations on display. The source images show what was used to put the images together.

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  • Spacemaggot

    Abdul Rashid

    This artist goes under the nickname of Spacemaggot. He breaks images apart and then rebuilds them. Follow the link to his portfolio. Some more of his work is on Deviantart. The link below is to a piece called Uncomplete. It's based on Optimus Prime's incomplete transformation. The artist mixes vector and Photoshop work.

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  • Jujika

    The Workstation2 by Jujika

    This artwork shows the Photoshop painter at work in her studio. It's kind of funny to have such a huge robot be there to make you coffee. It's supposed to contain all sorts of kitchen appliances. The artist describes this as, "New coffee bot fresh from the packaging!! Fully equipped with Espresso Machine, shelving, refrigerator, microwave, stereo system, and two choices of Slurpee flavor." It's a beautifully crafted digital painting done in Photoshop. Jujika has mostly fantasy work in her portfolio, but this mecha bot piece stands out.

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  • Dario Berardi

    I Love Music

    This artist has an interesting style that merges Photoshop techniques with matte painting. A lot of work went into this piece. Here is the description the artist gives, "Photo Manipulation and Matte Painting, it Takes 21 hours, 127 layers of photoshop, .psd size 50 * 35cm 300dpi!" He has more of this type of work in his Flickr Matte Painting Set

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  • People Future

    People of the Future

    This tutorial gives you a detailed overview of two collaborative artists' workflow. They go from poser to Photoshop in creating this cyborg design. The tutorial describes the steps involved in this masterful creation. While this tutorial doesn't hold your hand through the entire process, it is a good window into these artists' processes.

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  • Robotech Mecha

    Draw Robotech Mecha

    This video tutorial shows you how to draw a Robotech character from start to finish in Photoshop. This site is a huge resource for learning to paint in Photoshop. It has beginner to advanced tutorials on the subject. In many of these tutorials, the artist explains each step and why he uses certain techniques. There are over 200 tutorials. Time to buy a Wacom Tablet.

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  • Coloring Robot

    Coloring a Robot in Photoshop

    This tutorial covers coloring a drawing. It starts with a scanned in line art drawing, as if you had an inked outline to begin with. It shows how to build up the artwork using layers of tones. Then it adds in glow, shadows, and fades to finish off the image.

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  • Monkey Vs. Robot

    Photoshop and Painter Tutorial: Monkey vs Robot

    This tutorial works with Painter to build the image and then moves over to Photoshop to apply some finishing touches and effects. It's a broad description of the process, though the Photoshop steps are more detailed.

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  • Naughty Robot

    Digital Painting Tutorial: Naughty Robot

    This tutorial has lots of screenshots. You see how the image is built up, while the artist explains each major step in the process. He discusses strategically why he uses certain techniques as well. In combination with painting techniques, he also imports texture to put onto his robot character.

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Other Cool Stuff

  • Exoskeleton Suits of the Future

    5 Bionic Exoskeleton Suits of the Future

    This article starts by dropping movie references, like Terminator and Robocop. Then it goes on to show real-life versions of hydraulic limbs, landwalking juggernaut robots, advanced computerized exoskeletons, and heavily armored exoskeletons. This article gives a nod to science fiction while showing where we actually are with technology today.

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  • Transformers

    TheTransformer movie site has great photos, which are all super high 3D quality. It's a full-screen Flash site. The new Iron Man movie has a great Flash fan site as well.

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  • Nbc

    Robots Invade San Jose Museum of Art

    There are over 80 images of this exhibit on Robots at the San Jose Museum of Art. The images are presented in a Flash slide show viewer. There is a wide selection of artistic visions of robots throughout history. There are paintings, sculptures, and more on display.

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  • Botjunkie

    Festo AirJelly Video

    This article contains two videos. Both videos are of Jelly Fish–like robots. One of them functions in the water and the other flies through the air, kind of like a moving balloon. The videos capture the beauty in the design and movement of these bots.

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  • Striking Robots

    The Most Striking 3D Robots Ever—Parts 1 and 2

    There are a whole lot of images of super-cool 3D robots in this two-part series. You could first check out The Most Striking 3D Robots Ever—Part 1. Below is the link to Part II. Each image includes a description of the image, what was used to make the image, and artist information.

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