Multiple Formats

This free training series is viewable in three formats. Like all our tutorials, you can download the movies to your computer to watch anytime (an internet connection is not needed after downloading). Or you can watch the entire course on Udemy (and stream the videos). And finally, you can download a small iBook file to your iPad (or Mac in the Fall of 2013) and stream the movies in this friendly on-the-go format.

Software to use

The techniques in this lesson could apply to other vector based illustration software, but your instructor uses Adobe Flash, a multimedia and software platform used for authoring vector graphics, animation, games, and apps. Vector artwork can be exported at virtually any size without pixelation or loss of quality.

Your Instructor

The courses in this collection are all taught by Justin Dike, founder of CartoonSmart, and long-time Flash advocate for animation, illustration, interactive apps, and games. Feel free to contact Justin through email or follow him on Twitter.

Email »   Follow Justin »


How to Draw Giant Robots. Ten hours of video. Downloadable, streaming, and in iBook format.










Session 1: Polygon Shape Design


This first session is a soft-approach to getting started with Adobe Flash and vector illustration in general. If you've never used Flash before, be sure to watch the initial setup video. Otherwise, you can begin by creating simple polygon shapes, which we extrude to create more complex shapes. We'll also talk about perspective and create a quick body pose to use in Session 2.

  • Initial Setup with Adobe Flash 18:13 - For brand new users to Flash, please watch this initial setup video for the program.
  • Creating Basic Shapes 10:36 - Learn how to create basic polygon shapes using the line tool in Flash.
  • Extruding Shapes 17:48 - In this video, we'll extrude some of the basic shapes.
  • Designing Complex Shapes 21:21 - We'll create more complex shapes using a slightly different method than before.
  • Body Mockup 16:01 - For use in the next session, we'll create a basic body pose.

Session 2: Shading and Texturing Practice


This session teaches how to save a color palette in Flash, color a three-dimensional object, texture using masks and images, add rust and smoke fx, and more.

  • Color Palette 18:23 - In this video, we'll create a color palette and save those swatches to a default library.
  • Elaborating the Shoulder Parts 19:25 - In this video we'll pick a part of our body mockup and practice modeling it, coloring it and adding other details. The rest of this section will focus on detailing this one area.
  • Initial Color and Texture 21:21 - We'll add color and detail it using masks and textured images
  • Rust and Smoke 20:41 - In this video, we'll add rust (or possibly damage fx) to the shoulder piece.
  • Detailing 16:50 - We'll add minor details to the piece, like striping, shadowing, etc.

Session 3: Parts Library


In this session, we will build up a library of symbols which we can use throughout the rest of the course and in future projects. Keeping an archive of past "parts" will help you to speed through production on your next robot masterpiece.

  • Cords 20:11 - This first video looks at creating cords.
  • Metallic Clumps 06:11 - This video we look at creating ambiguous metallic sections as filler.
  • Repeating Columns 10:36 - This video we look at creating repeating columns, for piping or possibly the spinal section of the robot.
  • Paint Chips 09:47 - In this video, we'll create paint chips using a masking effect. This could be placed nearly anywhere on the finished robot to add a gritty or damaged look.
  • Atmospheric FX 11:02 - Next we'll look at creating atmospheric effects, for example debris or smokey areas.
  • Insignia 12:53 - In this video, we will create some insignia or decals to "stick" onto the finished piece.
  • Gears 16:00 - In this final video in session 3, we'll create gears which could be used as filler in the final piece or placed in regions like the joints


Session 4: Silhouetting and Adding Primary Planes to the Final Piece


It's time to begin your epic robot masterpiece. This session will teach you how to use parts from your library and build the silhoutte of your robot-to-be. Then we'll carefully begin adding one-dimensional polygon planes to the robot. Our aim is to simply get a solid foundation for the finished piece.

  • Using the Parts Library to Build a Silhouette 14:51 - In this session (and all after) we will work on the robot for the final project. We will begin by creating a silhouette of the body using the already-created art from our Parts Library.
  • The Exoskeleton - Base Layer 13:29 - Next we'll draw on a layer above the silhouette to "sketch" out the exoskeleton (outer armor). This will give us a direction for the next video.
  • The Exoskeleton - Primary Planes 20:52 - Once a silhouette of the outer armor is drawn, we can begin drawing one dimensional planes (mostly using hexagons or octogons) to define various plates in the exoskeleton.
  • The Exoskeleton - Primary Planes 15:21 - We continue creating the primary planes in this video.
  • Touching Up 19:09 - In this final video in session 4, we touch up the primary planes before going to the next section where we begin to finalize their appearance.


Session 5: Extruding Planes for the Exoskeleton


In this session we'll begin extruding the primary planes we created last session and build the robot's entire exoskeleton, or outer armor, with special attention to both design and functionality.

  • Extruding the Legs 24:17
  • Extruding the Boots 19:08
  • Extruding the Chest Plates 21:22
  • Extruding the First Arm 20:24
  • Extruding the Second Arm 23:16
  • Extruding the Shoulders 18:33
  • Extruding the Neck and Head 19:04


Session 6: Embellishing the Exoskeleton


This session we'll add lights, vents, divides in the armor, chip away at the edges, insignia, bolts, piping and just about everything else we need before we send our robot off to the next session for final shading.

  • Lights 23:33 - In this first video of session 6, we add some lighting around the exoskeleton and finally give our robot some eyes.
  • Dividing Areas 20:02 - To add detail to the exoskeleton, we work on adding dividing lines to the armor plates.
  • Thin Lines for Panelling 15:46 - Next we'll add very thin lines to indicate subtle panels on the armor.
  • Rough Edging 13:34 - To reduce the all-too-perfect look of vector lines, we rough up the edges by subtracting parts of the straighter lines.
  • Adding Pipes 19:07 - We'll add more pipes to further embellish the detail of the final piece.
  • Insignia and Bolts 11:37 - To finish off this section, we will add striping, some insignia and tiny bolts to the piece.


Session 7: Adding Realism to the Final Piece


In this final session we will concentrate on giving our robot realistic shading and atmosphere. We'll add a background layer, then shade each region of the body accordingly. We'll add smoke effects, damage, debris and even some helicopter fire. Finally, we can export a high resolution image, open it in Photoshop and add watercolor effects to make the image have a painterly, movie poster feel.

  • Shading 23:48 - Once we add some shading and lighting, it should feel more like a piece from a matte painting and less like a still from an anime movie.
  • Lighting and Filters 12:06 - In this video we use Blend Effects and some subtle filters to add lighting to the robot.
  • Textures 19:46 - We will carefully add some textures using masks and roughened images.
  • Debris and Smoke 09:35 - Next we add debris and smoke to our background image.
  • Adding some optional Photoshop Filters 10:21 - Now that the robot is finished you can play around with exporting the image and bringing the high-rez art into Photoshop for some extra (optional) fun with filters to give it a painted feel. Subtile watercolor filters can really give the piece a painted look.






10 hours of training. Divided into short 15-20 minute videos.


Free for Newsletter Subscribers! Like all CartoonSmart tutorials, you can download these videos directly to your computer along with source files for the projects. If you ever need to download your purchase again, you'll have access through Payloadz, our file delivery service.








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