TerepaInterview23vol1:Creative Interview with SF comic creator & deformation mecha designer LAS91214
Artist Name: LAS91214
Career: SF Comic Artist, Concept Designer & Mecha Designer
Major: Digital Entertainment and Derivative Design
──── First of all, please introduce yourself!
Hello, I'm LAS91214, majored in digital entertainment and derivative design at university, essentially learn the animation and relate merchandise development, which was a new major at that time, my tutor was said, it is a "weird major" ,like to jack of all trades and master of none. After graduation, I worked in a game company also had some work experience in an animation company. I quit my job and started to focus on comic creation until I serialized my personal comic "Armored Gull" , which was the opportunity to become a professional comic artist.
Now I am creating original comic works and working with different toy manufacturers as a special designer.
──── You must be a fan of‘Super Robot Wars’(SRW), right? Tell us about the most impressed SRW works and mecha anime.
Personally I like a wide range of mecha works, one of the more impressive works should be "Mobile Suit Gundam OO" and "Full Metal Panic！". If we are talking about SRW series, "Super Robot Wars W" was my introductory works, the most impressive screen for me is near the end of the mecha merge, it’s really shocked me.
──── What are your favorite mecha and pilot in the SRW original series?
If you refer to the SRW original series is OG series, actually I play not that much ...... even I can say little to no knowledge. If choose from the various generations of SRW, my personal favorite is ‘SRW W’ protagonist mecha ValHawk and its OC pilot, but now I can’t remember what’s his name (lol).
──── Let's get back to track, what is the main form of your creation at the moment?
I used to create my works for webcomics. Nowadays, full-color webcomics are becoming a common habit in China, the comics are usually drawn in fine full color, in order to adapt the readers. But such treatment requires a lot of labor and time, which is hard to afford as an independent creator.
In recent years, with the rise of domestic online video platforms in China, I have started to experiment to presenting my work for dynamic comics. Since I have experience working in animation company, so I can take advantage of my strengths in processing the mecha battles in 3D.
Therefore, the main manifestation is combine the static CG of characters with dynamic mecha battle, it’s bit similar to the Word Adventure Game.
──── How do you usually find inspiration when designing mechas? And how you consider the world view in your work?
Actually, inspiration is often found in things that have nothing to do with mechas. For example, recently I've been addicted to the Soul game‘Eldon Ring’, I'm often attracted to the exaggerated designs in it.
In reality, I was a fan of Soul-like games a long time ago, (note from WIKI: A Soulslike (or Souls-like) is a subgenre of action role-playing games (or action-adventure games) known for high levels of difficulty and emphasis on environmental storytelling (typically in a dark fantasy setting). It had its origin in Demon's Souls and the Dark Souls series by From Software, the themes and mechanics of which directly inspired several other games.) In my the early design is deduced a idea with "mechanical design according to the knight's armor".
This idea is not simply to copy the elements, but to think how to manufacture this object if it’s in the corresponding industrial level era background, according to production and technology to recreate something, just like the translation.
In my latest work "BIRD/BINARY", the design of the main character's mecha uses a similar idea.
──── Can you tell us more about the worldview and background of BIRD/BINARY?
The BIRD/BINARY world is a futuristic era ruled by large corporations. There is a mixed area called "Ophiuchi City" in the utopia established by the corporations, where different corporations and organizations are fighting against each other.
In the Ophiuchi, there is a terrorist organization "GORGON" which has the ability to turn ordinary citizens into criminals.
One of the protagonists Lin’sister was harmed by Gorgon, be possessed by the dead serial killer Sylar, while the other protagonist, Madland is seeking revenge on Sylar.
BIRD/BINARY is the story of two protagonists fighting and discovering the truth in Ophiuchi for their different purposes.
Although the story is a very common framework for cyberpunk science fiction, but the work design is actually very "Soul-like".
The design of the main characters and enterprise mechanical will lean towards the knights style, while the villainous organization design will resemble a variety of strange creatures includes dragons, unidentified creature(lol). Certainty, this design is also related to the future story, please look forward to the follow-up!
──── Please tell us about your understanding of mecha deformation design!
My point regarding the mecha deformation is normally we will be designed with the purpose from 1 to 2, in order to achieve this goal may add something like 1x1 + 1 = 2 in the process, simpleness as long as we can achieve a certain goal, why don't we add some decorations to make it more gorgeous?
But I changed since involved in actual mecha production, it is simpler and clearer to do 1+1=2, because reality are hard to achieve things unrealistic.
Whether looking for the ultimate look, or the perfect process of deformation process, it’s important to focus on design purpose. It's like magic and acrobatics, if you pursued process, it may be similar to acrobatics, if you pursued ultimate look, it's magic.
──── How do you develop your design ideas for the mecha deformation?
I tend to use the deformation as a prop to control the design style. normally, we always draw the way we are used to because our painting habits tend to lead your mecha closer to Gumdam. But if you take deformation concept into the design, you will get some unexpected results during the process of solving the 1+1=2. And this result stand out from your design inertia, to make your design remarkable.
──── I saw you posted mecha design on the internet and open source, What motivated you to do it?
（Open source is software whose source code is publicly available. Here it means to publish mech modeling in an editable state）
It is much more joyful to share the joy than enjoy alone.
In the past, the reality merch needs the strength of manufacturer, but manufacturer have their own criteria for the best selection. Currently rise of 3D printing technology has made it possible for everyone to make models, so I think there will be more interesting with anticipation to sharing.
ANONYMOUS X-BIRD MARK.Ⅳ is a design really popular that readers have been urging for a long time, so I decided to open source.
※「ANONYMOUS X-BIRD MARK.Ⅳ」3Dprint data（.STL file）download
The commercial projects I have participated in so far include the serialized comic "Armored Gull" (already finished), some of the games already available are "IRON SAGA", "Artery Gear: Fusion", "Punishing: Gray Raven", "Quantum Maki : Innovator", "Eternal Tree", "Eclipse", "Knives Out". Some other projects have not unlocked yet may release in the near future.
For figure models are mainly the "BIRD/BINARY" series product lines in cooperation with Big Firebird Cultural Media Co., Ltd. and GCORES, which currently has launched“rb-12 Medusa”, “rb-13 Proteus” and “Bird of Dawn”. The next up will be Poseidon, Tiger Hunt, and Phantom. There are also some other new products in development, which will publish later.
In the next part we will introduce how LAS designs his mechas into reality figure, please look forward if you are interested!
Chinese Version: SF原创作者&变形机甲设计专家LAS91214老师的创作访谈（上）
For LAS91214 latest works and commercialization plans will be announced on Hobby Terepa. Please stay tuned!
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