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Power Suit: SST by filbarlow Power Suit: SST by filbarlow
Here is the original Power suit design I did for the Starship Troopers: Roughnecks Chronicles CG television show.

It is the result of a collaborative effort between Executive Producer Richard Raynis and myself. We both agreed that the so called "power suits" from the movie looked flimsy, we wanted a suit that enhanced a soldier so that they could engage in hand to hand combat with a bug and survive. It was also a space suit.

To make animation easier I wanted to have three fingered gloves. I came up with an arm shield and detachable chest readout for vitals and oxygen levels. Richard wanted boots that looked functional and cool, so he sent lots of ski boot reference my way. I got stuck on how to make the toe flexible, and so we sat on the floor of my office and threw sketches back and forth until Richard came up with what you see here.

We wanted a visor for heat and sun protection and nothing was working until I decided to base it off a peaked baseball cap, with the visor acting as an extended brim when up, and flipped down when needed as a shield. It looked cool and worked well in 3D. Was Master Chief's design, color and helmet based off our power suit? Considering that Roughnecks was airing two years before Halo came out.
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:iconijustlikehalo:
ijustlikehalo Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My nostalgia sense is tingling.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Haha
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:iconmkoll1:
Mkoll1 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
Ahhh Fond childhood memories.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I'm glad you got to see the show.
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:iconbigguns007:
BigGuns007 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
Strange mention about the suit. In the other version of Starship Troopers, an animated one called "Uchū no Senshi" has power suits which is similar to the one here. In fact, this came out before SST Chronicles was produced and apparently, inspired the person who made Gundam.
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:iconthemacchine:
TheMACchine Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
my favorite interpretation of starship troopers.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thanks for the heads up I never knew about the anime version of SST made in 1988 (Gundam was '79 by the way) so thank you for letting me know. I checked it out on You Tube, I can see the usual Anime mecha motifs, but not your suggested similarities unless you are counting the military green color of the suits.
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:iconbigguns007:
BigGuns007 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014
Well I pulled the info out from Wikipedia so it is bound to be missing some parts. Anyway, the helmets from the anime exactly matches the helmets in the first halo game.
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:iconbigguns007:
BigGuns007 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014
Well I pulled the info out from Wikipedia so it is bound to be missing some parts. Anyway, the helmets from the anime exactly matches the helmets in the first halo game.
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:iconbigguns007:
BigGuns007 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014
Crap, I replied twice, sorry about that.
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:iconrhysling15:
Rhysling15 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
So I take it that the sharp edge on the gauntlet takes the place of a combat knife?
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I was thinking that the arm shield was literally a shield. I kept imagining the suit having to survive a bite from a Warrior Bug and for a right handed person firing a weapon the left arm would need the most protection. But once a bug has your left arm in it's jaws how better to extract it than have some sharp serrations to lacerate the soft tissue inside the bugs mouth. So I envisioned it as both defensive and offensive. You could still wield a combat knife in the other hand.
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:iconwordsarecool:
Wordsarecool Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Hey, long-time fan of RSTC here. I was just wondering who owns the rights(and if possible who composed) to the Roughnecks soundtrack? I always liked the music (background and intro/outro) of the series and I've been unsuccessfully trying to find and contact the composer, or find some of the tracks without all the combat noise/dialogue/etc.

I'd been wondering who designed the Power Suit as well, it's an honour to meet someone so critical to the show. I'm still sort of sad that RSTC bombed and Halo thrived.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I assume that Sony owns the rights to the music. The composers were Jim Latham and Wayne Boon. However when Richard Raynis was conceiving any show he would gather music that summed up the tone he wanted. The coolest thing he did was edit cuts of 3D animation from Foundation Imaging to instrumental tracks from the UK band Prodigy. It gave me chills watching this edit it was so inspiring. Unfortunately he couldn't use this music for the show, what you saw was a watered down imitation.

SST was only meant to be 40 episodes, but our division was politically imploding what we started took seed elsewhere.
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:iconcheif900:
cheif900 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
Well I always loved this show as a kid, so I'm not sure why I waited until now to look up art for it. Glad I did though as it just so happens one of the main art guys has an account here. This stuff, as well as some of the other stuff you worked on, is all really cool btw great work.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Professional Filmographer
The best things take time :) Glad you are enjoying my posts!
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:icongreenberetsgt1:
Greenberetsgt1 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012
Man I loved this show Thanks for working on it...I have the Complete series on DVD...also did you know about that new Starship Troopers movie that will be animated coming out this summer? it's called Starship Troopers Invasion...they made their own version of the Power Armor it looks good you should check it out!
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thank you for telling me about the movie, I didn't know about it. Well that's more like a powersuit, they used our boots at least. The pumpy arm bit made me laugh.
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:icongreenberetsgt1:
Greenberetsgt1 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012
No problem...the movie is supposed to replace the second and third movies...and yeah when I first saw the arm I was confused but I guess it makes sense with mobility...and you can't deny that the director of this knows armor haha.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Professional Filmographer
The arm made sense to me when I saw more of the suit in context. But... flexing it like that was a bit wanky to me. The voice over was talking about fear of battle and the camera was masturbating over a muscle builder. The odd juxtaposition just struck me as funny. :XD:
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:icongreenberetsgt1:
Greenberetsgt1 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
Well I'm just happy there's a new CGI star troopers....cause it was too bad they never finished roughnecks....just 3 more episodes haha come on man!
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I know. It was mismanaged. I'll be interested to see it.
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:icongreenberetsgt1:
Greenberetsgt1 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
it is straight to DVD but it looks much better than the last 2 movies.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Yes it does. It's so ironic because Sony was dead against doing Roughnecks in 3D for our show. Executive Producer Richard Raynis pushed that through. They had no intention of putting the series out on DVD. Fan of the show, Rodney Cajudo (Rodimus) organized a petition through his Roughneckchronicles.com site. He gave me the print outs which were as thick as a phone book. I passed them on to Richard, independently Director David Hartman mocked up a DVD cover. Armed, Richard took it all upstairs and made the case for a DVD release. Reluctantly the Execs decided to release the Pluto campaign and see how the sales went. Well they released everything because it all sold so well. I was asked to do a commentary, but I only wanted to participate with Richard, who wasn't interested in doing one. Instead I would have been paired with someone who loved to steal the limelight and undermine Richard, I couldn't do it. It Seemed hypocritical.

So on one hand I'm glad that the franchise is still alive, on the other I'm disappointed that Sony never supported what we were doing on that show. It was ground breaking for the time. Instead they canned us a year later.
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:iconjazon19:
Jazon19 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012
Loved these suits. And Ive honestly always thought Halo nicked them from this series. Great work, loved these power suits. Great story lines, great voice acting and for time, the CGI was amazing. Cheers for being part of a massive part of my life!
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thank you for enjoying it. We played a minor role in the development of 3D shows, I regret that we weren't allowed to influence it more, but circumstances didn't allow it.
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:iconjazon19:
Jazon19 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012
Yeah mate, But we both know there couldnt have been anything without the ole art designers! behind the scenes and all!
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:iconaoristos:
Aoristos Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011
Still one of my favorite shows! Much closer to the novel than the movies. Just watched Hydora campaign last night!
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yeah it was cutting edge CG at the time, staying away from water was one of Foundation's requests, so the writers just went ahead and wrote an entire chapter on a water planet. Typical. Still, Foundation pulled it off, an amazing job considering what they were working with.
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:iconaoristos:
Aoristos Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
True enough! I guess someone felt they needed to challenge themselves. I just put together my interpretation of the jump armor from chapter 1 of the original novel. I plan to upload it soon and I'd love your critique when you have a moment.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Happy to have a look :)
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:iconaoristos:
Aoristos Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012
Hey, Fil! I just uploaded my Starship Trooper design. I'd say it's somewhere between yours and what I envisioned from the first chapter of the novel. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I had a look at your design, thanks for the mention. It's a nice design, very alien, which is exactly why my boss Richard Raynis would have sent you back to the drawing table. He was always looking for practical and believable which is why we always referenced actual design, ski boots for example and Motocross gear. If it looked too made up I knew it wouldn't be worth showing him. Luckily you aren't doing this art for the SST production or trying to link it back to the movie so you can take the design any where you like. BUT if you feel up to the challenge go research some cool protective gear and rework your ideas to see what you get. I hope this helps! :)
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:iconaoristos:
Aoristos Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012
I see! I was going with a "become the beast in order to kill it" irony. The first chapter - especially the leapfrog maneuver - always seemed vaguely bug-like. I'll keep you posted on further revisions. Thanks for the look and awesome input!!!
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Looking forward to seeing what you do with the imput.
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:iconcontraltissimo:
Contraltissimo Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011
:lightbulb: So THAT'S what those little thingies on the helmets are! :wow: Well, I guess a Trooper's gotta eat. :laughing:

Oh my gosh. Spaz attack when I saw this in my updates. :XD: It's so cool to see all the suit details, so clearly.

Come to think of it.... does Master Chief even have pockets for all the stuff he totes around? :o
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Professional Filmographer
You can never have enough space pockets :XD:
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:iconcontraltissimo:
Contraltissimo Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011
*lol* :laughing:
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:iconundrave:
Undrave Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011
I like your suit better, it has a nice mix of high tech and low tech to it's design. It also looks less bulky and somewhat more agile. It's less 'cool and badass' but more 'practical and military minded' than the Master Chief suit.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I had a military Captain from the US Reserves on my design team for SST, he created all of the military insignias and decals that the 3D guys used at Foundation Imaging, Richard Raynis had grown up as a military chaplain's son, and there was me sandwiched in between them with no experience or interest in the military, so between them they kept me on my toes getting the details looking right. O.O;;

Richard is always interested in establishing a very believable low-tech sense to his shows.
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:iconundrave:
Undrave Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011
Sound like a good designing environment though. On how many shows did you work with Richard Raynis?
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Professional Filmographer
It was closer to the relationship an athlete has with a coach, it was tough but really tested me. Every time I hit a new personal best he'd say ok you did that, now raise the bar higher.

I count thirteen shows that I can remember: Alf, Alf Tales, C.O.P.S, Captain Nintendo, Little Nemo, Project Geeker, Extreme Ghostbusters, Godzilla, Starship Troopers, Storybook Friends, Max Steel, Heavy Gear, Eight Crazy Nights.

Because I could storyboard Richard also had me help him on intros and couple of character designs to MIB, Dilbert, Rusty and the Big Guy, Jacky Chan. There were many other shows I did early work on that never went into production.

We've tried to get new projects off the ground since we both left Sony, but nothing eventuated. We still remain friends though, I'm happy to report :)
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:iconundrave:
Undrave Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011
Say, if you worked on Captain N maybe you can explain how Megaman ended up green on that show.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011  Professional Filmographer
You'll have to talk to the Head of the Color Department about Megaman. I was only permitted to work in black and white. :(
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:iconundrave:
Undrave Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011
I just hoped you knew :p Captain N is infamous for it's rather... inacurate portrayal of characters. I gotta wonder how little you guys had to work with? A screenshot? A description? The box of the game they were from? I'm guessing the design work on that show was only made with partial information.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Richard Raynis let me borrow the Nintendo system for one night to play Kid Icarus and Megaman. Helen and I took turns playing after each death, needless to say, we got no sleep that night. I wanted to be faithful to the pixelated versions as I saw them in the game and drew them in a cutesy style character line-up I did for the pitch to sell the show to the network. My line-up was for a show with NO humans only game characters, there was no teenager, princess, no guy with back pack, dog, or friggin' "Gameboy".

But the show took so long to get picked up that I had to return to Australia. Once production started, I found that I was used less and less by the design team, until finally I wasn't assigned any more characters. My original designs for Kid Icarus and Megaman were modified for reasons unknown to me, the eggplant wizard and King Hippo are the only characters that remained untouched and in my original style. I drew the Eggplant Wizard after seeing him in the game, otherwise he wouldn't have made it into the show.
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(1 Reply)
:iconundrave:
Undrave Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011
You guys did a lot of work together! Glad to know you got a durable friendship out of it.

Knowing the kind of quality projects you two worked on it's a bit saddening to hear you aren't getting new projects off the ground.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
We did, more work than play, but friends none the less :)
Yeah it's disappointing, but we gave it our best and I guess the timing wasn't right, plus there are too many unimaginative people with top jobs in Hollywood who make a career out of saying no to new projects.
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:iconundrave:
Undrave Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
Heh Hollywood.
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:iconfilbarlow:
filbarlow Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Exactly lol
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