There are two bright beacons of practical effects hope in an otherwise dark digital world - the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects. Stan Winston's name has been synonymous with high-quality practical special effects in Hollywood since the early seventies. His animatronics and makeup work in movies such as Aliens, The Terminator, Jurassic Park, Predator, and Batman Returns (to name but a few) remain some of the best practical effects ever seen on the big screen.
The late Stan Winston's son Matt is keeping his father's legacy alive and well with the Stan Winston School, where they are "dedicated to teaching the art and science of character creation." With a younger generation of special effects artists growing up in the "Pixel Age" it would be easy for such a fantastic art form to just simply fade away. Fortunately, companies like the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects aren't about to let that happen.
To celebrate San Diego Comic Con 2013, as well as promote the upcoming Geek Week on YouTube, Wired hired the Stan Winston School to design the ultimate cosplay costume and asked Legacy Effects to build it. Bringing something designed by SWS to life is no easy task, but luckily, Legacy Effects has worked with them on more than one occasion. Perhaps you've seen a little film franchise called Iron Man? All the armors used in those films were designed by SWS and created by LFX - so this task was in good hands from the start.
SWS imagined a huge robot, with multiple arms, guns, and battle scars - a robot that can not only move its arms and talk, but has the ability to walk as well - and Legacy Effects delivered a finished product that will just about leave you speechless. The project took their teams 24 days and over 2,000 man hours to complete, and is built from Urethane and molded plastic. Each leg weighs 40 pounds and the top-heavy torso piece weighs over 80 pounds with all its batteries installed. It takes the costume wearer 20 to 30 minutes to get completely strapped into the rig and requires the assistance of three other technicians to accomplish.
Once fully assembled, the suit stands 9 foot 8 inches tall, weighs over 160 pounds, and has five speakers built into various areas of the suit which play the sounds of all the servos in the joints of the arms and legs. The final product has to be seen to be believed and we shot footage of the robot suit in action. Once you're finished gawking at the awesomeness of the video, be sure to click on the images for a high resolution look at the suit.
Check out the gallery to see the steps required for Bruce (who brings the suit to life) to strap on the robot suit and other bad ass photos of it in action.
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