Modern Robotic Surgery

Case Study

This piece was designed and completed for an in-class editorial modeling assignment. This project was plays off of the fear that some patients have in regards to modern robotic surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System utilizes several specialized endowrist instruments to perform several, minimally invasive procedures.  The environment and the aesthetic were influenced by Ridley Scott’s Alien Series, and Bungie’s Halo Trilogy. These influences helped turn the human body into an alien world full of invasive mechanical monsters. This idea reflects the unease and anxiety associated with robotic surgery and attempts to bring these concerns to light. In order to help patients overcome their fear, it must be addressed and understood.



A sketch and color composition were first created in Adobe Photoshop. Modeling was completed using Pixologic ZBrush. Endowrist instruments were hard modeled using the ZModeler tool and the environment was modeled using a variety of brushes. To keep polygon count low, the environment was created as a series of panels that were aligned to create the illusion of a cave-like enclosure while allowing light to shine through specific areas. Models were brought into Luxion Keyshot7 to be lit and rendered. The flesh material for the environment was created using Allegorithmic Substance Designer. All compositing was done in Adobe Photoshop.