Has it ever been shown clearly how the Movie Characters transform?

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Corellian Vette, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Corellian Vette

    Corellian Vette New Member

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    So, I'm playing around with my new 2009 Leader Optimus Prime which I'm really impressed with. Looking at the different toys, they all arrive at a similar final 'bot mode, but do it differently in each figure. For instance, the 2007 Movie toys, the arms are part of the Blue extended cab, but in the 2009 toy the arms form the long hood. And the 2007 Voyager version is different yet again.

    It made me wonder - is there a "proper" transformation placement for the Optimus Prime movie character? Has a detailed transformation in the movie obviously - but does he actually "transform" - and if so, do we generally know where the major parts come from?

    Sorry if this is like a super old question. It's just dawning on me now for some reason...
     
  2. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    Well to be honest, ILM and Digital Domain who both do a lot of the CGI elements of the film often CHEAT the transformation...there were part of the characters in movie 1 that would MAGICALLY/magnetically fly off from one part and magically/magnetically reattach elsewhere without explaination...
     
  3. AlphaOmegaBlurr

    AlphaOmegaBlurr Many paths to choose.

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    The truck grille forms his 'ribs'. His hands come out of his arms, which are the nose. His feet... I suppose at the bottom. Everything else, you can figure out, I'm not doing my nerd explanation of every part.
     
  4. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

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    Mostly accurate transformation, but there is always cheating to it.
     
  5. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    There's segments on the bots that always take the same way to transform, but these segments can be animated with different timing (or with a bot in a different pose) so it will look the bot is doing a slight variation. (examples: Prime changing on the highway and in the city were the same as his first transformation..only one in motion and the other one super-fast).

    There are exceptions though. The scene where Bumblebee tells Sam and Mikaela he is an alien, then transforms to take them to see the Autobots, it's totally clear the transformation is visually fake.

    In most cases though, the transformations all seem pretty 'real' up until the point where the robot parts are inside of the vehicle mode, and you have to use your imagination on how those parts further transform outside of your view just as much as the older, blockier Transformers. :) 

    Like Omega Supreme said..there's parts that just seem to magically shift (actually most parts, since the shifting panels never seem to be connected with any mechanical link )..some stuff that doesn't make a lot of sense are Ratchet's wheels rolling up his arms..or Ironhide's GMC symbol disappearing as if his logo is some kind of autocue screen :lol 
     
  6. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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    Such as....?
     
  7. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    ''Robot Wars:'' A Look At ILM's ''Transformers'' Adventure Transformers

    "As amazing as it seems, all of the robots’ vehicle and robot modes were designed separately from each other and then integrated at a later time by another team led by Keiji Yamagushi.

    Yamagushi was responsible for many of the transformation sequences. The fastest transformation was Megatron’s transformation into his cybertronian jet while the longest transformation was the first time Blackout’s transformation was shown on-screen. That took 300 frames to complete.

    He was responsible for moving pieces of the robot and figure out where he could put them when they transform from the complex robot to a less-complex vehicle mode.

    To do so, the studio created a dynamic rig to allow the selection of “any piece of hi-res geometry of any group of pieces, create an animation controller, and choose where to put the pivots,” said another Lead Animator Shawn Kelly. "
     
  8. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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  9. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    If you'd READ the article, it talks about how the robot models and vehicle models were decided SEPERATELY...they also created RIGS, designed to just STICK PIECE HERE OF VEHICLE MODE to make things work...
     
  10. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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    Yes, I read the article. I don't think you understand what they meant by their explanation of the rigs. In computer animation, the "rig" is an invisible system that determines how objects are grouped, and which objects control which. As the article explained, the "dynamic" system of creating rigs simply made it easier to construct the rig models for use in the animation of the characters (selecting the pivot points, the point at which each object turns and rotates).

    While the article does say that the vehicle and robot modes were designed separately, that doesn't mean that each model doesn't use the same parts in the same overall sequence of locations. The article definitely does not imply that pieces are just randomly sent to different areas; it simply says that parts were examined to see where they would go... based on whatever part they were attached to, and that group, and so on.
     
  11. red4

    red4 Banned

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    Optimus Prime's 2 rear fenders split into various pieces, and slide together like 2 decks of cards, and there are no clear hinges or whatever to explain. Same goes for the aluminum guard thing behind his sleeper cabin. Also his front fenders magically appear in the back halfway through transformation, but it's shown at an angle where you can't actually see it happen. They're just suddenly there when other parts of his truck move out of the way.
     
  12. red4

    red4 Banned

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    Another item of note - although it doesn't count as cheating: Ironhide's rear wheels can literally come free. In truck mode they're on axles. When he transforms, small appendages extend and grab the wheels by the outside of their rims, then the wheels come free from their axles. So if those appendages accidentally let go of the wheels, they would literally be freed from Ironhide's body.
     
  13. alfred p. sloan

    alfred p. sloan Well-Known Member

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    Ironhide's front wheel/tire combos hide in his chest, yet the front brakes clearly are shown. How do the wheels get off the hubs and up behind the grille?

    Mystery? Nope, just cheating for visual appeal.
     
  14. DrawinStuff

    DrawinStuff Well-Known Member

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    It's been explained before by the people at ILM that they chose to do the transformations on a scene by scene basis, meaning whatever would look the best and most dynamic for that camera angle. The transformations were animated by hand for each scene, with many, many objects "flying" from one location to the other outside the "frame" of view.

    Here are two youtube vids of Jeff White from ILM showing us their work on the original movie, shows very clearly how much "cheating" goes on outside of the frame, especially on the optimus roll around transformation.

    YouTube - Transformers: The Movie - Character Transformations

    YouTube - Transformers: The Movie - Production Technique
     
  15. jazz4ever

    jazz4ever I'm turned on by numbers

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    parts fold in/fold out bend disconnect open up fold out etc

    but who cares it looks AWESOME!
     
  16. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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    I wouldn't necessarily call this "cheating", it's an very commonly used technique where the elements that aren't in the shot aren't rendered/animated/etc. in order to save time. The pieces that float around aren't done that way because that's how they move in the ILM Transformation sequence, they're done that way because they aren't in the shot and don't need to be correctly included in the sequence. There's no "floating" in the pieces that we actually see.
     
  17. DrawinStuff

    DrawinStuff Well-Known Member

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    First of all, I've never described it as cheating, that's why I put it in quotations.
    I've been in this industry for well over a decade, I'm not speaking out of my rear, and I know precisely why they created the shots this way.

    The transformation is worked out to work in frame, and everything else beyond that is not important. The transformation sequences did infact float in parts to re-create the robot mode, it's not a big deal, and it's logical. This can'tbe argued, you see it for yourself in the second youtube video of the Optimus Prime roll-around shot and in the barricade transformation.

    No, the audience does not see parts floating in, obviously, but that's because it was animated extremely well. It doesn't change the fact that each animation was done on a shot by shot basis, with a lot of pieces floating outside of frame. No biggie.
     
  18. yovnocrats

    yovnocrats Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there are. I believe in the Optimus/ Bonecrusher fight there was a visible error with Prime's front wheels/axle? Someone know what I mean?
     
  19. Baird

    Baird bug-stomper

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    There seems to be a lot of cheating. There are many giant limb parts that couldn't fit inside the vehicle modes, (ie Bumblebee) morphing, the floating sections people have already mentioned, bits vanishing etc. I put this down to the robot modes being designed first without real regard to how they actually transformed, which is an odd approach IMO. I bet if the robot designs had been designed to transform from the start, there'd be a lot less visible smoke and mirrors going on. Still, the TFs themselves are very impressive to look at.
     
  20. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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    I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make here. Everything you just said was clearly explained by the video. Those floating parts in the "Optimus Prime roll-around shot" float from where they are in vehicle mode to where they are in robot mode - but only in that shot and only because they aren't visible in the frame. Look at the video again, there are many pieces that come off of Optimus - including wheels and other large parts - at a substantial distance away. Obviously that was only done because those parts weren't in frame, and not because that is how Optimus actually transforms.

    In other words, the animators simply said "we're not using those pieces in this shot, so we're not going to worry about moving them and wasting time animating them." Once they leave the frame, they just "float" towards their keyframed position at the moment they return into the shot.

    If they were in the shot, they would not float. They would remain "attached" and move, rotate, and slide like all the other pieces.

    Now, there may be other examples where floating pieces are actually used in frame and as part of the actual transformation sequences, but the videos you posted do not cover those.
     

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