how do you prefer TF animation models in comparison to the toys?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Cheebs, May 2, 2007.

  1. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Posts:
    8,465
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +136
    Ebay:
    YouTube:
    I was watching some TF videos on-line tonight. I saw all of 5 minutes of Cybertron (it was litterally all I could take of that one) and most of Beast Machines season 1.

    All writing, voice acting, and plot issues aside, the two shows have vastly different character design phillosiphies. On one hand Cybertron's on-screen characters look almost exactly like the toys. It makes owning the toys that much cooler because you have a physical representation that exactly matches your favorite on-screen character.

    Beast Machines on the other hand made animation models that are close enough to the toys to recognize them as the same character, but only just barely (or in deluxe Primal's case not at all). As I watched this show I quickly found the upside to this was that the characters were much more visually appealing and expressive due to not being tied down by any artistic design limitations a toy might impose. Sadly, however, I will never own the Blackarachnia I see on the screen.

    Anyway, maybe it's because I cut my teeth on G1 (another show that didn't bother to stick to the toy look) but I greatly prefer the animation models to be whatever looks/moves best on the screen and then have the toys take a different design route. I mean, I think the Beast Machines toys are a blast to play with and look great in their own right, while at the same time the on-screen characters just look GREAT.

    I dunno. Maybe I just can't get past the fact that Energon/Cybertron suck as much as they do and that is effecting my opinion of the visuals on some subconcious level, but the slavishly toy-accurate models in those shows just look...akward to me.

    What about the rest of y'all? Do you prefer toy accuracy or taking liberties with the designs?
     
  2. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Posts:
    20,799
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +21
    my absolute favorite was the cel animated stuff AEON did for Armada and Energon when they were at the top of their game. yeah, they slacked off a lot, but when they wanted to, they knocked it out of the f'ing park! the artistic style and even their animation style used was phenomenal. I've always wanted to see what that studio could do with a big budget. We'll likely never get the chance though. When they were at their best, they were as toy-accurate as the 2D medium allows.

    for CG, I prefer cybertron/galaxy force. the models were perfect, with no cheating with transformation. they also didnt have problems BW and BM did where you watch a transformer move and think "how the hell is that solid metal piece bending, flexing, and collapsing in on itself?" the animation was stiff at times, but hell, they're robots. thats allowed as long as it isnt done as bad as energon was.
     
  3. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Posts:
    8,465
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +136
    Ebay:
    YouTube:
    Hmmm... That was actually one of the things I liked most about the Beast Wars animation. I know it's metal, but these are living things. If the metal on their face can flex, why not the rest of it? You have to suspend disbelief a bit but it makes the animation oodles better.
     
  4. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Posts:
    27,867
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    296
    Likes:
    +3
    I honestly like it when the animation model can be at least mostly-accurately represented by the toy. I mean, it took 23 years for us to finally get a damned megatron that looks anything like he did in the original cartoon.
     
  5. bobby_C

    bobby_C Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Posts:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Likes:
    +0
    Seeing something that looks like it can coherently transforms is a big draw for me, so toy-accurate designs all the way. However, outside of the transformations I don't think they need to be animated as rigidly as they were in Cybertron. Disappearing parts a la Beast Wars are a no-no, but I'm all for some fantasy in the animation, to make the characters more expressive.
     
  6. Greyryder

    Greyryder Kitbashed

    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Posts:
    4,585
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    As long as it's close, and looks good on the screen, I'm okay with it. The G1 cartoon would have been pretty lame, if it had looked like the toys. It's still my favorite TF series. (at least, the first two seasons are)

    I'm usually for it, as long as it's 2d cell animation, and not CG. I could handle the CG if it looked as much like cell animation as Futurama's CG does, but they tried that in Energon, and failed miserably.
     
  7. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Posts:
    17,109
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    327
    Likes:
    +58
    As I understand it, the production schedule on Beast Machines was rushed, both on the animation and toy end of things, So instead of having toy prototypes to base the animation models off, they had concept art. Therefore the animation designs and the toys ended up in different places, sometimes vastly different. It's likely if that was not the case, the cartoon and the toys would look closer together. There would still be liberties taken, of course (Beast Wars is testimonial enough of that). It is pretty obvious Mainframe went a few places that toys could never follow, however (such as the totally footless 'bots like Jetstorm or Blackarachnia)

    Liberties are great from an artistic standpoint, but it's also nice to hold a toy in your hand which is (for all practical purposes) identical to what you see on screen. All those "show accurate" repaints and remolds are popular for a reason, after all.
     
  8. Xenon

    Xenon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Posts:
    540
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Likes:
    +2
    With G1 I always prefered the animation models designed by Floro Dery execpt for the Skyfire/Jetfire design.

    I think the trouble with some of the new animation designs used for Cybertron was whenever characters had to run.
     
  9. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Posts:
    23,222
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +17
    i agree with the sentiment in the original post.

    toy makers have their prerogative, cartoon makers have theirs, each should abide their own.
     
  10. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    66,308
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    407
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +792
    Next to BW, BM was my favorite series, because it wasn't a just commercial, it was a show, a really good and well-written t.v. show. And although to a level, it had to toys and advertise them, it still managed to get away with being great. I just whatched all of BM yesterday and I am floored at how good it was, and how poor all the shows after it are in comparison. (RID wasn't so bad, but it suffered from the anime dub)
     
  11. A Lance

    A Lance Give me your hugs

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Posts:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Likes:
    +0
    Accuracy isn’t big for me. That said all things in balance. Ridiculous inaccuracy like G1 would cause an uproar these days, similarly rigid adherence to the toys (i.e. Cybertron’s stiff blow up dolls) reduces what the artist can do to the character models, for example (not to put all the hate on Cybertron mind) the anime style transformation sequences really break up the action. Something a little more fluid ala G1/Beast wars, for all the movie magic really works better for me.
     
  12. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    17,583
    Trophy Points:
    297
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +74
    I prefer the cartoon models to resemble the toy as much as possible, within reason of course. Obviously cartoon models that looked exactly like G1 toys might have been... weak. However, it would have been nice if some of the particular details were observed on the cartoon.

    For straight-up traditional animation, I like the way that the Brave Series stuff always looks pretty much like their toys. There are no gross departures from the toy design, and in many cases, you can even use the gattai sequences from the TV shows instead of instructions. This is the case with my GGG stuff... I can't transform them without the gattai theme music running through my head, and picturing the step-by-step animation.

    Though of course, they're animated to look awesome, rather than like the thuggish bricks most of the toys actually are. :) 

    As far as transformers go... I think my favourite style of all was the CGI cel-shaded/traditional blend from Energon. I realize that the amount of actual movement in that series was minimal and rather lazy, but the models looked awesome in my opinion! It keeps the animated feeling while still incorporating all the details from the toy.

    In the case of GC/Cybertron, I didn't actually like the more rendered textures on the TFs. For me it only distanced them from the animated medium present in the rest of the show.

    I'd still love to see a truly top notch cel-shaded CGI TF series/movie. That would rule!

    zmog
     
  13. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Posts:
    4,790
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Likes:
    +0
    Personnally, if I'm going to buy a toy of something I've seen on TV I would want that toy to look as close to what was on TV as possible. Many times I would see an awesome character in a show only to find their toy being extremely crappy. BM is one of the major examples I can think of as I loved all the Vehicons in the show, but their toys all rub me the wrong way. Another one of my biggest problems is when you have a cool character who has a toy that's *almost* show accurate, but it severely hindered by an unessecary gimmick or horrible transformation. Armada is the one that stands out most to me about that situation. The characters in show had cool bot modes and cool alt modes, but the toys, though bearing a strong resemblence towards looking just like the animation models, all seem to be made very simple and cheap. It had a lot of potential that was wasted due to over simplified toys imo.

    Also, something I noticed in a lot of the replies here is people mentioning the *style* of animation used in the shows as being a factor in regards to show design to toy design relation. To me, the style of animation used is a completely different and unrelated matter then the way the toys and animation models are designed. If Cybertron used the same quality of animation BW/BM did, the toy design and animated character designs would still be the same as they are. Those five minute transformation sequences or excessively stiff movements are all caused by the type of animation thety chose to use, not the designs that were involved. Those five minute transformations would look just as bad in BW as it did in Cybertron. To me, animation style and character/toy designs are two different subjects.

    I personally have high hopes for the new Transformers cartoon coming out after the movie. Being NA made, I doubt it will have those excessively long transformations while at the same time continuing the trend of 'show to toy' accuracy we've seen in the past four transformers series.
     
  14. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Posts:
    7,338
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +71
    Ebay:
    I like them being close to the cartoon but not too close. Armada Megatron didn't need the slider to push the plate over his face animated. Minicon pegs aren't needed. Missles didn't need to look just like the toy.

    I do like they don't cheat with the tranforming where sometimes it is nothing like the toy. However, why do we need stock animation showing every single detail of it with all the flashing going on. Just have the car there and have it fold out into the robot. No cut aways. Also, why do they have to yell "Transform"? Just do it.
     
  15. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Posts:
    20,799
    News Credits:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +21
    japanese tradition. its common in super-robot animes to yell whatever you're doing.
     
  16. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Posts:
    8,465
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +136
    Ebay:
    YouTube:
    How do you feel about parts distorting? For example, I think the Cybertron Jetfire animation model would have been much better if the huge jet accordian on his back shrunk to 1/3 of the size and his wings shortened a bit. Seeing stuff like that doesn't bother me in the transformation animation, and it makes the 'bot much easier to look at. And let's face it, you're looking at the 'bot for a lot longer than you're looking at the transformation.

    BW TMII Black Arachnia was a great example. The toy's shoulder pads and spider backpack were still there, just at a much more visually pleasing size.
     
  17. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Posts:
    4,790
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Likes:
    +0
    I believe the traditon of 'shouting stuff out' comes from ancient Samurai who would shout out their 'special' moves during combat. Much like modern day wrestling today, having named special moves helped to promote themselves and spread their name and skills across the land. Though it may not be 100% true as I forget where I heard it.
     
  18. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Posts:
    17,583
    Trophy Points:
    297
    Location:
    Robot Narnia, Quebec
    Likes:
    +74
    I think this is untrue. "Style" may be a vague term, and open to variable interpretations, but has a tremendous impact.

    For example a CGI or traditional rendering of an original G1 Jetfire toy, much as they did in Energon/Cybertron, would have a certain stiffness to it, and the proportions would be effectively carved in stone. Comparing that to the depiction of Valkyries/Veritechs in Macross/Robotech, you would see just how much "style" can affect what is essentially the same model.

    Part of that is the implementation of camera angles and the forcing of perspective, as well as the "squishy-stretchy" nature of traditional hand-drawn animation... however there are other liberties as well... the posture that the Valkyries take in Macross are often impossible for a toy model to replicate. The angle of the head-cannons as well becomes variable.

    Another example would be G1 animation models. Remember how you could really tell when a particular episode was animated by a good studio, and which ones were farmed out to lower-budget studios? Those are the same animation models, but at the same time, style makes a world of difference... even in the details, such as the particular tilt of the wings on a seeker, or the proportions of their lower legs.

    Or perhaps it could be likened simply to comparing the way Todd Mcfarlane drew Spiderman as opposed to Johnny Romita Jr.'s style. Same costume. Same model. Different style, and a huge difference.

    This is the stuff I'm talking about when "style" is discussed. Granted, when speaking of CGI models, generally there's a lot less room for "style" since the models are often more or less concrete.

    zmog
     
  19. bobby_C

    bobby_C Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Posts:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Likes:
    +0
    well, you can do the squishy-stretchy thing in CGI too. In fact, there's a lot more possibilities than 3D animators usually use, they're usually stuck in a certain frame of mind that comes from the medium. They're being very technical, so they think they need to remain absolutely coherent. Which isn't actually true.

    But it's true that there is less room for expressing style in character renditions or graphical stuff, except for the people who build these in the first place.

    It's still critical in animation though. Even though they're using the same models and rigs, different animators will produce completely different results. One will animate a stiff, unrealistic walk while the other will do wonders.

    In particular, posing , timing and storyboarding is as important as ever, and with enough style put in it can make a CGI show go from forgettable to excellent.
     
  20. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    66,308
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    407
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +792
    A tradition I hate more than anime itself!
     

Share This Page