Robot LOD might be reason for such little dialogue

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Prowl, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    I watched the movie again out of love and support, and I do wish I could see more dialogue coming from Sidewipe and the Arcees, but then I thought maybe as a method to save money and time, the modelers and animators created versions of these characters that were never meant to be seen SO close up that we wouldn't notice their imperfections.

    More than often when developers create a video game, things in the background that players will never see up close are designed with less polygons and smaller textures to make the game run smoother, but also because it requires less time to create, thus saves money. This is called LOD (Level of Detail)

    Perhaps there was a discussion where ILM said, "Look, you can choose 3-4 characters that can talk up close, and we will painstakingly make the detail in their faces hold up against scrutiny. We can still animate the faces of these lesser characters, but you don't want to shoot them up close"

    So naturally, you can't have a conversation from 20 yards away without the need for some kind of closeup, thus characters like Sideswipe never got more than a few lines and Jolt received none (Hell Jolt may not even have a moving mouth or eyes). I know a lot of people would have taken Sidewipe over the twins, but we already had Prime as a badass, as well as Bumblebee and Ironhide, so another Badass character up close (despite being cool) was probably not the optimal choice when the twins brought something else to the table, thus they were created with (Close up detail).

    This movie can't be written or created like anything before it. The script was written and then meetings were had where people may have said, "Look, if you want to make 2009, we can't have that many characters talking on screen. It would take too much time to design those characters up close, so you need to massage your script into something that works with our time contraints."

    So it's not about, Less Twins time = More Sideswipe time. It's more like you can choose one character for us to model and animate to our best capability, meaning Sidewipe may not have a Super Close up Rig for talking and emoting, so swapping screen time may not even be possible. The Twins were a better choice from production standpoint because Sidewipe would have been just another badass, and Ironhide already had a Rig from the first movie.

    I dunno, just a thought.
     
  2. sideswipe1

    sideswipe1 because damn he's good

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    nice theory. also the time and money aspect explains the multiple decepticons.
     
  3. iconscons

    iconscons Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, but I kinda doubt it. I only say this because I imagine that these guys are done in full detail, 'cause if you don't you're permanently restricting what can be done later. I'm not sure they would paint themselves (and everyone else) into a corner so early on.
     
  4. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    These characters are modeled to be seen up close, just not animated. In other words, there would be no corner to be painted into because they could just add those features later. They could have looked at the schedule, considered what could be done and what couldn't and said, "We'll work on these guys later, if we have a sequel. For the time being, you have 5 characters that can walk, talk, and act in any camera angle you choose."

    I'm sure not all of the background CG characters in Star Wars had the mobility or detail that Jar Jar had, but if they needed to update one of the characters in the background for more screen time, they could modify and add the needed elements.
     
  5. TankRizzo

    TankRizzo Well-Known Member

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    Which brings me back to a previous point from another thread. The LOD is needlessly complex and wound up hurting the movie. It's like going out and buying a Ferrari, but the only time you get to enjoy it is during the 5 minute commute between the 3 different jobs you have to pay for the thing.

    The amount of money they wasted on Devastator is probably criminal.
     
  6. darthrage

    darthrage Leader Class

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    That could be true but then again, Michael Bay said in the first movie's audio commentary that when he makes the 2nd movie, he wants to focus more on the robot's faces
     
  7. TankRizzo

    TankRizzo Well-Known Member

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    He did....the two that he created. :banghead: 
     
  8. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    Yes he did. The faces looked better and moved better, but they those the ones that were going to be on screen the longest and made those the priority of the animators and artists.

    I wasn't really writing this as a means to discuss which robots should have gotten that level of attention because I really don't dislike the twins. I am just saying that this probably had a lot to do with the reason we don't get a lot of dialogue from those characters, and the few times we do, they are far from the screen or in blurred motion.
     
  9. Malikon

    Malikon Well-Known Member

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    very cool theory Windcharger, makes sense.
     
  10. Dropshot

    Dropshot Transform your destiny

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    Actually it's the second part of the theory that sound right, Skids and Mudflap, despite being annoying, were different from all the badass autobots we had, so it's fair they tried their chances with them, the arcees however, could've brought another type of character in, yes, they were fugly and I understand why MB didn't like her, but they could do so much with her and refused to.
     
  11. Prowl

    Prowl Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, their Unicycle thing didn't go too well with me, but their faces (what I was able to make out) was really awesome, and I would have loved to see more of them.
     
  12. Ethereal

    Ethereal A Sad Flareon

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    It's kind of the curse for the live action franchise. It's easy to clamor for more robots, but someone needs to get paid for that work and Bay doesn't get an unlimited money tree. While I will say that Bay and co. probably could have reduced some of the robots (I'd say protoforms and Constructiclones for one) and put that towards more characterization with the Autobots or tougher Decepticons, he opted for quantity instead. That's the trade off.

    Since we're not Paramount's bean counters though, we have no idea how much it costs for that animation :D . I think you're on to something though Windcharger!
     

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