the TF's metal

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Poho, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    A little while after the first movie came out, there was discussion about how the robots could change their shapes. I presented a theory that their bodies were made out of an extremely hard metal, but that if they passed controlled electric currents through the metal they could realign it's molecules into another shape.

    Now we know that it seems like their is a uniform hardness on all of the TF's body parts, so we can assume that regardless of shape, the substance remains the same.

    I'm wondering, how do they imitate the glass and rubber?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  2. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    I have to admit that's one of the things I don't really like in the movie universe..by letting the bots scan and adapt on their own instead of being rebuilt problems like this start popping up. :p 

    I don't know..maybe only their skeleton is of real metal, and everything else is generated nanobots, able to transform their substance into something that can resemble glass, leather, clothing, etc, but still remain rocksolid-hard?
     
  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Maybe they have substances on their bodies before that can imitate glass like the metal does? They say in the movie that they have regenerating metal, so maybe they have systems that can generate other matter on their bodies to resemble glass, rubber, etc.? It makes sense since robots aren't built entirely of metal, they're bound to ahve other properties. They're from another planet, it's not hard to imagine they have means to replicate matter visually.
     
  4. Quantum_Penguin

    Quantum_Penguin Be seeing you...

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    Well, the basic mechanical properties of a material are determined not by the actual atoms of which it is composed, but by the bonds between those atoms. Diamond, for example, is transparent and much harder than graphite (pencil lead) yet they are only different arrangements of the same carbon atoms. It isn't unreasonable that the body panels and the windows on a Transformer could be the same substance, just reforged with a different molecular structure as needed. It would also explain how they can change color from dull metal protoforms to bright red and blue trucks with flames.

    What the actual mechanism is that allows this is debatable. Nanites are certainly a possibility as Digilaut said, but if that's the case, I'd like to know whether the material is made of nanites itself (like a utility fog: Utility fog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) or if some or all of the Transformer is a "dead" medium which is rearranged as needed by the nanites.

    Whichever it is, the only limit to a Transformer's shapechanging ability would be it's mass and energy, which might explain why they scan a form equivalent to their size and only do so once in a while. If they are actually like a utility fog, then a transformer could theoretically disguise itself as a gas! However, that's unlikely because it's more energy efficient to reconstruct a few moving parts that allow you take on a disguise than to morph at will like T-1000.
     
  5. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    Perfect. That was awesome.
     
  6. Wingspanky

    Wingspanky Well-Known Member

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    Remember when Bumblebee was at the used car lot? Ok he let off a soundwave that shattered all the glass in the area. He remained untouched by it all. During the BB vs Barricade "Alien Death Match" The windows from the doors are visable in robot mode and never shatter. He and Barricade threw each other around a bit. Which suggested he didn't have regular glass windows. Also when Prime fought Bonecrusher, they fell off the highway. Hours later Prime transformed he showed no signs of damage to the windows. So clearly using this logic, these are some hard @$$ windows or they are clear metal.
     
  7. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    I'm all for molecular/atom manipulation that only mimics what we perceive as rubber, glass, fabric, etc... but I nevertheless hate the Movie-verse idea that these things can just scan whatever they want at wil and then instantly turn into it. That essentialy makes them morphing shapeshifters - not mechancial Transformers that need places to put all of their parts when they transition from one form to another. Plus it begs the question of why don't they just take on new forms every time their current disguise is blown or becomes impractical to what they need. But since these are Bay movies with two TV writer hacks at the helm, I don't get too bent out of shape about it since it all seems par for the course.
     
  8. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    Because there won't always be something with the same mass and size within eyeshot? And why the hate for Transformers that can be self-reliant? Would it be perfectly okay then if Frenzy's head crawled to a Decepticon ship and got reformatted in order to crawl back and turn into Mikaela's cell phone?
     
  9. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    i'm so sick of you popping up and ruining perfectly reasonable threads by using every opportunity you can to movie-bash.
     
  10. krade

    krade Well-Known Member

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    sci-fi.that the answer
     
  11. samtheman

    samtheman Well-Known Member

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    I find your opinion interesting, however have you considered why when Ratchet ran into the power lines it didn't change the shape of his metal at all. But if what you said is true about the metal then shouldn't it be the same with the tires and glass about being able to reshape?
     
  12. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    good point. i think the nanites idea is better. or perhaps they current some sort of energy humans haven't harnessed/discovered yet.
     
  13. samtheman

    samtheman Well-Known Member

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    I agree that would probably be the best explanation for being able to reshape in such a manner.
     
  14. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    Unlikely. Considering everything they needed was conveniently right at their feet when they landed, I'm sure it would be easy enough for them to spot similar sized vehicles pretty much anywhere else that they're at as well.

    Being self reliant is one thing. Randomly turning into whatever you look at is completely different, and imo, was a poorly executed idea for the Movie-verse - especially the part where Frenzy's head turns into a cell phone. Sorry, but I can't and won't think this trans-scanning concept is awesome *just because* that's what we were given. To me it makes no more sense than G1's mass shifting theories that have been debated to death ever since people invented and/or became aware of the term for sake of explaining a cartoon.

    Huh, I was pretty sure I actually kept things right on topic. Sorry, let me rephrase myself then: everything that the writers thought up is beyond brilliant, plausible, makes perfect sense with absolutely zero room for error, debate or criticism, Bay is a demigod for his visionary real life take on Transformers fiction and the utmost highest standards a director could ever set, and Transformers all around is the epitome of what a perfect movie is with every last detail, no matter how awfully ridiculous, being so forward thinking & genius that anyone who doesn't like it or could find *any* criticisms whatsoever is just an ignorant 'gee-whunner' stuck in the past, adversed to change & progression, and are just blindly bashing the movie without an ounce of legitimate reason.

    Better?
     
  15. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    don't be absurd. i obviously thought the movie was deeply flawed, but i still loved it because of the fantastic action and giant transforming robots. i'm complaining because, while you were on topic, you manipulated the discussion in a way that, yet again, let you complain about why you hated the movie so much. let it go, man, the movie has been out for over a year.
     
  16. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    All sarcasm aside, Poho, I really didn't think I manipulated the discussion at all. I honestly figured that if I explained *why* I didn't like the trans-scanning concept, it wouldn't come off as just blind complaining or bashing at all. And as facetious as my outro comments about Bay & the writers may *appear*, they are truthfully (and exactly) why I'm not all up in arms about it the way many other people are.

    Either way, I had NO intention of hijacking this thread to turn it into a bitchfest about the movie. Sorry if that's how you interpretated it.
     
  17. Quantum_Penguin

    Quantum_Penguin Be seeing you...

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    You bring up a good point but there are limitations to nanites that can be used to make sense of Bumblebee's and Frenzy's mode switching. Namely they are limited by the energy available to them. And that depends on just what type of energy they are using.

    Presumably, when Transformers arrive on a planet as a protoform they've been charged up for the long journey plus whatever energy they need to reformat a disguise. Whatever this energy is they don't state, but I'm loathe to immediately label it energon because, so far as I know, they haven't referenced it in the film (and I'm ignoring the tie-in comics for now). That leaves us with the usual suspects for super energy: nuclear fission and fusion, anti-matter, zero-point energy or stored energy from an external source.

    If we are assuming they have limited access to energy then we can throw zero-point or vacuum energy out right now; you can't exactly run out of fuel if your fuel is empty space. As for fission, it isn't unreasonable that beings of their technological fortitude would have miniaturized fission reactors, and it might even explain why the Transformers leak radiation all over the place. It could be neutron radiation from their power cores. Then again, Sam and Mikaela don't appear to suffer from radiation sickness (unfortunately) despite constant exposure to the Transformers, so the radiation must be benign in nature (alpha and/or beta particles) or safe traces of the harder stuff (neutrons and gamma rays). That doesn't rule out fission entirely, but it doesn't seem likely that a technologically advanced species obsessed with disguising themselves would be unable to shield their reactor cores sufficiently, so it's more likely the radiation is residue from exposure to cosmic rays on their journey.

    Fusion, though it operates at higher energies than fission, requires large amounts of fuel and is harder to miniaturize. This is a blind guess, but I figure Bumblebee would need something on the order of a few tons of hydrogen to reconfigure every part in his body. All that hydrogen would need to be kept cold and under pressure in very large tanks, which the Transformers seem to be lacking.

    Anti-matter would certainly provide plenty of energy and the fuel requirements would be less because it'd be near 100% efficient. However, carrying a supply of anti-matter around inside you while you are fighting a war doesn't strike me as a very smart idea, not to mention the difficulty in just producing the anti-matter.

    That leaves us with one convincing option: They generate the energy elsewhere and store it in batteries or capacitors of some sort. It may seem incredible that that much energy could be stored in such a small space, but there have been cases where fairly small capacitor's charge was spontaneously released and it vaporized a piece of metal entirely. Allowing for their technological lead, a single Transformer should be able to store plenty of energy to reform themselves in the field.

    The catch is that the Transformer's other systems also need that energy. Driving, moving, and transforming are all mechanical processes and so are not energy intensive; we do the equivalent everyday with fossil fuels. However, their weapons and computing needs do take up a lot of energy, not to mention what they need to repair damage after battle. Not to mention whatever energy they must expend traveling through interstellar space to their destination.

    That considered, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that a Protoform arrives with just enough energy to pick and adopt a disguise and search for an external source of power. It's also possible that they do have some sort of compact fission reactor that continually recharges their capacitors. That way a Transformer could "exert" itself in a few seconds to adopt a new mode, but would then need to retreat to safety to recharge.

    Notice that Bumblebee had been spending a lot of time in vehicle mode before his bout with Barricade, and then we don't see him using any energy weapons during their fight. It's possible that Bumblebee, having been on Earth for some time, had enough energy stored up to justify his hissy-fit induced change. Frenzy is a little harder to explain, but again, he did only fight Sam using mechanical energy. If he has his capacitors in his head, and those capacitors store enough energy to melt and reshape metal, then it would be easy for him to do an emergency conversion.

    This way transformers can adopt new modes in emergencies at the cost of being vulnerable for a while. That would also explain the need for CR chambers in other continuities as they are most often used after battle when a Transformer's energy reserves are low. That way extensive repairs and reconfiguration would be reserved for the CR Chamber, placing a sensible limit on a lone Transformer's capabilities.

    The place where I criticize the movie is that it doesn't portray this energy intensive process convincingly and misuses it as a gimmick to get out of lazy storytelling rather than a possible place to create tension. Frenzy should have glowed white hot as he changed, setting Mikaela's purse on fire in the process. Likewise, Bumblebee probably would have melted through the asphalt underneath him and caused a shockwave of super-hot air to rush through the tunnel, throwing Sam and Mikaela down on their asses. It would have been more convincing if Mikaela had criticized BB's alt-mode in the presence of the other Autobots, he stalks off to scan something, then comes back and reformats right in front of them. And then Ratchet scolds BB for impetuously wasting energy. Now that's a case where a little technical thought would have created an opportunity for character exposition, but oh well...
     
  18. Quantum_Penguin

    Quantum_Penguin Be seeing you...

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    Thanks! :thumb 
     
  19. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Not to flame, but yeah, I have to agree that the bashing is a little unessesary here considering...

    ...this. I never thought of it like that, yet it's so simple when you think about it.

    Plus, there must be some components that are not able to shape-shift, like a Spark chamber and brain, which would further account ofr the need for solid forms.
     
  20. Poho

    Poho That's MISTER Poho to you

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    sorry for flying off the handle, man.
     

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