Transformations

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by mattjy, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. mattjy

    mattjy Homobot

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    So I've watched the DVD a squillion times and still can't figure out exactly how all the TF's transform. Part of the fun of TF's for me as akid was getting the toy to find out how they change. Unfortunately many the movie toys don't transform anywhere near to how their CGI counterparts do. I was hoping for some CGI renders on the DVD that you could transform slowly and zoom in on to see exactly what becomes what. You'd think after spending all the time figuring out how these things work that they'd want to show them off as clearly as possible. Anyone else frustrated?
     
  2. Julliant

    Julliant This space for rent.

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    Well, it has to be extremely complex to make it believable for the average viewer, whom demands more knowing its a technologically advanced race of aliens.

    Transformations, as far as I know.

    Bumblebee's arms, chest and head are all in the front of the car. Front doors open up to be the flaps behind his shoulders.

    Prime's transformation is just about the same as G1. Arms out from the sides and the rear to his legs. The nose of the truck becomes his abdominal area.

    Starscream's just folds in half from his jet mode, arms and legs just pop out.
     
  3. Alienbot

    Alienbot Well-Known Member

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    To add to that, Megatron's wings and jet nose merge into his back. Blackout and Ironhide basically stand up to transform, while we can also see Ratchet closes up his back and spins his upper body. We can also see Optimus's back-wheels go onto his legs.
     
  4. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    I think it might be a good idea to point out that the transformations in the movie might not be worth our time to squint frame-by-frame and watch how the transforming works. Similar to G1's transformations, there's a lot of cheating going on.

    There has been at least one interview with ILM where the artists basically tell you parts will magically go through other parts, parts will shrink or grow bigger, etc. I believe these guys also said that they only care about how the "front" of the guy transforms (the side facing the camera). EG, when Starscream is flying towards Sam on the street, ILM probably didn't put too much thought into what happens towards the rear end of the F-22. And when Jazz skid-transforms before attacking Green Tank Dude, ILM probably wasn't very concerned with how Jazz's front end transforms.

    Defintely, the transformations all look spectacular. There's so many things going on, it definitely looks like these guys could transform. But there's just as much cheating as G1, albeit it looks more convincing.

    While most of the transformations were very convincing, there were at least 2 poorly-hidden transformation cheats.

    The first time Barricade transforms, he sort of slowly stands up, and it's pretty believable. However, the last step of his transformation is that his entire upper body scrunches in, like a soda can being stepped on. There's even a sound effect to accompany this.

    During the green tank's transformation, it seems pretty believable, but look at his treads. His treads shrink during his transformation, and the last step is to have his treads shrink to such a degree that the entirety of the treads fit neatly onto his shoulders.

    Yes, we can certainly argue that these alien robots have scrunch-able metal and shrinking treads, but this doesn't change the fact that ILM just took some shortcuts to get them to change shape.
     
  5. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    I've watched that a couple times and it seems more like the majority of his treads just retract into his body, not shrink.
     
  6. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime Combaticon

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    I agree with most of what you said. But this thread was done before about animation cheats. And make it short and sweet, of course their were animation cheats. They wouldn't be good animators if they didn't cheat. That's the idea. The point of animation is to fool the eye into thinking it's real. Not actually make it real.
    I'm certain if you could watch the transformations in super slow motion, you'd see all of the cheats that they made. Morphs, scaling, overlaps, what ever. I'm sure it's there, but they're transforming so fast, that you'd barely notice.
     
  7. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough.

    To get the thread back on track...I actually think Blackout's transformation is pretty accurate to the toy. For the most part, his transformation in the beginning of the movie has the cockpit becoming his chest, the rotors are dreadlocks on his back, and from what I can see, the arms and legs are where the toy has them.

    The major difference is that the movie model has some telescoping of the rear of the helicopter that would be impossible on the toy. I also cannot figure out where Blackout pulls his set of arm-rotors...

    Ironhide's transformation seems to be pretty toy-accurate as well. During his slow-motion transform, you see that the read of the truck becomes the legs, you see the "calf" kibble bursting outwards, and the chest is virtually identical. A difference is that Ironhide's bumper ends up on his chest, whereas the toy has the real bumper go on his back, and a fake bumper takes its place on the robot mode chest.
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Good luck trying to figure out Frenzy.
     
  9. red00wolf

    red00wolf insatiable collector

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    the will of primus! he tell me!
     
  10. mattjy

    mattjy Homobot

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    yeah, I'm well aware of all the animation cheats, why go to the effort of animating something that's not going to be noticed. But I would have thought there would have been some kind of reference that the animators used. In one of the DVD extra's Bay says there was a Japanese guy who figured out where every little part went. I;d love to see that side of the work.
     
  11. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    The HD-DVD has some really amazing shots of the models. Not much help showing the actual transformations, but it might give you some better visuals to work with.

    Maybe on the eventual Blu-Ray collector's edition? I'd love that.

    Far as the transformations, there's definitely some cheating, although the CGI is sufficiently impressive that I don't hold it against them.
     
  12. Torque

    Torque The WORDSMITH

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    lol, yeah, they did cheat, but probably not alot-the only one i throught the really cheated with was Frenzy-i mean come on-they made his bot mode before picking his Boombox form. and the whole cell phone thing too-super cheat! but to me, it all didnt seem to be cheats.
     
  13. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen the movie in a while, but I don't believe we ever got a full transformation for Frenzy. We would only see a part of it before the camera cut away. EG, while he was transforming under that chair, it was just a bunch of seemingly-random "boom box opens up and parts move around." (We never see a full transformation out of Bonecrusher, either...we're staring at his axle the whole time).

    I remember another interview saying that the Frenzy model-builders had a difficult time coming up with a practical model because the CGI model had parts literally floating without being connected to the rest of his body. That, and I don't see any CD player box parts on the robot...
     
  14. Kouri

    Kouri kupo

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    Methinks Prime was a mis-match of the voyager and leader figures. Somehow his front wheels become his ankles, even though a good portion of his lower legs are tucked away in the sleeper. ^^;
     
  15. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    ^^^Best I can figure is that Prime does some kind of "sit down, bend forward, and touch your toes" transformation.

    But that's not true, because on the highway, Prime's rear half becomes his legs. Truth be told, I don't think even ILM knows how Prime's front wheels go on his ankles.
     
  16. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    His legs are madeup of parts from both the back and nose of the truck. Basically Leader Prime's legs but more complex.

    Yes there's a lot of cheating. But cheating just comes natural to animation like that. There's no way around it, but cheating is nessesary for the 'bots to look good. It's not really cheating at all, just animation doing it's thang. If you're going to complain about that, then you might aswell complain that the bots are CGI to begin with.
     
  17. pscoop

    pscoop Dead inside

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    Why you say that? It just gets my hopes up. :) 
     
  18. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I was complaining...at the very least it wasn't my intent. I'm just trying to be objective about the transformations. Certain things can be seen onscreen, and those things are certainly interesting to go frame-by-frame and see which part goes where. We all did it with the 1986 movie, and we're all doing it with the current movie.

    I just feel the necessity to point out that certain transformations, however, shouldn't be analyzed as seriously as others. Blackout, for example, has several transformations on screen, and it's really cool to see that it transforms more or less like the toy.

    Others, like Prime and Frenzy, have strange, strange transformation schemes that are cut away from at convenient times so that we never know (for example) how those front wheels get on his ankles. For those cheats, it's probably not worth our time to look too closely at what part goes where when ILM probably doesn't know either.
     
  19. clonemanager

    clonemanager Hunter

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    It is all magic.
     
  20. jametron

    jametron Release the Kraken!!!!!!!

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    Or Voodoo.
     

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