Transformers Aesthetics.

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Commander Cold, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    I've been into Transformers for a little while, drifted away during the movie, but really got into them in the last few days when I picked up some older toys.

    I just don't personally understand at all why the movie was so popular. It's mainly the aesthetic. First off, it's not G1, fine, but there's no point calling a character "Ratchet" or "Ironhide" if they don't bear SOME resemblance like Jazz and Prime did. This goes for every generation. At least Animated Prowl bears some resemblance to the original - have black as a primary colour and a "metallic" colour(gold instead of silver), as well as the head Chevron. And "Prowl" is a much more generic name than "Ratchet" or "Ironhide".

    You cannot call a character STARSCREAM and make him look like that! I don't understand why people are all OH HURRR YOU BEEFED UP mY STARSCREAM THAT LOOKS AWESOME HE'S NOT A WHINY TRAITOR NOW. I don't think people get what made Starscream popular to begin with. Animated did a much better job of making him "powerful" without making him a ridiculous ape.

    Why does he need to be an ape? THIS IS OUR NEW STARSCREAM. But why? What was wrong with the old one? If you're making a movie of Transformers, doesn't it make sense to draw the most from the original, most popular series? Let's face it - it's not as if AEC was great, and where is the AEC influence, exactly? It's only taking from G1. If you're making a movie "Of" something, you shouldn't try to make something so "new" until you've done a proper movie first. There are so many people that were waiting all their lives to see an awesome Prime/Megs smash up, and they didn't quite get that(if only because Prime got his ass handed to him way too easily). Hollywood just doesn't tend to be good at "New" stuff. If they were, why all the comic book movies? Where is our new Star Wars?

    That clip on the Hasbro website impressed me more. And you'll always get people saying it LOOKS SO FAKE, but have you seen that developed into a Hollywood movie? News for you - THAT'S WHAT REAL ROBOTS LOOK LIKE. Real robots are never going to look like those overcomplicated scrapheaps, and CERTIANLY not giant robots. Nobody wants the G1 models made into 3D with a little bit more detail - we do want a bit of a redesign. But hell, they took it way too far.

    If any of you knew about Mecha animation, you'd know while they're pretty unfeasible in terms of efficieny, a lot of them are designed by actual engineers to make the most out of it. Macross was designed by an engineer, and a lot of the toys transform much more feasibly - and guess what? They transform a lot like Transformers. There probably needs to be a certain amount of "Super Transformation" like the movie uses, but come on, not for the whole robot. It breaks it up too much.

    This is what I'm getting at - the aesthetic. The movie bots were cool monsters. And heck, I like monstrous, techno-organic mechs, like that Transtech Soundwave drawing that's floating around. But they're enot even "organic" looking like Transtech or EVAs, they're metal things trying to move organically.

    I thought people wanted them to be more "alien"? So why are they more "human" shaped then ever, or taking traits from other earth creatures, like Starscream's ape and bird like features? For the "can't touch chest" problem - wouldn't it be a more "alien" solution to simply extend the arms?

    Ironhide really looks like a scrapheap. Personally, I just think his design is very messy. There are cool aspects to it, certainly, and I quite liked my FAB Ironhide toy for a while - but you can't figure out where his limbs are.

    This just isn't what Giant robots look like! I don't understand the crowd of people that dislike animated but like the movie, as small a crowd as they are. Conversely, I don't understand the larger crowd that like the movie and animated just as much - aren't they kind of diametic opposites? but at the same time, animated is more "Giant Robot like".

    Would a Gundam movie look like giant toys battling it out to you? Why do you need everything made all creepy and overcomplicated just so you can admit to liking to see it on the big screen?

    I don't want to bash anyone for their taste - not in the slightest. It's just that some of the defenses in particular that caused me to leave the fandom for nearly a year, I still see them, and they still bother me. Like what you want to like, but don't defend decisions on the basis of them being more "realistic" - it's not true. There is nothing more immature than disregarding a position because it's "hatin'".

    I just don't see how so many people who WERE a fan of one aesthetic can suddenly become a fan of a completely differnet one and act like it had nothing to do with hype or peer pressure from other fans. I think a lot of people tried too hard to like it.

    But if you genuinely liked it, that's you're thing. Just don't push others into doing so. I won't push you into hating it, but I will open up the possibility it made you think you enjoyed it more than you did(which is the whole purpose of the Hype machine).

    I know this has been done to death but I think the exact problems with the aesthetic and people's defense thereof needed to be clarified.

    A Transformers movie. Hopefully after the Macross movie it will look ridiculous and they'll have to change it. The TF movie did well because nobody was able to visualise what high quality CGI(in terms of technology, not design)giant robots would look like in real life before it, it was a first. It was impossible for it not to do well. But when people see Iron Man, or Macross, and see how robots(or power suits that look like robots) should look, I think a lot of other people will see things this way.
     
  2. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    In short; why do people claim the movie designs are more "realistic" when they're designed by special effects guys, not engineers, like the guys who design Macross, etc. which actually look like "traditional" Transformers? Why do you think it's a false dichotomy between G1 and Movie? Is there not something perhaps not only not in between, but different altogether, that preserves the original designs much better?
     
  3. Wingwolf77

    Wingwolf77 Decepticon Dark lord

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    I enjoyed it for what it was. But for the most part I agree, I wish they had of gone with a more mech look. But it is what it is. Cant be changed now.

    My only issue is when people bring up 'realistic' and then support the movie look.
     
  4. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    Yeah, exactly. Realistic giant robos are bulkier, for a number of reasons, not just armour. If you like that style, say so, but don't say it's the only thing we could have gotten because it's realistic.
     
  5. Veloxiraptor

    Veloxiraptor Moé than Meets the Eye

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    I HATED the TF aesthetic (and still do, with a couple exceptions) but I still found the movie adequately entertaining. It could be that the reason you don't understand the popularity is that you think the aesthetics should be more of a factor in people's minds. I mean, what about people who weren't TF fans previously? What did *they* think about the aesthetics? Was it even a factor for them?
     
  6. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    I'm unsure what else was so entertaining if the robots themselves weren't. Masturbation jokes? Bumblebee peeing on a guy? The dialogue was pretty awful really... and i normally like cheesy stuff.
     
  7. Wingwolf77

    Wingwolf77 Decepticon Dark lord

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    it was a fun movie. With some cool fx. Just not realistic robots. Or G1-like Transformers.
     
  8. Veloxiraptor

    Veloxiraptor Moé than Meets the Eye

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    I never said the robots weren't entertaining to me, just that I hated the aesthetic. It's two separate issues to me. I had no problems with the way the robots moved or fought each other; I didn't have any problem determining which characters were which, even on the first viewing. In the same way that you don't understand how people can be entertained by the film, I don't understand how the robots being ugly or infeasible is a deal-breaker. (Indistinguishability, THAT I can understand, even though it was not my own experience. I just think that enough people, critics even, have complained about that, that it has to have a certain merit.) But it all boils down to different priorities.

    I'm not going to say I didn't have problems with the movie, with the script or with the pacing. As I've said, it was just adequate, and the bulk of my enjoyment stemmed from, simply, watching robots smash each other. That is all I went in for, and it (eventually) delivered. My standards fluctuate wildly dependent on context. Yeah, it would've been nice if it had been an honest-to-God well-written movie, but I'd rather they surprise me with that; if I'd demanded it from the start and they didn't deliver, well, that would just make me a madder person than I am already.
     
  9. chaosbringer_00

    chaosbringer_00 I am indescribable.

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    Wow, if only everyone else on the site was as articulate and polite as you, and then maybe we might've had some reasonable debates on the movie designs.

    Personally, I love and hate them. On-screen, I think that they kinda suck. They're way to fragmented, and try to look organic and fail. They're robots, make them look robotic, I say. But there's no use crying over spilled milk. The movie put Transformers into the public eye, which means more $$$ for Hasbro, which means more leeway for fanservice. Case in point-the bazillion new Universe things we've heard about at Botcon.

    On the other hand, I really like the toys. Being bound by the laws of reality, you end up with some kibble. Tires don't just dissapear. Windshields are visible. In short, the robot actually looks like it was made from a vehicle! THAT is my biggest complaint about the movie designs, is that the robots don't really look all that much like they started as vehicles. They don't look like a truck that's turned into a robot. Instead, they look like robots with a few bits of vehicles pasted on. You can't really say that the arms are made out of the hood of the car, or the legs from the back, etc.

    But how I ramble. In short, I generally agree with you, but understand why they did what they did with the movie, even if I don't like some parts of it.
     
  10. Cobalt Agent

    Cobalt Agent My dick kills dinosaurs

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    I'll be honest... I'm not reading all of that. I skimmed over it and I agree with what I read. But then I'm just a geewun fanboy.
     
  11. Chaos Sorcerer

    Chaos Sorcerer Well-Known Member

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    to a degree, the designs do make sense. Metal chunks dont move. You need segmentation to get motion, no matter how much the fanboys hate it. Try putting on some plate armor and doing things that require motion and see how hard it is. Watch your skin around your joints when you move, you can see it bend and crunch up. Same with facial expressions.

    Flowing, psueomorphic solid chunks of metal really would look ugly on the big screen. In order to get the range of movement in the models, a lot of that fragmentation simply IS necessary. We're all TF geeks here and can accept a certain amount of robotyness, but your average viewer would be put off by them moving like, well, robots, and facial queues help a lot in movies.

    Is it overdone to a degree? Maybe. Some of that was probably for the Wow Factor, but I never had problems figuring out where chunks of the vehicle went to in robot mode. They all seemed to make sense to me for the most part.

    Personally, i think they look fantastic, but that's just my point of view.
     
  12. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    First of all, CC, welcome to the boards.

    You're confusing making something in the real world with making something on screen look realistic. It's a fair distinction, and an important one, I think. That is the main reason for the difference in aesthetic.

    As already mentioned, the multi segment look allows for believable flexible movement in robot mode.

    The segmented look allows the viewer to see a car full of empty space turn into a giant robot without being pulled out of the story. Even as a kid I looked at my G1 toys and wondered how anyone would sit inside. Take G1 Bumblebee, the majority of his legs would be filling his driver's compartment, leaving no real room for Spike (keep in mind the Macross robots have a comparatively smaller amount of room reserved for the cockpit, which allows it to remain intact through transformation).

    But, probably most important, is that the segmented look allows them to "look cool" in the eyes of the target demographic, which was - like it or not - not people who were already in to Transformers.
     
  13. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    But the movie models "cheat" to, and the toys themselves are no better than G1.

    Alternators aren't perfect, but they manage to do the "empty space job" pretty well in many cases. At a hollywood level of detail, I don't see what the problem would be. So some of them can't touch their chests; do they NEED to? They can always shove them back a bit, or just extend their arms. The Citreon former also looked generally more believable to me.

    Again, the segmented look doesn't make it look any more "realistic". You don't NEED those kind of movements for a giant robo - they're not giant humans, or cyborgs like EVAs. You need your giant robot to be functional - even if it's a built sentient being and not a piloted mech. Having tons of little moving parts isn't practical - it takes more power, and causes more wear. It takes more to repair a machine with lots of moving parts than it does one with less. With organic bodies, everything moves much more dynamically, it's not the same as a machine.

    That's the problem, trying to make a mechanical thing move like an organic body. It doesn't work that well, feasibly.

    In fact, come to think of it, the movie bots are WORSE for shoving a load of crap in a small space. If you loo carefully, they "stretch" out a lot - it's why Deluxe Bumblebee's chest is so huge and melon like compared to the movie model. They fold an AWFUL lot more in, and nobody questions it. I suppose as you said this could be due to the super complex transformations, but that feels to much like cheating. Why not just have the "super transformation" take care of the little bits and bobs like that, instead of splitting up the armour?
     
  14. Chaos Sorcerer

    Chaos Sorcerer Well-Known Member

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    ::looks at G1 Prime. Looks at Leader Class Optimus::

    Uhm, I decidedly disagree.
     
  15. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    ... G1 Prime actually has space to put a "Pilot" in. Movie Prime, even if you took the electronics out, wouldn't work like that at all.

    There's disagreeing, and then there's using a silly example.

    In terms of the space for people to in and that, the larger G1 toys were no worse than the movie toys. In fact, they were often better, since they were originally designed to take pilots.
     
  16. Chaos Sorcerer

    Chaos Sorcerer Well-Known Member

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    So basically I countered your argument exactly using the most obvious example, and it's "silly" because it doesnt prove your point. Okay then. :lol 

    The early G1 toys were designed as MECHA. That's why they have places to put pilots. Why do the current toys, which are designed as sentient robots and do not come with "human" pilots as part of the toyline, going to waste time and space for cockpits? If a place to put a figure is more important to you than articulation, paint instead of stickers, sound effects and the like, more power to you.. but saying G1 toys are better is simply rose colored nostalgia.
     
  17. Rodimus

    Rodimus The Prime Producer

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    I have to say I agree with what I read but I've already been down this road last summer and the 3 years leading up to it and I've found that this board can be a hostile enviornment regarding observations like this.
     
  18. Commander Cold

    Commander Cold Banned

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    Okay, I don't want to incite drama here but your posting is beginning to fill me with RAGE.

    First off, there was a claim made that G1 toys provoked the train of thought that goes in the direction of "So where do the guys sit"? Then, I pointed out the movie toys weren't any better for this(since you can't compare G1 toys to G1 movie).

    Then you came in with your G1 TOYS ARE BETTER THAN MOVIE TOYS!? YEAH RIGHT, using a very poor example for a toy that has no real space for a driver.

    Then you claim that having space for a pilot isn't important.

    Arrrrrggh. Just please learn to read what's being discussed before you reply.

    As for which line is "better" that's a matter of opinion. G1 Prime has an awful lot less back kibble than Leader Prime, has a much more "accurate" truck mode and is generally regarded as a classic toy. Yeah, his posability sucks, but the thing about G1 and it's Diaclone/Microman designs is that it has a certain charm other lines don't have. The movie toys aren't inherently "Better" than the originals, both have their own merits and failures.
     
  19. Chaos Sorcerer

    Chaos Sorcerer Well-Known Member

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    You're the only one getting all asshurt and filled with rage on the internet over a debate on a forum about children's toys. I stated my opinion, which is different then yours. You decided that my statement was "silly", at which point I elaborated for you, and you have still yet to convince me why a transformer needs room for a pilot, or why that makes the movie toys poor. If you had picked a logical reason, such as Jazz's embarassing excuse for arms, or the massive disapointment that is Barricade, maybe this would be more constructive. The caps lock fanboy keyboard pounding seems to only be in your posts. You need to chill out and go have a beer. I'm done with this thread, as I'm starting to remember why I stopped posting in transformers forums in the first place.
     
  20. Hobbes-timus Prime

    Hobbes-timus Prime Well-Known Member

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    To address this: The Movie Transformers were designed for the screen first, and then toys were made to translate those designs. G1 toys were made first and show/comic models were made to translate those designs. It is my opinion, then, that in discussing the feasibility of the designs you need to compare original design to original design, so movie model to toy, and, ironically, not toy to toy. No toy would contain a working "cockpit" unless it is designed as a selling point of the toy. The movie models had to all have believably feasible cockpits to work on screen, hence the different approach.

    Also, this is not about whether or not there is "cheating" involved. There's always cheating. It is about how well the cheat is hidden.
     

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