In defence of the Bayverse designs

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Nathanoraptor, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    Part of the reason Bumblebee was well-received with TF fans - aside from a well-written story and characters - was more G1-inspired Transformers designs. There were lots of people on the forum saying "And Bay said the original designs couldn't work in live-action" or "the iconic look's back".

    Whilst some of the Bayverse designs were... weird, the failure for Travis Knight and the team involved to see logical issues with the G1 designs, was a flaw to me, rather than a positive - for example, Blitzwing, whilst being big in comparison to Bumblebee, is too small. Based on their alt-mode sizes, he should be as big compared to Bumblebee as a Tyrannosaurus rex would be to a human.

    The Bayverse designs, at least initially, attempted to rectify logical holes with the original designs. Case in point; Starscream.

    The big issue with the Seekers has always been "how can they be the same height as Autobots they should logically dwarf?" Starscream turns into a fighter jet, which are, in real life, 19.4 m (63.8 feet) long. This would make his robot mode colossal in comparison to most Autobots; even a Peterbilt 379 truck is only about half that. Bayverse Starscream is as wide as he is tall, with short, digitigrade legs, so he doesn't end up twice as tall as the Autobots he's fighting.

    Another example: Devastator.

    The big problem with combiners is that they're far larger than the sum of their parts; they're frequently shown as Godzilla-sized, even though, relative to the size of their components, they wouldn't be. It's most prevalent with Menasor, who should only be about twice as tall as the average Transformer. The components of almost every combiner are also out of scale within their own team; for example, a correctly-scaled Long Haul, with some crowding, would be able to carry all his teammates in his bed.

    Bayverse Devastator rectifies all that. His size is kept relative to the sizes of his components, with additional vehicles added to a) justify that titanic size and b) circumvent the fact that his components are out of scale with each other. Something that size could not support its own weight on two legs - so it's a quadruped.

    It doesn't look like the G1 design? Doesn't matter. It looks better than the G1 design - realism aside, it looks appropriately "monstrous", rather than just being a giant "humanoid" Transformer.

    The MCU, DCEU and MonsterVerse have updated designs that were too ridiculous to show on the big screen - and the fandoms were strongly accepting of the changes. There's nobody complaining that, say, MCU Scarlet Witch doesn't have her headpiece or that MonsterVerse Mothra has a stinger. What is it about the Transformers fandom that we are resistant to updating our characters' to fit a medium or correct logical holes?
     
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  2. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    Probably because you're not getting that people are complaining about how they looked more human in each sequel, leading to almost no kibble and a truck that's changed from well placed kibble (TF 2007, RotF), into a shellformer (TLK)...

    Also, Transformium.

    Mothra comparison is also a moot one, as other than the stinger (which she probably always had even in the old old movies), she's relatively unchanged. She's basically your Optimus in Bumblebee's Cybertron scene.
     
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  3. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    I perhaps should have clarified that my statements only apply to the first three movies; I agree moving towards the "shellformer" aesthetic with Optimus in TLK was missing the point - and a lot of the TLK designs were simply being weird for the sake of being weird. Part of the reason I liked some of the Bayverse designs (Optimus, Bumblebee, Starscream) is they looked alien and realistic, whilst keeping to the rough spirit of the original designs. However, the central point stands; Bay at least attempted to circumvent logical holes with the original designs (e.g. scale), whilst Knight did not. And that was a negative, not a positive.

    The point still stands; there is no convincing explanation as to how G1 Starscream can be the same height as the Autobot cars he should, logically, be able to fling around like rag dolls. So, you change his design - you widen his torso and give him short, digitidrade legs, so he doesn't end up twice as tall as Optimus.

    BTW, from someone who's been a Godzilla fan since the age of six and has watched every Godzilla movie (whether Japanese or American) countless times, I can tell you that Mothra did not have a stinger in the Showa Toho movies. That is not something the original design has.

    This is Showa Mothra:

    [​IMG]

    This is Monsterverse Mothra

    [​IMG]

    (Apologies for the poor scale)

    There's a vague similarity, but there's multiple aspects changed - smaller head, greater wingspan, changed wing patterns, praying mantis-like forelimbs, more hornet-like abdomen, as well as the stinger and the ability to spit webs in the Imago form... it's vaguely similar to the Toho Mothra, but its markedly different in many aspects, mostly to make it look like a real insect.

    Michael Dougherty's reasoning? Toho Mothra looked too cuddly; he wanted a creature that, if it weren't gigantic, you could believe that it existed.

    This is similar to Bayverse Starscream vs. G1 Starscream. There's a vague similarity (cockpit chest, wings on the back, arm-mounted weapons), but there are changes in order to circumvent logical issues with the original design, as well as reflect the colour scheme of an actual F-22 fighter jet (how many red, white and blue jets do you see flying around?) - the Cybertronian tattoos in ROTF and DOTM are justified by being added in between movies.

    That's the aesthetic they should be going for - keep a vague similarity to the original aesthetic, but at the same time, be unique and inventive and, if the design's ridiculous, change it.
     
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  4. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    That's why I said Bumblebee's Optimus Prime.

    It changed the design, but it's not deviating too much unlike say, G1 to Movie Devastator.


    Ummm... no.

    The similarities ended at "A jet that transforms."

    G1 Starscream looks nothing like Bayverse Screamer. If you put them side by side, people won't be able to tell THAT'S supposed to be Screamer. Chicken leg, wide body, not even similar head, not even similar color.

    You can put both Mothra side by side, and at the very most, people will probably guess it's Batra because the design looks kinda malevolent.
     
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  5. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    A better comparison would be Bayverse Starscream and G1 Starscream.

    Like Mothra, Bayverse Starscream has a vague similarity to his original design; they both have the cockpit form the chest, the jet wings form the back in robot mode, and they both have arm mounted weapons. With a different head, the similarities would be more prevalent. However, there are changes in order to circumvent logical issues with the original design (e.g. the scale issues that are a glaring issue with the Seekers), as well as reflect the colour scheme of an actual F-22 fighter jet (how many red, white and blue jets do you see flying around?) - the Cybertronian tattoos in ROTF and DOTM are justified by being added in between movies.

    The reason why Bayverse Devastator's so radically different from G1 Devastator is that G1 Devastator simply wouldn't work in live-action. In fact, I would say Bayverse Devastator is one of the best combiner designs, since it attempts to rectify logical issues that combiners have. His size is kept relative to the sizes of his components, with additional vehicles added to a) justify that titanic size and b) circumvent the fact that his components are out of scale with each other. Something that size could not support its own weight on two legs - so it's a quadruped. It confronts the logical issues head-on and changes the design to accommodate them.
     
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  6. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    Bayverse Scream and G1 Scream's similarity ended at "Both are a jet that transforms". Cockpit as chest? Macross do it too, Arm mounted weapons? Heck, that's like almost a staple in every series with transforming robot.

    The design looks so drastically different that people won't be able to tell it's supposed to be Scream when put side by side, compared to Mothra. You can see that their design looks similar, although one is bigger and scarier (thus, G1 OP to BB OP comparison).
     
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  7. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    This Target exclusive toy (which was the Movie Starscream toy in G1-ish colours and a G1-ish head sculpt) begs to differ.

    [​IMG]

    Put G1 Starscream's head on Bayverse Starscream's body and it's still vaguely recognisable as Starscream, in that the outline is similar; however, there's changes to circumvent the logical issues the original design had. Primarily, how can he be the same size as the Autobot cars he should, logically, be towering over?
     
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  8. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    Actually even the toys looks different enough.

    Sure, you can force the similarity NOW because it has a head that's MOLDED to looks like Scream, the head looks nothing like the movie version.

    But the proportion? Looks nothing like G1 Scream. Movie Scream is a short and monstrous, you can clearly see it from the Arms/Legs proportion, from the small and thin legs and big and thick arms. G1 Scream is a humanoid transformers, definitely not monstrous, or chicken legged one.

    And arm mounted weapons? That's a pure WEAPON AS ARMS.
     
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  9. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    There's a good reason for that change - it wasn't done randomly.

    The big issue with the Seekers has always been "how can they be the same height as Autobots they should logically dwarf?" Starscream turns into a fighter jet, which are, in real life, 19.4 m (63.8 feet) long. This would make his robot mode colossal in comparison to most Autobots; even a Peterbilt 379 truck is only about half that. Bayverse Starscream is as wide as he is tall, with long, thick arms and short, digitigrade legs, so he doesn't end up twice as tall as the Autobots he's fighting.
     
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  10. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying it's a bad change though, just I can see why people will dislike/hate it.

    (Though if you ask me, I personally hate the design)

    Maybe other people can explain it better than me.
     
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  11. protohuman

    protohuman Science is a fantastic illusion

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    They can go down this crap shoot.... Or they can embrace things that make Transformers special, such as mass shifting.
    The designs and movies are too American for my tastes. While we discuss the size, proportions and portrayal of our beloved characters, Hollywood is looking at photos of a teen starlet to carry our film.
     
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  12. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Because unless you want an animated movie (which I think most people do) Live Action means live actors, and live actors means getting someone right for the job. Robots can be tweaked in post production, dubbed over, animations and designs altered, but actors can't. They got to get it all right in one take, or start the scene over from scratch.

    Beyond that, people also, like, watch movies with people in them because we're people. It's weird describing why a movie made by humans about a franchise with humans in it would have humans in it but here we are. You can do a weird movie about aliens who are more or less just like us, but it's not going to click with audiences. Besides, the whole appeal of Transformers is the scale and contrast to humans. A giant robot is only a giant robot if it's next to a little human.

    But isn't Transformers, y'know, American?

    I get what you're saying, that's just an odd way of saying it. :lol 
     
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  13. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Dukeup Nukhead

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    That's because he literally said the original designs couldn't work? This was back in 2006, ten years before you even joined the site.

    The easy answer is that literally nobody gives a damn.

    Not even the bay designs like you say they even tried to do.

    Case in point: Starscream, by your reckoning, should be larger than even Optimus Prime.

    [​IMG]

    Starscream is shorter than Megatron.

    [​IMG]

    Optimus Prime is about the same height as Megatron.

    [​IMG]

    Therefore: The bay designs still have a truck robot be bigger than the jet robot you seem to think they basically squashed like a dwarf to not make him taller. Your argument states that Starscream and Prime should be roughly the same height when they obviously are not.

    This is also the case with every G1 combiner with real world based alt. mode components.

    The simple answer would have been to just not use combiners, which ROTF essentially does anyway given Devestator doesn't do a whole lot of anything.

    Except he's not according to Studio Series

    [​IMG]

    That is entirely your opinion about combiners and thus invalidates any attempt at arguing it is better from a position of unbiased facts.

    Trying to correct logical holes sometimes just doesn't work. It's an 80s franchise about transforming space robots, trying to make it more realistic can have the opposite effect of simply removing part of the charm of why it ever was popular in the first place.

    And people are not against updating the designs - if anything, this franchise lends itself the most to different iterations of characters sharing the same name. The original 2006 Classics line wouldn't have been as much of a runaway success that led to the modern Generations line if people were against design reinterpretation.

    The problem is that the design aesthetic was too busy and focused more on the complexity instead of simplicity. You have the alt. modes broken up to a degree where it's just a suggestion they turn into things as opposed to recognizably just looking like a vehicle taking on a humanoid form. Another problem is how colorless and bland the designs got, particularly with the Decepticons.

    [​IMG]
    In this shot, if "POLICE" on Barricade's arm was blocked off, would you even be able to tell he was Barricade in the five seconds this specific shot was seen in the film and not just another generi-protoform like the guy on the left or anybody else in this shot (including Soundwave in the way back there)? Hell, while looking for pictures, I originally passed on this one until I realized that wasn't a wrecked car in front of Barricade, but Que's corpse. And Que is supposed to be purple but it's so muted and lost here that the only truly recognizable parts of him are his hands.

    In a scene set in broad daylight.

    Compare to the most 'bay' like designs from Bumblebee:

    [​IMG]

    At a glance, you can distinctly identify who each of them are and tell that they turn into cars as well as some kind of flying vehicle. They are colorful, well defined, and look alien enough without sacrificing cleaner bipedal profiles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  14. protohuman

    protohuman Science is a fantastic illusion

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    I dare not attempt to dissect the designs through my personal bias, it's too dark for the masses.
    TF the only movie clicked with me because of the character kill offs and excellent animation. The biggest problem I have with western films are the happy endings, least TFTM balanced this with Prime's death. Which at the time was shock compared to now... pretty sure the Godzilla movie before the last killed off a child to create drama (didn't click). Many hurdles I see when it comes to creating a decent TF film, hollywood being the biggest. Too many cooks with leeway when it comes to direction. A producer comes up with the vision, next thing you know the casting process turns into a popularity contest and jailbait spree. All to bring in the dollars and attract the casual moviegoers.
    Not to change the subject but the WFC netflix trailer comes to mind. Why do we need all this personal drama, "this is not the life I imagined for us" **puke** "your fighting to win" **stfu cliffjumper your a runt**
    Looks like we are going to have a split faction Autobot drama and they just gave away the plot.
    Looks amazing but may only be enjoyable in a foreign language, that way I don't have to put up with poor script writing.
     
  15. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I’d like to see some Italian and Mexican designs.
     
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  16. Galvatross

    Galvatross Nemesis of the Dreklords Veteran

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    I want to see some tribal Africans! Transformers needs its equivalent of Wakanda!
     
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  17. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Ah, I see what you mean. (and I especially agree with the WFC bit) I prefer my stories to have happy enough endings, though, but I prefer that happiness be earned.

    Though I don't recall any dead kids in any (recent) Godzilla movie, but I avoided the last two Netflix ones.

    *G Gundam flashbacks intensify*
     
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  18. protohuman

    protohuman Science is a fantastic illusion

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    I would say that was an American designed film....
    You may find the creative energy and vision somewhere in Africa but don't expect it to be ethnically driven.
     
  19. cybeast

    cybeast Well-Known Member

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    Does Drift count as Japanese design
     
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  20. Galvatross

    Galvatross Nemesis of the Dreklords Veteran

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    Yeah, but if you notice what I said, I used the word "equivalent." In other words, Transformers designs inspired by African culture. You know, those masks from past centuries used by various tribes, or cultures like Songhai or Mali? That could be really cool!

    Or imagine a Native American Transformers with Kachina robots and totem pole Transformers! Heck, the last idea can be a new kind of Combiner! Maybe Sherman from The Last Knight can be the spirit guide through the Allspark or Matrix of Leadership!