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Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

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Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby LOST Cybertronian » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:57 pm

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ILMVisualFX has updated their youtube page with a new Dark Of The Moon featurette. ILM Animation Supervisor Scott Benza give us an insight to the transformations of both Autobots and Decepticons. The video has been embedded below.

ILM Animation Supervisor Scott Benza gives us a behind the scenes look at the animation performances behind the transformations in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon".


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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby TulioDude » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:04 pm

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Very nice.
Does OPtimus transformation scheme is same when he transforms in front of Mearing?
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby AshesOfPain » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:15 pm

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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby Megatron Wolf » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:00 pm

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doesnt matter how you try and justify it the transformations still look like a car turning into a pile of scrap metal and magically being put back together as a humanoid. Just look at Megatrons transformation in the video and try and say other wise.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby Bouncy X » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:00 pm

i've seen this movie twice and i totally dont remember that shot where Bumblebee transforms behind Sam. it was like new to me. lol

gotta say though, i always love watching Prime transform...something cool and special about his change. maybe its because his was the first one we got in a big ass closeup with a lot of time to watch all the movement and changes in detail. i still get goosebumps whenever i watch the first movie and his introduction/transformation happens.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby 5150 Cruiser » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:21 pm

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Megatron Wolf wrote:doesnt matter how you try and justify it the transformations still look like a car turning into a pile of scrap metal and magically being put back together as a humanoid. Just look at Megatrons transformation in the video and try and say other wise.


While i liked Megatron's transformation your right its not the best example. (but then again, you don't like anything movie verse related so i don't know whay you even bother :???: ) The rest of the transformations have relativley good sequences and all the parts for the most part can be seen on the bots with fluid transformations. Hate all you want. I liked them and thought they did a good job.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby Joshua Vallse » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:46 am

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Now that thats out of the way...been a while, but anything having to do with VFX and art and such and I'm all over it...or Megan Fox muahahaha

That said, I understand actually where Megatron Wolf is coming from. Alot of the transformations in the earlier 2 films..."Fallen" being the best worst example, Bay stuck with his trademark XCU (Extreme Close Up, yes it's a real storyboard term) shots for mostly all the action and transformation sequences. That being done, with the camera so close to every moving bit and servo and bolt...you can't tell whats what and who is who and what is going where and into who...so yes, it looks like a pile of scrap. Pretty CGI scrap, but still scrap.

"Moon" on the other hand kept a good majority of the transformations sequences in wide shots...so you could actually see what on earth your looking at, and therefore it translates better. Not of course counting the characters which didn't transform at all like Shockwave or the Worm thing which spun and spun and spun, even then someone was wise enough to pull the camera back so you could make out exactly what it was your looking at. As for the vid, i like that they pointed out how the animators used the tranformations sequences to convey mood or emotion, which also appears in the first film. It was a very smart thing for the animators, however this 4th film goes, they would be very wise to hire the same animation team.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby SlyTF1 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:32 am

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Now that thats out of the way...been a while, but anything having to do with VFX and art and such and I'm all over it...or Megan Fox muahahaha

That said, I understand actually where Megatron Wolf is coming from. Alot of the transformations in the earlier 2 films..."Fallen" being the best worst example, Bay stuck with his trademark XCU (Extreme Close Up, yes it's a real storyboard term) shots for mostly all the action and transformation sequences. That being done, with the camera so close to every moving bit and servo and bolt...you can't tell whats what and who is who and what is going where and into who...so yes, it looks like a pile of scrap. Pretty CGI scrap, but still scrap.

"Moon" on the other hand kept a good majority of the transformations sequences in wide shots...so you could actually see what on earth your looking at, and therefore it translates better. Not of course counting the characters which didn't transform at all like Shockwave or the Worm thing which spun and spun and spun, even then someone was wise enough to pull the camera back so you could make out exactly what it was your looking at. As for the vid, i like that they pointed out how the animators used the tranformations sequences to convey mood or emotion, which also appears in the first film. It was a very smart thing for the animators, however this 4th film goes, they would be very wise to hire the same animation team.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby xtsaur » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:07 am

Absolutely the transformations in the first movie were emotional as well. When Bumblebee first transformed in front of Sam and Mikela (sp?) it was very proud and and in there face... showed the whole transformer the whole time. when Optimus transformed the first time it was slow dilebarate and showed him more up close... too convey the level of detail and complexity of the Transformers as a race. When Barricade transformed in pursuit of Bumblebee it was done so in a quick frantic way to show a level of desperation... so to the idiot that posted the first movie didnt do this... you my friend are clueless. Every transfoming sequence from the first movie was emotionally done.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby JOP » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:30 am

Megatron Wolf wrote:...the transformations still look like a car turning into a pile of scrap metal and magically being put back together as a humanoid. Just look at Megatron's transformation in the video...

I am of the opinion that not all transformations are so afflicted; Bumblebee for instance has a very elegant transformation, as does Sideswipe. However, the transformations for both Optimus Prime and especially Megatron strike me as... unrefined? (Perhaps this was the animator's intent?)

Furthermore, while I can appreciate the skill necessary on the part of Industrial Light and Magic to create such highly detailed and complex designs, I believe it results in an end product that is less authentic. Simply put, Transformer toys of all eras have been limited in terms the size and number of moving pieces, and the available movement mechanisms; this in turn has informed both the design of characters and their transformations in accompanying media. Live-action cinema allows such limitations to be cast aside; in doing so however, the characters seem to lose much of the visual recognition of their forebears.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby SlyTF1 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:06 pm

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xtsaur wrote:Absolutely the transformations in the first movie were emotional as well. When Bumblebee first transformed in front of Sam and Mikela (sp?) it was very proud and and in there face... showed the whole transformer the whole time. when Optimus transformed the first time it was slow dilebarate and showed him more up close... too convey the level of detail and complexity of the Transformers as a race. When Barricade transformed in pursuit of Bumblebee it was done so in a quick frantic way to show a level of desperation... so to the idiot that posted the first movie didnt do this... you my friend are clueless. Every transfoming sequence from the first movie was emotionally done.


So, I'm an idiot now? That's fair. I didn't feel a damn thing in the first movie at all. Bumblebee's transformation was not proud. He was trying to look cool on the camera. Optimus didn't have emotion when he transformed either. He was just doing it to transform. I'll give you the Barricade one though, but it wasn't really on an emotional level. There where only like 5 transformations in the entire movie anyway.

The transformations in ROTF and DOTM had a lot more emotion behind them. The ones in the first movie where just for looks.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby Evil_the_Nub » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:59 pm

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JOP wrote:
Megatron Wolf wrote:...the transformations still look like a car turning into a pile of scrap metal and magically being put back together as a humanoid. Just look at Megatron's transformation in the video...

I am of the opinion that not all transformations are so afflicted; Bumblebee for instance has a very elegant transformation, as does Sideswipe. However, the transformations for both Optimus Prime and especially Megatron strike me as... unrefined? (Perhaps this was the animator's intent?)

Furthermore, while I can appreciate the skill necessary on the part of Industrial Light and Magic to create such highly detailed and complex designs, I believe it results in an end product that is less authentic. Simply put, Transformer toys of all eras have been limited in terms the size and number of moving pieces, and the available movement mechanisms; this in turn has informed both the design of characters and their transformations in accompanying media. Live-action cinema allows such limitations to be cast aside; in doing so however, the characters seem to lose much of the visual recognition of their forebears.

Shouldn't they keep progressing though? Those limitations have been pushed far beyond what they were in 1984. If they didn't keep pushing the envelope with new ideas and designs Transformers wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as it has. At it's core it's about alien robots that turn into cars, jets, and all kinds of other things and the movies hold true to that just as much as any other series.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby JOP » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:56 pm

Evil_the_Nub wrote:Shouldn't they keep progressing though? Those limitations have been pushed far beyond what they were in 1984. If they didn't keep pushing the envelope with new ideas and designs Transformers wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as it has. At it's core it's about alien robots that turn into cars, jets, and all kinds of other things and the movies hold true to that just as much as any other series.

I would like to clarify that when I talk about certain limitations inherent in the toys - such as the fixed number of moving pieces a particular figure may contain, or the small variety of different kinds of mechanical joints available - I do so in the context of all toys across the entire span of the Transformers franchise, not any particular (and especially early) era. I don't know if this is necessarily a point of confusion between us, but I thought it worth straightening out just in case.

Now, I agree with your premise that over time, Transformers toy engineering (and by relation, character design) has improved by leaps and bounds; however, many of these improvements have had no noticeable effect on the sort of limitations I refer to. Ball joints, for example, have not brought about an increase in the number of moving parts found in each toy. Similarly, the minimum size of individual parts has if anything increased over the years, despite the proliferation of live-action character designs featuring numerous, intricate components that would suggest the opposite should be true.

Essentially, the live-action designs represent significant progress in terms of Transformer detail and complexity; but the toys - due to such mundane considerations as material strength, cost, safety and so on - cannot follow (and indeed, have never been able to progress much in these particular areas). As a result, we see a divergence between the live-action designs, and all prior material; a lack of authenticity, as it were.

In short: is Megatron Transforming? (Note the uppercase 'T'). Or would it perhaps be safer to state that he is exploding into, and coalescing from, a mass of metal fragments?
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby 5150 Cruiser » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:30 pm

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JOP wrote: Essentially, the live-action designs represent significant progress in terms of Transformer detail and complexity; but the toys - due to such mundane considerations as material strength, cost, safety and so on - cannot follow (and indeed, have never been able to progress much in these particular areas). As a result, we see a divergence between the live-action designs, and all prior material; a lack of authenticity, as it were.

In short: is Megatron Transforming? (Note the uppercase 'T'). Or would it perhaps be safer to state that he is exploding into, and coalescing from, a mass of metal fragments?


I understand what your saying, but i don't believe that accuracy in toy designs vs. animation (doesn't matter is this is movie or cartoon) should be limited, nor should that be concidered a negative factor.
IMO the transformations in the movies have an obligation to show as much detail and convey emotion. I think all 3 movies did this well (Sly, you are 100% wrong. Deal with it.) I can understand from a collectors point of view being disapointed that the transformations, or designs not being 100% acurate to the movie counterpart, but to be fair, most toys based on their movie designs (and this goes for nearly any toy from Batman, spiderman, Jurrasic Park, G.I. Joe, etc) aren't 100% movie accurate. Some are better than others (ROTF Leader Optimus prime is practicaly identical to how he apears on screen), while others carry enough simularities in robot mode to be instantly reconisible (the dreads in DOTM).

Remember, these are toys indended who are really intended for kids. CutHasbro and paramount alittle slack. :D
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby Joshua Vallse » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:36 am

Motto: "Build a Giant Robot? Sure it's safe, I mean...it's not like two Stars from a childhood tv show are going to hotwire it and take over the world....right?"
Yeah I agree things are going a little off topic with bringing in the toys. Real time mechanics has nothing really to do with what we see in the films. Though I understand how some people could be a little distraught over the toys...but I degress.

Another subtle thing that was done by the animation house though is the illusion of weight. Though Bays wide shots are far and few between, the animators actually played with the speed of the Transformers to convey a sense of weight and mass. For far or wide angle shots, the animation was slowed down to give a sense of mass and weight. For action shots, or rapid camera zooms or pans, the animation speed was racked up, I think this was most evident with the giant Worm-bot for "Moon". There could be better examples, but I'll be honest in saying my eyes just get too tired or my attention is lost after a good two thirds into "Moon". Still, the animation team did a very good job. If there is a Transformers 4-

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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby JOP » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:31 pm

5150 Cruiser wrote:I can understand from a collectors point of view being disappointed that the transformations, or designs not being 100% accurate to the movie counterpart...

I do agree with your point above - Transformers toys are scale representations of (hypothetically) large and complex objects; it would be prohibitively costly to ensure 100% accuracy in the finished product. However, I was not arguing that Hasbro should do so; my apologies for giving this impression.

Rather, I am suggesting that the majority of the transformations present in franchise media have shared a certain elegance; an ability to be followed visually and understood spatially. I posit that this is a result of the derivation of media from toys, but that is neither here nor there.

We can see examples of this theme in Dark of the Moon; for instance, Bumblebee's transformation clearly indicates that his arms are stored in / part of the front of his vehicle mode, and his legs form the rear of the vehicle. His transformation is still complex; but the smaller moving elements appear in visual concert with, around, and as part of the larger ones.

By way of comparison, Megatron's transformation seems to consist of the front and rear of his vehicle mode extruding into two separate 'clouds' of numerous small pieces; which then pass through one another, and coalesce into his final form. To suggest that his transformation is merely toy-inaccurate would be a misnomer; there is little to no relation between either. This is my criticism - the transformation is neither easy to follow, nor Transformer-like. :)
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby TulioDude » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:35 pm

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In case anyone is interested here Optimus animation tests:

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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby AshesOfPain » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:43 pm

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very interesting. I can see how some aspects of the voyager class Prime transformation came to be. While I am aware that these are tests for the movie, I'm sure the engineers at Hasbro also looked to them for inspiration.
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Re: Behind the Magic - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" - Transformations

Postby sarahparker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:15 am

The visual effects pf every transformation in live action is really great..they have great close-ups to for viewers to totally enjoy the movie. (just don't mind the story in the movie)
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