"One thing that's interesting is how certain models get lost over the years. For instance, Marvel didn't have the front of Optimus Prime's truck mode, which caused the back to be used in his Transformers Universe profile. I think MegaZarak was a lesser case of that. Most of the collections of models for him over the years, including the contemporaneously published Headmasters Encyclopedia, the Headmasters Laserdisk, and the fairly thorough Transformers: Generations, were only able to find his back."
Badflipblog.com- Ken Christiansen, a game designer with Luxoflux who recently designed characters for use in the Revenge of the Fallen video game, has been gracious enough to contact the ultimate Transformers resource, Seibertron.com, to share some of his incredible work with the Transformers community through his blog at Bad Flip.com.
On his blog, Ken takes us through the design process that he took when creating characters in the game; from thumbnail sketches to designs that get submitted to HASBRO for approval. This information is certainly a benefit to members of our community interested in game design, members interested in simply cool Transformers artwork, and not to mention those interested in the Transformers Revenge of the Fallen video game.
Ken has actually made quite a few entries of his designs for the 'Combaticons', military based Decepticon vehicles in the game, sharing images of Scout Class Combaticon, Warrior Class Combaticon, and a Sniper class Combaticon (personal fav of mine).
Enjoy all the designs and the process that Ken shares at his blog here, and we'll tease you with some of the designs below. These images are also available as unlockables when playing through the actual game, but Ken has also added his own thoughts in his blog that make this a bit more comprehensive of a collection.
Be sure to check out Bad Flip.com for all of Ken's sketches and final presented projects, as well as, his description of the entire creative process.
You can also find Counterpunch's review of the Revenge of the Fallen video game here.
CBS TV- I cannot speak to any other source than the television, but as I was watching re-runs of Monday night CBS sitcoms, a commercial came on showing a CGI model of Optimus Prime in the Late Show studio, and a voice over saying that Optimus Prime would be doing the top ten tonight.
For those unfamiliar with 'The Late Show With David Letterman', it stars David Letterman and interviews guests of current U.S. cultural significance (entertainers, athletes, musicians, and more).
One of the show's signature routines is a 'Top Ten' list related to some event or person of current interest.
Chances are that we will be able to catch this tomorrow on youtube, or the list will be able to be found on the CBS Late Show website.
'The Late Show With David Letterman' airs weekdays at 11:30 on PM (Eastern/Pacific) on CBS.
Seibertron.com member Sky Glory of Iacon has posted a link to a response by acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert which is partially a defense, but more of an explanation as to why he reviewed Transformers Revenge of the Fallen the way that he did.
Still in heated debate as to whether or not the sequel was the box office smash its shown to be, he raises some interesting points on how many of Transformer fandom have reacted to his review of the film, and shows how even though the sales receipts show it was a success that not as many fans held onto that opinion.
Now about those who sincerely believe "Transformers" is a good, even a great, film. I sincerely believe they are wrong. I don't consider them stupid--at least, not (most of) the ones who write to me. Some of the posters at certain popular web forums are nine blooms short of a bouquet. But on the other hand look at the spirited discussions on the movie forums of the all-Transformers-all-the time seibertron.com, where a Paramount exit poll showing "90% of those polled thought the second film was as good or better than the first one" has been received with ridicule. Significantly, those are moderated forums.
In a report posted on the official US Air Force Air Education and Training Command webpage, we get a look at how the everyday lives and support that the military gave for the filming of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen helped add to the realism of the film.
The US Air Force members of Altus Airbase started off as consultants for the film, but soon became more than that:
"Initially we were just there to kind of babysit the airplanes but then, before you know it, the director started getting us involved in some of the scenes," said Capt. Judd Baker, 58th Airlift Squadron, one of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft commanders during filming at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Holloman Air Force Base, N.M..
"Every time they would have something going on with the C-17s, it was, 'Would this be real? Would this be how you would do it? Is this how you say that or was this what you call that?,'" Captain Baker said. "And whatever we said, it was, 'Yep, change that in the script. That's what we'll say.'"
Seibertron.com member M3Gr1ml0ck has let us know of some interesting news on the comic book front:
Simon Furman (his announcement) and Guido Guidi (his announcement) have announced that they are teaming up to produce a Japanese Transformers comic strip for the "TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS 2009" series published in japan by Million Publishing.
Click here to see a sample sketch featuring Mirage and Ironhide.
The book is scheduled to be released on August 17th
Michael Bay's Blog has been updated, this time around it's an intriguing article that gives us insight on how Bay was able to use the Pyramids as his backdrop in Revenge of the Fallen. Here's what the article has to say;
LOS ANGELES — Throughout history, great leaders have stood in marvel at the foot of the pyramids of Giza —Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte. Now it's Optimus Prime's turn.
Moviegoers who helped Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen earn $200.1 million in its opening five days, just short of record-holder The Dark Knight, know the computer-effects-heavy film plays a lot of tricks on the eye. One thing they're seeing for real are the pyramids, because director Michael Bay was determined to shoot the shapeshifting-robot finale on the surface of the ancient structures.
"The studio was saying: 'You can't do that, you can't go there. It's dangerous. A-lah-lah-lah-lah,' " Bay said recently as sound editors tweaked the roar and grind of robot carnage as the battle in question played out on a giant theater screen before them.
"They always try to discourage an American crew from going to a Muslim country. "But that's kind of flawed, because when I went on a scout, it's very different than people perceive in the news. It's a great place, and people are very friendly there.
"I almost put it in my contract that I'm not doing this movie if I don't shoot in Egypt. I finally got their word: 'OK, you can shoot there.' "
That wasn't the last piece of red tape to be cut through. Though the producers had contracted with Henry Kissinger's consulting firm to negotiate access more than a year in advance, the permit they had been promised wasn't ready when Bay and Co. finally arrived.
"My producer was panicking because they said 'Yes, you're approved,' and we had went through their state department, prime minister, the major generals ... everything. They kept saying 'It's OK, it's OK.' But then you get there, and it's not OK when the police surround your trucks," Bay says. "No one wants to take responsibility for anything. No one wants to say, 'Yeah.' "
Some voted to go home, even with millions of dollars on the line, Bay says. "But I said, 'We are going to shoot on those (expletive) pyramids!' Somehow, by the grace of God, there was a loophole." They reached out to the head of the nation's ancient cultural heritage, who gave them the green light.
"Dr. (Zahi) Hawass, who controls all the antiquities in Egypt, he can say whatever goes," Bay says. "So we were finally invited in to shoot, literally, on the pyramids."
In the final cut, much of that scene is dominated by CG-animated alien robots, including Devastator — the new villain made out of seven individual robots who hide in the form of construction equipment. But the flesh-and-blood actors also got to romp on the pyramids.
Bay himself stood on a high ledge filming scenes with actor John Turturro (reprising his role as the blowhard former government agent who's a Transformers expert). "We're 30 rows up, and it's just neat. Pictures don't do justice to it, but on this movie, you get the scale of what the pyramid really is because John's right there," Bay says.
The filmmaker says it was overwhelming for both of them, a feeling that struck a few days later when they were in Jordan shooting atop a mountainside-carved temple in the ancient city of Petra. "(Turturro) was looking at Petra, and it was the morning of, just setting up, and he had a tear in his eye. I was like 'What's going on?' " Bay recalls. "He said, 'You never get to do this. I was at the pyramids just the other day, and now I'm here. You just never get to do this.' "
That was the final problem: an awestruck crew.
"I actually had to yell once: 'Anyone pulls out a (expletive) video camera again, you're going home!' We were shooting on top of this palace right next to the pyramids. The sun has just dropped, and you've got literally 15 minutes of light — one chance, and you've got to get the scene. You have to be ready to knock it out. But the crew is there with the video cameras, posing and taking photos, because it's a once-in-a-lifetime place. I was like, 'Guys! This is my time now!' " he says, laughing.
"It was the end of the show, and it was funny," he says, shrugging. "We barely made it."
The Film Yap has posted an interview with Scott Farrar the Visual Effects Supervisor for both Transformers (2007) and Transformers Revenge of The Fallen.
With effects work on 38 films to his credit, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more seasoned effects man than Scott Farrar. After accepting an invitation to the set of “Star Wars,” Farrar saw the first motion control system in action. Inspired, he embarked on a career that would see him work on some of the most groundbreaking effects films in history.
Five times nominated for an Academy Award (he won in 1986 for his work on “Cocoon”), his resume also includes work on “Return of the Jedi” “”Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and its sequel, “The Wrath of Khan,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Jurassic Park,” “Men in Black,” “Minority Report,” “Deep Impact,” and “Star Wars: Episode I.”
As Visual Effects Supervisor on both “Transformers” films, Farrar continues to work on the cutting edge of visual effects. I caught up with him to discuss his work, how effects have changed over the years, and working with Michael Bay.
JS: Let’s start off by talking about the improvements over the first film.
SF: Sure. You’ll see in this film there are a lot of refinements. The robots look better, the details are better. We tried to move further into a more realistic style of lighting this time. If you know effects, you know the lighting is hard to do with something like robots, especially these that have a lot of refined surfaces. The action is better too, and we learned quite from the last film about what to do and what not to do. As you know, there are a lot of sequences shot on IMAX cameras, where the resolution is eight times larger than a normal camera. The sharpness and overall look a lot better. As a result at one point you see a full-sized Optimus Prime. It’s going to be thrilling. IMAX is designed for big sequences like this, and I think we’ve met the challenge and then some.. We’ve really pushed the envelope with this film quite a bit.
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