Transformers In Industrial Light And Magic

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

In today’s blog we will discuss about the contribution of ILM studio in the making of the film Transformers.

Directed by Michael Bay Transformers is a series of Science fiction action films.

Transformers released in 2007, Revenge of the Fallen released in 2009, Dark of the Moon released in 2011, Age of Extinction in 2014 and The Last Knight in 2017.

Steven Spielberg served as an executive producer of the film Transformers (2007) which is a combination of computer animation with live-action filming.

The plot is about a teenager (Sam Witwicky) who gets caught up in a war between the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery (vehicles).

By using AllSpark (the object that created their robotic race) the Autobots wanted to build their home planet Cybertron and end the war, whereas the Decepticons had the intention of building an army by giving life to the machines of the Earth.

This film won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for Academy Awards.

Visual Effects created by ILM

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

Spielberg motivated Michael Bay to restrict computer-generated imagery to the robots and background elements in the action sequences.

Scenes such as Bone-crasher smashing through a bus were done practically, while cameras were placed into the midst of car crashes and explosions to make it look more exciting.

Director Bay indicated that three quarters of the film’s effects were made by Industrial Light and Magic while Digital Domain did the rest.

Industrial Light and Magic Company created computer-generated transformations during six months in 2005, focusing at every inch of the car models.

ILM team built and transformed all the hero robots and built CG cars and military vehicles for the transformations.

For the characters’ faces director approved “Rubik’s Cube” style of modelling instead of liquid metal surface.

Scott Farrar had a Optimus Prime toy with 51 parts but ILM created Optimus Prime which had 10,108 parts and could stand 28 feet tall.

The team at ILM crafted each transformation by hand, manipulating the machines by using 144,341 rigging nodes and sent them into battle.

VFX crew assembled 60,217 vehicle parts and over 12.5 million polygons into 14 awesome automatons that smash each other, flip cars in the air, and crash into buildings.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

Creating Cybertron was a complex and challenging.

ILM supplied around 450 shots for the film and Digital Domain supplied 95 including a transforming Nokiabot, a digital mountain dew machine and an Xbox and contributed to the flashback and desert sequences.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

Jazz, Bumblebee Ratchet are Autobots and Bone crusher, Star scream, Megatron are Decepticons.

The modeling team lead by Dave Fogler to create facial expressions created sliding pieces for the cheeks and jaws, multi-segmented parts for the lips and a turbine system for the eyes that turned to simulate pupils dilating.

The simplest motion of turning a wrist needed 17 visible parts due to the intricate designs of the Transformers

The Ironhide’s guns were made up of ten thousand parts.

The Optimus Prime had around 200 facial parts and the animators could move each one.

Pre-Visualization artists worked with the director Bay to develop the fighting sequences and Animation supervisor Scott Benza worked with the director to develop the robots’ characteristics.

For the robots fighting scenes the director wanted more of Martial arts feel.

To animate 6,000-pound robots animators added extra frames to the reference footage of the stunt actors to slow their movements.

The computer generated vehicles were matched with the real vehicles.

The fastest transformation was of Megatron transforming into a jet, transformation was done by dynamic rigging tools.

With the film Transformers Industrial Light and Magic pushed the limits of what can be achieved in computer animation.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

The team of modelers created Bone-crusher using 2,980 pieces of geometry and 855,483 polygons.

The team of Animators created the performances for Bone crusher in the background and Optimus Prime in the foreground.

To create movement in the Bone crusher’s rigid metal parts, animators used 7,824 rigging nodes; for Optimus Prime, they used 27,744 nodes.

The artist applied 34,215 texture maps to the parts to show tyre tread, dirt, scratches, colour and textures.

ILM used mostly Maya, 3dsMax, Zeno and ZBrush for 3D Modeling and Avid for editing.

For lighting and rendering they used Zeno with RenderMan and Mental Ray.

New Autobot cars supplied by General Motors were brightly coloured to look distinctive on screen.

The complex visual effects took 38 hours for ILM to render just one frame of movement.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

The film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen featured 46 robots while the original movie had 14.

In Revenge of the Fallen the director used real F-16 Fighting Falcon and tank fire when filming the battles.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

In the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, ILM created most complicated model of the “Driller”, a giant snake-like creature with an eel-like body and spinning rotator blades, knives and teeth.

Almost 70% of this film’s live action footage was shot in 3D using Arri Alexa and Sony F35 cameras.

The most difficult scene was the Driller destroying a computer-generated skyscraper which took 288 hours per frame to render.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

In the film Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Knight ship was over five times larger than the worm-like drilling robot that appeared in the film Dark of the Moon.

In the film Age of Extinction, the Transformers characters looked more real, more metallic, better acting compared with the other three Transformers movies.

In Age of Extinction, Optimus has over 10,000 pieces and each of those pieces were modelled correctly.

Age of Extinction played a major role for the studio into image based lighting in volumetric effects.

Transformers At Animation Kolkata

The Cogman in The Last Knight was a beautiful creation of the ILM; Cogman was made of silvery metal armour with copper and brass, and shiny warm colours.

Film Transformers Visual Effects supervisor Scott Farrar was honoured with the Hollywood visual Effects Award on November 2014.

Therefore we got a view of groundbreaking Visual Effects done by ILM for every Transformers Movies.

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