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My take on the live action movie designs


Rumble

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I have been reading a lot about what people say regarding the live action movie designs which have been revealed not long ago, and apparently many people consider the designs to be nothing more than abominations of what most of us remember them to be.

 

I personally think the designs are realistic, from an engineering perspective, despite the fact that i might have prefered the TFs to look as close to the cartoon as possible. However, i do disagree with the preferences of many fans which include:

 

1. Why don't we have cartoon accurate modes (flat nosed truck etc.)?

I think that we have to be flexible with the alternate modes a little bit. Let's face it, a movie revolving around an 80's VW beetle and all that doesn't quite draw a crowd from outside the TF fanbase, and from a movie production point of view, catering for just the fans is an absolute 'no'.

 

2. Why don't we have blocky arms like we used to, instead of skeletal?

In my opinion, anybody who expects the robot modes to have blocky arms while retaining an aspect of realism has no knowledge in mechanics or engineering whatsoever. There is almost, although not impossible, no way of designing the robots with blocky arms because in reality, those arms won't fit anywhere in alternate mode. Let's not forget that the original toys didn't quite take passenger and trunk space into account, and also occasionally used up those spaces from storing blocky arms and legs. Besides, blocky arms and legs is a lazy way of designing things because obviously the cartoon artists didn't want to put in effort thinking about how springs and hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders would fit in during robot mode. Hence, the current skeletal designs is a result of using all parts of a vehicle to make up a robot mode, without using passenger or trunk space to store body parts.

 

3. Why can't they follow the alternators/MP line designs?

Once again, those designs look good, but have no practicality in real life application. MP-OP had a reasonably good design, with potential to look accurate in vehicle mode and robot mode but unfortunately, MP-OP had to have two vents, one for robot mode, and one for vehicle mode. And for real life application and design, having two vents merely for aesthetics is dumb. MP-OP didn't quite take passenger space into account, there is virtually no space for even a door. For alternators designs, lets take the Subaru mold for instance, Smokescreens legs were kept in the trunk portion of the car. How could TFs be 'robots in disguise' if everyone can see his legs in the trunk? Imagine a police pulling over a TF vehicle and immediately notices the backseat and trunk consisting mechanical body parts. Hence, the alternators and MP line may look good in both modes, but still lacking depth in design and disguise considerations.

 

I personally think that the movie designs are in the right direction towards attracting a more mature, neutral crowd towards the series. Cartoon accurate designs are childish, sloppy, and unrealistic. Skeletal and complex designs have the potential to convince mechanically inclined audiences that such a transformation is possible in real life, unlike how the cartoon and Beast Wars cheat in thier transformations. We can take cheating transformations lightly in cartoons and animated movies, but not in a real life movie. I for one, would be embarassed if the live action movie performs a fast scramble transformation in hopes that the audience wouldn't care, or are too stupid to realize that such a thing is not possible. Like someone said somewhere else, we have grown, and so must the designs, the transformations and the realism.

 

One reason why people hate fans is because fans sometimes can't get thier head of out thier a$$es, and want things to be the way it was, regardless of how unrealistic it may be. As a mechanical engineer, i want my childhood characters to have mechanical realism, which also conform to more mature and logical way of how things work. I won't be easy on transformations the way i was when i was a kid. We all know that Ironhide had more material on him during vehicle mode than he did in robot mode, but we were too little to care then, I would care now.

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One thing I've learned and that is, it's hard for people to accept logic over passion. I do believe that there are very good logical reasons for doing the TF's this way but other people let their passions for the hobby override any sense of logic.

 

I don't blame people for being a bit disappointed, I admit I'm one of them, but I have to consider all angles here and the more I think about it, the more I understand the change. Though I do think the designs could have been better, that Starscream is just plain awful. It almost seems like they changed him into some altered form of Cybertron Crumplezone.

 

Anyway, it's still way too early to panic. I've also seen a LOT of people on other sites who love these designs, so it hasn't all been bad. There may be an outside chance that some of the fan backlash could cause some changes, but probably nothing major. Not to mention I think there will still be some adjustments made as the process evolves, it's just too early to tell how good these will look.

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One thing I've learned and that is, it's hard for people to accept logic over passion. I do believe that there are very good logical reasons for doing the TF's this way but other people let their passions for the hobby override any sense of logic.

 

I don't blame people for being a bit disappointed, I admit I'm one of them, but I have to consider all angles here and the more I think about it, the more I understand the change. Though I do think the designs could have been better, that Starscream is just plain awful. It almost seems like they changed him into some altered form of Cybertron Crumplezone.

 

Anyway, it's still way too early to panic. I've also seen a LOT of people on other sites who love these designs, so it hasn't all been bad. There may be an outside chance that some of the fan backlash could cause some changes, but probably nothing major. Not to mention I think there will still be some adjustments made as the process evolves, it's just too early to tell how good these will look.

 

Cybertron Crumplezone you say? I was thinking of a monkey mech.

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In all honesty, I can see myself living with Pimp My Ride Prime's look. I also spoke to others saying how they needed to add more realism to the transformations, thus the reason why there was much more of the "skeletal" parts showing since in reality, the body of a car could only cover so much if it were to transform.

 

Now, with that said: WHAT IS THE EXCUSE OF DOING A TOTAL 360 WITH EVERY OTHER FOOKIN CHARACTER!!! @grumpy@ I mean, they got Prime's face and voice in the damn film, so why does every other bot have to be so experimental? Couldn't Starscream be some big robot WITH HANDS that transforms into an F1 style jet and not some metal kite that transforms into a gorilla with crutches? Again, I can live with the new "NOW WITH 50% MORE ALIEN!" look to each of the characters bodies, but we can't even have the faces we (as all humans do) found some defining identification with?

 

Couldn't they maybe have some holographic cover over Bumblebees face to form a face that is similar to the supposed G1 Bumblebee they "arent" trying to copy (BULLSH*T! COUGH!) and not Skeletor?

 

I can just picture Starscream trying to wear the Decepticon crown and dropping it every time since he has no fingers. @loll@ Also, why not just call those characters in the film based on Transformers that actually match there bot and vehicle modes more closely? I mean, supposedly, they wanted to "add characters from other generations" so why not call that big Stealth bomber BB instead of shi**ing all over the icons of the storyline in the first place?

 

I just think they added too much flare in order to get more of the MTV crowd watching. And why do people keep mentioning labels on whats mature? A helicopter that turns into a bug with dreadlocks defines maturity? Wow, that means Men In Black must have had mature, testosterone-filled content seeping from every pore.

 

Again, I looked at plenty of the things Dreamworks was doing with the movie and accepted it with open arms, but this is pushing it.

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what's so realistic about living robots from another planet that can scan a car and suddenly shift into that vehicle as an alt mode :P

 

why not have morphing aliens that morph into cars.. or whatever like in terminator 2

 

that more believable and its been done in a movie before o_O

 

please.. when you are watching a movie you arn't there to see realism, you are there to escape from reality.. to see something fantastic

 

I mean when you make machines for war, you don't unarmored parts for the enemy to damage.

 

Also, each they are totally destroying the idea of certain characters having a certain face/head. when you see starscreams head, you instantly recognize that that's him. no one else. when you see bumbleheads with the viking horns you know that's bumblebee regardless of which series he's in.

I don't know why they would just throw all that out the window.

 

 

 

if you want realism, go watch a documentry :P

 

i totaly hate the direction they are going with this

 

 

that's my 2 cents

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I'm beginning to fear I see the reason for the weird "spaghetti"-panels covering the botmodes instead of larger altmode-parts.

 

I suspect the bots won't transform in the classical sense of the word, but the panels could slide and connect like lego's or luxaflex instead, covering the bot's body as his limbs rotate and fold away. Maybe even without making a sound...

 

I dunno, it's just the vibe i'm getting trying to figure out how Bumblebee, Prime and Blackout wil transform.

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what's so realistic about living robots from another planet that can scan a car and suddenly shift into that vehicle as an alt mode :P

 

why not have morphing aliens that morph into cars.. or whatever like in terminator 2

 

that more believable and its been done in a movie before o_O

 

please.. when you are watching a movie you arn't there to see realism, you are there to escape from reality.. to see something fantastic

 

I mean when you make machines for war, you don't unarmored parts for the enemy to damage.

 

Also, each they are totally destroying the idea of certain characters having a certain face/head. when you see starscreams head, you instantly recognize that that's him. no one else. when you see bumbleheads with the viking horns you know that's bumblebee regardless of which series he's in.

I don't know why they would just throw all that out the window.

 

if you want realism, go watch a documentry :P

 

i totaly hate the direction they are going with this

 

that's my 2 cents

 

there is a fine line between fiction and unrealistic. 'Back to the future' was a science fiction movie, i can accept the fact that maybe the invention of a time machine will become possible. What i cannot accept is that in part 2, the old Biff when back to 1957 to give himself the book which displays the results of all racing results, and still manage to return to the future from whence he came, despite altering reality. Emmett Brown himself said that if they went back to the future from an alternate past/reality, the future would be the future of the alternate reality instead. Then how did old Biff manage to return to the unaltered future with the DeLorean?

 

That is an example of a scenario which insults the intelligence of the audience. Many people may not have realized that, but I did the moment i saw it. The concept of a time machine may not yet have been fully discovered, therefore making it fiction, but when the movie completely insults the audience by hoping that the audience wouldn't put thought into it, the movie becomes silly. Hence, we cannot claim that movies are meant to be unrealistic, there is an element of realism, but not to the extend where it becomes stupid.

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Well look at Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. That has the most interesting, yet poorly delivered time travel story around.

 

And on the lizard's note, Godzilla 98 was the worst thing they could have done to the monster. Instead of being a recking machine, Zilla(as Final Wars named him) was a lizard that ate tuna and laid eggs in MSG and didn't go out of its way to reak havoc. Plus it was killed by missles and didn't breathe FIRE!

 

Transformers might be getting the same treatment. Let's change everything for the sake of change. Let's depart from what fans are going to expect because they don't matter, they aren't our audience anyway.

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I just think folks should be greatful that the movie is being made at all. It would have been nice if Starscream was different (maybe like his F22 self in the IDW comics) but even then Im not totally annoyed that he looks like what he is now for the LAM.

The fact that a movie about giant robots that turn into vehicles for disguise is enough for me to stop complaining about who's name has been changed etc. The fans have had countless toylines and cartoon series, so its about time people just excepted that the movie isn't dedicated solely to just us for a change and is trying to appeal to both fans and general audiences.

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there is a fine line between fiction and unrealistic. 'Back to the future' was a science fiction movie, i can accept the fact that maybe the invention of a time machine will become possible. What i cannot accept is that in part 2, the old Biff when back to 1957 to give himself the book which displays the results of all racing results, and still manage to return to the future from whence he came, despite altering reality. Emmett Brown himself said that if they went back to the future from an alternate past/reality, the future would be the future of the alternate reality instead. Then how did old Biff manage to return to the unaltered future with the DeLorean?

 

Not to get to far off topic, but I think they explained this in the directors commetary. That the future Biff arrived at WAS the future of the altered timeline and that it had changed around Marty and Doc without them knowing since they existed outside the timeline due to the time travel, and so did old Biff. It was actually said that Biff didn't die of a heart attack, but that he was being wiped from exsitance as the effects from the time machine where wearing off. Some simlar to this is mentioned in the movie. When Doc and Marty are going to jump back to 1955, he asked about Jenifer and Einstien, but Doc tells him that if they succeed that the timeline will change instantly around them without them even knowing. Which is what happened to Doc and Marty in 2015.

 

Course from a story standpoint, they just needed to get the DeLoran back into Doc and Marty's hand.

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I just think folks should be greatful that the movie is being made at all. It would have been nice if Starscream was different (maybe like his F22 self in the IDW comics) but even then Im not totally annoyed that he looks like what he is now for the LAM.

The fact that a movie about giant robots that turn into vehicles for disguise is enough for me to stop complaining about who's name has been changed etc. The fans have had countless toylines and cartoon series, so its about time people just excepted that the movie isn't dedicated solely to just us for a change and is trying to appeal to both fans and general audiences.

I can understand appealing to general audiences as well as the fans. But from what we know and what we've seen there's A LOT that is meant to give the fans the finger. Starscream is the thing that's getting me all worked up and that's just one small thing that needs a little changing. If he at least had a Screamer head and HANDS I think the fans wouldn't complain as MUCH.

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I be the first one to say that the new designs are growing on me. I heard somewhere that the leak models are not complete. I am still holding on to some hope that the head designs and colors will be somewhat accurate to the G1 counterpart.

And that's a great outlook to have when we see things like this. I like the models to an extent, but Starscream just irks me.

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I just think folks should be greatful that the movie is being made at all. It would have been nice if Starscream was different (maybe like his F22 self in the IDW comics) but even then Im not totally annoyed that he looks like what he is now for the LAM.

The fact that a movie about giant robots that turn into vehicles for disguise is enough for me to stop complaining about who's name has been changed etc. The fans have had countless toylines and cartoon series, so its about time people just excepted that the movie isn't dedicated solely to just us for a change and is trying to appeal to both fans and general audiences.

I can understand appealing to general audiences as well as the fans. But from what we know and what we've seen there's A LOT that is meant to give the fans the finger. Starscream is the thing that's getting me all worked up and that's just one small thing that needs a little changing. If he at least had a Screamer head and HANDS I think the fans wouldn't complain as MUCH.

There's a difference between viewing something as being given the finger and being given innovation. Most people like to call it perspective. I tend to look at it as the latter.

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I'm with alot of people in that they've started to somewhat grow on me other than Starscream and Bumblebee. Bumblee just looks evil, and SS looks like a monkey with gun hands.

 

I can see changing some alt modes and bot modes, but why change the iconic heads/faces? Why SO drastically different on SS when the original seeker design is STILL one of the greatest robot modes I've ever seen. I just don't get some of the changes.

 

And as far as them NEEDING to look so much different, that's BS. Remember the Sideswipe/Prime fake tests we saw? Those were FLAWLESS. They could've made the Autobots just like that Sideswipe and there would be 0 problems.

 

I just hate the mentality of "Let's take an established, long term, popular property, and change it as much as we can". It seems like some of these changes are just to do it, not for the sake of improvement.

 

But I do like Blackout, other than the Beast Wars face.

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I agree with Sp.

 

As for realism and stuff, I just find it as a way for someone to explain why they changed look. However, as Sentinel(and what I believe) I think Hollywood did it just for making it their own and to have a more western feel to it.

 

No matter how you look at is, Transformers is inspired by japanese style of robots. Sure, you have Marvel and other artist doing character designs back then, but they mostly based it on the figures and their style of plateless faces , which are similar to the cartoon look.

 

Beast Wars and other Machines are of a western style, which is why I think the movie is closer than these designs as they are wtih generation 1. In Japan, human faces on robots are quite common while a more monsterous look in the U.S./Canada.

 

Japanese series:

 

Gundam=Optimus Prime

 

Voltron

Power Rangers

any other robots in japan during the 70's/80's

 

Canada U.S.

 

 

Beast Wars

Beast Machines

Transtech

Marvel comics Ultron

other robot series created by americans

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I just think folks should be greatful that the movie is being made at all. It would have been nice if Starscream was different (maybe like his F22 self in the IDW comics) but even then Im not totally annoyed that he looks like what he is now for the LAM.

The fact that a movie about giant robots that turn into vehicles for disguise is enough for me to stop complaining about who's name has been changed etc. The fans have had countless toylines and cartoon series, so its about time people just excepted that the movie isn't dedicated solely to just us for a change and is trying to appeal to both fans and general audiences.

I can understand appealing to general audiences as well as the fans. But from what we know and what we've seen there's A LOT that is meant to give the fans the finger. Starscream is the thing that's getting me all worked up and that's just one small thing that needs a little changing. If he at least had a Screamer head and HANDS I think the fans wouldn't complain as MUCH.

 

I understand the concerns over Starscream (even although I myself don't care so much as others). I think maybe its just the toy that doesnt have hands. Of course, Im most probably wrong with that one. :P

As for the head, I don't know. A different head maybe, but Starscream's head on that body would look just as weird, imo.

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I don't mind the design aesthetics and Rumble makes a lot of good points in his post. All I ask is that the robot faces look somewhat similar to the original cartoons characters and not so alien. (However, for the new characters they can make the faces as alien as they want.)

 

PharmV

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