Wednesday, April 01, 2009

60 Robots in Transformers 2?

For a while now the number of Transformers in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen numbered around 40 but a new article from Variety is pegging that number around 60. The article, part of the nod to Michael Bay for his Vanguard Award, discusses the demands Bay has for the visual effects work being done by ILM and Digital Domain for movie.
"Michael took the production value up many, many notches," [ILM's lead VFX supervisor for TF2 Scott Farrar] says. "Just the backgrounds alone are huge. It's a combination of 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Ben-Hur,' in regards to fantastic backgrounds and the unbelievable sets we worked at around the world."

Everyone involved in "Revenge of the Fallen" is keeping the details under wraps, but Farrar says there are some 60 robot characters, and they play in settings around the world. Some, like refineries at night, were chosen to boost the visual drama and show off the scale of the giant 'bots.

What's more, this time the Transformers will interact much more with the world around them. Farrar highlights "the splashes and the hits and the fighting on dirt or moving, banging into trees," explaining, "Things splinter and break, they spit, they outgas, they sweat, they snort."

One new challenge is that several sequences will be shown in Imax format, approximately 16 times larger than 35mm, which means the CG work must be finished at much higher resolution. At that scale, it can take several days to render a final frame.

All this is on top of creating a new family of giant robots. "(Bay) had to learn a whole litany of new things by getting into this robot culture on the first film," Farrar says. "I don't think he'd ever worked on a film where he'd done so much directing of animated characters. So he's really taken it to heart, and I think not everybody does, but he actually enjoys the process."
A few things of note. One is "60 robot characters". Now there is a difference between an appearance and an actual character. For the purposes of VFX, whether a Transformer is in the background, foreground, on screen for two seconds or 20 minutes, a rather detailed design effort has to go into creating that 3-D object so it can be inserted into the film properly. As a result, if there is a scene on Cybertron, one moment could have "60 robot characters" in it. I think that there may be up to 40 named characters and the rest are probably background for whatever a particular scene needs.

The second thing of note is something that Transformers 2 will probably not get credit for being the first film to have VFX used extensively for IMAX scenes. The Dark Knight was one of the first major summer movies to have scenes specifically created for the IMAX and proved that studios could make money off of IMAX, but they "cheated" it a touch by filming rather standard scenes in the format. Michael Bay's use in Transformers 2 much more ambitious, complicated and expensive with CGI Transformers effects that have to scaled accordingly. Personally I was unimpressed by The Dark Knight IMAX Experience compared with the regular theatrical movie and hope that Transformers 2 IMAX Experience creates a much more dramatic distinction between the two formats.


  1. there might be 60 but not all of them gona have name and really stand out

    there gona be the ones that we already know

    then you have the house aplicinces (sorry for the spelling) from the color book were the spark turn the kitchen shit into transformer

    and you proboly gona have background transformer from cybertron just in there cyberon form they might have names they might not

    it be nice to just see hound,mirage,thundercracker etc in there cybertron form

  2. Most of the Decepticons are gonna be CGI... thats what Orci said remember?

    So we gonna see a whole lot of Deceps crashing all around the world searching for the All Spark & Megs...

    So what? Autobots will also crash all around the world.

    If there will be Stunticons along with Combaticons so be it. Same with the Autobots having Aerialbots & Dinobots...

    60 plus robots. So yeah cant wait...

  3. Selective Realism4/01/2009 2:35 PM

    This movie is supposedly going to show more of Cybertron so the bulk of that 60 could go to rendering models of Cybertronians.

  4. Thats awesome news 16 scenes in IMAX this can only mean that it will look amazing when it comes out on bluray. Im looking more forward to that than the theatrical release by far.

  5. woooooooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. WOW...60 ROBOTS is cool but please let it not get CORNY with the damn kitchen appliances and all that stuff.How bout the bots we know?? and why not make action figures?? Hey SCORP,COUNTERPUNCH and ESSEX whatcha think??

  7. Read what I posted above, Kup. who's who that Im guessing... * rolls eyes*

  8. Lets see
    Transformers Cast
    (Unknown or uncomfirmed marked with ?)
    Autobots - 23
    Optimus Prime,Bumblebee,Ratchet,Ironhide,Arcee,
    Ice Cream Truck,Jolt,Wheelie,Springer,Breakaway,

    Decepticons - 26
    The Fallen,Megatron,Starscream,Thundercracker?,
    Scalpel,Demolishor,Rampage,Long Haul,Mix Master,
    High Tower,Scrapper,Alice (Pretender), Onslaught?,Wreckage?,Deadend?,Dirtboss?,Ransack?

    There is not enought even including unconfirmed and toyline products. We are short on roundnear 11 robots. I still think there will only be 40 as said originally but there may be others such as those strange frenzy like kitchen robots and the Fallens army he had in the comics to swll the ranks.Either we will have Counterpunch`s idea for the Cybertronian scene or this movie wont do much on charecterisation.

  9. 60 Robots? I fear this is gonna turn out like Star Wars episode see the Jedi in the background but you don't know who they are and you have to refer to the Star Wars Visual Guide to find some of the robots are probably gonna appear for a few minutes and then that's it...I would rather prefer if they had less robots but more equal time for them

  10. Elita 1 is DEAD, Scorp! so is Smokescreen!

  11. Landmine is possible because his alt mode was in the first one and he didn't die in the comics. Springer has a deluxe, a robot heroes, and another toy I don't remember. Quite a lot to not be in the movie. The Insecticons, weapon transformers (Targetmasters?), and kitchen transformers are very likely fillers not to mention whatever else may have been activated by the Allspark along the way. Cybertronian peoples is very likely it seems. My final idea is that the epic final battle in egypt in front of the pyramids/space bridges? (oops spoiler) there could be a surge of random named reinforcements from both sides that come in and attack in a massive and epic war (most would die). People like Hound, Wheeljack, Thundercracker, and Breakdown would be great to see in that seen/fight.

  12. 60 robots might just be too many for one movie... I think forty would be better for now, and have a ton in #3 when everyone goes up against Unicron.

  13. I'm so hyped up for this movie to come out now.

  14. -Elita 1 is DEAD, Scorp! so is Smokescreen!-

    Thanks. I was saying though that even if we had all the Transformers come back who could be in this film it still leaves many unnacounted for. Also according to TFLive`s Charecter list Elita-1 is listed as one of the three bikes that forms Arcee!

  15. If Elita 1 should appear, she should appear as bigger female bot, not as small as Chromia and the others. And she will, the power of the Allspark is the only way to restore her spark.

  16. This is cast as I think it is:
    Sam Witwicky
    Mikaela Banes
    Leo Spitz
    Major William Lennox
    Master Sergeant Robert Epps
    ex-Sector 7 agent Reggie Simmons
    Ronald and Judy Witwicky (Sam's parents)
    SAS captain Graham
    McClaren Robotics CEO
    Optimus Prime - Peterbilt 379
    Bumblebee - Chevrolet Camaro SS 2010
    Ironhide - GMC Topkick C4500
    Ratchet - Hummer H2 ambulance
    Jetfire - SR-71 Blackbird (ex-Decepticon)
    Sideswipe - Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2011
    Twins (Skids and Mudflap) - first ice cream trcuk then Chevrolet Beat and Trax
    Sisters (Chromia as one of them) - blue, purple, pink (or red) bikes
    Jolt - Chevrolet Volt
    Megatron - Cybertronian tank
    Starscream - F-22 Raptor
    Barricade - Saleen Mustang police car
    Scorponok - mechanical scorpion
    Soundwave - Cybertrnian space crusier / Cybertronian satellite
    Ravage - mechanical jaguar
    Sideways - Audi R8
    - Demolishor - Terex RH400 excavator (not part of Devastator)
    - Scavenger - Terex RH400 excavator (Devastator's upper torso)
    - Overload - unknown construction vehicle (Devastator's lower torso)
    - Mix Master - Mack cement mixer (Devastator's head)
    - Rampage - Caterpillar D9L bulldozer (Devastator's left leg)
    - Long Haul - Caterpillar 773B dump truck (Devastator's right leg)
    - High Tower - Kobelco CK2500 truss crane (Devastator's left arm)
    - Scrapper - Caterpillar 992G wheel loader (Devastator's right arm)
    Scalpel - microscope
    unknown Pretender - human girl Alice
    The Fallen - Cybertronian aircraft

  17. Oops, I forgot Wheelie - small RC toy monster truck.

  18. You forgot to mention Breakaway, Hound, "Silverbolt" & Dune runner...

  19. Springer is a pretty good bet too considering he has about three different toys on the ROTF toyline. That's a lot to not be in the movie too.

    Also, the screenwriters have said that there will be Transformers that turn into weapons also. In the game's trailer, you could see one of these transforming next to Ironhide in that one part. That confirmed it for me.

  20. Replying to Anonymous at 5:34
    Springer will probably appear however there were toys in the first film who never got to appear in there so at the moment he is unconfirmed.

    Robots that have a weapon alt mode are:

    Blaster: (Nickname) The Robot gun emplacement in the Video game trailer
    Rampage: Transforms into a Jackhammer
    Buzzsaw: (Nickname) Insecticon who burrows into Sam`s neck. Transforms into a cutter.

  21. Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it.
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