View Full Version : How to make transformers?

09 September 2010, 08:40 PM
Hello, I am currently in a 3d class for maya at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and I was curious to know how I might make a transformer from the Michael Bay movies. I am making one from a M1 Abrams tank, but I am not sure if I should model them separately then animate them together by hiding parts during the animation/transformation, or if I should model the tank then take the parts from that and model the transformer, then add extra parts as I go.

09 September 2010, 04:55 PM
I don't know much about the actual models/rigs but I know that they are far too complex for a simple answer to that. I had a friend who did some work on transformers 2 and he said that there were thousands of controls on the rigs. Also, he said that a lot of the transformations were just camera/motion blur tricks where they switched out pieces of rigs/models mid action in order to create the transformations.

So..I'm not sure if you'll totally be able to recreate them, but my recommendation would be just to use the movie as reference and figure out some sort of method that works for what you need it for but isn't too time consuming.

09 September 2010, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the input. I have been using both transformer movies and a lot of other reference material to fake or illusion the transformation between the tank and the transformer. I want to do it right so I think I will just make it a portfolio piece later since it will take a little more than a week for me to model, and texture both models.

10 October 2010, 12:35 AM
I've seen various transformers posted around here that people have made themselves, if you found their work and emailed them they might be able to give you some tips. Try google too.

11 November 2010, 02:42 PM
this is what i found when studying them the car is one model an the bot is totally not the car it jus hass ques from the car

11 November 2010, 06:03 PM
Thanks Hive!

I think that I am going to just make too separate models and then animate the transformations together by hiding and rotating certain points of certain geometry.

11 November 2010, 12:48 AM
I've been trying to figure out how to make a usb flash drive into a transformer with the arms legs and head popping out of it and using parts of the drive as armor over the parts that come out but had issues. If you find any useful info please share. Mine doesn't sound as complicated as what you might be doing.

11 November 2010, 10:25 AM
Having done this before, I have identified 2 approaches. If you do this properly, you'll learn LOADS about rigging and modelling.

The first is where you have strong designs for both states, car and robot. You build both and as others have said here 'cheat' them together.

The second approach, you just start with the vehicle. Model it all. If it's a car, model the interior, the engine the frame the suspension the lot.

Then pull it all apart and start re-assembling it in robot form, paying very close attention to proportions of limbs. If you do this as animation, where frame zero is the car, you start to see where parts will have to be articulated.

From there, you can find 'empty' spaces in the car to hide other robot parts. The size and shape of those spaces will define the shape of those parts and the robot designs itself. Form over function.

If you try and keep true to the vehicle and not cut it up to much you'll start to get a unique look to it rather than the movie's 'shatter-bot' look.

There will come points where it gets really tough. This is when to cheat and hide stuff. Try and resist this for as long as you can though. Your design will suffer.

good luck!

03 March 2011, 03:51 AM

I'll chime in in a bit. Obviously not as fancy as the film transformations but neither was the time given to me :)

edit - didn't realize how old the thread was. nevermind.

CGTalk Moderation
03 March 2011, 03:51 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.