Springer - from the old Transformers series

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  03 March 2008
Springer - from the old Transformers series

With the new Transformers movie coming here in a few months, our academy claims to be studying the animation from the Michael Bay-directed movie, which happens to be very complicated. A few students have also tried to model some bot-cons. I too thought of doing one, but chose a character from the old Transformers series by Sunbow. I chose Springer, an Autobot triple-changer, and finished a very rough model, and encountered these issues:
  1. Some parts seem to appear from/disappear into nothing
  2. Some parts seem to change shape or dimensions
  3. I don't know where some parts go
  4. I have modelled every part as a separate box
  5. The model, as I have said, is rough, leaving little or no allowance for curved faces or transformation adjustments
  6. I have not done the head
  7. This whole model was done in Helicopter mode
  8. I have not done the car's wheels
  9. For reference, I used photos of a Generation 1 toy and animation screenshots
  10. The animation screenshots were (and still are) hard to find
  11. No orthographic views were used
I can't search, as I often encounter errors when I try. Has anyone done a model of any of these transforming machines before? I'm just starting out.
  03 March 2008
Okay, as for the G1 Transformers are concerned, a lot of that is going to be handled by altering the vertices/edges/polygons of the mesh you're working with, via blendshapes or morph targets.

As for parts that fade out and appear from nowhere, you can either rescale them to be barely visible, or control their visibility by setting animation keys for the transparency/opacity that your assigned shader is set to.

As for where parts go, you have to understand that Bay's robots were so overly complex and busy looking that you wouldn't be able to see mesh clipping on smaller parts, distortions due to the sheer amount of stuff going on. Basically, you need to cheat at the transformations, but do a good enough job to make it look like no cheats were involved.

  03 March 2008
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