You asked and the teams at The Hub and Hasbro Studios answered! Hit the jump to see the answer via Hunter PR!
- What went into the overall look for TRANSFORMERS: PRIME? We see hints of the designs from the live-action movies, as well as influences from other incarnations. How long have you been working on the look (sketches, concept art, 3D models, etc.), and how do you balance wanting to stay unique to the show but still be able to pull in elements from other versions, especially the movies which are extremely popular?
- From Jose Lopez, Art Director- Characters/Props
Lots of drawings and chats about what we love from Transformers and about giant robots, in general. There have been many incarnations of the ‘Bots and in our conversations we tried to focus on the iconic elements that have resonated throughout the years. Those elements survived through our development process, and then we just drew as many variations as possible until we found a style that suited our show.
With character design, the personality of the ‘Bots is what really drives the final design. You figure out what the overall “style” is that unifies the characters as a whole, but it’s the soul of the character that really influences the shapes you use, and what you will eventually feed into animation. What silhouette will represent the character best? What if we get too cartoony or too realistic? It was a very intense development time, but once we got some cool incarnations of Optimus Prime, things really began to move. In terms of timeframe, we started in October ’09, and we are still at it.
3D has played a very important role in our design process because it allows us to go crazy in the ways we break the vehicles, and how we handle transformations. As well as the amount of detail we put in the designs. We found a balance of great contrast in shapes — like the width of Optimus Prime’s shoulders in relation to his waist – and in how we position the vehicle parts for better movement in animation. And then we went more realistic with the textures. We painted the ‘Bots with more true-life effects in-mind: how highlights and scratches appear on certain types of paint. Bulkhead has a matte finish on his color to stretch the personality, and toughness of the character.
We always have to be unique and we have done more with some characters than others. I’m a strong believer in not totally reinventing the wheel with characters that have been with us for many years, especially those we grew up with. But, at the same time, you can’t just do the same old thing. So, I feel our team has done a great job of streamlining the ‘Bots for a new generation while still being respectful of their history.
Thanks to The Hub, Hasbro Studios and Hunter PR for the answer! Got more questions? Watch for the next call for submissions!