So, i'm thinking about modeling a car or something, and a transformer type bot (you know the type), just to see if i can make a transformer animation. I was just wondering if anyone has had experience with this type of anim and could give me some pointers about the best way to go about it. Does your car have to be modeled in seperate parts with a character rig inside it, or is there some way of have a car transform into a rigged char.. Sorry if it dont make sense, i really don't understand how this anim is done..
Hey there, well im not good at 3d by any means, but i'd imagine theyd of made the body of the car, forget all the engine, seats, e.t.c., then model a transformer out of parts that would be found in the car, and stick little bits from the car body onto it, like splitting the front of the car into 3 segments as was done for bumblebee (I think). This probably doesnt make sense and was completely wrong, but hope it helps haha
look through the youTube videos. watch them in HD. you could even remove them from the browser cache and convert them from .FLV for reference.
some shots in the transformers films begin in the early parts of the transformation, and in those shots the bot only kinda resembles a car shape before transforming into a biped. for those types of shots, you could get away with just building a rigged bot posed into a car shape.
other shots go from car to bot (or vice-versa) in the middle of an action sequence, changing right in front of the camera. (i'd guess) most of these shots use two seperate models that are 'transformed' in a compositing program using a variety of techniques. animated masks with feathered edges comes to mind. for example, one rendering pass has the robot transforming into something that resembles the car/plane/whatever, and another rendering pass has the car moving with the same momentum and landing and continuing the shot, etc... Then, in shake/afx/flame/nuke/whatever you would blend between the two render passes using some animated masks to wipe reveal parts, or hide parts. If you're going for the true Transformers "tons-of-moving-parts" style, you can render extra 'transformation' passes as well. also, don't forget to add some atmospheric passes - like sparks, dust, steam, fog, volumetric lighting, etc... Those effects help to hide detail so our mind fills in the blanks as we watch it. Transformers is full of those compositing tricks.
If you do the transformation to match-moved footage, it will look much more believable. Even motion-tracking a rendered animation to some live-action footage will help tremendously.
I wouldn't recommend trying to pull off the entire transformation by reverse-engineering a car body into a robot, then animating the individual parts. Keep it all separate and combine it in a compositing program as passes. It will be much more manageable and forgiving, and most importantly - fun!