Transformer’s of course all the rage now – everything’s getting all hyped up with these shape-shifting robots – I had fond memories of them too, watching these cartoon episodes religiously when I was growing up. There’s always something enchanting about the mechanisms as cars transform into humanoid robots – it’s as if there’s some magic that liberates an inanimate, stale object into enchantment through transformation.
Pingmag had an interview with the man behind the transformation of major characters like BumbleBee and Mirage in the Transformers movie – Australian Alex Kubalsky:
Basically, I’m an inventor and a character designer and my input is bringing everything into 3D reality and adding cool character dimensions like feature weapons and funny things to it: I do the part lists, draw the blueprints and then draw a 10 or 12 frame short animation to show how the toy would transform. I do this based off Hasbro concepts as well as my own characters and concepts that are okayed by Hasbro. They are a great team to work with.
I’ve always wondered how the Transformers toys are designed – how could the designer visualize every single hinge and part that needs to be rotated here, twisted there and snap-folded in, etc., while maintaining the overall animation and cosmetic integrity. Here’s Alex’s answer to whether 3D softwares were used:
No, I draw everything on millimetre paper, including every part. It is all in my head!