Having been the lead visual effects on each of the previous 5 films in the Transformers franchise we were excited to collaborate on this film with director Travis Knight. Above all else, Bumblebee is a character origin story and, as it takes place in the 1980s, the Transformers have gone back to their roots with their generation one look as well. The main challenge the team faced was turning toys into realistic looking robots, and finding ways to use new technology to achieve a vintage effect. To achieve the simpler designs as realistically as possible, Bumblebee is a combination of CG and practical build.
Knight’s background in animation made him acutely aware of all of the small details of creating a CG performance, and his mission from the start was to make these characters as emotive and expressive as possible. Our animation team is always excited to think up new and interesting ways the Transformers can move and under Knight’s direction in Bumblebee we introduce the audience to never-before-seen “triple changers,” Transformers who can turn from robots, to ground craft and then into aircraft.
Among the other challenges posed on the film was the creation of Cybertron which is an entirely CG environment. Our environments team had a blast bring Cybertron to the big screen in such a unique way.