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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

[DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures]

The sequel to the 2007 blockbuster film, Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen is notable for its massive action set pieces and incredibly complex animated characters.

Director: Michael Bay
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor: Scott Farrar
ILM Animation Supervisor: Scott Benza
ILM Visual Effects Art Director: Alex Jaeger
ILM Studios: San Francisco, Singapore

Case Study


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Release Date: June 24, 2009

The story of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen picks up where the original film left off as did the artistic and technical challenges. Not only did our robot warriors increase in number, but their acting abilities had to improve dramatically for their important dialogue. Whereas the first film had fourteen robot actors, half of which were built as hero models, Revenge of the Fallen had over three times that number and each one was created as a hero model.

An increase in detail was necessary as this film had sequences shot and released in IMAX, a 70mm film frame eight times larger than a 35mm anamorphic frame. So, the digital robots and composited elements had to be stored and rendered with eight times higher resolution and an equal amount of increased detail to hold up on the IMAX screen. By comparison, the first film utilized 20 terabytes of hard disk space and this film used over 145 terabytes – seven times larger.

The camera moved into extreme close-up on two of our hero characters, Optimus Prime and Devastator. Devastator alone consisted of over 52,000 pieces and some of his IMAX frames took upwards of 72 hours to render. This character was by far the largest character model ILM has ever built, which in turn necessitated massive increases in detail required on the metal surfaces.