[DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures]

2007 Academy Award® nominee for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

As the lead visual effects house on the film, ILM created over 450 shots of robot mayhem.

Director: Michael Bay
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor: Scott Farrar, Russell Earl
ILM Animation Director: Scott Benza
ILM Visual Effects Art Director: Alex Jaeger
ILM Visual Effects Producer: Shari Hanson, Tim Jacobsen
ILM Studios: San Francisco, Singapore

Case Study


Release Date: July 3, 2007

For director Michael Bay, ILM had to do more than create 14 giant robots. The robots had to fight like ninjas, nevermind that they were made from vehicle parts. ILM sent Optimus Prime, Megatron, and other robots crashing through buildings and fighting on the streets of downtown LA.

To make that happen, modelers and painters lovingly created each digital part from rusty bolt to shimmering headlight with an extraordinary level of realism. Technical artists and lighters fit the Autobots into footage shot on location and into digital sets created at ILM. VFX supervisor Scott Farrar, a former cinematographer, and the ILM R&D team stepped away from existing tools and developed new CG lighting tools to better approximate what a cinematographer would have on set. ILM built and transformed all the hero robots – Autobots and Decepticons – and built CG cars and military vehicles for the transformations.