Transformers 2 Special Effects Will Be Insane

Published 6 years ago by , Updated September 17th, 2012 at 7:57 am,

Visual effects studios are facing a major challenge in keeping up with and meeting the expectations of director Michael Bay who’s attempting to really push the special effects envelope for Revenge of the Fallen.

Variety spoke with some of the special effects supervisors working on the sequel to Transformers and it sounds like they may be feeling a tad bit of pressure to pull off the insane special effects requirements needed to bring the next Transformers film to life – especially under the strict time-lines they are given.

The lead visual effects supervisor for both Transformers films, Scott Farrar (from Industrial Light and Magic) spoke about the massive increase in scale and effects from the predecessor to Revenge of the Fallen:

“Michael took the production value up many, many notches,” he says. “Just the backgrounds alone are huge. It’s a combination of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Ben-Hur,’ in regards to fantastic backgrounds and the unbelievable sets we worked at around the world.”

Everyone involved in “Revenge of the Fallen” is keeping the details under wraps, but Farrar says there are some 60 robot characters, and they play in settings around the world. Some, like refineries at night, were chosen to boost the visual drama and show off the scale of the giant ‘bots.

What’s more, this time the Transformers will interact much more with the world around them. Farrar highlights “the splashes and the hits and the fighting on dirt or moving, banging into trees,” explaining, “Things splinter and break, they spit, they outgas, they sweat, they snort.”

60 robot characters?! That’s more than three times as much as we got to see in the first Transformers. Also, this movie presents a new challenge for Bay as he’s spending a big portion of the film directing non-existent computer-generated characters.

ravage is a new decepticon in transformers 2 Transformers 2 Special Effects Will Be Insane

“(Bay) had to learn a whole litany of new things by getting into this robot culture on the first film,” Farrar says. “I don’t think he’d ever worked on a film where he’d done so much directing of animated characters. So he’s really taken it to heart, and I think not everybody does, but he actually enjoys the process.”

While ILM is doing the majority of the effects for the movie, Digital Domain which Bay co-owns is also helping in the visual effects department.  Matthew Butler who’s the vfx supervisor for Digital Domain comments on the movie and Bay’s ability to manage the conflicting interests as a director, producer and owner of the visual effects house:

“He’s brilliant, but he’s a challenge.” Not only is Bay demanding, as top directors generally are, but “he’s incredibly fast-paced. He’s a whirlwind to keep up with, both on the set and in post.”

“Michael is very fiscally responsible. A director but he’s very much a producer too. In fact, whenever we’re talking about any shot or sequence, he’s thinking about what it costs, and he’s thinking about bang for the buck.”

michael bay directing transformers 2 Transformers 2 Special Effects Will Be Insane

For those of you demanding more action, more robots and more screen time devoted to your Cybertronian friends, your demands have been answered.

Are you excited for next Transformers movie?

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opens in theaters June 24, 2009.

Source: Variety

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  1. Yes I am excited for this movie very much, even a little more now. I think I have it at number two on my list for most anticipated movies of this year. It was number one but after re-watching Transformers and now, two years later, having more knowledge about movies and what makes a good one good, I was much more able to notice how poor the script and the lame jokes were. Also, that new terminator trailer pushed that into the number one spot. :D
    I do have hope for this movie, especially after this news, as it should be about the robots, but hopefully the story flows well and the script is much improved as well as the characters.

  2. As long the transformers get more screen time than the human cast, I’ll be happy.

  3. this is great news, cant wait for this film

  4. I’m totally psyched for this movie. I just hope they don’t try to hide a crappy movie behind the special effects. I hate it when they hype up a movie for one reason or another and then we find out the story is utterly lame (read, Indy 4).

    (Unrelated note, I’m not much of a fan of not being able to click in this text box without it going to the F&F4 site either.)

  5. Yah, that stupid ad does that to me too.

    Anyway, if only Bay would spend so much time working on the script and screenplay, it might actually be good…

  6. Okay, first of all, the redirect to the fast and furious site when I click in the text box… totally not cool. In fact it’s really f***ing annoying.

    And now, on topic. I have to agree with arrell and Psyko on this, I really hope they spend more time on the Transformers and less time on the humans… and we really don’t need a story with this one. I always thought the first movie would have been so much better with a much thinner plot and a whole lot of hot robot on robot action. Instead we got Shia LaBeouf’s show and tell, and him screaming ‘no’ a lot as some giant robots ruin his fathers garden… yeah real awesome…


  8. Guys,

    I apologize for the F&F clicking issue. That was definitely NOT the intention and I’ve disabled it until I can figure out how the heck to fix it so it just happens along the edges.


  9. No doubt it will be insane, the first movie was. I don’t think there will be much story to this, and I don’t think anyone will care.

  10. RE: the robot photo above.

    WHY does a robot need teeth?? Does transform to look like that to just scare the bejesus out of someone??

    I enjoyed the first Transformers, and this is on my must-see list, but it falls behind Star Trek and Terminator.

  11. @craig

    I’ll care.

    Big explosions and visual effects mean squat if there isn’t a decent story and I don’t care about the characters.


  12. Sounds good. Bay needs to just do the action scenes and let another director direct the actors. The first Transformers had great action but horrible acting.

  13. I agree with one poster who said something to the effect of “now Bay needs to concentrate on plot, script and acting….”

    I agree with another poster that this ad, and to add to it, MOST ads associated with this site, are getting ridiculous. Some adds redirect to a “break media” page before you even GET to this site, and now we have this Fast and Furious crap. I hope this site is getting hefty freaking bucks to inconvenience their regs like this. I know this is not adware in my computer, because this only happens with this site. No other.

  14. @charles darwin

    I fixed the issue of clicking anywhere on a page causing a redirect to the Fast & Furious site this morning, that was a mistake, and I apologized for it elsewhere.

    Ever go to From time to time they have the sort of ad you’re referring to that loads before you hit their site. Other sites run those from time to time as well.

    Lots of sites do the sort of thing that I have here (which will only be today and tomorrow) where a movie “takes over” a site, including,, and

    About the major complaint I’ve heard is the text link ads and I’m going to try to come up a way to minimize those and not have them extend into the comment area. I may even get rid of those at some point, but right now I’m contractually obligated to run them.

    I really try to NOT annoy readers – I don’t run those stupid fat loss ads or “Zwinkies,” flashing “you’re a winner” ads or popups or popunders, but I do have writers to pay along with my own expenses.

    If you don’t like it here there are plenty of other movie sites out there for you. It’s not like you actually LIKE anything anyway – all you do is complain about every damned movie that comes down the pike.


  15. “Ever go to From time to time they have the sort of ad you’re referring to that loads before you hit their site. Other sites run those from time to time as well.”

    Pretty much any site that has no real form of income save for ads will have these types of redirect ads. Save for what happened today on here, I don’t even mind them. I know they’re an irritation, but I don’t get annoyed by it because I know it’s a sites unitary form of income and simply something we have to put up with if we want the site to stay afloat.

  16. fx will be sick! get me to the imax theatre