Imaginary Forces Designs Mega Titles in Transformers Teaser Trailer

Imaginary Forces Designs Mega Titles in Transformers Teaser Trailer

Entertainment and design company Imaginary Forces (IF) recently designed and animated the dynamic title reveal in the "Transformers" teaser trailer. The teaser for the Michael Bay-directed film is online now at the official website, and will play in theaters with Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" on July 7th. IF Creative Director Peter Frankfurt led the team of artists, and IF Art Director Sean Koriakin spearheaded the design and animation for the titles, which employed advanced kinematics and realistic engineering similar to the Transformers characters themselves.

The trailer begins with quick shots of a rocket preparing to launch. Motion graphics introduce it as the Beagle 2 Mars Rover, which was launched in 2003 and crashed onto the surface of Mars as seen from a variety of cameras aboard the probe. "Its final transmission was classified top secret," continues the text as a silhouette of a humanoid robot shape steps into the probe's view. After a beat, the robot smashes the rover with its fist. "It was the only warning we would ever get."

As the orchestral theme swells in an ominous way, the "Transformers" logo begins to reconfigure, its pieces and panels moving intelligently and dynamically. They open, expand and contract with purpose to take on the new form of 7.4.7 marking the feature's release date. The breathing mega-structure then transforms into the Autobot symbol.

Imaginary Forces, along with several collaborators, were charged with establishing the brand of the film via the teaser trailer. Since limited footage was available, the IF team derived the design for the titles based on artwork and previs drawings presented by Michael Bay in initial meetings. The live-action feature departs from the old "Transformers" cartoons and 1986 animated film by employing a more real-world approach.

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"The teaser marks the first branding effort for the film," explains IF Art Director Sean Koriakin, who was also Imaginary Forces' Lead Animator and Designer. "We knew there would be limited footage available and only a glimpse of a robot so it was important that we define this new world and aesthetic in the title reveal. The title is a detailed piece of architecture that is intricate, logical and clearly articulated. There are many elements and panels that fit into each other perfectly like a giant jigsaw puzzle. We spent a lot of time working on textures and creating the shapes of the parts - with interiors that were anatomical and derived from a human muscle form. In keeping with the film's portrayal of the Transformers, we had to make the title appear as realistic as possible."

Koriakin worked closely with IF Designer Noah Olmsted on the design and architecture of the titles. Olmsted spent a month researching and culling from various influences including Japanese mechanical design, Russian constructivist style, Dutch landscape painting, as well as certain ideas of the sublime.

"This project was an exciting opportunity to venture into uncharted territory in terms of movement and architecture," says Olmsted. "We had to work with the conceptual art and make it super robust, high-tech, tough and big yet these mega-structures had to make sense. The machines have a different way of moving, but it also had to be organic. How do you keep that balance of biomorphic mass and metal in the movement? It was really cool to work with Sean and see how the actions of our design informed the animation and vice versa."

"We had a great experience working with Michael Bay," concludes Koriakin. "He is very clear in his vision, but we were able to make something bold and interesting within the world that he's created. There were several groups involved in this ambitious project and we enjoyed the collaboration with Paramount Pictures, Ignition Creative and Asylum."

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"Transformers" Teaser Title Designed & Produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director: Peter Frankfurt
Art Director: Sean Koriakin
Executive Producer: Annabelle Richardson
Producers: Ben Apley, Claudina Mercado
Designers: Sean Koriakin, Ahmet Ahmet, Noah Olmsted, Ronnie Koff
Animators: Sean Koriakin, Brian Broussard, Robin Roepstorff, Hao Cui
Inferno Artist: Rod Basham, Matt Spencer
Coordinator: Courtney Graham
Textures by: With a Twist Studios

Studio: Paramount Pictures & DreamWorks Pictures
Director: Michael Bay
Executive Producers: Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner, Mark Vahradian
Producers: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce
Story by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, John Rogers
Screenplay by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Senior Vice President, Creative Advertising: Josh Greenstein

Teaser Concept and Creative Direction: Ignition Creative
Creative Directors: Martin Kistler and Jamey Bradshaw
Editor: Doug Brandt

Composer: Steve Jablonsky

Visual Effects Company: Asylum Visual Effects

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