Friday, March 16, 2012

Cybertron Con 2012 Day 2

I was very tired after the first day, but I managed to drag myself back for the second. Again, I'll just be touching on a few things and most of the day's events here. I'll reserve my thoughts and comments for a later post.

There was significantly less people during the early part of Day 2. It gave me the opportunity to take some wide shots.  

This is the "trailer" where Hideaki Yoke had the autograph session the day before. It is loaded with the special edition sets. Poor Optimus was damaged. Thankfully he was fixed in the later part of the day. 

Went to check out the merchandise zone which I didn't want to squeeze into on Day 1. The shelves were half empty in the section with the older Transformers series. Sales must have been pretty good. 

With less people in the way, I was able to take one of my best shots yet. Check out the stars! Just kidding. If you were there, you know what a pain they were. I did get better shots of the G1 Transformers display and also got the shots of the custom submissions which I didn't do on Day 1. Unfortunately I'm still going through my photos. I hope to upload them soon.  

Now for the day's activities. You could get a caricature drawing of yourself for free at the street artist gallery. Your head would be drawn on Optimus's or Bumblebee's body. It opened around 11.30am instead of the stated 11am though, not cool. And looking at the line that formed after it opened, some folks were in for a long wait. There should have been more artists instead of just the one.  

The first panel of the day was Hasbro Studios: Behind the Scenes Production. On the panel were:
  • Jeff Kline (Showrunner, Hasbro Studios)
  • Shuzo Shiota (President, CEO Polygon Studios Inc.)
  • Kathy Page (Vice President, Production Hasbro Studios)

    A video was shown by Polygon Studios on the process of making an episode. It basically covers whats in the following picture. Clips of each component being worked on was shown.

    I got a few shots of the video. You can view them here.

    Just some bits of information. The storyboards Hasbro Studios produce can be a hundred or more pages long and a lot of detail is provided to enable Polygon Studios to work on the episode better. The cast recordings are also sent with the storyboards. Sometimes Polygon Studios would offer suggestions as some ideas may not be ideal. There's great interaction between the two. Some episode scenes may be changed to a familiar one as work is already done on them. Episodes have a fixed running time. There are two opening titles, one is shorter so that more of the story can be squeezed in.         

    (All Q&As have been paraphrased)

    A few questions from the Q&A: 

    Q: Will there be a Rescue Bots crossover in Prime?
    A: Rescue Bots is made differently so it's not easy for them to appear in Prime. Optimus appears in Rescue Bots and different familiar characters will make their appearance there.

    Q: Will there be new characters in Prime Season 2?
    A: Yes, you can expect one for each faction. 

    Q: Will you be touching on more of the history of the Transformers?
    A: We'll be covering some of that through the course of the season.

    Q: How do you choose voice actors?
    A: We create a shortlist of who we would like.  Can't always get them. They're invited to audition. We send them a simple dialogue. Great thing is they don't have to come down, they can record it in their home. We like a mix of experienced and those with not so much experience. Sometimes we make changes to the character based on the voice.   

    The second panel was the Takara Tomy General Discussion Panel. On the panel were:
    • Ikezawa Kei, (Marketing Team Takara Tomy)
    • Kikichihara Takashi (Deputy Manager Takara Tomy)
    • Hideaki Yoke (Executive General Manager Takara Tomy) 

    They introduced themselves and mentioned that they experienced Transformers: The Ride just that morning. They touched on the Japanese versions of Transformers Prime and unveiled the prototype image of Voyager Breakdown to the delight of fans. They showed images of their previous collaboration products such as the Nike Optimus Prime. They are working on more but can't announce anything at this time. Images of Masterpiece Coronation Starscream and Sunstorm were also shown. Hideaki Yoke then introduced us to some of his design team. And before they ended, they made a huge announncement, and that was the latest Masterpiece (MP-12) would be Sideswipe.

    I got pictures of most of the slides and you can view them here

    Some questions from the Q&A:

    Q: Will Fortress Maximus be reissued in the Encore line?
    A: Maybe for the 30th Anniversary.

    Q: The upcoming Sixshot is pretty expensive. Will you be releasing a separate version without the leather box?
    A: No plans for that.

    Q: Takara Tomy Transformers has different colours from Hasbro's version. How do you decide the colours?
    A: The colours are to differentiate between the brands. Sometimes the colours are based on customers's suggestions.

    (I combined several "Any plans for" questions into one)
    Q: Any plans to reissue Victory Leo, God Ginrai, G1 Aerialbots?
    A: No plans at this time. 

    Q: Any plans for a Materpiece Star Saber?
    A: No plans at this time but we can consider.

    Q: (for Hideaki Yoke) In Transformers Animated, there was a character named Yoketron. What do you think of him being named after you?
    A. I like him very much. You know, they never visited my house but the window in Yoketron's dojo is very similar to mine.


    The schedule was pretty packed for the day. This next panel was held in the Cybertronian Base room. The maximum capacity for that was 80. The line formed quickly after the Takara Tomy panel. On the panel for Creation & Design of Transformers Products From Start to Finish were:

    • Aaron Archer (Vice President Design and Developement Hasbro)
    • Hideaki Yoke (Executive General Manager Takara Tomy)
    • Kikichihara Takashi (Deputy Manager Takara Tomy)
    • Ikezawa Kei, (Marketing Team Takara Tomy)

    Hasbro talked about the developement of PRIME Bumblebee while Takara Tomy talked about the making of MP-10 Optimus Prime. The slides pretty much show the process and you can view them here

    Here's some questions from the Q&A:

    Q: Why the change from PRIME 1st Editions to RID?
    Hasbro: Wanted to make things easier for kids.

    Q: What is the thought process for choosing a character for Masterpiece series?
    TakaraTomy: No particular process. Sometimes we see a character that has not been done in a long time or had a remake, like Sideswipe.

    Q: Is there any difference in the quality of plastic of Hasbro and Takara Tomy?
    Hasbro/Takara Tomy: There's no difference in plastic. Will say Hasbro uses hinges while Takara Tomy uses more metal pins.

    Q: Why is it that there always seem to be a undersupply of the last wave of a line?
    Hasbro: That's usually because we're transitioning to the next series. And retailers will want to carry the new lines and not the old ones. We do try to get "lost waves" out, be it by slotting them in the new series or as an exclusive. That's not always possible. We appologise for that.  

    Q: MP10 was made smaller, does that mean you'll be making Ultra Magnus?
    TakaraTomy: No plans at this time.

    Q: Has 3d modelling simplified or complicated the making process?
    TakaraTomy: Won't say its simplified or more complicated, but it is more accurate and there's less need for extra moulds.

    Q: Have you started on designs for TF4?
    Hasbro: Ideas have already been presented to Michael Bay.

    Q: Why the gimmicks? We want our characters to be as accurate as possible and they sometimes get in the way of that.
    Hasbro: Gimmicks are meant for kids and they help sell product.     

    I thought I was done for the day but an art class was starting immediately after that last panel so I went for it. The class was titled Transformers PRIME Animation Drawing Workshop and it was conducted by Jose Lopez (Designer, Hasbro Studios).

    I didn't take notes for this one. I'll try to recall what was said, so this might be a mess. He touched on what to consider when designing a character, like their personality and what kind of traits you want them to have. You want to be able to identify a character by their silhouette. Bumblebee is kind of like a boy so he's got the rounded helmet shape head and is smaller in size. Autobots have rounded circles for their eyes and these allow them be more expressive. Decepticons have slanted, narrow eyes which makes them more cunning looking. Drawing Transformers is no different from drawing people. To make Arcee look feminine, you want to add more curves. When drawing, you need to take note of triangles, upper torso is larger and narrows down to the waist. If the shape was say a rectangle, you'll get a bot who's a couch potato.  

    Mr Lopez then walked the class through step by step how to draw Bumblebee. He used a cheat sheet and commented that after designing the character, you tend to forget how to draw them. I suck at art so my drawing didn't turn out well. At the end of the class, Mr Lopez did a quick sketch of Megatron. It was a very nice drawing. I believe its now in the possesion of Hasbro Singapore.


    That's it for Day 2!

    Click here for Day 3.

    No comments: