Transformers Packaging Concepts and Illustration
This project was an absolute monster. Pilot was brought in about 18 months before the movie came out. Though well into the design phase of all the Transformers characters, none were completed. We were working with concepts, designs, information, and deadlines that were constantly changing. It was an amazing challenge that we all rose to in typical Pilot fashion. We were brought in for everything, a total overhaul and rebrand of a toy line plagued with different packaging styles for a decade. We were tasked with uniting them under a single, new, and simplified Transformers banner and provide all designs and illustrations to go with it.
After some quick concepting, I got to do some close-up portraits of Optimus Prime in a few of his different forms to date. These were put directly on packs and made it through quite a few rounds before getting beat out by what became their present illustration style.
Pencils to Finished Illustrations for Packaging.
The biggest part of my responsibilities during this project was the drawing of finished pencils for our team of extremly talented painters. Painting and rendering all of these pieces was a huge process handled by Anthony Feliciano, China Blue Rockett, Dan Warren, and John Brassell.
Rusty Optimus Prime
New Optimus Prime
Special Edition Optimus Prime
This was the first time Optimus Prime's redesign for the new movie would be seen in full. We wanted to come up with a great dynamic pose that exhibited the new design and really reflected Optimus' personality.
Old School Optimus Prime
A small but very fun section of this project was called Then and Now. Hasbro needed fully rendered versions of G1-style Transformers for some of the retail packages they were presenting. There weren't too many of these unfortunately but they were a great challenge and a lot of fun. The team really rallied around the nostalgia factor of these and they were done both beautifully and fast.
DinoJousters was another piece of the toy line that we got into extremely early while everything including the toys themselves were still in a state of flux. When we started, the toys themselves had wheels and the art direction was for more of an energetic almost comic book style illustration. As the toys themselves changed to more accurately represent the characters in the movie (Grimlock got legs instead of wheels), our illustration style had to change as well; going from exaggerated proportions to more realistic versions of the characters. The package itself went from a closed box to a window box so the constraints of the area of illustration were tightened as well.
Slash, unfortunately, did not make it into the movie but he was partially concepted out from the beginning so Hasbro decided to make a toy. This was among the very last pieces we did for the project that were added on at the very end. The deadlines were extremely tight and most of these were fully drawn and painted within a few days.
For a little while we did some serious exploration on drawing the Dinobots in their robot forms. For as cool as the robot designs were, we ended up doing the dinosaur versions of all of them instead.