Transformers Packaging Concepts and Illustration

A few finished packs.

A few finished packs.

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.

G1 Optimus Prime.

G1 Optimus Prime.

Optimus Prime, Movies 1 -3.

Optimus Prime, Movies 1 -3.

Age of Extinction Optimus Prime.

Age of Extinction Optimus Prime.

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

Hound

The first round of quick sketches for Hound. I wanted to put the gatling gun in sooooo bad.

The first round of quick sketches for Hound. I wanted to put the gatling gun in sooooo bad.

I wanted to put the gatling gun so bad into this illustration, that I built one out of cardboard I found around our studio, and shot reference for it. 

I wanted to put the gatling gun so bad into this illustration, that I built one out of cardboard I found around our studio, and shot reference for it. 

After the gatling gun was totally rejected(too violent of course) i did this sketch of running hound. Approved.

After the gatling gun was totally rejected(too violent of course) i did this sketch of running hound. Approved.

Drift

New Optimus Prime

Bumblebee

Crosshairs

The first Crosshairs pencil. His crazy guns were all over the initial concept art that we received so I tried to make them a big part of the illustration.

The first Crosshairs pencil. His crazy guns were all over the initial concept art that we received so I tried to make them a big part of the illustration.

I rarely get to actually lay paint down but I did in this case make a little extra time to make a tone study for guidance to the paint team.

I rarely get to actually lay paint down but I did in this case make a little extra time to make a tone study for guidance to the paint team.

By the time we got through this final, as you can see, a lot of stuff got changed. The guns went away, the pose changed, even the character itself changed as we got new reference from Industrial Light and Magic.

By the time we got through this final, as you can see, a lot of stuff got changed. The guns went away, the pose changed, even the character itself changed as we got new reference from Industrial Light and Magic.

Junkheap

Vehicon

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.

G1 Optimus Prime. Painted by Anthony Feliciano.

G1 Optimus Prime. Painted by Anthony Feliciano.

DinoJousters Ilustrations

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.  

 

The first finished pencil.

The first finished pencil.

A first crack at the colors for the piece. Painted by Anthony Feliciano.

A first crack at the colors for the piece. Painted by Anthony Feliciano.

Reformatted pencil for the new art direction and box constraints.

Reformatted pencil for the new art direction and box constraints.

A quick tone study to show the new direction of the final.

A quick tone study to show the new direction of the final.

The finished illustration. Though my pencil was obviously used as the base, in the end it was replaced with 3D models to assist the paint department in hitting deadlines.

The finished illustration. Though my pencil was obviously used as the base, in the end it was replaced with 3D models to assist the paint department in hitting deadlines.

The Dinobots

Slash

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.

Finished paint by Anthony Feliciano.

Finished paint by Anthony Feliciano.

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.

Scorn

Snarl

Sludge