Some Crazy Transformers 2 Technical Facts

I used to work in a visual effects and 3d Animation company for a couple of years, so I’m quite aware of things like render time and stuff like that. But holy crap some of these numbers make my head spin!

Apparently Michael Bay posted some fun facts about Transformers 2 and some of these are REALLY interesting from a technical point of view. Be careful… one or two of these facts might be considered minor spoilers (not really in my opinion… but you might):


* 14 robots last time, 46 robots this time (ILM only)
* If you had all the gold ever mined in the history of man, you could build a little more than half of Devastator.
* Optimus Prime will be life size on IMAX screens in many forest fight shots.
* Devastator’s hand is traveling 390 miles per hour when he punches the pyramid.
* The pyramid destruction simulation was 8 times bigger than the old rigid simulation all-time record holder at ILM.
* All robot parts laid out end to end would stretch from one side of California to the other, about 180 miles
* Devastator’s parts stacked tip to tip would be as tall as 58 empire state buildings.
* If all the texture maps on the show were printed on 1 square yard sheets, they would cover 13 football fields.

Disk space

* TF1 took 20 Terabytes of disk space. Trans2 took 145 Terabytes. Seven times bigger!
* 145 terabytes would fill 35,000 DVDs. Stacked one on top of the other without storage cases, they would be 145 feet tall.

Rendering times

* If you rendered the entire movie on a modern home PC, you would have had to start the renders 16,000 years ago (when cave paintings like the Hall of Bulls were being made) to finish for this year’s premiere!
* A single imax shot in the movie (df250) would have taken almost 3 years to render on a top of the line home PC running nonstop.
* IMAX frame render times: As high as 72 hours per frame!


* Optimus Prime will be life size on IMAX screens in many forest fight shots.
* Imax frames take about 6 times longer than anamorphic to render.
* IMAX frame render times: As high as 72 hours per frame!

ILM screen time

ILM Screen Time is about 51 minutes.


* Devastator is as tall as a 10 story building.
* Devastator has more than 10 times the number of individual parts found in an average car.
* Laid out end to end, Devastator’s parts would be almost 14 miles long.

Devastator totals

* Number of geom pieces: 52632
* The total number of polygons: 11,716,127
* The total length of all pieces: 73090 feet
* The total length of all pieces: 13.84 miles

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49 thoughts on “Some Crazy Transformers 2 Technical Facts

  1. This is another futile exercise in what makes movies a little bit lame today. As some of the commentators have already said, the audience are not counting all those details. Interesting trivia aside, its the story that moves people to theaters. There are already gluts in special effects in movies today. James Cameron is kind of good at this–unfortunately he sort of gloats on it too. When Ripley used that robot suit in Alien II, it was finally a recognition of how awesomely equal Ripley is to that Alien and not about that robot. Ditto for that monstrous liquid small guy in Terminator II and finally, how sad it is to see the small guy falling off the railing and hitting another metal block before falling into the sea in Titanic.

  2. you want to talk about oscar snubs how bout Forrest gump beating pulp fiction and shawshank redemption or Dances with wolves beating out goodfellas!

  3. How about this: if ILM produced 51 minutes of the movie, that makes something stupid like 2 hours WITH NO FUCKING ROBOTS. What good news, because that Megan Fox can really act…

    1. They also had Digital Domain doing a great deal of animating on it. There are actually somewhere around 60 robots in the movie if I remember correctly, but that includes minor ones like insecticons and things like that. I’m guessing there won’t be a large amount of screen time without robot’s in them.

  4. And yet Michael Bay probably doesn’t have a good story to tell and he won’t know how to show the action as it will be so close up and bombastic that you will end up seeing nothing.

    This of course based on the previous movie but I doubt any of those fun and cool facts mean anything in making a good movie.

    1. I agree with John A.

      All those thousands of pieces & polygons are too much for my eyes to take in all at once. I certainly wouldn’t won’t the robots to look as blocky as they were in the cartoon, but I think there could have been a happy medium, where the robots looked detailed & realistic but without looking like gyrating blobs of scrap metal.

      Plus, I don’t care how detailed the robots look, I’m not looking forward to the awkward unicycle-like designs of some of the robots in the next movie or the fact that Devastator will merge to form a massive robot only to be hunched over, gorilla style.

    2. on RT michael bay has only one movie that was over 60% i don’t remember but it wasn’t the first transformers

  5. this better win best VFX at the oscars this year and not have some motherfucking Golden Fucking Compass take it away from it, im still mad the first one didn’t win

    1. It’ll get robbed again. I predict Harry Potter VI will do the stealing.

      The Academy is generations behind the rest of the world. That’s why Up won’t get nominated for Best Picture.

      Make me eat my words, AMPAS. I’ll be waiting.

    2. you havent seen potter, how do ya know that, if not transformers than terminator, or maybe they have something against “giant robot” movies, if so than watchmen

    3. I’m just predicting an Academy snub for TF2. No matter how bad they thought the movie was, it had the best effects bar none that year and got totally slept on.

      Seriously, I hope they prove me wrong.

    4. i do hate how the academy measures what a good movie is, like that fucked up year when saving private ryan lost to shakespeare in love, did anyone even see that movie

    5. im not insultin anyone who liked it, but for me, i think saving private ryan was perfect and it deserved to win, i was just usin that one time a s an example there are more, chariots of fire beatin raiders, annie hall beatin a new hope, chicago and beautiful mind beatin first two LOTR movies, whatever beat citizen kane

    6. Slumdog

      Broh, its cool, everyone I know thinks the same way you do, I also think saving private ryan was perfect but, Shakespeare In Love is my all time fave film lololol

    7. for the past few years the oscars nominate best picture according to “its gotta be in limited release from november to december” thats why movies like the reader get nominated over the dark knight, the last movie in wide release to be nominated for best picture was juno, slumdog millionaire doesn’t count cause it went into wide release after the oscars

  6. I have a question
    Which might be a stupid question and for this I apologize, but Im curious

    So to make a car you have to have machines designed to make them, and then those machines will make cars for years to come.

    When they planned out to make transformers, they designed machines to make them, those cant be made by hand, so did they make a factory for transformers for the movie and then when the movies are over theyll get rid of all those machines that were made to make transformers?

    Its just that theyre so HUGE..there must be some sort of facility that has technology made to make transformers alone, hence their unique design and their size

    It would be logical that they make it all CGI but according to this post, they actually DO have huge transformers they use for some scenes…so were do these transformers go after all the sequels are done? What happens to whatever is used to make transformers? Cuz its not like you can go out there to any factory and tell them

    “Please make me transformers, here are the designs”

  7. is going from 14 robots to 46 like in x-men where they went from about 20 mutants in X2 to over 100 in X3? the extra 80 were filler mutants, are 30 of the 46 just background noise?

  8. I didn’t find this info so interesting. A lot of fluff talk. I’m not interested in seeing tech specs for a movie.

    Lets see if they deliver the Transformers experinece or drop the ball mid-field.

  9. Looking at the technology alone is interesting… who cares if it is for a movie. Who cares if Geoff worked sweeping floors for a VFX company. It’s awesome to know ILM is amazing and constantly improving their technology.

    Almost ALL marketing has the “if you put all the Froot Loops eaten in 2009 in a stack it would touch the moon.” It’s just a cool visual, but I am sure you hate Froot Loops, too.

    If you stacked all the commenters like Geoff in the bottom of the ocean, the internet would be a much cooler place.

  10. I never cared about numbers in a movie. They tell you nothing at all. The first movie was crap and I am pretty sure this one will suck too. Michael Bay was never a good film director he sould make rock video clips only.

  11. who cares? nobody counts how many nails or screws are used by the set builders, how many cups of coffee were served by craft services.. these numbers mean nothing. (I work in vfx, and I hate this kind of stuff being used to promote movies because it is totally misleading. I could fill up a few terabytes in a few minutes if I really wanted to)

    1. I was wondering if anyone has found the vid clip or has seen it before.

      The clip im talking about in in the transformers 2 special features were they talk about the making of the devastator robot and how complex it was to make that if you open the file on a computer not up to snuff the computer would actually be destroyed cuz of all the parts on him idk maybe im wrong jw cuz it was funny as hell when i watched it.

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