‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’: How Sony Pictures Imageworks Built the Inventive Stealthbots

While “The Mitchells vs.

The Machines” contains several remarkable tech advancements in making CG animation look more like 2D with hand-painted texturing, the most innovative work was reserved for the killer Stealthbots known as Pal Max Prime.

They’re black, sleek, and powerful, but what makes them inventive is the way they move by breaking apart and reassembling into different shapes.

They’re a remarkable reinvention of Transformers, yet totally unpredictable.“Alan Hawkins [animation supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks] got really excited about that and broke the pipeline to create this new way of morphing characters — and, if you still frame through that, it’s really exciting,” said director Mike Rianda.

“He came up with a new way to animate with customized rigging.”In fact, producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) were totally blown away by the Stealthbots: “I remember Alan Hawkins showing us that first test: What if they moved like this?

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