Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Guess who's back?

I have returned! Below are 13 fresh updates. I apologize for my longer-than-planned absence. I was on vacation for most of August and when I returned, it took a while to get back into my usual routine. The idea of updating the blog started seeming like work and I kept putting it off until too much time had passed. I even toyed with quitting altogether. But now all is well, and I'm gunning for one million views. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with suggestions for updates. If I didn't get around to including your selections this time, I'll try to do so in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy, and let me know if any links or videos don't work.

Sleepy Hollow (Wendigo Transformation)

This was a nice Halloween surprise. In episode 6 of second two ("And the Abyss Gazes Back") we're treated to a transforming wendigo, courtesy of a combination of make-up, a monster suit, and excellent CGI. The CGI works especially well because it serves as a bridge between two real figures, the human actor and the monster suit, resulting in a very convincing monster. (Are you taking notes Teen Wolf?)
After the transformation come two reversion scenes--the first quick and seen via reflection, the second longer. They're also notable because the actor who plays the wendigo is quite easy on the eyes, since he transforms back without any clothes on...

Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors (Spider Transformation)

A scene from episode 7 of the third season, when Spider-Man travels to the Savage Land and gets infected by a poison that transforms him into a man-spider (hence the episode title "The Savage Spider-Man"):

This isn't the first time Spider-Man became a man-spider (the idea seems like a natural one). It happened in the comics around 10 years ago (I'll post scans in a future update) and in the Spider-Man cartoon from the 1990s. Here's the transformation, along with the reversion, which is more detailed. The 90s show has a better man-spider design, but the new show has a better transformation.

Wolfcop (Werewolf Transformation)

It's not easy being a werewolf fan, because most werewolf movies suck. More are being made now than ever before, but most still suck. Three werewolf films released in the past few months--Wer, Wolves, and Werewolf Rising--were all crap, with no decent transformations. (Wolves was an especially big waste, given the quality of the fur-suits and the yummy Lucas Til).

The only decent, recent werewolf film is Wolfcop, a campy Canadian horror-comedy. It's good trashy fun, and though the transformations are the skin-ripping kind, they don't rely on excessive gore (unlike Hemlock Grove) and they exploit the comedic possibilities of the genre. For example, Wolfcop features the first penis transformation scene in werewolf film history! Perhaps it'll encourage future filmmakers to show more transforming wolf-junk...

Anyway, for this clip I've combined the two major transformation scenes. The first is short and has the infamous penis scene; the second is longer and more detailed.

Teen Wolf (Werewolf Transformation)

In the past Teen Wolf was a disappointment in terms of transformations, but remained extremely watchable, thanks to vivid characters, breathlessly-paced plotting, creatively scary visuals, and often underrated writing. But the recent fourth season has unquestionably been the show's worst. Much of the blame lies with MTV, which gave the staff only six weeks to prepare the season (other shows enjoy 18 to 26 weeks). The result is a set of episodes that wasted most of their time on an inconsequential mystery whose solution was an unguessable fraud.

But an even bigger problem is how show now handles werewolves. It's not interested in them. Teen Wolf treats lycanthropy as just another superpower. When it repeatedly uses a line like "You're not a monster, you're a werewolf," it makes werewolves boring and safe. And having the new werewolf learn to stop his full-moon transformation by reciting a Buddhist platitude makes this show's version of lycanthropy even more boring.

That said, there was one moment of TF interest, in the penultimate episode (#10). During a fight with an assassin, Scott begins losing control and his face transforms a third of the way into that of the Alpha Werewolf last seen in season one. There's also a reversion, and it's more noticeable than the transformation:

At first I thought this scene would foreshadow Scott completely transforming in the finale, but that didn't happen (instead there was a lot of absurdly pointless, dramatically inert crap involving berserkers in Mexico) . I now think this scene was an experiment by the special effects team to add variety to the monotonous look of the show's werewolves, especially since Jeff Davis has said the season one Alpha Werewolf form won't be coming back (he doesn't like working with large CGI creations and doesn't have the budget for them). I have a suggestion for Mr. Davis: Hire the folks who handled the transformation scenes in the British version of Being Human. The producer used them because he couldn't afford CGI, and they created the best werewolf transformations on television. It's not too late for Teen Wolf to redeem itself, provided it starts treating werewolves a little more like monsters

The Art of Meesh (Horse Transformations)

Readers of this blog know that I rarely plug other people's products. But I'm happy to make an exception for "An American Werehorse," a superb transformation comic that can be purchased here. The artist is named Meesh, and though he doesn't have a large backlog of TF artwork, he's already produced some of the finest (and sexiest) transformation art I've seen--his work looks wonderfully professional. If you don't believe me, take a look at his free comic "A Transformation Tale," which shows how Meesh can turn a man into a stallion. Just be warned, it's NSFW and gives literal meaning to the phrase "hung like a horse."

A Transformation Tale:
01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 / 08 / 09 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13

Fine as "Tale" is, "American Werehorse" is even better, and Meesh has generously provided a preview of half the pages. (01 /  02 / 03 / 04 / 05 ). The second half is even better than the first and can be purchased for $6. That not only includes high resolution pages, but also many behind-the-scenes extras.
Even good transformation artists can have problems with pacing a long comic. By "pacing" I refer to the process of having multiple body parts gradually transform over the space of multiple pages. "American Werehorse" shows exquisite control of pacing--I don't think you'll find a better horse transformation on the web. The transformation community is always in need of good artists, so let's do our best to support them.

Hell Teacher Nube (Werewolf Transformation)

This horror-comedy manga dates from the mid-90s. The second chapter of Vol. 14 is titled "The Proud Werewolf" and tells the story of a wild boy (raised by wolves?) who learns to accept his inner lycanthrope. The scans are in the original Japanese.

We start out with the boy being visited by Nube and a friend, who reveals the full moon, cuing a quick transformation and reversion:

Later on, they visit the boy during another full moon. This time some sort of wolf spirit appears to the boy and initiates his transformation.

Here's a shot of him running off in wolf form. He looks a bit like Lycanthrope Leo...

Werewolf Video Round-Up!

In the months since I last updated, I've found several werewolf transformations videos floating around the web...

Creature Feature: I'm guessing the artist is an animation student. If so, I'm glad he chose this subject for his assignment. There are good close-ups of the hand and face transforming--I wish there was some clothes-ripping too, but I guess that's too time-consuming and difficult with solo computer animation.

Wolves: William Wei is a Taiwanese rock star--last spring he released a song called "Wolves," whose music video shows him turning into a werewolf. The transformation starts off well with some very smooth CGI, but ends way too early. His final form looks too much like a Teen Wolf version of a werewolf--a face mask with fake ears and teeth.

Werewolf Spotlight: this is rather unusual--a silhouette transformation. Normally I wouldn't feature that sort of thing, but I liked the level of detail, along with the sound effects.

Friends: a short about relationships gone monstrously wrong...
There are actually two transformations in the video, both fluidly rendered via the sketchy art style.

Full Moon: I'm cheating by including this last video (when you see the end you'll understand why), but it's cute and funny, and well-drawn.

Art Roundup 2 (Various Transformations)

Here are several items found around the web...

* First, a page from an Italian comic featuring a werewolf transformation.

* And here's another Italian comic with transforming werewolves (or as they say in Italian, licantropi).

* Our friend Externica recently informed us that the artist NKEN  has a Pixiv gallery containing several pictures not found on NKEN's furaffinity gallery. This artist is quite fond of transgender transformations and many are male-to-female, which don't concern us, but several others involve girls transforming into very well-muscled and well-endowed beastmen. Definitely not safe for work!

* Having earlier praised the transformation art of Crinitus, I just want to add that he's finished another superb werewolf morph. The alternate version is also good!

* This webcomic also includes a lycanthrope. It's only nine pages so long, so I've linked to the first page. Look out for the unusual rape van!

Wildcats (Monster/Age Progression Transformation)

This tacky cartoon was based on an equally tacky 90s comic (you can tell by the ridiculous outfits). In episode 7, one of the heroes--a green monster guy--has a dream/flashback about transforming into his present form. The muscle growth seems to imply age progression too.

Perkawinan Nyi Blorong (Crocodile Transformation)

Thanks to Marc for suggesting this...unusual scene. All I know about Perkawinan Nyi Blorong is that it's an Indonesian film from 1983 and certifiably insane. Here we see a chunky dude eat several eggs, causing him to roll around the floor and experience what looks like a male pregnancy before ripping off his pants to reveal a yellow diaper. Then, after further overacting, he turns into a crocodile via charmingly awkward practical effects. Though working with a third-world budget, the filmmakers tried to imitate Rick Baker's style, and they demonstrate that budget practical effects are always more fun than budget CGI.

The video cuts off before his final form can be seen, but you can continue onward here

The Bookworm Turns (Age Progression)

Our friend Caleb suggested featuring this classic MGM cartoon from 1940, which features Dr. Jekyll switching the brains of Poe's raven and a literal bookworm. He then compensates by making the bookworm grow into a giant brute. Unfortunately the only video online is a German dub (the original starred Mel Blanc), but we'll take what we can get, since this is one of the better cartoon transformations from animation's golden age.

Nilba e os Desastronautas (Werewolf Transformation)

First, I have to apologize for the terrible visual quality of this clip--it's the only copy I could find (you try hunting obscure down Brazilian cartoons!). Anyway, in episode 31 of this cheaply animated show, Nilba, the main character, transforms into a mischievous little werewolf. I've combined the transformation and reversion scenes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jekyll and Hyde Ultimate Transformation

Many thanks to the anonymous commenter who alerted me to this excellent video of Dr. Jekyll transforming into Mr. Hyde. Apparently created for a video game, the computer animation is quite well-rendered (I want to thank the storyboard artist who lavished attention on the growth of Jekyll's limbs). Technically this version of Hyde is more Hulk-like and monstrous than Stevenson's original, but I ain't complaining!