Pocket-lint learns to draw Transformers

It's difficult to imagine more of a dream job than Lee Bradley's; a Hasbro certified artist who makes his living drawing Transformers.

Bradley is a self-taught illustrator who has worked with some of the biggest and best names in the comic book business. A quick glance at his website and you will spot things like Spiderman and Marvel as well as of course Optimus Prime.

Pocket-lint was lucky enough to catch up with Bradley to chat about the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon game soon to be released movie and of course.....drawing.

The first thing Bradley shows us is an Optimus Prime picture he had put together that morning.

"So how do we do that?", we asked. 

Bradley then rapidly scouts through a pile of pens on his desk, which we might add is decorated with incredible drawings of robots of all shapes and sizes. He grabs a pencil and immediately gets going on another 'bot. 

"If I'm drawing generally, I'll do a bubble frame," he says. "My weakness is hands."

It doesn't look like much of a weakness to us, as he draws a picture of a robot that appears to reach out of the paper. 

Action and dynamism is crucial to the picture, as without it an image can appear flat and unexciting.

"If you give it dynamic movement you can bring the image out. It's the still moments that are tricky."

Bradley helped to design and write Transformers Animated, which has a slightly different look to conventional Transformers drawing.

"I change my style for whatever the job is," says Bradley. We're not sure if he's tapping us up for new work.

The pencil start to edge in Pocket-lint's direction, so we take the moment to explain how appallingly bad we are at drawing, whilst desperately hunting for some tips to create our own rendition of Optimus Prime just in case we're touched by genius for a fortuitous moment. Apparently, your references are a good place to start and be prepared for some funny looks from your local newsagent.

"Pick up body building magazines if you want to draw male superheroes" and something a little more more top-shelf to practice women, it seems.

The key to it all is action and excitement, "unless you are going to do a comic book about people sitting around coffee".

The inevitable 'which is your favourite Transformer' question then arrives. Bradley does not look best pleased, but immediately asserts that there can be no other than Optimus Prime.

"When you hear his voice, that's such a cool voice."

We then attempt to get a bit of Transformers nostalgia in with a mention of Rodimus Prime, Optimus's replacement in the original movie.

"I still cry at it, every time I put it on I cry," confesses Bradley. 

Watching someone put together a drawing as quickly as Bradley does rapidly sends us quiet. The bot is beginning to take shape as he sketches in extra details.

"I always lose my pen lids," he says, putting down some sort of special robot-centric pen. 

Whilst chatting to Bradley we also got a chance to give the soon to be released Transformers: Dark of the Moon game a go. The game is published by Activision and developed by High Moon Studios, the team behind the surprisingly good War for Cybertron. All the explosions and sound effects of the Michael Bay spectaculars are in there, as well as the great gameplay from High Moon's last offering. 

The game forms a prologue to the upcoming Dark of the Moon movie with battles taking place on Earth in the build up to whatever is in store at cinemas. From the brief play we had, which saw us blasting robots to pieces as Ironihide, it looks like the vehicle-to-robot switching combat works pretty well. Expect more on the game once it materialises on 24 June.

Our chat with Bradley ends by reminiscing over some of the more unfortunate Transformer name choices. Dinobot 'Slag' is clearly a favourite amongst hardcore fans of the series. Personally we like the bizarre decision by Orson Welles to make his last performance that of Unicron. 

Bradley then hands over his finished drawing to an excited Pocket-Linter. In only 20 minutes he has managed to draw up a brand new 'bot design especially for us. The Lint effort looked more like an Autobot after car crash. Bradley's was pure robotic perfection.

We shall call him Lintimus Prime. 

Excited about the new Transformers game? Or you sticking to the movie?