Universal’s theme parks have long been known for letting guests “ride the movies,” and now fans of Transformers: The Ride 3-D can step behind the scenes and learn the the attraction’s secrets through a recently discovered off-ride video.
Transformers: The Ride 3-D debuted in 2012 at Universal Studios Singapore, and proved so popular that it was cloned at Universal Studios Hollywood, Florida, and soon Beijing. Based on the Michael Bay-directed film franchise that reinvigorated the classic 1980s toy line, the ride blends physical sets and 3-D projections to put riders in the middle of the war between Autobots and Decepticons. Although it shares many similarities with its technological predecessor, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, Transformers has a few tricks up its sleeves that make it unique in the genre of dark ride/simulator hybrids.
If you’ve always wondered how Transformers: The Ride 3-D pulls off some of its more impressive effects, the following video may answer your questions. Posted to YouTube by “Heath Willard,” this video shows a complete ride-through of Transformers from four different perspectives:
In the top left corner, you see a point-of-view (POV) from the rider’s perspective. You can see dummies strapped into the vehicles seats, indicated that the video was shot during the attraction’s “test and adjust” phase prior to opening. In the top right is the original raw video projected during the ride, complete with the “squinching” distortion used to create an illusion of depth while moving.
The bottom left corner is a “lights on” off-ride view, facing towards the ride vehicle, which shows off how many practical sets are actually used in the attraction. Finally, on the bottom right is another off-ride view, this time facing towards the action with full show lighting.
By watching all four views in synchronization, you can clearly see how Transformers: The Ride 3-D takes full advantage of its limited footprint, cleverly disguising the elevators — or Vertical Transport Units (VTSs) transitioning vehicles to and from the upper level. You can see the first elevator going up at 1:00 in the video, and the second one descending at 3:40.
You can also see how the EVAC vehicles greatly vary their speed during the ride, as opposed to Spidey’s SCOOPs, which move at a steady pace.
Also note that Bumblebee’s audio clips of licensed songs have been silenced in this video.
What do you think of this behind the scenes look at Transformers: The Ride 3-D? Does this video make you think differently about the attraction? Let us know in the comments!