Oblivion - Vika Control Interface

Dec. '11 - Feb '12

The chance to team back up with Joseph Kosinski came in a post-apocalyptic science fiction film calling for a high dose of screen graphics to help tell the story as drone repairman Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his partner Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) discover their identities.

The script called for a large light table that serves various storytelling roles throughout the film. Gmunk and I got cozy again in a small room at Crater Lake Productions and started to develop the visual language needed to communicate a wide array of story points with regular meetings and feedback from Kosinski. Since the goal was to shoot all the light table graphics in-camera, we were brought on much earlier in the pre-production process unlike TRON: Legacy.

Just like most science fiction films with their sizable list of UI elements and story points, we had to divide and conquer the interface screens to keep up with the schedule. My focus ended up on the hero center screen that communicates a wide range of data feeds which Vika is constantly monitoring. It was crucial early on to develop a rock solid grid framework to anchor and unify our designs. I developed a master grid layout in Illustrator that served as an important guide throughout the entire design and animation process.

I spent the most time on the map section of the hero screen developing simple iconography for the drones, bubbleship and resource gatherers along with the overall look development of the terrain. I also seriously researched and explored ways to get the terrain to take on a true 3d contour map look, but this ended up being out of scope although it would have enhanced the depth of the screen much more.

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