‘Oblivion,’ a new movie directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Tom Cruise, features a unique mix of practical and digital effects. The HUD and UI graphics seem to have been mostly shot in-camera after being created by a team lead by Bradley G Munkowitz, aka GMUNK.
While not prominent in the Behind the Scenes videos, there’s a great introduction to the interface graphics of this movie from The Creators Project, Creating The Post-Apocalyptic Sky World Of Oblivion, by Kevin Holmes:
If you want to drill down deeper into details and and credit lists, check out the descriptions and visuals from Munkowitz and Joseph Chan. You could easily stop there and have plenty to consider. But another UI creation team member, Navarro Parker, says the Oblivion UI font is Blender (from FontShop). Inventing Interactive and other websites note some of the same stuff; HUDs and GUIs has a few unique comments.
So far there’s not much mention of specific apps used, though After Effects and Cinema 4D were mentioned in previous projects [update: C4D press].
Related project and work advice was shared by GMUNK in Motionographer comments and in a rambling solo webcast on Tron graphics and design from Escape Studios, and a later video The Collective: Episode 2 – GMUNK. Here’s GMUNK’s own gallery video:
OBLIVION GFX Montage from GMUNK on Vimeo.
By the way, the Art of VFX spoke with the designer on the titles (and fonts) in OBLIVION: Danny Yount – Creative Director – Prologue Films. Yount says works on his titles “anywhere from 2 months to 2 weeks. Oblivion endcredits were in production about 3 weeks.” Here’s the main and end titles from Prologue Films:
Another good resource is Inside Oblivion by Ian Failes at Fxguide, which covered many of the visual effects, including the Sky tower interfaces:
The interface screens used by Victoria on the light table were designed by Bradley G Munkowitz, who had previously collaborated with Kosinski while at Digital Domain on TRON: Legacy graphics. Munkowitz oversaw a team of artists on the project, who also completed bubbleship UI and HUD graphics. He notes that the “briefing for the Graphic Language stressed functionality and minimalism while sitting a bright, unified color palette that would appear equally well on both a dark or bright backdrop. The function was to reflect the modern sensibilities of the TET Mainframe computer and would assist the characters with the key components of their duties on earth.”
For the sky tower light table, in particular, artists crafted four screens – a main map, a drone monitor, hydro rig monitor and a weather screen. A further map diagnostic screen on a breakfast table and a few standalone window graphics were also created. The table graphics were either played as practical on-set animations on plasma screens embedded into the table, or added in by Pixomondo for scenes of Victoria interacting with the graphics or observing footage of Sally.
[…also] Pixomondo integrated live action cockpit shots into the scenes with a mix of reflection passes, bubbleship UI navigation overlays from Munkowitz and other enhancements. “While working on Red Tails I gained a lot of experience on the look and feel of cockpit glass,” explains Mayer. “Joe wanted the camera to be outside most of the time to get the plane to plane shooting look. The lighting change on the actors were done on set with large light rigs left, right and top of the gimbal – sometimes we needed to enhance that, but in most cases it was enough. We added a lot of reflections, scratches and smudges to the glass to make it really feel present.”
For more background, check out Mike Seymour’s fxpodcast with DOP Claudio Miranda and visual effects supervisor Eric Barba — as well as CGSociety – Oblivion by Paul Hellard, OBLIVION: Bjørn Mayer – VFX Supervisor – Pixomondo by Vincent Frei, and Double Trouble: The Making of Oblivion by Trevor Hogg at Flickering Myth.
Later, Adobe posted interviews with artists in Joseph Kosinski’s film “Oblivion” showcases elegant effects created with Adobe After Effects.
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