Rolls-Royce - The future of ship intelligence

Rolls-Royce have invested a lot of money and resources into seeing how technology can help make the shipping industry safer and more efficient. It's quite inspiring to see a project of such scale and imagining how much of an impact this initiative could have.

The videos themselves are fantastic, for someone who knows little of the shipping industry, it's quite easy to grasp the concepts being presented. A few of the key points that I quite liked was the use of Augmented Reality, situation awareness and personalised configurations.

Augmented Reality

It's very obvious in the videos how useful this could be. The scenarios in which they've decided to use AR are very intuitive and sensible, and a lot of it focuses on predicting behaviours. Showing projected pathways, allows the user to see things before they happen, and therefore constantly be a couple of steps ahead of the current situation. Having positional indicators with realtime information on distance and timing, gives the user a comprehensive map of traffic flow. Therefore ships are able to manoeuvre around obstacles and avoid collisions, way ahead of time. My favourite application though, was the transparency view. With all the data collected, the AR overlay allows a user to see through the ship's cargo containers, which would normally obstruct the view of a passing ship below. All great applications of AR and excellent examples of using technology for tangible benefits.

Situation awareness

This was specifically demonstrated in the 'Future of tug bridge controls' video. The example shows that a captain and a deck hand can both share the same view of a situation, and therefore allowing them to be on the same page, whilst being on different ships. Not only that but the captain can interact with this shared visual and essentially point to what he/she's referring to in real-time, and guide the deck hand visually, along with verbal communication of course.

Personalised configurations

Well this one's pretty obvious, but there are a lot of benefits to this. It's not just about adjusting your chair to the height that suits you, but for a ship controller it seems there are so many things you have the adjust for. This is particularly useful for people being at the controls for long periods of time, as well as people of different sizes. Particularly when safety's concerned, controls need to be suited to the user, just like driving a car, your mirrors need to be adjusted to suit you. I love that it's all automated and customisable and I can see this being applied to airplane pilots or in fact any situations involving a driver.

Check it out, it's great to see UI/UX design attributing to practical real world benefits.

Thanks to our friend Allan MacKinnon, for sending this through!

Watch 'Ship Intelligence for cargo vessels'
Watch 'Ship Intelligence for platform support vessels'
Watch 'Future of tug bridge controls'

Edge of Tomorrow - UI Design

Here’s a glimpse of some of the UI work from Edge of Tomorrow, which is part of a larger body of work from Nvizible’s Autumn 2014 Showreel.

There were a few things that bugged me about the film but overall I really quite enjoyed it, particularly seeing Tom Cruise playing a character that’s out of his depth. The movie takes place in a grungy type of future, and didn’t feature as many UI shots as I had expected (not necessarily a bad thing). But the bits that were there were worth checking out.

Firstly the hologram table was quite nice. It’s very common place now but the style of it reminded me of a cross between Avatar and Final Fantasy but at a smaller scale. I would have liked to have seen it used more purposefully. Personally, I didn’t think Tom Cruise really needed to see the holograms of the Alpha and Omega, or that it proved particularly useful in his mission. What made more sense was the scene where he’s planning his strategic moves, which was cool. Regardless the designs were very tightly executed.
Secondly, I wanted to point out the suit HUD. The style looks like something you’d expect to see in a current fighter jet HUD, but a simplified and slightly modernised version of it. I liked seeing the unusual looking enemy targeting reticle too, which was like a hash symbol and looked very video-game-like.

Check it out if you have a chance!

Check out Nvizible’s Autumn 2014 Showreel featuring Edge of Tomorrow.

 

Simian UI Montage

Here's a short UI montage featuring work from an upcoming independent short "SIMIAN", that shows off a lot of space screens.

It features semi-complex screens that's fixed on a grid system, and uses a lot of thin line work similar to the approach used in Oblivion.

What caught my eye was the the soft glows on the UI that give it a luscious and almost retro look to it. But having the thin, clean lines, and complex shapes keep it looking modern.

I also liked the layering of UI, and the offset red and cyan layers that give it an anaglyph look.

Look forward to see how these screens get incorporated into the film!

Watch the Simian UI Montage

Check out the breakdown here

NeuroScouting by Spov

Here's a short clip I discovered by London based studio Spov, titled 'NeuroScouting', that deals with sports science and data analysis.

The clip shows different ways of visualising the data that can be collected to analyse sports performance. The sequencing of the data elements does a good job of leading the eye around and establishing visual hierarchy. The little dot elements help a lot, as it draws the eye into position before unpacking information or triggering events. Using a limited colour palette helps too, and having an accent colour to highlight items.

It's also nice to see the variety of different approaches to visualising tracking information such as hip rotation, hand position, as well as speed and power.

Check out the NeuroScouting clip by Spov

Continuum Season 3 - HUDs and GUIs

UI Designer Lorcan O'Shanahan has recently uploaded some nice close ups of some of the HUDs and GUIs work done on the third season of Continuum. There's some really beautiful work there!

Continuum is a series that has consistently shown that they are open to very visually attractive on-screen GUIs. We've featured work from both season 1 and season 2 here before.

Over on Lorcan's site is a series of animation tests showing character HUDs, diagnostics and debug screens. A lot of the HUDs take a very minimalist approach, which I love. There's a really nice balance of the varying line weights and the content feels super tight and super neat. I like that the varying sizes of fonts gives a sense of hierarchy and feels like you could quite easily make a style guide out of these designs, which in some instances FUI designers do.

The animation is good too, some really nicely timed moves, particularly in Keira's HUD. But it's all held together by the tight design arrangements, I really love some of the stills they are so visually striking.

Congrats to Lorcan and the team at Artifex Studios!

Check out the Continuum HUDs and GUIS page on Lorcan O'Shanahan's site.

Guardians of the Galaxy UI Design - Territory Studio

I just recently watched Guardians of the Galaxy and I really enjoyed it, quite unexpected and a lot of fun. Afterwards, I was really wanting to look at the UI close up. Luckily for us Territory Studio have compiled a UI montage of their recent work on the project along with lots of detailed images over on their site.

The movie had a huge array of UI and screen graphics, which included holograms, cockpit UI, schematics and alien UI. The examples ranged from being technical, bold, complex to very organic constructions. The unusual orb like alien interface on the necrocraft was also an interesting surprise.

I really like that they developed typefaces for different locations throughout the film. I find it very fascinating seeing people invent and visualise their idea of alien culture. I also really love movies that travel to other planets because of the way design language is used to differentiate different cultures or colonies. It really is an opportunity to exercise your imagination. As a result, there's some really fun use of colour and shape particularly in the displays seen on 'Knowhere'.

My favourite piece would have to be the line up sequences. I just love the colourful UI elements and the way the shot is framed, it's so luscious with colour and visually striking. It really felt like something out of a comic book or video game. The dusty pink type is awesome.

Check out the movie if you haven't already, it's probably one of my favourite Marvel films to date.

Watch the Guardians of the Galaxy UI montage by Territory Studio

Check out the Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer

Push 'Strength in Numbers' - Data Visualisation

Here's a short trailer by Common Good, for the training app Push. It features a lot of nicely designed data visualisations. The execution is very polished and does a good job of visualising how the app is tracking different types of exercises.

I like the variety of infographics used to describe different types of measurements, whether it be weight, height, speed or power. There are some really nice touches to the style, it's convincingly sporty and not overly techie. The chunky type, grids, and choice of accent colours do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Worth checking out in detail, there's some really cool ideas hidden in there.

Here are some animated gifs lifted from designer Nicolas Girard's site.

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Pacific Rim - Holographic UIs

I've been wanting to post up some work from Pacific Rim for a while now. There's quite a lot of UI design throughout the film and it's worth having a look at. Here's a montage of some of the UI work from Hybride.

The montage includes lots of holographic UIs, most of which feature inside the cockpit of the Jaegers (the big robots). So the displays show a range of diagnostic and battle related info. What I like, is the conscious effort to distinguish the different Jaegers by their country of origin, which was reflected in the cockpit design, the suits and also the UI design.

There's an obvious shift of style from the US Jaeger to the more industrial Russian Jaeger. There's a lot going on in those UIs, but I really like their arrangements and the different angles and depths of the display panels. It looks fantastic as the camera pans around them. I also really like the unusual shapes they've used for the content frames, there's a lot of irregular shapes and organic curves, it's a refreshing change from overly grided layouts. Though that is purely from an aesthetic stand point, on the other hand it is very clear to see that the more grided layouts are actually much easier to comprehend.

I also liked that they experimented with different colours. There were a few colours in there that you don't often see in UI designs. There's a lot to take in, so it's probably worth watching it a few times!

Check out the Pacific Rim VFX Breakdown by Hybride

Her - Invisible Technology

I really enjoyed this film, not only from a pure cinema experience but also from a UI and technology point of view.

I came across some really interesting terms when reading articles about Spike Jonze's approach. Terms like 'slight future', 'invisible technology', 'people-centric technology', 'undesigning' all give you an idea of the future portrayed in the film.

The first term 'slight future' has been used to describe the timeline in which the film is set, which helps guide the approach to technology. I like that they've referenced how technology exists today and evolved it slightly. Currently technology is in your face, it's very visible and appears everywhere you look. In Jonze's slight future, technology is invisible. Technology isn't about the initial novelty of touching a screen and having things happen. The novelty is over, it's now about people carrying on with their lives and having technology help them quietly. Where technology recedes into the background like incidental interfaces.

This is evident in the main character Theo Twombly's smart house, where the lights turn on automatically as he enters a room and dims as he leaves another. Also at his job, all computers are devoid of keyboards and he transcribes his letters through voice recognition.

The earpieces that everyone uses is also very interesting. I’m generally not a fan of the idea, more because I don’t like the idea of people constantly talking in public. But I love that unlike Google Glass, which augments images into your vision, an earpiece is less invasive. You could be absorbing content whilst doing other things, without needing to avert your gaze.

The hologram sequence itself almost warrants another post but I’ll keep it short. The experience looks great, and very immersive. But it raises interesting UX and design issues, like where does the frame end? How do you design for this? There’s also a shot where Twombly takes a bite of his sandwich and the game character replicates the action, when does the game interactions start and stop? Also I found it strange that the foul-mouthed alien character was able to respond to non-game related dialogue and content. What does this mean to the overall game experience?

Not only is this a great interpretation of a slight future, but it's important to acknowledge that this is first and foremost a film about people and relationships. It is a remarkable effort to be able to create such a world which also works with the screenplay and the telling of a story. I know Jonze didn't want actors fiddling around with devices and interfaces as it doesn't make for a very compelling viewing experience. So the earpieces were an interesting solution to storytelling, while also working nicely within his future vision.

I really love that Jonze and his team set out to explore this world so thoroughly and that they created rules and laws to dictate how things would actually work. I genuinely enjoyed this film and I encourage you to check it out, if you haven't already. I appreciate it even more after reading up about it.

Check out the hologram sequence (explicit language warning!)

Article by WIRED: Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report.

Shake Your Body - Pepsi Taiwan

Here's a clip from Taiwan, it's music video called 'Shake your body' for Pepsi. In an attempt to describe it, it's kind of like Asian popstars meets Tron stadium meets Dance Central meets Pacifim Rim meets the World Cup. It's all a bit of fun and Taipei based production company Grass Jelly did an amazing job on the VFX.

The main dance interface sequence is fantastic and there's also some great shots of the control room displays and surrounding platform graphics a la Tron Legacy.

I really enjoyed seeing the players use dances moves to trigger the UI. The circular hit points are really nice, especially when they're in weird angles. It was particularly nice seeing the green guy doing a flip then a windmill and swiping all those points like a combo. It felt like a legitimate game.

The colours are nice and vibrant too, which suits the theme well. It was a nice touch to utilise the glossy floor too, which again made it feel more legitimate. All in all I think the clip has been executed really well, and I really loved seeing the dance UI being used creatively.

Make sure you check out the project page on Grass Jelly's site and also the GFX montage by FUI designer Yoshiki Lai!

Watch 'Shake Your Body'Check out the breakdown page by Grass Jelly
Check out the GFX montage by Yoshiki Lai

Alien: Isolation - Lo Fi Sci Fi

Alien: Isolation is an upcoming game based on the Alien franchise. This clip shows the development team talk about their unique approach to the game UI and art direction, which in turn influenced the game design itself.

This approach comes from their desire to stay true to the original film Alien from 1979 and for the game to exist in that very same world. I personally love the so called Lo Fi Sci Fi look of the original film, I think there's something so special about it. There's so much character behind every object and every interface. Maybe it's because there's so much nostalgia and history behind that era that makes the look so memorable. Perhaps in twenty years time, interfaces that we consider 'futuristic' will have the same resonance.

There's a few key points that I took away from the clip besides the whole approach itself which is so inspiring. Firstly, I love the quote by Art lead Jude Bond, who says: "In order to stay faithful to the source we set ourselves a rule that we wouldn't build anything that couldn't have been built on the original set in 1979. Everything in our game conforms to this retro future aesthetic." It's so great that they had this rule to live by in order to help the team maintain a unified vision. Secondly, I loved the process of achieving this Lo Fi, retro look, by using VHS' and destroying equipment to create artefacts. Sounds like so much fun!

This game looks fantastic, check it out for yourselves!

Check out the Alien: Isolation Lo Fi Sci Fi clipLearn more about Alien: Isolation

Captain America: The Winter Soldier UI

Here's the latest case study from Perception, this time for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The work centres on a car chase sequence in which the film relies heavily on the HUDs and GUIs to help explain what's happening.

Most of the work appears on the in-car HUD, and features threat detection, diagnostics, communications, and scanner functions. My favourite though is the UI that helps plot a recommended path, visualised through a red light flashing along the road. I love how that's been imagined, the red mark that flashes along a grid is perfect. It's so intuitive and for the film, visually appealing too.

Cool work from Perception as always, check it out!

Watch Perception's Captain America: The Winter Soldier UI montage
Check out Perception's case study
Learn more about Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Deus Ex Human Revolution UI

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an action role-playing game first released in 2011. I have never played it before, but I've come across lots of artwork, trailers and videos of it. Recently I stumbled upon this page by Eric Bellefeuille (lead Art Director Presentation) which highlights some of the UI design in the game.

If you're ever looking for a gold themed UI, this is it! A lot of the UI is set in gold and black, and is characterised by bold outlines, angled shapes and soft glow finishes.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the icons, which I think could be styled to compliment the overall look a bit more. Personally I think they are a tad too playful. But in saying that I don't know what the brief was so who knows, maybe the game UI had different objectives.

Anyhow check it out for yourself, there's some nice elements in there worth noting.

Check out Deus Ex UI work from Eric Bellefeuille
Check out the game's opening credits which features some UI elements as well
Here is the Deus Ex: Human Revolution cinematic trailer

Cisma: Criolo “Duas de Cinco”

Continuing our exploration of work from around the globe, this latest one is from Brazil. It's a short film by Denis Cisma and depicts a future set in São Paulo. This has a completely different flavour than our previous post from Korea.

The film shows glimpses of holographic devices, drones, 3D printed weapons, projected keyboards and a cool tracking and scanning sequence near the end.

The film is beautifully shot and the colourful neon lights gives the film a wonderful flavour. In terms of GUI, the animations are fluid and very tight, the elements are neat and colourful.

Check it out for yourself, but be warned, it's not for the easily offended!

Watch Croilo "Duas de Cinco"
(via motionographer)

2NE1 Come Back Home music video

I've been wanting to explore more work coming from different places around the globe. Fortunately, I recently stumbled on this Korean music video by K-POP band 2NE1, which features holographic interfaces and a see-through touch screen.

The production quality of the clip itself is impressive and the execution of the UI effects is very tight. I absolutely love the shade of pink/purple that they've used and how it compliments the grading and colour palette of the clip.

For the design itself they've opted for thin lines and a combo of circle, triangle and diamond shapes. In terms of animation, I love the circuitry inspired flourishes, as the earpiece connects to the visor projectors. They've also done a great job of separating the graphics on layers, and have done a nice job animating elements back and forth in Z-space.

This has been a good start but I look forward to finding more work from Korea, and Asia and sharing more here.

Unfortunately, I couldn't track down the director and VFX company behind this work, so if anyone knows, flip me an email!

Check out Come Back Home by 2NE1

Wearables - Android Wear & Nymi

As expected smart wearable devices are going to be out in the market soon. Here are two examples: Google's Android Wear and Bionym's Nymi.

Google's Android Wear

My initial impression is that this is basically a wristwatch version of an Android smart phone. It looks like it has all the features of a smart phone, but because it's attached to your wrist and can be voice activated it can be relatively handsfree and therefore more handy? (sorry)

There doesn't seem to be any game changing features, but that's not a criticism. If a smart phone works better as a wristwatch, then why not? The best thing about this would probably be that it uses an open source SDK, so that developers can create new applications for it.

What I'm afraid of is that the future will turn out the way it was depicted in the film Her. I will be worried that people will be constantly talking, and not to each other. It would be terrible to hear people constantly talking to their devices on trains, in libraries and in public. But mostly I'm afraid of seeing hipsters dance cringingly when waiting in lines for things. Yuck!

Bionym's Nymi

Nymi is slightly different, it's not a content driven device but more of a way for digital devices to recognise you. It basically carries your profile, which can act as a personalised key for your car or hotel room, or allows you to never have to log into anything ever again. It carries your history and your passwords, so it can remember your preferences or can access your bank account.

Warning signs come up as soon as you mention passwords and access to bank accounts but apparently the Nymi is secure as it is calibrated to your heart beat or 'cardiac rhythm.

I love the idea of not ever needing to log in to anything again and remembering multiple passwords. However, as soon as new technology is released that is linked to money, there will be hackers immediately trying to break into it.

Check it out and see what you think!

Watch the Android Wear clipRead more about Android Wear

Watch the Nymi clipRead more about Nymi

GM ELMIRAJ Concept car UI

It's really cool to see car companies experimenting with ways to incorporate current technologies into a car's dashboard and interface.

I've come across concepts involving touch screens, smart phone integration, voice activation and even HUDs. However, at this point I have yet to see something totally groundbreaking released into the market.

Here's a cool example of a concept UI for the Cadillac Elmiraj by Autofuss. In it you see a digital dashboard and some experiments with overlaying graphics over the road itself.

I've mentioned before how difficult it must be to design for automotive and aviation applications. It'd be fair to assume that you could just reference racing car games but in reality it's not that easy. There's so much at stake if something goes wrong, and everything from the size of text or shade of colour can make a difference. I heard once that even changing the colour of a button on a bank's website could potentially cost them millions. In this case it's injury or loss of life.

Anyhow this is a great start, I'd love to see more of these types of projects, and it's really promising to see that they're happening.

Check it out!

Watch the GM Elmiraj Concept UI clipCheck out the full breakdown on GMUNK's site.

Check out our previous Concept Car UI post
Check out our showcase on Retro car dashboards

Ender's Game - UI Breakdown

The super talented Jayse Hansen has just uploaded breakdowns of the UI from Ender's Game! He's included insightful descriptions of different parts of the project and has also included animated sequences to geek out on.

This project is an example of great UI design complimented with great animation. I'm really glad that Jayse has isolated the animation sequences so you can fully appreciate what motion can give to a design. It's an amazing result when both the design and the animation have been fully considered. It's cool that he's even included the hand over notes for the animation guides, which kept the UI consistent across the wider team.

I really love the animation of the Mess Hall scoreboards, the way they reveal on is so fluid and smooth. The text animation sequences are great too. But one of my favourite visuals must be the Command PitchLadder/HUD concept! It's beautiful and mesmerising! The line work is so elegant and I love the different size dots that line up to form an 'X'. I don't know why but the combination of the design and the smooth easing is so appealing to me!

Ok, I'll stop talking now, go check out the full breakdown page here.

CreditsAsh Thorp Lead Graphics Designer Jayse Hansen Lead Motion Graphics Artist Ryan Cashman Motion Graphics Concept Animator Navarro Parker Motion Graphics Animator Alasdair Willson Motion Graphics Animator/Reel Title Animation Paul Beaudry/G-creative Lead Motion Graphics Artist Franck Deron Reel Edit Matthew E Butler Digital Domain VFX Supervisor Gladys Tong G-Creative Supervisor

Check out the Ender's Game - UI Breakdown page

Want more? See our previous Ender's Game post
Check out Lorcan O'Shanahan's Ender's Game UI Reel
Watch the Ender's Game Classroom Mograph sequence

Robocop (2014) - UI Design

Perception have just released a case study of their recent UI work on Robocop.

Perception do a great job at showcasing their work. We previously posted a link to their work on Europa Report, which was just as good. There's explanations of the project as well as heaps of alternate designs and concept designs, which you wouldn't normally see.

Their work on Robocop included amongst other things HUDs, touch screens and screen designs. The key elements to note are the targeting sequences and threat assessment shots, which are in a similar vain to Terminator Salvation and Battleship.

The Robocop HUD looks almost like a game HUD, with vitals and ammo/weapon readouts locked to the sides. It also looks like they haven't retained the green LED look from the original and gone instead for a red and white colour palette with contemporary type to modernise the HUD along with the suit. Looking through the HUD makes you feel like you're in a video game. Perhaps this was intended to help the audience empathise with the cyborg.

The highlight for me would be the environment scanning sequences. I love the look of the red beam that gets sent to the far end of the room (at about 00:23), that analyses the environment. It's so luscious and organic, and sometimes the organic approaches feel more advanced than the overly technical.

What also stood out was the threat assessment shots, detailing the target's vitals, and analyzing everything from fingerprints to retinal scans. What's great is that you can see the robots physically scanning the database, so you can imagine being the target and seeing a blank look on the robot. It'd probably look a bit weird but you now know that it's just taking time to process all the information. Interestingly, the EM 208, ED 209 robots predates Robocop, so perhaps this wait time was a clever way to make it look like an older version of the technology.

I also stumbled on this page 'Experience Perception' which explains the company's positioning and how they've geared their business towards 'Future-tech for film' and 'Concept design for Next Gen UI'. It's really interesting to see more company likes Perception and OOOii appear who specialise in UI for film, which proves that there's really a market for this type of work now.

Check out Perception's Robocop case study
Watch Perception's Robocop UI montage Experience Perception OOOii