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Software interfaces in films -- who's making this stuff?

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Hi all -- new guy here. I'm not a motion graphics person, but rather a software developer looking to connect with some motion graphics folks. I tend to work in weird types of software -- stuff displayed on big walls and tables, cell phones, some web stuff, lots of things that never get past the prototype stage, etc. Half the reason I watch movies these days is to see how software is depicted in them. It's great to see what sort of interfaces people come up with when unencumbered by things like reality. ;)

 

The thing that really bugs me though is that once I'm out of the theater, I can't look at this work up close. Usually the shot of the guy at the computer is 10s of whiz-bang that took weeks to produce and is barely credited in the end. For example, there's some really sweet work in Iron Man, and I was able to find the company that made it, but would love to check out the portfolios of the actual people involved. The only person I know of that does this sort of thing is Coleran, but there's got to be more around.

 

So: Who does this sort of work? Are there other forums or blogs or anything dedicated to it? If not, I'd think about making one just to bring more attention to this stuff.

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I think Coleran is pretty much the only person that is completely specializing in mock-interface design for feature films. I think it would be very difficult to build a career on something so specialized. Its really not that common in films, and when you do see it, it's usually in movies that already have a lot of vfx. I know Coleran does on-set graphics as well which would be a cool gig. I think, most of the time, one of the companies that is already doing post/vfx on the film will get the job.

Edited by Albert Omoss

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I tend to agree with you here... I was watching the special features of Sunshine ( gorgeous movie ) and the screen display stuff was done by two people in a really tiny room. They did a nice job though :) I love that sort of stuff... especially when the designers try to make an effort to ground their designs in some sort of reality where possible. It kind of drives me nuts when in present day movies, some of the SUPAR GOVERNMENT COMPUTARS have these impossible interfaces technology ( transformers ) - future stuff I don't mind :)

 

I got to do some HUD stuff for a game trailer coming out eventually and it was a ton of fun to plan out and animate all the details that no one will ever see probably.

 

I think Coleran is pretty much the only person that is completely specializing in mock-interface design for feature films. I think it would be very difficult to build a career on something so specialized. Its really not that common in films, and when you do see it, it's usually in movies that already have a lot of vfx. I know Coleran does on-set graphics as well which would be a cool gig. I think, most of the time, one of the companies that is already doing post/vfx on the film will get the job.

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So: Who does this sort of work? Are there other forums or blogs or anything dedicated to it? If not, I'd think about making one just to bring more attention to this stuff.

 

There was an extensive thread on this on motionographer about 8 months ago. Had several links in it. Apart from the style factor, those mockups have very little real value, though. Once you watch them in slowmo, it becomes quite clear why and how they could never function in reality...

 

Mylenium

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Mark's a great guy and a good pal and if your in NY in the not to far off future Mark and I are trying to work out to get him to come show off some work at AENY(after effects NY) in a upcoming meeting.

There are not alot of specialized persons doing this and i would agree when it comes to UI stuff Mark is the man .

I agree that the UI stuff in Ironman was very nice as well and Danny Younts work on the credits was amazing.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Mark Coleran (www.coleran.com) and Teknoel (www.teknoel.com) are by far the most well known, but there are tons of other places who do the same kinds of work. I would expect demand to grow as technology becomes a more common part of the average person's life.

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"Mark's a great guy and a good pal and if your in NY in the not to far off future Mark and I are trying to work out to get him to come show off some work at AENY(after effects NY) in a upcoming meeting."

 

wow. If that happens, I gotta go to that. Def let us know.

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Hey -- thanks for all the links... lots of good eye candy there. It's interesting to find that Coleran's quit to do real software.

 

I wish this area of motion graphics was getting some coverage of it's own! I'd love to keep up on what folks are doing.

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It's interesting to find that Coleran's quit to do real software.

 

Mmh, maybe perhaps he was too desperate that all those virtual buttons did not brew his morning coffee and make toast... ;-) I can understand the motivation. Just like anything else, this can get tiresome and let's be honest - most of these interfaces look rather samey after all, so it's even less attractive. Nobody wants to do "the glowing holo-interface look" for his entire career.

 

Mylenium

Edited by Mylenium

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Mmh, maybe perhaps he was too desperate that all those virtual buttons did not brew his morning coffee and make toast... ;-) I can understand the motivation. Just like anything else, this can get tiresome and let's be honest - most of these interfaces look rather samey after all, so it's even less attractive. Nobody wants to do "the glowing holo-interface look" for his entire career.

 

Mylenium

 

 

Wow Mylenium, your such a buzz kill. I can't imagine a guy like you has a lot of friends. You would depress the hell out of me.

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Wow Mylenium, your such a buzz kill. I can't imagine a guy like you has a lot of friends. You would depress the hell out of me.

 

What do you mean by that? I was merely making fun of the unsubstantial and repetitive nature of the thing. Nothing more. And don't tell me it's a bad thing - happens to all of us.

 

Mylenium

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What do you mean by that? I was merely making fun of the unsubstantial and repetitive nature of the thing. Nothing more. And don't tell me it's a bad thing - happens to all of us.

 

Mylenium

 

 

Sorry, that was mean on my part. I don't know you personally, but sometimes when you comment it seems like you're putting people down in a snobbish sort of way. Maybe it's a cultural thing but I felt that way when you used to post in the Trapcode forum at the Cow. You obviously have a lot of information but when you give it, you throw a jab in there too.

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Sorry, that was mean on my part. I don't know you personally, but sometimes when you comment it seems like you're putting people down in a snobbish sort of way. Maybe it's a cultural thing but I felt that way when you used to post in the Trapcode forum at the Cow. You obviously have a lot of information but when you give it, you throw a jab in there too.

 

I think you have a wrong impression of me - I'll freely admit to being a bit cynical and regularly throwing around sarcasm more than may seem necessary, but I'm not denigrating other people's work at whim nor am I stabbing them in their back. Incidentally, I had a discussion with Mark himself at last year's IBC and he even admitted that it's not always as glorious as it may seem and that he tried to do less of this kind of work because of the repetition factor. In turn, I myself can say from the bottom of my heart that I would love to do some such stuff for a nice sci-fi movie or series and I envy Mark for having had these great opportunities, but in the same sentence I can say that after 2 or 3 movies or seasons of a series, I'll probably loose interest and look for other things to do.

 

Mylenium

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I think Coleran is pretty much the only person that is completely specializing in mock-interface design for feature films. I think it would be very difficult to build a career on something so specialized. Its really not that common in films, and when you do see it, it's usually in movies that already have a lot of vfx. I know Coleran does on-set graphics as well which would be a cool gig. I think, most of the time, one of the companies that is already doing post/vfx on the film will get the job.

 

I actually did some interfaces for Speed Racer in the segment when they're in a room looking over some modified Mach 5 features. It was a lot of fun, and working at a VFX house really taught me a lot of things, and I've been getting called in to work on some films in the future. So no, Mark Coleran is not the only guy doing these things; he's just managed to make some good connections. With the thousands of films being produced in the US alone, there's definitely a small market for this stuff.

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Mylenium since when did Mark "QUIT"

I beg to differ Mark is working on movies as we speak .

Yes he does work for Gridiron and in no way did he "Quit" anything.

Little misinformation being spread.

Edited by filmbot

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KGB he has been working on it and he said the same thing about it .

The boy is a busy as hell with Flow and other stuff in time im sure well see it sooner then later.

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Lutz since when did Mark "QUIT"

 

I didn't say he quit!!! Maybe one could conclude he was taking a break, but not getting away from it completely. I just said that he wanted to do less of a certain kind of work - which were his own words. Him bugging out would indeed be a loss to everyone as I have yet to find some references that match Mark's level of quality, especially in terms of the intricate and minute details which others often do not include (you know, that extra blinking pixel in some corner...)

 

Mylenium

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I actually did some interfaces for Speed Racer in the segment when they're in a room looking over some modified Mach 5 features.

 

Any reference images on that? I'm definitely not gonna watch the movie - even the trailer says "full cheese" and makes my eyes explode.

 

Mylenium

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Lutz since when did Mark "QUIT"

I beg to differ Mark is working on movies as we speak .

Yes he does work for Gridiron and in no way did he "Quit" anything.

Little misinformation being spread.

 

BTW, I consider it extremely impolite and rather rude to call me by my first name on public forums. Even more so since I most likely don't know you personally.

 

Mylenium

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KGB he has been working on it and he said the same thing about it .

The boy is a busy as hell with Flow and other stuff in time im sure well see it sooner then later.

 

I'm looking forward to Flow, I'm sure the UI will benefit greatly from his experience.

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