Bradley G Munkowitz: Oblivion Screen Graphics

Joseph Kosinski’s latest feature, Oblivion, releases today in the US, and with it comes an impressive onslaught of screen graphics directed by Bradley “Gmunk” Munkowitz.

Like the work he directed for Tron, Munkowitz’s design for Oblivion is brimming with details. Munkowitz and his team oversaw the production of assets for scores of contexts, including an interactive light table, cockpit elements for the “Bubbleship” and HUD elements for various equipment and weapons in the film.

The briefing for the Graphic Language stressed functionality and minimalism while utilizing a bright, unified color palette that would appear equally well on both a dark or bright backdrop.

The function was to reflect the modernized sensibilities of the TET Mainframe computer and would assist the characters with the key components of their duties on earth; be it the monitoring of all Vitals on the ground using Vika’s Light Table, or the various diagnostics in the air using the Jack’s Bubbleship.

For good measure, the team also designed and animated all of the HUD UI for the various machines and weaponry in the film cuz they could, establishing a consistent graphic language that rendered all the interfaces with a loverly cohesion rarely seen in them massive-budget Sci-Fi productions.

18 Comments

Sean Wehrli

Wow, so elegant and sophisticated. One of my new favorites. Well done guys! Love the subtlety, seems you guys get more refined with each project.

mastabingus

fantastic, just want to eat it up

mariano

It looks nice but totally hilarious, too. Most of the times I see these screens (Iron Man, Prometheus or any other movie with flashy screens) I think to myself: Who the heck is supposed to make sense of this animated overkill? Did these graphics people even once take a look on real GUIs in safety relevant plants like power plants, aircrafts or whatever? Or at least just live performance music apps like Ableton Live??

Tim Fox

I’ll disagree to an extent. First, it’s entertainment, flashy shit sells.

The design is amazing and I would love for the majority of UX and UI designers to take note, and cue’s from this. Why can’t Windows 8 look like the concepts from Microsoft’s concept videos. It’s the exploration with functionality that needs to be discovered. How many interfaces need to manage Tom Cruise’s vitals, position, a long with all of the other analytic data that is displayed on this screen. You mentioned Ableton, the Prometheus consoles look like the best Launchpad and beatpads ever. Gmunk’s work is amazing, of course it isn’t going to be too relevant. If anything, the Ableton product should be skinned by Gmunk.

fab

Impressive !

Danilo Parise

Love the movie! Kosinski is doing a great path..screen graphics as well were insanely gorgeous. Great work Bradley! Indeed Mariano exploded a good topic…would these work on a real use? Or they are “eye-candy” just because of the movie purpose? Would be great to understand directions\restrictions to make screen graphics usable on a real application. Anyone already deepened on this topic out there?
Are these pure “visions” or something that can establish a coding for future real screen gfx development?
Any material to study or make some research would be interesting.
Thanks guys for sharing all of this.

Sean Wehrli

The answer is they are better than real UI and inspire future UIs. I have a close friend who works on developing real UI for Northrop Grumman and he mentioned how much of an inspiration and influence movies like Ironman have on them. The purpose they play in a movie is to look believable, not actually be functional. I will agree that the weaker ones are obviously polluted with pointless filler.

Nick Forshee

I’ve been wondering the same thing. Although I absolutely love the crispy little details of modern UI design I still always wonder what place the overdrive of elements would have in the real world ( Prometheus, Total Recall, Oblivion ). However, I feel like Oblivions UI graphics found a perfect place nestled right in between eye candy and function.
There wasn’t really any time that I couldn’t understand what purpose the elements we’re for. They did a great job of focusing on “the purpose” and then sprinkled in those crunchy little bits to support and make visually interesting.

Prometheus on the other hand was a full out eye candy assault. There is no reason that a cube full of twinkles and ui graphics is at all necessary when your character is just loading a video for play back, that was just ridiculous – no real practical implementation was even considered.

There was only one bit that worked for prometheus and that was the cave mapping display ( the pups ). Watching the caves being drawn on in the fashion that the pups were scanning was as clever as the rest of the UI graphics should have been. Everything else was just graphics for graphics sake.

Sean Wehrli

Well said, I agree

James Grean

I’d love to hear Gmunk elaborate on what it was like to work on these films (Tron, Oblivion) rather than just his design process. There’s been a lot of attention lately on the conditions of VFX artists, their OT (or lack thereof), how studios force unending amounts of do-overs and change orders.

As such I’d love to hear from Gmunk about his experience as a celebrity motion graphics artist attached to a film – as opposed to a “faceless” VFX worker. Did he charge by the day? A project fee? Was overtime considered? How much OT (or how many hours total per day) did he and his team work to make these graphics?

Did they deal with the director or were there layers of approvals (if the director, they would have much more creative freedom than your average VFX worker).

Did the studio have much input into the final product, or is 100% of what you see the result of the collaboration between Gmunk and Kosinksi?

BranDJ and many other Motionographers take an interest in the plight of VFX workers, as they recognise that Motion Graphics shares many of the same working conditions.

Gmunk and Ash Thorp seem to be the two biggest mograph celebs currently working on a string of amazing films with a large amount of mograph in them – Oblivion UI and Total Recall UIs are both incredible.

I’d love to hear more from them about the process – and I’d love to see them pushing for better conditions for all motionographers. I have to wonder whether they’re pouring in massive hours, not seeing families (or daylight), but still coming out at the end with highly celebrated work – as Ash was while at Prologue. Is this still happening? Or have these guys broken through? Is there hope for the rest of us?

oeuf

+1, I’d like to hear more about their experiences.

Alexander Perry

I don’t want to speak out of line or for GMUNK but I can’t help but take this time to praise Joe and the graphics team’s process on Oblivion.

We worked directly with Joe, in the same building, everyday. We had meetings directly with him every few days or so and could ask him any questions we may have had at any time.

From my perspective, what ended up on screen was an uncompromised collaboration between Joe, GMUNK and the GFX team.

dailydolores

You can hear the Gmunk explain some over here:

pmdulaney

What was that sans font used for the closing credits? Excellent choice.

Bradley G Munkowitz

Hey guys, GMUNK here.. Gonna keep this brief but would love to answer some of your questions James..

– As such I’d love to hear from Gmunk about his experience as a celebrity motion graphics artist attached to a film – as opposed to a “faceless” VFX worker. Did he charge by the day? A project fee? Was overtime considered? How much OT (or how many hours total per day) did he and his team work to make these graphics? –

I charged a standard day rate, no OT, and work hours were totally normal, usually from 11am – 9pm ( we like the late starts and finishes ) … To be honest the hours never really got too hairy, and we were a very small, efficient team ( haha get it? ) …

– Did they deal with the director or were there layers of approvals (if the director, they would have much more creative freedom than your average VFX worker). –

We worked directly with one layer, and that was Joe directly.. We never communicated with Universal at all, except for invoices… And yes, working with Joe allows for a lot of creative freedom as he’s one of the best out there at trusting his talent and letting a loose leash..

– Did the studio have much input into the final product, or is 100% of what you see the result of the collaboration between Gmunk and Kosinksi? –

100% GMUNK ( and team ) vs Kosinski, no studio input, at least on the graphics.. We were sheltered lil’ lambs I guess…

– I’d love to hear more from them about the process – and I’d love to see them pushing for better conditions for all motionographers. I have to wonder whether they’re pouring in massive hours, not seeing families (or daylight), but still coming out at the end with highly celebrated work – as Ash was while at Prologue. Is this still happening? Or have these guys broken through? Is there hope for the rest of us? –

I can’t speak for all Mograph, but our experience on the OBLVN GFX was very positive, never too gnarly and was a creatively cultivating experience from start to finish… I have nothing negative to say about it, zero zilch… So yes there’s hope, especially since a small team pulled off such a healthy output for the film…

Sally

you mean effective team :)

Joseph Chan

F U Sally, jk :)
We were an effective team.

bob

Work this good makes me wonder if I should still try to compete in MoGraph.

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