TRON LEGACY HOLOGRAMS

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INFO

For the entirety of 2010, munkowitz led a Black-Ops team of GFX All-Stars deep into the darkness at Digital Domain crafting over 12 minutes of holographic content for the feature film TRON: Legacy Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved..











SOLAR SAILOR






Solar Sailor Sequence Overview: The Solar Sailor sequence was definitely the most conceptually challenging for the team and the output munko is most proud of... The design exercise started with a very loose brief from Joe -- he wanted the representation of Quorra's DNA to be "beautiful, like a flower" and wanted layers of transforming and organic surfaces for Sam and Flynn to navigate through to unveil it... 

Once descending upon the DNA, Flynn was to identify the ‘damaged code’ in its composition and extract it, healing her data with a blow, allowing her arm to grow back... And conceptually, because she's an ISO -- an isometric algorithm -- her DNA and the outer layers of her data foundation had to all be super-unique, resembling artifacts from nature, yet still remaining very graphic and design driven... 

The team referenced a lot of Ernst Haeckel, the German Biologist who rendered by hand surreal organisms that resembled graphic prismatic coral structures, if you will... He was one of the primary inspirations since all of designs in the sequence had to look and behave like they could be living organisms, like flowers, while respecting a graphic structural rule book... 

The team also researched infinite fractals, hexagonal mesh cages and studied data visualizations of voronoi noise algorithms and isometric surfaces… In the end, all of this research informed the structural designs in the sequence... 






HEX SPHERE DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

The outermost layer of her data composition was the 'Hexsphere' which was the containing shell to all the deeper levels of data within... The Hexsphere sought to align with the hexagon metaphor used throughout the film, so this initial layer had the most commonality with its surrounding world...




CINEMA 4D MOGRAPH SCREENSHOT

Master blaster David Lewandowski engineered the hexSphere designs using Cinema4D's mograph module for maximum scalability, allowing for a natural iterative process of refinement towards a final design... 






CONTOUR HEART DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

Once through the outer layers of the hexSphere, Flynn breaks through to the IsoSurface coined the ‘Contour Heart’... The heart was a Josh Nimoy Open-Frameworks creation and visually quite delicious... 






CONTOUR HEART APPLICATION SCREENSHOT

The Contour Heart was Nimoy's finest creation, and also his most complex... Working with munkowitz and Sargeant during its initial development enabled for maximum iterations in the stylings of each layer, allowing multiple renders of it to be composited together into a massive layering of graphic goodness... 






VORONOI SHELL DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

The IsoSurface, housing Quorra's DNA, had to be broken down and unwrapped in order to be accessed... To accomplish this, Flynn used a Voronoi Noise algorithim that suspended the heart by spherically wraping around it, allowing Flynn to wade through an web-like interface to break open the DNA...







QUORRA DNA DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

The initial design for the DNA closely resembled a cylindrical cloud of large data blocks, full of undulating life and recycling itself in a perpetual motion... Upon receiving key conceptual notes from Kosinski, the later designs took on a triple Helix structure that was enclosed by the broken down Voronoi mesh from the previous 'stage' of Flynn's navigation... The damaged code in the DNA was represented as hot glowing orange data forks in stark contrast to the unifying cool tones of the healthy bands of data...







QUORRA DAMAGED CODE DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

Kosinski's mandate of the Data 'flower' had a few exploration cycles, but in the end they settled on an easily intelligible read of a floral element; they definitely tried to make it tough looking... They failed... 












THRONE ROOM







SEQUENCE OVERVIEW

During the Rectifier Extraction sequence, Clu gets his dirty hands on Flynn’s disc and attempts to extract all its vital data, unlocking the secrets of the TRON universe while powering up his army with extra special sauce, all of which would enable Clu to escape the computer world and to ultimately take over that planet earth place... 

The team's task was to visually represent the immense amounts of information being extracted, first as a chaotic assemblage, then organizing the packets into concentric rings of decoded data as the camera gracefully pushes through them... 







DESIGN PROCESS

The team researched disc defragmentation diagrams and sought to greatly modernize the aesthetic, for the data required to create of the TRON universe was immense to say the least, requiring the defrag diagram to look like an other-worldly representation of data re-structuring...

So munkowitz and Jake Sargeant established a visual foundation, first designing a holographic representation of Flynn's identiftying boot-up hologram, which is then unlocked and dissipates bit by bit to initiate the data restructuring, which grows in complexity as each ensuing sector is filled with digital content... 








CINEMA 4D MOGRAPH INSANITY

Master David Lewandowski, the team's lead animator and best-looking member, then took the styleframed design foundation and elevated it to the next level and beyond, flexing his immensely insane C4D muscle to render a series of ridiculously detailed defragmentation simulations, pushing the limits of his C4D skillset while exceeding everyone's expectations for how visually stunning the sequence would become... 

A fantastic breakdown of his animation process can be found on his site dlew.me






SAM'S DISC HOLOGRAM

Another component of the sequence is when Clu takes Sam's disc and views it's contents via a holographic video player... Maya particle systems formed the foundation and container for the video content, which was rendered using an Open-Frameworks Pixelation app written by code artist Keith Pasko...






OPEN FRAMEWORKS PIXELATION SCREENSHOT

An image sequence was fed into the app, which enabled controls for explosion rate, distance, resolution and breakup grid size... Multiple renders were composited together, graded and output to 3d to be integrated into the shots... 






THRONESHIP WINDOW PANE

The team also designed the uber-minimalistic Throneship glass, which certainly could have been much more detailed and balls out starTrek'ked, but seems like that notion lost steam when each subsequent iteration continued to be simplified... 













OPENING TITLES






OPENING TITLES OVERVIEW

The GFX team was deep in production on the epic Solar Sailor sequence when Joseph Kosinski awarded them the Opening Titles, enabling the opportunity of a lifetime coupled with a steady stream of intensely late evenings... 

Joseph communicated the motivation of the opening titles as evoking the sensations of the original light bike battle while slowly evolving the iconic light-walls into more complex patterns in all dimensions, ultimately revealing a city wireframe that transitioned seamlessly to the Vancouver BC skyline... 







DESIGN PROCESS

The creation of the Opening Titles had munkowitz designing out the line work in Illustrator, then adding Z travel reliefs in Maya, and handing them over to master animator David Lewandowski to flex his Cinema4D muscle, bringing to life each path by hand using the mograph module and rendering using vray... The two exchanged scenes back and forth to ensure a design that adhered to a strict grid framework and a animation motif that perfectly synced to Flynn's voiceover during the sequence.. 

Many iterations of detailing techniques were explored, including a very intriguing 3D grid structure designed by Jake Sargeant in addition to a blanket of data point clouds, but in the end Kosinski kept the design clean and simple for fears that an overly detailed sequence would date easily... 







ARCHITECTURE 101

Director Joseph Kosinski, with his Architecture degree from Columbia University, entrusted the GFX team ( and mostly Lewandowski ) to design all the graphic buildings from the ground up, having them reference the skyline of Vancouver but mostly innovating and designing from scratch... A terrifying proposition that miraculously came under very few revision cycles... 






FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Certainly would've been visually intriguing to put the camera at street level looking down the passageway of an emerging city, as the line work and graphic elements would have taken an immensely different aesthetic, mostly for beneficial results... 












DISC GAME





DISC GAME OVERVIEW

The Disc Game Scoreboard was the team's first graphics task and was a fierce introduction to the Domain's pipeline integration... Munkowitz and Jake Sargeant designed and animated a library of 2d textures that were then passed on to the texturing team and layered on proxy geometry in more than 30 shots, ultimately being rendered from stereo cameras and fully integrating into each scene... 






SCOREBOARD DESIGN PROCESS

The scoreboard was broken down into 8 bracketed matches, displaying 16 combatants in total for round 01... The bracket design had to accommodate multiple rounds of game play, so it was designed with a collapsable behavior in mind... An external HUD display was also crafted to add detail and an extra layer of depth, as well as a concepted formation design generated from the light tracers below... 






OPEN-FRAMEWORKS APP DEVELOPMENT

The formation of the scoreboard and advancing gameplay animations were the hero moments of the graphic sequence, and they utilized the 'Tronlines' app built with Mr. Josh Nimoy to execute the board's circular-based formation aesthetic, taking inspiration and visual cues from the original Tron scoreboard's behavior, which was referenced extensively.. They outfitted the custom open frameworks application with a healthy dose of controls for maximum iterative freedom... 

Other design tools included the infamous 'Egyptian' algorithm that generated massive amounts of linear-based traveling linework and was used extensively for the bracket animations when a combatant was de-rezzified...











FIREWORKS





SEQUENCE OVERVIEW

During the infamous Light Bike battle, the arrival of Clu is accompanied by a grandiose fireworks display designed and animated by the team.. The brief from Kosinski was to pay homage to states of 'Bit' from the original film, so each firework had to have a defined geometric structure from which the branching streams of light would emanate from... 






APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

The team built an open-frameworks application with Mr. Josh Nimoy that would load OBJ data, allowing the team to define the 3d structure from the outset and then enhance the base shape with a generation-based network of fireworks streamers and subsequent expansion... 

For the deliverables, munkowitz created a library of 14 firework designs, the makeup of each saved out as slider favorite XML files and passed onward to the Houdini team, who successfully ported the app and were able to render it through the DD pipeline, adding atmospherics, light effects, and those sweet and final optical touches... 












RECTIFIER GLOBE






SEQUENCE OVERVIEW

During Clu's momentous speech towards the end of the film, he builds an army of programmatic drones to ultimately escape the computer and take over the world... So naturally during his speech there had to be a giant globe hologram depicting this takeover, where the contours of each continent become infected with 'HexVirus' line-work, and then spreads inward through the land masses... 






HEXVIRUS APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

The initial design execution of the globe was accomplished through an open frameworks application developed by Nimoy and the team, which was then ported to Houdini by master Andy King and output with production quality DoF and motion blur... Munkowitz stylized and design directed all aspects of the output, although the final product was greatly simplified by the upper echelons to ensure a quick read, as supposedly too many awesomely detailed data storms make things confusing.. 











PORTAL CLIMAX







PORTAL CLIMAX OVERVIEW

The team was asked to design concept art for the grandiose explosion at the end of the film when Flynn subdues and ultimately vaporizes Clu with his pulsating data storm explosion ring... The team repurposed a few systems written by Mr. Nimoyback in the Xfinity days ( happy to know some good came out of that project ) and administered heaps of design love from munko and Sargeant to complete the frames... 

The artwork created wasn't explicitly used in the film, but certainly inspired DD's houdini team in developing the aesthetic of the light elements used in the sequence...






PORTAL INTERIOR CONCEPT ART

Another series of concept art the team executed was for the interior of the 'Portal' itself, which conceptually was to be a light-beacon of intensely radiating data streams.. Utilizing more recycled apps from Nimzee, munko and Sargeant generated a library of different data stream tunnels to inspire and inform DD's houdini team... The choice pick of the batch was a hexagonal stream of egyptian line-work emanating towards camera in a beautifully asymmetrical and impossibly organic motion, output directly from the application... 






ENERGY FIELD CONCEPT ART

The team also utilized the Nimoy apps 'Beam-Pusher' and 'Twist' to generate a dense blanket of data points and linework traveling in an orbiting motion around Flynn's base... Although none of these assets were used in the final film, the team thought they were pretty fuckn' cool...











BOARD ROOM




BOARD-ROOM PROJECTION

The board-room sequence graphics encouraged the team to dust off their grid-based graphic design chops to conceive and animate a giant in-camera projection that communicated core story points during the sequence, including a hacked OS12 launch where Sam sends a clip of his dog 'Marvin' to takeover the screen and taint Encom's impending public launch, which was connected to numerous news feeds... The graphics ultimately were delivered as asset libraries to be programmed for playback and manipulation live on set... 






LIGHT TABLE GRAPHICS

The team also designed and animated the light-table interface used by the Encom CEO to launch the OS12 presentation, and by Dillinger's son to shut-down the marvin hack. Both interfaces were quite a treat to design and animate since the table from the original TRON was always a lasting memory..






SOLAR SAILOR CREDITS LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designers: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant
Graphics Designers: David Lewandowski, Adam Swaab, Joseph Chan
Graphics Lead Hex Sphere Animator: David Lewandowski
Graphics Lead DNA Animator: Adam Swaab
Graphics Animators: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant, Joseph Chan
Graphics Lead Compositors: Stefano Trivelli, Jan Cilliers, Salima Needham
Graphics Compositors: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant
Graphics Code Artist: Josh Nimoy
Graphics Code Artist Support: Andy King
Graphics Technical Support: Jonathan Gerber, Doug Wilkenson


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RECTIFIER EXTRACTION CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designers: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant, David Lewandowski
Graphics Lead Animator: David Lewandowski
Graphics Houdini Artist: Adam Swaab
Graphics Lead Compositor: Sonja Burchard
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SAM'S DISC HOLOGRAM CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designer: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Animators: Bradley G Munkowitz, Dylan Nathan
Graphics Lead Compositor: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Code Artist: Keith Pasko
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THRONESHIP GLASS CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designer: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Animators: David Lewandowski, Dylan Nathan


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OPENING TITLES CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designers: Bradley G Munkowitz, David Lewandowski
Graphics Designer: Jake Sargeant
Graphics Lead Animator: David Lewandowski
Graphics Compositor: Jake Maymudes


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DISC GAME SCOREBOARD CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designers: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant
Graphics Lead Animators: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant
Graphics Code Artist: Josh Nimoy


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FIREWORKS CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designers: Bradley G Munkowitz, Josh Nimoy
Graphics Houdini Artist: Andy King
Code Artist: Josh Nimoy


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RECTIFIER GLOBE CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designers: Bradley G Munkowitz, Josh Nimoy
Graphics Lead Compositor: Jan Cilliers
Graphics Houdini Artist: Andy King
Graphics Code Artist: Josh Nimoy


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PORTAL CLIMAX CONCEPT ART CREDIT LIST

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designer: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant
Graphics Lead Compositor: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Code Artist: Josh Nimoy


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BOARD ROOM GRAPHICS CREDIT LIST 

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designer: Jake Sargeant
Graphics Lead Animator: David Lewandowski
Graphics Animator: Jake Sargeant
Graphics Lead Editor: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Compositor: David Lewandowski
Graphics Compositors: Bradley G Munkowitz, Jake Sargeant
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LIGHT TABLE GRAPHICS CREDIT LIST 

Production Facility: Digital Domain
Executive Producer: Lisa Beroud
VFX Supervisor: Eric Barba
Graphics Design Director: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Designer: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Animator: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Lead Compositor: Bradley G Munkowitz
Graphics Code Artist: Josh Nimoy


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Design Director, Lead Designer, Animator, Lead Editor
at DIGITAL DOMAIN
for Disney Enterprises ( Director: Joseph Kosinski )

TRON: Legacy © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.