Territory Studio was tasked to create rich graphic elements to support director Steven Spielberg’s vision for the real and virtual worlds of Ready Player One.
Initially presenting concepts to production designer Adam Stockhausen, Territory’s team led by Creative Director Andrew Popplestone, continued to work directly with VFX Supervisor Matthew Butler of Digital Domain for all traditional 2D and 3D real-world graphics. And with VFX Supervisor Roger Guyett at ILM, for the interactive volumetric graphics featured in the full CG world of the Oasis.
Bridging the two worlds in terms of graphics and content, Territory drew on the studio’s narrative design expertise to develop the graphic language of both real and virtual worlds, adding content layers that tied into storybeats and narrative.
Delivering over 265 VFX shots and over 80 unique assets, the team touched the majority of sequences in the film that feature interactive UI on monitors, visors, HUD sand 3D environmental signage.
A hugely ambitious show, it demonstrates the value of Territory’s design-led approach and VFX capability.
“We’re proud to have been part of the VFX team on Ready Player One and have the opportunity to contribute to such an ambitious show.
It really demonstrates Territory’s ability to seamlessly marry design and visual effects in complex large scale projects and we’re excited to see it on the big screen”, says David Sheldon-Hicks, founder and Executive Creative Director.
Andrew Popplestone – Creative Director & Creative Lead
How did you get involved with this project?
David (founder and Executive Creative Director) got a call from production designer Adam Stockhausen.
He was looking for a London based graphics vendor. We put together a really good pitch that ultimately led to Spielberg’s approval.
We came on board in post to create rich graphic elements to support director Steven Spielberg’s vision for the real and virtual worlds of Ready Player One.
Who did you work with?
The Territory team, led by Andrew Popplestone, works directly with Digital Domain‘s VFX supervisor Matthew Butler for all traditional 2D and 3D graphics, and with VFX supervisor Roger Guyett and Grady Cofer at ILM, for interactive world volumetric graphics Full CG of the Oasis.
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What did you do on the film?
Bridging the two worlds in terms of graphics and content, we drew on the studio’s narrative design expertise to develop the graphic language of both real and virtual worlds, adding content layers that tied into storybeats and narrative.
We were the jam in the sandwich working between the real world and the Oasis, making sure there was continuity between the graphics in the visors to when we immediately cut to the same graphics in the HUDs.
We also fleshed out the environments, creating UI for glass screens (wall screens, tablets, table displays, etc) in the real world, and created HUDs, displays, signage and specific graphics devices that tied into complex storybeats in the Oasis.
We also created unique and individualized logos for each of our hero visors/HUDs. It was designed to represent their personality and associated with the hidden meaning behind their avatar name.
Example: Parzival with a sword through the Z which related back to the knight Percival. Art3mis has a punky 80’s theme to relate to her character look.
We had pre-vis examples of what each of the characters was going to look like and were able to connect the color scheme of the logos and designs to compliment the look of their avatars in the Oasis.
Our work included:
*Generic Visor HUDs
*Customised visor and HUDs of multiple use and variation
*Vehicle HUDs (DeLorean & Monster Truck)
*Holographic Curator HUDs
*3D environmental graphics and devices
*Screen UI for IOI, school, laptops, tablets, monitor inserts for glass displays
*3D planet signage (52)
*Holographic elements and more.
What did you deliver?
We delivered over 265 VFX shots and over 80 unique assets, essentially touching the majority of sequences in the film that feature interactive UI on monitors, visors, HUDs and 3D environmental signage.
How long has the project lasted?
We got the initial call on Dec 16, just as we finished Ghost in the Shell and we started concepting in February and delivered final assets in December 2017.
What does this demonstrate about Territory’s capability?
A hugely ambitious show, it demonstrates the value of our design-led approach and VFX capability.
Setting up two distinct pipelines to deliver to Digital Domain and ILM’s requirements, we were responsible for concepting the creative language, solving the challenges of how to best marry the physical and virtual props (screens, visors, HUDs, 3D & holographic devices) with CG content that tied into story and actors performance, and designing the graphics on a per shot basis.
The team then had to lay everything out in a 3D environment, projection mapping onto plates for the real world, animating, and lighting full CG graphics in the Oasis. Slap comps on plates were submitted for director review and approval before being packaged and shipped to DD and ILM for final comp.
What kind of technology, technical or software do you use?
CineSync, Shotgun, Adobe CCS & After Effects, Cinema 4D, Nuke and Maya.
Thank you very much to the Territory team for allowing IMAGINESS to present this incredible work. We go behind the scenes of this adventure …
All images that appear in this article are subject to copyright and provided courtesy of Warner Bros and Amblin Entertainment