Interview by Rocio Frausto
Flickering galaxies and a first wave of fleet ships leave for pre-emptive assault on formic worlds in 2126 for Ender’s Game. Transposed into pulsating visions of nuclear fission and nanotechnology stylized by Tony Stark for Iron Man III. Conclusively, fused by an assembly of Superheroes recruited by the S.H.I.E.L.D for The Avengers.
Behold a new generation of UI technology. Defying conventional modes of research and design with translucent screens surged by 3D models. Converged by holographs and volumetric displays. For User Interface Designer, Jayse Hansen conjuring a dreamy, paradoxical sci-fi flash of the future has led to designs for X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Iron Man III and Ender’s Game. A permeated future of screen-graphic design, 3D and animation successfully launched in conjunction with companies such as Cantina Creative, G-Creative, and Digital Domain.
A zeitgeist of contemporary fictional design transverse by pop cultural influences, Mr. Hansen counts Symantec, MTV, Fox, Northrop Grumman and the US Department of Defense as clients.
1. Defying gravity in a zero-g environment originates the epic final showdown in the Battle Room. Featuring more than 300,000 ships simultaneously on screen. With a strong cast that includes Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Hailee Steinfeld. What were some of the technical obstacles that you anticipated when creating a fantasy world for Enders Game that was predefined by the successful novel written by Orson Scott Card?
Well, I guess the first obstacle was the sheer amount of screens, volumetric displays and holographs that would need to be designed, animated and composited in a very short time frame. My buddy Ash Thorp, working with production designers Ben Procter and Sean Haworth, had already designed a ton, and had done an amazingly stellar job of setting the design tone for the film. I was brought on board to design and animate new hero screens to tell the story for the final shots in the film. Our obstacle is always making sure the graphics, while being complicated and dynamic, support and enhance the story while also blending with the look and production design of the film.
With G-Creative, we were lucky enough to have a dream team of elite film UI artists, comprised of Ash Thorp, Navarro Parker, Paul Beaudry, Ben Myers, Alasdair Wilson, and Ryan Cashman. We also collaborated with the geniuses of Goldtooth to pull off the immense amount of graphics required in the end battle sequence.
What types of discussions did you have with the director and VFX team during the development stage for Enders Game?
A lot of our discussions were internal with the G-Creative team and with Mathew Butler, Digital Domain’s VFX supervisor. It’s always a pleasure working with VFX supervisors who really understand the tech look and who are pushing for more detail and finesse. Design and look-wise, we had a lot of discussion about refining the line weights and not making things look “too playskool”. Since the unique part of Ender’s Game is that the armies were comprised of children in adult situations, it was even more important that the graphics had a more sophisticated, adult look.
The animation style was also important. For the end battle sequence, VFX supervisor Mathew Butler wanted the animation style we had developed to remain consistent across shots, so I was asked to create various guides, including a ‘z-depth’ library of animations that teams could draw from.
2. Iron Man 3 marks another collaboration with the Cantina Creative team and VFX Supervisor, Venti Hristova. Tell us about your initial experiences with some of the elements including Cinema 4D and stereo (3d) for Iron Man’s HUD?
Avengers marked the first time that the HUDs were done in stereo - the result was so successful that it was done pretty much the same way on Iron Man III. But at first, there were lots of unknowns such as where in 3d space should the graphics live? Too far out from his face and the HUD felt like an empty closet. Too far in and it felt like the graphics were crowding his cheeks. So Venti, Steven Lawes (Cantina Creative Director) and I each did a lot of tests with the graphics to find out the best spatial feeling. When I first saw the HUD in stereo I said, “That’s the way it’s meant to be seen.” It’s one area where depth perception of the graphics really shines. We used a lot of Cinema 4D mixed with After Effects to really get all we could from being able to show off the 3d nature of the graphics.
How did you approach project management and organization given the complexity of the technology/software for Iron Man and Avengers?
Since we were also designing and animating the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier screens, there were definitely a lot of shots and revisions to manage. But we were in great hands: we had Sean Cushing (Cantina Executive Producer) Venti Hristova (Cantina VFX Supervisor) and Lily Shapiro (Cantina VFX Producer) keeping us all on track. (Jayse lists the rest of the team for each project on his site www.jayse.tv)
What elements of the design process are you happy with for The Avengers?
The design process was great. We basically had four phases to the HUD shots, which I felt worked really well: Phase 1 was general tracking of Robert Downey Jr’s head to match the graphics to. Phase two was first draft design of story-specific graphics. Phase three was designated for changes, animation and finesse, and phase four was typically the final pass. Some shots were final on phase three, and some trickier shots went a few more rounds to get finaled.
How did you approach the design for the new Mark 42 in Iron Man III?
For Iron Man III the Mark 42 is the new hero suit, which assembles as needed around Tony Stark. This suit is the most advanced Iron Man suit to date, with a number of innovations such as being an autonomous prehensile propulsion suit (each piece capable of flying towards the user) and sporting a nifty new HUD that operates both inside and outside the helmet.
This suit has pretty dense neural-connectivity compared to previous suits, so in the diagnostic for the Mark 42 HUD, I wanted to show the multivariate ways that Stark’s computer, Jarvis, reads and interprets his neural signals.
I had a lot of fun researching this type of stuff for different films. And I found that in any neural-based interface, bio-feedback is important, so that you know your thoughts are being interpreted correctly. So I designed the ring at the left to show various streams and allows Stark to fine tune his thought process if needed for a clearer read.
At the bottom left I created panels showing what’s called ‘cortex-unfolding’, a way of digitally flattening the folds of the cortex so that signals are more accurate, such as with cortical surface based analysis. Another panel shows basic functional and structural neuroimaging, and a third maps signal correlations from the various neuro-sensors placed in and around Stark’s brain.
The outer band of block colors quickly shows the attachment-ready state of each one of the Mark 42’s suit-pieces. The whole diagnostic folds and unfolds neatly as required.
3. You created a brain cell activity simulation for The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. How much creative freedom did you have in developing the visual look and style of the film?
I had a lot of freedom on that one. It was a lot of fun, especially diving into organic-tech medical visualization type stuff. In the beginning, I was given a script that had very minimal indications of what kind of graphics would be behind James Franco.
Since it was a decent length sequence and a pivotal moment in the story, they came to me via G-Creative to research and plan out all the graphic elements that we could display. It was literally generating everything from a blank page. After delivering a rough animatic for timing that they could use to reference on the set while filming, I returned a few months later to complete the graphics for the final shots in the film. It was great to be able to be a part of the whole process from start to finish.
4. What projects can we anticipate from your celebrated studio in the future?
I can’t mention names yet, but this upcoming year I’ll be involved in some of the most exciting films I’ve ever worked on. I’ve also started acting as a consultant on a few real-world projects that are all using super inventive and cutting edge new technologies. I think it’s going to be a pretty rad year.
Copyright: Text/Images 2013
Beauty in Wonderland - Amato Haute Couture
Animation by: Katarina Voloder (Illustrator, Designer)
"With a natural sense for shape and composition, Katarina creates designs that form a contrast between delicacy and a strong dynamic edge."
Clients include: The Body Shop, Roger Vivier and Matches Fashion
Interview by Rocio Frausto
Step into the unbridled imagination of ethereal landscapes by Furne One for Dubai Fashion Forward 2013. Fairy tale transcends runway amidst hand-embroidered gowns with metal plates, and 3D stitching. Time is suspended by the imperialistic headwear embellished with horns and luminous textures. A hallucinatory journey unlocked by history and myth.
Retracing classism and modernity, the Dubai-based designer recounts the landmark achievements to his success: ‘94 Mega Young Designer of the Philippines; 2008 Miami Fashion Week; Designer of the Year; ‘98 Japan Women’s Wear Awards; ‘2009 Young Achievers Award Dubai.
Soaring to new heights in 2007, Swarovski commissioned Furne to design a bridal dress showcased in their limited edition book, Unbridaled. Furne has since partnered with Swarovski to produce enduring collections for its Crystallized Swarovski Elements events.
Imbued by the denouncement of conventional beauty, collections are adorned by international jet-setters: Heidi Klum, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Heidi Klum, Nicole Scherzinger, and Amber Rose.
1. Influences from Gothic art and etherealism depict your collection for Spring 2014. Tell me about the technology encountered during the design/production process? How would you describe the collaboration with the footwear designer, Nereku for this season? It’s a basic technique for dresses but for the embellishment I incorporated extensive three dimensional laser cutting and mixed several threads, metal parts , fabrics, and Swarovski crystals. I also collaborated with artisans for my breast pleats moldings. I discussed the ideas with Nereku regarding the inspiration for my collection.
2. Celebrating a successful career in bridal wear and prêt- a- porter, you were also invited to participate upon L.A. Fashion Week/Miami Fashion Weeks. What expectations did you have of the notable fashion events? How has this partnership inspired or influenced your work as a designer? I didn’t expect anything, it was an honor for me to be invited to such notable events. My main focus was to present a good collection. I was inspired by the other participating designers who also presented an innovative collection.
3. Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks of Germany and America’s Next Top Model invited you to design garments for the finalists. What was your most memorable experience as a designer for the television series? The memorable experience was meeting Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks and creating a collection not just for the contestants but for the supermodels Heidi and Tyra. They saw my collection and decided to incorporate it for their season finale. Tyra chose some dresses from the collection to fit the entire concept of the show. It was a big production conducted in a haunted house. Building a huge runway with the haunted house as a background.
4. What future projects can we anticipate from your acclaimed atelier? After launching my perfume in Asia last November and launching my perfume in the middle east last April, we are planning to launch our ready to wear line, next year.
Copyright: Text/Images 2013