FRIEDRICHSDORF, Germany—Maxon announced that Cinema 4D is being used to support the creation of several Fantastic User Interfaces (FUIs) on the hit Disney + series, “WandaVision,” which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
For the production, 3D motion design artist Robyn Haddow was tasked with bringing the fantastic technology to life for viewers. FUI expert with a superhero resume, Haddow’s portfolio includes television series such as “The Flash”, “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow”, as well as feature films such as “The Suicide Squad”, “Black Widow “,” Ant -Man and the Wasp “,” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 “,” Spider-Man Homecoming “and many more.
For WandaVision, Haddow worked with Los Angeles visual effects and design studio Cantina Creative on the concept and execution of several pieces of fantasy technology critical to the plot: in particular, the technology used by the sinister organization. SWORD (Sentient World Observation and Response Department).
“WandaVision” takes place chronologically after the havoc and tragedy that occurred during “Avengers: Endgame”. The technology seen in “WandaVision” should therefore reflect the rebirth of the cinematographic universe. That meant looking to past MCU movies for inspiration for that next phase, as well as maintaining continuity by including material relevant to the fictional world.
When it came to developing the technology seen at SWORD HQ, Haddow wanted to make sure it showed the unique combination of human and alien technology that was available to the characters.
“The technology was based entirely on a mashup of Kree (alien), Skrull (alien) and human militarist style graphics,” Haddow said. “Under the creative direction of Stephen Lawes, co-owner of Cantina Creative, part of the design was to influence the context of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to include callbacks to different technologies seen in other Marvel works without being too intrusive or irrelevant. . ”
The technology used at SWORD’s headquarters included a multitude of interfaces, the centerpiece of which was the versatile light table the organization used to visualize data pulled from the city of Westview.
“The main technological challenge was this three-layer glass table which during the design phase had a hologram on top which was the centerpiece of the SWORD command center,” says Haddow. “Glass has unique properties and we were working with three layers stacked. We needed to be sure that our design would clearly highlight key data points that were important to the plot while simultaneously displaying other less critical information for the plot. ”
With Cinema 4D, Haddow was able to create a visual depicting complex fantasy technology, built in a production-ready fashion while being flexible for art direction options along the way.
“Westview’s shape is a hexagon as displayed on the table. So I used the tiles inside the procedural noise system to create hexagonal textures, then layered them at different scales to create a sense of depth and complexity. Getting creative with shader layer masks allowed me to pull in important details and give them focus depending on the plot for viewers.
Haddow added, “The great thing about Cinema 4D is that it’s easy to quickly pull together ideas to understand what works and what doesn’t in a given scenario. In addition, the ease with which he speaks to After Effects is extremely beneficial; I was able to easily extract specific 3D null data to place 2D and 3D assets directly on the timeline, which is important when invoking tracking beacons and location markers. The result is a host of dynamic assets that tie into the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. “