Territory Studio creates UI screen graphics for Avengers: Age of Ultron
Nik Hill will be presenting the session “Avengers: Age of Ultron: The Screen Graphics, 3D Design & Animation Work in After Effects” in the Adobe booth at NAB 2016 on Monday, April 18th at 5:00 PM and Tuesday, April 19th at 3:30 PM.
Territory Studio is an independent creative agency with expertise in branding, motion graphics, and digital. The studio tackles a range of projects including feature films, advertising campaigns, brand identities, collateral, and popular video games. In the past few years, Territory has worked on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hitman: Agent 47, and The Martian, applying its design expertise across screen graphics and UI, VFX, logos, and titles. Senior Motion Designer Nik Hill enjoys the opportunity to work creatively and watch his designs come to life with help from Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: Tell us about your background.
Hill: I grew up in Bristol, England, which has a huge street art culture, and I loved all of the graffiti. I bought a graffiti magazine and spent hours sketching. I never watched much television, but when I did I was more fascinated with the advertisements than the shows. I decided to pursue a B.A. in Motion Graphics at the London Met and was introduced to Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, and Cinema 4D in my first class!
Adobe: How did you get the opportunity to work on Avengers: Age of Ultron?
Hill: The first project I worked on at Territory was Guardians of the Galaxy. The art department for that film then jumped right into the Avengers project and so did we. It was a fluid transition between projects.
Adobe: How did you decide on the look and feel for the screens?
Hill: The graphics for Avengers: Age of Ultron were based around director Joss Whedon’s vision for a grittier, more human story, so our concepts were based on the characters lives and interests, as well as on their superhero efforts and collaborations. We looked at real-world references and merged them with the Marvel comic book-based design work.
The design team and art department established a style for each character and created mood boards that developed into concept frames. Those were refined for specific story points and the art directors and designers worked with the 3D artists to develop story-specific assets that we designed screens around. We varied the color palette when we designed the screens for the different characters to give each of them their own look. In total we created more than 200 screens and 80 minutes of unique animations across all 11 sets.
Adobe: What tools did you use throughout the process?
Hill: After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop are integral to my workflow; I couldn’t do a day’s work without them. Remaking Illustrator assets as shape layers in After Effects gives me more scope to animate things. And it would be pretty difficult to design a computer screen for a movie without the integration of Cinema 4D and After Effects. All of the screens I worked on for the film went through After Effects. I created assets in Cinema 4D, a designer created assets in Illustrator, and I put everything together in After Effects to create a 20-second loop so when it plays on set they can shoot continuously.
Adobe: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Hill: It’s mad to see the screens you’ve been designing next to Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. It’s a hard process and a fast pace and you pour everything into it when you’re working. When you see it at the end it’s such a big payoff. We work with a great team so the process of designing for films is always fun.
Watch Nik Hill’s theater presentation at NAB Show 2016:
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