Stellar Visuals for Guardians of the Galaxy

October 27, 2014

Made with Cinema 4D: Intergalactic interface design for an old spaceship, a crew of cosmic criminals and a virtual walkman...


The jump from acclaimed graphic novel to successful movie tie-in is a tricky one. For every successful adaptation there’s always one that leaves a sour taste in your mouth. For a project as ambitious as Marvel’s 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' it required the efforts of half a dozen VFX companies to do the culture-spanning tale justice. Fortunately, it did just that and was one of the biggest draws at the summer box office.


Playing a vital part was Territory Studio, which was asked to create holograms, screens and interfaces for the Marvel Studios film. Territory was set up in 2010 when Creative Director David Sheldon-Hicks got together with Lee Fasciani and Nick Glover to found the company. Having already created a lot of the screen and graphic interfaces for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, Territory was the natural choice for the Guardians project.


The brief called for hundreds of designs and animations, with each set requiring its own look and feel to fit the vast number of sets, environments and cultures. There were screens for spaceships, street scenes, gambling dens, communication hubs and a prison. Each one had to reflect the specifics of a particular culture, whether it was human or alien. They also needed to reflect a sense of the wear and tear of function, history and backstory.


Territory took advantage of the massive Cinema 4D toolset using diverse tools such as those for character animation, motion graphics, particle effects and cel rendering. Cinema 4D’s MoGraph tools and workflow with Adobe After Effects were key in simplifying the creation of the complex screen interfaces. "The complexity and variables of on-set screen graphics work requires us to be fast, flexible and creative, and Cinema 4d allows us to do this in bucket loads," states David. "The tight integration with After Effects was essential."


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