We got the oppurtunity to work on this remarkable remake of Robocop with one of my favourite directors José Padilha ( “”Elite Squad””) and one of my favourite editors Daniel Rezende (City of God). As expected; there are ton of well thought details and differences in the story. One of them is the way of storytelling throughout the Robocop’s point of view graphics. Around 70 shots; some of them literally have no dialogues. This is the part that, we were responsible for (and additional 40 GFX shots, with displays etc…)
Design was a huge part of story telling. They needed to be clean, understandable, simplistic, convincing, sleek. Appeal was important but secondary. He really didn’t want busy stuff in terms of graphics.
So we focused on telling the story, devilering the message, in a short amount of time such as, showing that Robocop can access to Live CCTV cameras all around Detroit, he can simulate environmental information, calculating his tactics and next possible move, checking vitals, emotions, and more. Story takes time in the near future, and José was always pushing things for convincing and believable results. We made a deep research about past, current and future interface design and military equipment.
We were highly influenced by existing applications.
Robocop has this robot side as well as human side. So we tried to make his interface like a fully functioning operating system. In terms of behavior and motion we tried to give the feeling that he is in control, and he is actually operating things on his POV. In terms of look, we didn’t want to go all futuristic and military not to step away from sense of human touch. Because this is not a suit, he is using this interface to interact anytime. This really embraced the emotional and informative moments besides action sequences. This is another reason that Robocop’s POV graphics are looking much more human and sophisticated compared to ED-209s and EM-208s POV.
The basic idea was imagining all the tools and gadgets are surrounding his head. If he wants to activate something it usually comes from sides. He can hide stuff to sides, bottom, top, and bring them in again. Or he can combine any of those with each other. This also helped us to guide viewers eyes to specific elements of story, by focusing on certain items, without loosing everything completely. We tried to show one action at a time, so it’s possible to track his actions and decisions.
We also wanted to keep things as a well thought branding. United and consistent look and feel was important to us. We even hinted Omnicorp’s hectagon shape for certain elements. Not literal but subtle.
We examined the whole story, and we decided to create certain gadgets that Robocop can use, instead of introducing something new everytime. In this way it would be much easier to tell the story to viewers, instead of forcing them to understand what’s going on with the graphics.
So for CCTV database we have a certain layout, whenever he is accessing to database. There’s another layout which presents Live CCTV, simply a vertical strip. Even in real life, with some of the significant interfaces we are used to collect things on the bottom, and see the live streaming on the side. This helps to viewers to recall things easier.
At the end, Robocop was a great journey with extraordinary vision, with a super great team and people, with a lot good experience and great moments.
Client/Director: MGM / José Padilha
Design Supervisor, Creative Director: Garson Yu
Lead Designer/Art Director: Mert Kizilay
Lead Designers/Animators: Johnny Wong, Navarro Parker
Designers: Synderela Peng, Etsuko Uji, Ryan Kravetz, Jonathan Ficcadenti
3D Compositing Supervisor: Stevan Del George
Animators: Alex Yoon, Daniel Onassis, Eric Stoiqa
Researcher/Consultant: Refik Anadol
Compositors: Stephen Mitchell, Devin Uzan, Isa Alsup, Tara Turner, Ian Blewitt Joel Ashman
VFX Editor: Chad Sigston
Executive Producer: Carol Wong
VFX Producers: Carey Keeney, Sarah Coatts
VFX Coordinator: Evan Jackson
Compositing Coordinator: Julie Brown
Music for Montage: Two Fingers – Sweden