Sci-Fi UI Design by Billy Restey

Getting Inspired

Science Fiction is my JAM! Always has, always will be. After watching Oblivion by Joseph Kosinski, I really wanted to dabble with some futuristic UI design. The visuals in the film were absolutely stunning and left me with a huge wave of inspiration. Bradley Munkowitz (Gmunk) and David Lewandowski (Dlew) killed it with the design and animation! I also came across a bunch of comps from Guardians of the Galaxy--which also turned out spectacular. I kept researching great examples of sci-fi UI and sought to build something I could call my own.

Oculus by Billy Restey

I spent about two days designing and creating my custom UI in Adobe Illustrator, referencing countless examples of UI design that had an impact on me. I can't imagine working on designs for months on end for a feature film! That must be a huge opportunity to unleash your brain's capacity. Maybe one day.

Oculus Animated

Animating my UI design straight from Illustrator posed a few problems: I didn't have appropriate layers set up and I didn't really have a plan on how I wanted elements to animate. I had to go back into illy and break separate sections into their own layers so they would be easy to animate inside of After Effects. Although time consuming, it saved me a boatload of time in AE. 

This was primarily a learning experience for me and a way to flex some of my patience muscles---we're all too accustomed to short timelines and instant gratification. This project actually lead to a few other rad jobs based solely off the animated clip.

Quick Tips for the Design Process

  • Gather plenty of reference / inspiration
  • Choose an appropriate grid to start with
  • Use a limited color palette
  • Design in Adobe Illustrator (Use Layers!)
  • Think about how elements will animate and break them into sections
  • Import .Ai file into After Effects for animation

Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at a work in progress UI design that I'm creating for an upcoming music video. I will be posting on it in the upcoming months so stay tuned!

WIP UI Design by Billy Restey