Designing Sci-Fi User Interfaces (UI) for an SpaceShip Screens
The Orville is a new sci-fi comedy-drama series by FOX Studios staring Seth MacFarlane who is also the program creator. Based on the Iconic Series “Star Trek” The Orville Follows the crew of the not-so-functional exploratory ship in the Earth's interstellar fleet, 400 years in the future.
“Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer finally gets his chance to command his own ship. Determined to prove his worth and start a new chapter, Ed discovers the first wrinkle in his plan when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson. As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified -- but eccentric -- crew, including his best friend, Gordon, who has problems with authority but is the best helmsman in the fleet; Dr. Claire Finn; Bortus, an alien from a single-sex species; Isaac, an artificial life-form from a machine society; navigator John Lamarr; Alara Kitan, a young, inexperienced security officer; and Yaphit, a gelatinous creature.”
UI Visual Design
I was part of the design team in charge of creating visual interactions for the screens used by the crew including: Ship Main Cabin monitors and keypads, portatil command control devices, Claire’s Medical Device, Door opener keypads, etc.
Creating visuals for “The Orville” was an honor and an interesting challenge; the fast paced environment of a Hollywood production that wanted to honor and allude the look and feel of the iconic Star trek series, was a big responsibility as well as a great deal of fun.
With iterations with Seth and research (A.K.A. watching the whole star trek series) we could reach different ideas that were not technically possible back then (when Start Trek was produced) and help create the look wanted.
The Following images show the process and a sample of some of the resulting aproved images used in the show.
Initial Visual Concepts
The consumer of this show is a person that loves Star Trek and all things sci-fi, and knows the details of the show very well; we needed to allude the feel as well as innovate visually inspiring and engaging with an updated version on the once loved show.
It was a long process of concept creation and iteration with Seth and the entire art department, and lots of concept testing.
We needed to create user interfaces that not only were logical but aesthetically innovative and graceful. There are many keypads and control screens involved in the ship. Portable Keypads as well as Big control monitors needed to be visually consistent at all times and through all events of the ship travels as well as the battle and emergency modes.
" I've enjoyed working with Lorena at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles where we design interfaces for computer screens and props used in movies and television shows."
David Watkinson Animator, Writer, Educator
The show wrapped up on august 23rd and launched on September 10/2017. There are 13 episodes recorded available to watch here, for the first season. Now the series got approved for a second! so I am super excited for the work to come!