Screen shot 2012-01-03 at 3.03.02 PM

Breakdowns, workflow etc.

Check back, as I’ll do some design breakdowns here.

What should I post?

I’ll leave it up to you.

If you have any questions about design process, research, working with directors and actors and vfx peeps, write in the comments and I’ll make a post/faq.

Or if you just want to say hi, say hi. Design is a somewhat solitary work medium so it’s always good to hear from ya!


// jayse


So far looks like we have these ideas

  • Illustrator designs to C4d
  • C4d to AE and compositing recipes
  • Presenting Designs to the Director
  • From nothing to Ideas/Inspirations to designs
  • Why Freelancing Rawks
  • AE FUI Tips
  • Designing UI’s in Illustrator


  1. First of all, this is some beautiful work you did. Also the look and feel of this new website is great.
    Since I am more an After Effects guy and a total Illustrator noob, It would be interesting for me to see the Layouting in AI and transfer/Extrusion in C4D. Probably boring for the most visitors of your site 😉
    But what could be interesting for the masses is the back and forth process between C4D and AE. I mean as cool as your Elements in 3D may look, you have to check them in compositing with blendmodes, glow ect. would be great to know what your recipe is here ;).
    Like I said I am more the AE guy and know how to do quickly a lot of variations with the wiggle expression which comes in really handy for Interfaces and parameters ect. I know that C4D has the vibrate tag but it is limited to position and rotation. How did you randomise the flickering or other parameters, by keframing it and looping?

    • Agreed – if you did stuff for the HUD in C4d and After Effects – how did it all work together? That is what I can’t wrap my head around but it looks like it worked beautifully. Thanks for doing this site!

    • just a quick chime in here to your question of randomizing things. I mainly do it via expression in AE, and in C4d with mograph (like a cloner object) and a Random Effector. In AE on the HUDs – I had too many expressions going on and AE would just keep rendering overnight by just shutting some off. So we’d come in to some messed up renders. Things like EchoSpace are great – but combined with so many elements, 32bit, motion blur, DOF etc. – it just kills things. So I had to go back in and ‘bake’ out expressions – or do things the ole key-framing way. Just something to keep in mind. I think for MOST AE comps tho – expressions is the way to go. ‘Wiggle’ goes a LONG way!

  2. I’d like to know how you presented your designs to the director. Were there variations? Or did you present one design and then get asked for changes? How did all of that work? Thanks for considering out questions!

  3. Your work is freaking fantastic mate. Just tell us how it’s all done!!?? Specifically maybe – how you get ideas and then translate them into something that works for the screen. Great stuff – looking forward to updates!

  4. Hey, I’m just a kid in high school (sophomore) who is interested in computer graphics and design. I know After Effects, Photoshop, and some web coding (html and css). You work is incredibly elegant. I found you because I was doing a project in my (outdated) Visual Communications ROP class. But I think your work is truly amazing.
    Also, how did you get to this point in your career? Do you think being freelance is better? And is your income stable? Oh! and I notice you do a bunch of stuff in after effects, have any tips/tricks? How did you learn after effects and Cinema4D? Tutorials or playing around?
    I recently saw Avengers and I had not found you yet. But not kidding all the stuff I found interesting turned out to be the stuff you did. Your interview with Pushing Pixels and website on cargo collective are incredibly in-depth and I never thought that much information about the movie could be released. If you even read this thank you and I hope for a response 😀

    • Thanks Alex. Just a quick answer – freelancing is great. I love the freedom – being able to travel – being able to steer my own boat etc. I think if you’re always trying to provide extreme value to your end client – you will always be in demand – and always have a steady income. Doing work that is so niche also helps. As for learning C4d and AE – I learned AE from Chris and Trish Meyer’s books, and C4d from 3d Fluff (faves!) and Tim Clapham at – excellent. AND – of course any other relevant online tutorials I can find. Greyscalegorilla, videocopilot, Robert Ledger etc. The great thing is that there is almost TOO much online to learn now. It’s almost too easy haha! The good thing about that is the goal is different: it’s nothing to know software now, it’s just expected – instead the most important thing to learn is how to take all that and do something DIFFERENT with it. Make it your goal that the software almost ‘disappears’ – and you just design and create.

  5. Hey you – you just changed your website! Love it! And so great I can write how much you’ve inspired me. I’m 14 and want to do what you do! I have always liked the graphics part of films but didn’t know what it was called. Now I know – FUI is so cool! So I guess I want to ask you what turns you on? jk! But really I mean how do you get your inspiration and then like everyone else wants to know – how do you work in Illustrator to make it real? Thanks! XoXx

  6. Hello! I vote for posts on Illustrator > C4D workflow, first of all how you import large amounts of vector data (do you split them into smaller files and iterations, or bring them as a single .ai file) and what are the best practices of turning 2D into 3D. And how do you make your workflow less destructive, so you can go a few or lot steps backwards to do some corrections there, the Houdini users have this option, as the rely on nodes, but how can you achieve that in Cinema?

  7. Hey Jayse, love your work. I also appreciate all of the work you’ve put into your site. I was wondering if you had any advice for someone looking to move into the freelance game and more specifically how do you secure your work in this particular niche of vfx. I work for a large vfx house and I am quite familiar with the difficulties and politics of the bidding process. Do you bid directly to clients or through studios like Cantina? Don’t know if you can divulge too much of this side of the process, but I’d love take my career in this direction and have no idea where to start.

    • Hey Keith, thanks for writing in. I tend to let the companies handle all the bids and business side of things. I like to just focus on the art and design of things. I like design better than client relations so I always like to work with a producer or company on things. Saves a TON of headaches. If you’re moving into freelance – what I did was save up 6 months of cushion money and then just jumped. I didn’t even have work lined up… just a few maybe’s. But I really resonated with ‘Your worst day freelancing is better than your best day in an office.’ So true. Haven’t had any downtime since (2008). Best thing to do is go out to conventions and stuff and meet people – and have a reel to show. Like 30 to 40 seconds of great stuff. Or even semi great stuff but a passion to be better and learn. That will take you far.

  8. Hi,
    it would be interesting to see what parts of the interfaces are made in Cinema 4D and how they are made (especially materials/textures and rendering). Do you use any other plugins than the City Kit?
    By the way, do you know, when you will publish your first articles here?

    • In c4d my new love is Magic Solo – and of course Render Elements by Adam Swaab. Really helps with multipass – especially when delivering stereo shots like on the HUD. As for when I’ll start writing here… should be soon – just starting on another GREAT film right now – so all my attention is going to it and my girlfriend! Thanks for all the ideas tho – will work something up soon!

  9. Brilliant stuff! I’ve seen The Avengers about a billion times by this point and the Iron Man hud is an amazing piece of work.

    I suppose I’d like to see the workflow from Illustrator to After Effects. I’m fairly new to graphic animation and entirely self taught. I can’t visualize the step between static vector graphics and animated vector graphics.

  10. Your work is truly amazing and really inspiring. I am curious about your compositing workflow, once in after effects which effects/transparencies/lights/modes you use to achieve this simply perfect final look.

  11. Great work on the website 😀 Really looking forward to more stuff from here!

    I’d love to see the Illustrator -> After Effects workflow.

    How do you commonly produce your shapes? How do you organize your .ai files? How do you rig them when in After Effects? What are common expressions used for animation? What kinds of blending do you use?

  12. I love your slap comps – like for the helicarier screens – is this something they always ask you to do? Or do you just make the design and present that? AWESOME work!

  13. PS – I’m astonished you use just normal tools to create such stunning work – what kind of machines do you use? Mac? PC? Megacomputer?

  14. What daily practice and work ethic would you advide this 18 year old to archieve the things that you have done, assuming I love what I do.

  15. Hi Jayse, I just recently discovered your website. Loved your futuristic theme and style to death. How you got inspiration for all of those?

  16. Great work and awesome site! I would love to know how did you made all the widgets and huds of the iron man to bend and follow his face and still keep them 3D. I tried to render them out and map them on a sphere in C4D but they look flat. How did you managed to solve this issue?

  17. Hey i love it, you are awesome just a small question: how you made the effect that the element of the HUD is projected on a 3d sphere ?? thanks i have learned alot about the HUD from u 🙂

  18. Always great to have leaders in the entertainment industry opening up the pipeline methodology when it comes to motion graphic and narrative user interface. Also I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration you provide to all of us GUI/UX designers out there. Keep unfolding those amazing visualization to higher grounds! Can’t wait to see your new project.

  19. Well jay i will say sir u really kick ass with what u do,,i luv it…Ima big marvel fan,,,Iron man is my favorite with every Iron man movie i thought how r they gonna top the last with all the toys and tricks with the suit and his hud. Does marvel come to yall and say these are the suits this is what we want or do you get to do it your way and really have a big say in what gets done. I can only imagine all the things you have done. Who was easier to work with john favreau or shane black??im sure they both have there days,,Cant wait 2 c ur work in avengers 2,3 an hopefully iron man 4..keep up the good work…Oh btw iv got a rainmeter skin on my comp with iron man 3 hud pretty cool if i say so myself.. not 2 shabby!!

  20. great work! Great site! Would love to learn what you do – I’m an advanced After Effects animator but have no idea where to even start to do the things you do. Bad ass.

  21. I’m curious about how what you do integrates w/ everyone else. are you outputting final shots from after effects? are you animating textures that get comped in elsewhere? I know it varies from project to project but I’d love to know your best practices when working on larger productions vs. run and gun stuff.

  22. You and Brian Denham were involved with Iron Man AND invited visitors to ask questions, that alone already makes both of you legends. Thanks very much.

    My vote goes to the following 3 (highest priority at the top):
    – I’m still using Illustrator CS4.
    – Designing UI’s in Illustrator (Illustrator setup, workflow in Illustrator, how you use artboards, when to layer and when not, what effects to use and avoid, color modes, pixel perfect or not, etc)
    – Illustrator designs to C4d
    – From nothing to Ideas/Inspirations to designs


  23. Sir, I am a great fan of you. I’ve seen all the movies in which you have worked and they were great. I’m also learning vfx editing. I’ve tried so many times but couldn’t make the hud effect as you made in iron man. Could you please guide me a bit for making the hud. I would be thankful to you.

One Trackback

  1. By Gilbert on March 12, 2014 at 9:59 am



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

  • jayseInterview
    I’ve been deep in a few projects I can’t talk about now – but wanted to tell you I’ll be speaking at CGEvent in Moscow December 1st,...
    27 November 2012 // 8 Comments