Digital and Branding
Territory Projects
Design & VFX

Ready Player One

Title: Ready Player One
Clients: Amblin Entertainment
Categories: Film & TV

Coming on board in post, Territory Studio was tasked to create rich graphic elements to support director Steven Spielberg’s vision for the real and virtual worlds of Ready Player One.

Initially presenting concepts to production designer Adam Stockhausen, Territory’s team continued to work with Digital Domain for all traditional 2D and 3D ‘real world’ graphics and with ILM, for the interactive volumetric graphics featured in the full CG world of the Oasis.

Bridging the two worlds in terms of graphics and content, Territory drew on the studio’s narrative design expertise to develop the graphic language of both real and virtual worlds, adding content layers that tied into storybeats and narrative.

Delivering over 265 VFX shots and over 80 unique assets, the team touched the majority of sequences in the film that feature interactive UI on monitors, visors, HUDs and 3D environmental signage.

A hugely ambitious show, it demonstrates the value of Territory’s design led approach and VFX capability. Setting up two distinct pipelines to deliver to Digital Domain and ILM’s requirements, Territory were responsible for concepting the creative language and designing the graphics on a per shot basis. The team then laid everything out in a 3D environment, projection mapping onto plates for the real world, animating, and lighting full CG graphics in the Oasis. Slap comps on plates were submitted for director review and approval before being packaged and shipped to DD and ILM for final comp.

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Crafting the visual language of Ready Player One

A story that bridges real and virtual environments, graphics played a key role in defining context and explaining story beats. Briefed to create the visual language for the individualistic and gamer friendly GSS and its corporate nemesis IOI, we worked closely with Production Designer Adam Stockhausen to define these two very different brands.



GSS Concept Development

Our initial design concepts for GSS celebrated the warmth and playfulness of 80's gaming iconography, and as the brief evolved we balanced these references with the advanced tech of this futuristic world. The result is a visual framework that feels fun, functional and sophisticated.

IOI Concept Development

Designed to convey the power, resources and technology of IOI, our visual language for IOI was corporate and high tech, with militaristic minimalism. Applied to tablets, table and wall monitors across IOI's HQ, it is also seen in the Oology Centre, on Sixers visors and HUDs, and in the mobile surveillance unit.

Character Branding

To create a leave of authenticity and personalisation to the graphic environments, we suggested customised brands and colour ways for the individual hero HUDs.  Balancing playful 80’s gamer references to reflect their VR avatar and preferences, we designed a distinctive look and feel for each of the main characters.  Initially designed just to badge the visors and HUDs,  these individual brands found traction with the marketing team who went on to apply them to film posters and artwork.


Hero Visors

Personalised UI

Tunnel Sequence Boot-Up

Bridging Worlds

A runway of coloured light that flashes by in slitscan style, the boot up sequence introduces the audience to the virtual world of the Oasis. Designed so that the audience experiences it from a first person perspective, it creates a visual and emotional bridge between the film's dystopian society and the promise and potential of the Oasis.

Rich Interactions HUD's

Drawing on the studio’s narrative design expertise, Territory's team developed the graphic language of real and virtual worlds. We contributed to the depth and detail of interactions and  experiences in the CG world by creating 3D elements, HUDs, displays, signage and holographic devices that tied into complex storybeats and action in the Oasis and the real world.


World Building

Real world UI and narrative assets

To help established the sense of a world reliant on advanced technology, we designed technology interfaces and user experiences for school, corporate, civil and gaming environments. Richly detailed UI and content layers support narrative context and storybeats on wall screens, tablets, table displays, surveillance systems, news announcements and commercial advertising.

Project Credits

Director Steven Spielberg
Production Designer Adam Stockhausen
VFX Supervisor ILM Roger Guyett
VFX Supervisor Digital Domain Matthew Butler
Territory Reel music Stranglehold (Ted Nugent & Lance Herbstrong Edit)


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