In preparation for one of their most anticipated films to date, Marvel Studios asked our team at Perception to design various technology and visual effects features seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In this film, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) faces the vast possibilities and dangers of the multiverse after casting a forbidden spell. We developed technology, interfaces, and HUDS for several integral characters that Doctor Strange encounters in this wild journey.
CHRISTINE PALMER'S LABORATORY
In another universe, Christine Palmer has contained Doctor Strange and America Chavez because they’ve arrived from another dimension. She’s unsure if she can trust them, and so Doctor Strange and America Chavez are locked in containment cubes in the laboratory. In order to discover who the pair really is, Christine Palmer has to examine archival data from the Doctor Strange of her universe and data she recorded from the Doctor Strange she contained. To aid in this storytelling feature, we designed several features of Christine’s lab.
Biomonitor motion test
CRAFTING THE LOOK
Every time we design technology for a different Marvel character, we want that tech to feel uniquely theirs. Whether it’s the innovative interfaces of Stark Technology, the uniquely futuristic tech of Wakanda, or the militaristic style of Nick Fury, each character has a defining look. For Christine Palmer’s tech, we tapped into her medical roots from the first Doctor Strange film. We brainstormed what a hospital would look like in a few decades and what kind of technology they would have. It’s a little utilitarian and meant for practicing doctors to use for various medical data visualization purposes. With these concepts in mind, we began honing on our final looks using Adobe Illustrator and After Effects.
INITIAL DESIGNS OF PALMER'S BIOMONITOR SCREEN
We designed Christine’s desktop screens to easily convey crucial plot information. The desktop shows x-rays of Earth 616’s Stephen’s broken hands as compared to Earth 838’s Stephen’s broken hands. We added indicators of which areas of the hands match and which areas differ. We also included flairs of data along the bottom and sides of the monitor that read heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure.
CONCEPTS FOR PALMER'S BIOMONITOR
FINAL DESIGN FOR PALMER'S BIOMONITOR
Christine’s tablet is a large glass tablet that helps pull up the comparative x-ray scans onto her desktop. Our team was really eager to work on this specific piece of technology since it was reminiscent of our work for Tony Stark’s glass smart phone in Iron Man 2.
Concept designs for Palmer's Glass Tablet
This tablet is used for medical purposes, and we designed several small apps to appear on the surface. Each app contains a different medical scan for Stephen, ranging from a cranial scan to a lung x-ray. This interface allows Christine to easily open the desired x-ray and transfer it onto her desktop.
Final designs for Palmer's Glass Tablet
Later in the film, Wanda Maximoff infiltrates the compound that this laboratory is located in. Wanda’s infiltration triggers the building’s alarm and sends the building into automatic lockdown. After telling her team to evacuate, Christine stays behind to help America Chavez out of her containment box. To do this, Christine types an override code into her desktop via a completely digital keyboard that our team designed.
Final design for Palmer's digital keyboard
We also designed the desktop screen’s lockdown protocol message and manual override function. This is a very tense moment of the film and we wanted the audience to see how close Christine gets to breaking America Chavez out, so we made the progress bar the focal point of this interface. To come to our final design, our team crafted various concept interfaces in order to find the best methods of conveying this information.
Conceptual development for the Biolockdown Monitor
We ran several motion tests to calculate the best speed, movement and look to add to the mood and tone of the scene.
While the screen is not showing any medical data like it did earlier in the film, it still follows the same style and utilitarian scheme. This style helps tie together all of Palmer’s tech to make it easily recognizable as belonging to her within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Final look of the biolockdown monitor
Even though Christine gets close to setting America Chavez free, Wanda breaks into the lab before she is successful. Wanda then shuts down Christine’s attempt to free America Chavez using her magic to short circuit the computer. To show this, we created a special effect for the desktop to show that Wanda’s magic has taken it over. Inspired by Wanda’s iconic red magic, we made a digital, red pixilated effect take over and glitch Christine’s screen.
With the use and design of Palmer’s tech and the countdown of Wanda’s arrival, the final scene within the film combines elements of horror, thrills and anticipation.
Scarlet Witch Break In Scene
In the chamber of the Illuminati, Doctor Strange and the Illuminati gather to watch a large board of screens as Wanda infiltrates their compounds and moves from room to room, destroying Ultron bots and taking down anyone in her path. This large board consists of one large central feed and several smaller multi feeds.
INITIAL UI DESIGNS FOR THE ILLUMINATI JUDGEMENT BOARD
Each screen contains footage streaming from the HUD of an Ultron bot. Using Cinema 4D, we designed each of these Ultron HUDs, as well as the layout of the camera feeds and screen UI.
Conceptual development for the Illuminati Judgement Boards
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
Designing these screens was a collaborative effort between our team and the team at ILM. The team at ILM built out the room and the screen layout, while we helped determine the screen technology and the graphics of the screens. The content being shown was created by ILM and given to us so we could add in the HUD designs and additional flairs. We exchanged work throughout the process and collaborated to make this scene truly chilling.
Illuminati Judgement Board Screen Footage and Final Design
It was an honor to collaborate with Marvel Studios on various tech features in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness! We love exploring the possibilities of the multiverse and this film provided us with an outlet to do just that.
Our team also designed the main on end title sequence for this film. Learn more about that in our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Title Design case study!