Territory Studio is known for its futuristic design work on films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “The Martian,” “Ex Machina,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and numerous other blockbusters. But being tasked with reimagining some of the user interfaces from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” was a unique challenge even for them, especially using software they hadn’t worked with before.
With the intention of showcasing the power of Adobe XD and demonstrating the potential of UX design beyond app and website design, Adobe partnered with Territory to reimagine two iconic stills from “Terminator 2” using Adobe XD. The results were eye-opening for Territory and Adobe alike, revealing a new realm of potential for designers working in film UX while inspiring new functionalities for XD’s community.
As John Connor would say, “The future’s not set. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.”
When “T2” came out back in 1991, the head-up display graphics that were displayed from the Terminator’s point of view were visualizations of the future. The Terminator would scan an object, like a gun or motorcycle, for example, and viewers could glean information as the Terminator processed it. Fast-forward 27 years, and the capabilities of screen graphics have dramatically evolved through innovation in modern technology. What was once futuristic is now possible through today’s technology.
“Despite the limitations [the original designers] had, they still sent a message that this machine is reading the environment and getting data from it. So what we wanted to do was treat this in a way that we could push that quality and intricacy of the design without losing the core proposition of those graphic screens, which was to get data from these vehicles and other surroundings,” said Marti Romances, creative director and co-founder of Territory Studio.
“These are things that we were looking at as an impossible thing, a futuristic thing five years ago, and now they are part of our life,” he said.
The result is an homage to director James Cameron’s original vision layered with the technology and practices of today. The combination produces an augmented reality effect as seen in this before and after GIF of the Terminator reaching for his infamous gun.