HEX Object




Art Direction


FUI design for film representing an object of endless data complexity.


How can we imagine potential visualizations of data?

Ash required students to consider this question deeply as he posed the brief for the “HEX Object” in his Learn Squared class, “UI & Data Design for Film”. The HEX Object is meant to be a highly complex array of data that could be used by a future society to manage everything from citizen registration to FTL travel. It needed to feel somewhat alien, but beautiful and universally understandable in its structure and control schemes. My take on the brief poses a concept where a sphere acts as a controller for the user (either like a joystick for small scale usage or a Cerebro-esque chamber to navigate with at a large scale). The controller would target and expand individual nodes of data within the vast array and allow the user to view and manipulate the information inside.




The layers of design elements were a particularly satisfying challenge for me with this project. It was difficult to manage the many colors and textures to create the sense of endless complexity without completely losing the composition in all the noise. To pull this off, I balanced usage of 3D and 2D data layers to build the structure of the object and made use of 2D typographic waypoints to provide visual resting places at important points in the digital landscape.



Additional Frames

Using the first frame as a guide, I began developing additional frames conceptualizing various approaches to the HEX Object. Many of my references were pieces of Brutalist architecture, which inspired me to focus on more cubic structures that imply actual architecture within the complex data nodes. Showing this architecture as shimmering points of light and color is heavily inspired my imagination’s version of the Matrix from Gibson’s Neuromancer.



Additional Close-Ups

In these you can see some of the more intricate detail in the designs. I really love focusing on a very graphic composition with larger forms, and tucking interesting information about the functionality and flow of data into textures and smaller elements.



Behind the Scenes

Here you can see some of the process behind the development of the HEX Object. I have on display some of methods used for asset development, early rough and refined sketches, as well as some of the reference I was being inspired by along the way.




Designs by Luke Parker

Special Thanks

To Ash Thorp for being so generous in sharing his creative process to the Learn Squared community.