I am a big fan of infographics or interface design elements especially for feature film. Given the looser constraints of the medium, graphic artists creating work for movies have been pushing the boundaries of visual complexity. The UI design from Ironman has already set a benchmark for the future of UI design in real life, and pretty much the only good thing about the movie Prometheus was design of the amazing graphic elements, such as the 3d space map.

Having said that I never made the connection between creation of these images and the tools that I use for visual effects until reading an excellent article from Jtnimoy ( about the creation of such graphics in Tron. What I found really interesting was how they ended up re-creating some of the graphics that were created in openframeworks and/or processing in Sidefx Houdini. So I ended up setting up couple of tools in Houdini for my own amusement to facilitate the procedural creation of such effects.

The technique I have used is pretty simple:

I have built each tool using the "foreach sop". The idea is to create visual complexity by re-iterating a shape, each time with different parameterization . The parameterization is achieved by the “FORVALUE” of the foreach node, which returns the current count of the loop. Randomization by each iteration can be achieved by using the FORVALUE as a seed to some random function as well. Here are some images created by using those tools.