The following images are taken from a collaborative project from the community encide. These fantasy interfaces were created for fun by a team of designers and artists who wanted to push themselves to create something beyond their personal expectations. It goes without saying that you will experience the talent that these artists have by just looking at the interfaces below. Are you ready for some interface inspiration?
Quick Interview with the Owner of Encide
Hi Tim, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. Could you please introduce yourself and give us a bit of background about yourself?
Sure Jacques, thanks for having me. In 2004, when I was 16 years old, I signed up for an intro to web design course at my high school which introduced me to the basic coding and graphics. In mid 2005, I started learning Photoshop through school and a handful of online communities and tutorials. Since then I have learned to use lots of different tools and technologies to bring my ideas, and the ideas of others I work with, into reality. I primarily make web designs, interfaces and logos, but I also have experience in video production, photography, interactive media, flash, and motion as well. I have been working with clients since 2005 to support myself through school. Instead of working full time after high school, I wanted to get a good education behind me first. I will be graduating from UC Davis at the end of the year, and I am excited to begin a new and exciting chapter in life.
Have you always been an artsy type of person? Were you one of those kids that spent his summer breaks drawing and filling up the sketch book?
To be honest, not at all. I wouldn’t even call myself a particularly creative individual, I just recognize patterns, and my strength is in my ability to systematically pick things apart in order to understand how they work. I didn’t have a knack for design or art, but my passion for creation has helped drive me to learn and work hard to attain certain skills. I have the mind of an engineer with the passion of a user-experience designer who just wants to make interfaces easy to use and pleasing to look at. I have always been fascinated by visual stimuli, but I didn’t become an artist until after my teen years. Lava lamps, glow in the dark objects, toys, digital devices, and even unique rocks and gems that I found in my creek as a boy always seemed novel and amazing to me. When I was first introduced to highly detailed designs and interfaces, I realized that scanning over them brought back that feeling of wonder I used to have when I was a kid gazing at interesting objects from my environment. I would habituate slowly to these types of objects because I enjoyed looking at attractive stimuli and I wanted to understand why I was drawn to them. This behavioral pattern is still with me today, and it gives me the benefit of being able to understand what it is that makes objects look both realistic and interesting so that it can be recreated as digital media. Once I understand a method to create an object, I can apply it to different shapes and concepts. That is how I created the realistic fantasy interfaces and designs in my portfolio.
However, I can only speak for myself. Many of the other members who participated in the battlebay are unbelievably skilled artists who have used pencil and paper to create sketches of their designs. Some of the drawings that came out of these projects were original and ground breaking, there is so much talent from these individuals that I am truly honored to work beside them on these projects. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them spent their summers filling up sketch books.
I would like to make a note on Art vs. Design since it seems to spark some healthy controversy. I don’t know what to label these pieces, as they are technically a hybrid between the two. There is a significant distinction between art and design, but these interfaces are meant to display the best of both worlds.
Where did the original idea of starting the Battle Bay originate from? Was it just for the sake of providing a challenge for the interface community or was there a purpose behind it?
I first saw an interface chain at the Hellraiser community – view here. It was done by a German community that is no longer online and it featured work from some of my favorite designers and artists at the time. Encide started in 2008 by a group of friends and I who knew each other from other communities and forums, and it just so happened that a bunch of us were skilled at these types of designs. At one point, I thought it would be a fun project to recreate the interface chain with all of the new talent that was on our site. The main purpose was for each one of us to push ourselves to create something beyond our expectations, and to surpass the previous legacy they left behind as the world’s longest interface. Additionally, the interface genre has always been somewhat of an enigma that existed without organization or direction. I suspect that this is because the coolest looking interfaces usually aren’t coded to work as a skin and were therefore impractical for people to look at purely for the appreciation of the design and the art that was put into it. I wanted to provide at least one community for these designers to go to where they can have fun with this genre and get something out of it. So yes it was meant to be a personal challenge to everyone involved, and the other purpose was to create a home for this genre that didn’t really exist yet with the exception of communities like GUI.Station and the DeviantART group Area01 that are closely tied to encide since we are all friends and peers.
Has the Battle Bay grown significantly since the beginning? I have surely noticed the talent has.
The community definitely has expanded since the first battlebay. This year, in preparation for that, we wanted to do something different by making the template light. Dark backgrounds tend to make it easier for people to get away with messy details, so it works in a our advantage. A much smaller percentage of designers create their work on light backgrounds, so in an effort to not over-saturate the battlebay this year, we used a light template instead to keep only those who were interested in the challenge involved. Also there were less instances of multiple submissions from members, resulting in fewer submissions overall. Managing this project is always an experiment, we have some different guidelines in mind for next year already in the works. As always, I was pleased with the amount of time and energy that everyone put into this project.
Would you like to develop the Battle Bay into a Sponsored Event/Contest eventually? I’m sure the entries will triple of there were prizes up for grabs; your thoughts?
That’s an interesting idea and I’m sure my answer will leave many people confused I’m sure. I don’t want to capitalize off of this project or the website for a number of reasons having to do with the fact that it is a home for myself and others. We visit it on a daily basis, and while I am missing out on an opportunity to make money, what I get out of the website and projects like this is priceless to me. Given that we worked hard to make the forum closely-knit and fun, I don’t want to turn it into a money making machine because that would be a different project with very different goals. With that said, there will be a 2011 battlebay, and there won’t be any prizes or sponsors. As for the future, anything is possible. I do see a number of ways that a direction like that could be a very positive choice for the community.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these, anything else you would like to say to the community?
Yes Jacques, I want to thank you for taking the time to help promote this project and share it with others. This is truly a labor of love and I think your viewers will thoroughly appreciate it. Also, I want all you readers to check out the websites of all the people involved. They all have some wonderful portfolios, so don’t let the inspiration stop with the battlebay. Be sure to “Like” the battlebay project (through facebook) and to support us if you want to see more of this next year.
Time for the Interface Inspiration – 34 Entries
Want to see the entire battlebay collaboration check out the site – here
I can’t wait till the 2011 Battlebay comes along.