Heads Up!

I’ve been planning a tutorial based on the heads up display (HUD) from the film Iron Man. After seeing the inspiring work by the Orphanage, I thought this idea could be useful in other forms as well.

Jet pilots, robots or even futuristic interfaces require visual screen information that looks cool and tells a story. Where would RoboCop be without his targeting system?

See Sample Video

December 19th, 2008 @ 6:21 am
This website simply ROCKS!!!
Thanks for the efforts.
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:26 am
OH my god!! Hope you can post it today Andrew!! Its so fun and exiting to watch tutorials! I always learn so much!!
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:31 am
Awsome! Can't wait!
Mark Lee
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:31 am
aren't you meant to be taking a break?

Look forward to that tutorial though...
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:31 am
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:36 am
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:38 am
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:47 am
Shouldn't the numbers be reversed so Sam can see? Or is he a numbers savant? Haha! Just teasing! Looks awesome!
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:48 am
meow! :D
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:49 am
Robocop without his targeting system....probably dead ;)

Another excellent tut, I tried creating a computer screen but I just couldn't get round to doing all the little numebers and letters, so I gave up. This tutorial will help many, many people...me being one of them :D

Great one!
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:52 am
Very cool idea.
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:58 am
Andrew! Your Great!

No breaks???

Thanks alot for these tutorials. :)
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:59 am
Can't wait, but I am still waiting for the camera moves tutorial you talked about at the same time as the organic mesh tutorial.
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:00 am
There's something wrong with your RSS Feed, each day or so it seems to re-flag old posts, which makes it really easy to miss new content like this.
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:00 am
Roscoe, Sam is a reflection on the screen!
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:02 am
Sam i so funny guy
Waiting for tutorial !!
It will help me a lot!!
Thorsten Miess
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:04 am
Thanks for beeing so active in tutorial production. Your the world wide leader in the AE Tutorial Industry! :D
Some Guy
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:10 am
Wow! I love your VFX tutorials!
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:10 am
sam got his own ironman suit???
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:17 am
Man that is sweet, i was watching this just last night on the DVD special features. The only thing i think would really sell it now is some sort of mild fisheye type distortion and for the elements inside the HUD to move with the heads movement.

Take a break, have a good xmas!!!
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:24 am
i can only say that'S great !! ^^
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:25 am
Sam is Back! Looks great!
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:29 am
hellz yeah.
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:36 am
gr8 idea, it will be awesome to have the tut ASAP.
thnx in advance.
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:38 am
rss works without problems here, mayde a problem with the reader?
Mitch Webb
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:45 am
Oh Sam Loya! Where would Video CoPilot be without him?
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:47 am
Awsome Andrew!! Post this tutorial and take a big X-mas break!!! :D
ben says…
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:14 am
ok andrew. new level of coolness...
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:15 am
wow you are the most productive tutorial maker
they're the easiest to understand and in such detail you are truly amazing
alex from germany
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:21 am
I saw the film "Iron Man" 3 days ago and i thought "it would be mad if video copilot make a tutorial for the heads up display". :D Thanks Andrew
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:22 am
I thought that HUD in IronMan was done in 3D :)
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:22 am
Very cool - I'm in the middle of designing some GUI elements for a short film I'm working on. I was just watching Mark Coleran's reel for inspiration - this tutorial should help, too. Go Andrew!
Moca MX
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:23 am
Allways wanted to do this but never made it look realistic, very glad to see you are making a tutorial ;) tnx
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:24 am
Looks really awesome! I have never actually watched the movie Iron Man, but I have heard a lot about its CG. Can't wait for the tut!
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:25 am
aaawwww, Sam is back... that's so sweet [sniff sniff]...
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:25 am
Cool, but I can't really see how I'll use it in a future movie
Dustin James
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:48 am
I hope you do find time for this tutorial... I realize it is a pretty simple concept... but to watch you do it would be amazing. It is difficult sometimes to come up with just the right composition for these kind of tech/layouts.

Can't wait.
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:52 am
Extremely cool.. I've been working on something similar for the last few weeks, your timing could not have been better... keep up the excellent work Andrew...
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:01 am
Looks very very nice. Mr.Kamer you are The BEST
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:03 am
i ALWAYS wanted to do this!!!

now i can show my mom i am robo cop or the terminator!
now i got proof >:D
Hope this will be on soon, cant wait to make my own targeting system with after effects and try it out on my car :D
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:07 am
Looks cool!
I think the hardest part is letting reflect the lights on Sams (of course gorgeous) face...
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:16 am
ah, Sam is back. Will he be the next terminator with nice HUD :-D
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:20 am

Not sure if you and your readers keep up with the fxguide.com. They put out a great podcast with an interview with Dav Rauch from the Orphanage called Behind the HUD of Ironman. Here’s a link to the MP3 file.

You can see a list of all their podcasts here:

Looking forward to the new tutorial!
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:42 am
I can lend you the suite if you want, Andrew.
the man
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:48 am
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:59 am
Looking forward to the new tutorial!
I just love rss feeds for this!
Great work, great products, great tutorials !
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:15 am
Looking good so far, but i think what really sold the Iron Man version is the Reflection of the display in Tony Starks eyes, nothing in the eyes make it look flat and dead
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:21 am
Anything is possible...
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:24 am
Awesome idea! I love to watch your tutorials ;)!
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:27 am
Sweet, you read my mind. I was looking at putting together a video playing with this effect--now I guess I can wait a little longer!
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:27 am
Sounds great. As all other of your tutorials, this would be very useful.
Morten Enoksen
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:27 am
No way! I was JUST stopping the DVD on my TV, just to take a look at the interface!
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:47 am
that's so great mr.androw we love your work .. .:)!
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:48 am
Your tutorials are so inspiring! I love it! Hope you will release it today, cheers from sweden.
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:49 am
If anyone don't know what Andrew is talking about, just check out this clip:
December 19th, 2008 @ 10:51 am
Awesome :) Can't wait to see it!
December 19th, 2008 @ 11:03 am
I love all of your tutorials, they are so helpful! I would love to see a tutorial to mimic the end credits of iron man as well!
December 19th, 2008 @ 11:14 am
I was searching about this earlier when the movie came out. Can't wait to see youre tut!
December 19th, 2008 @ 11:18 am
10 thumbs up :P
December 19th, 2008 @ 11:54 am
Cheers Andrew for ruining my day, I have been working on something similar for the last couple of weeks Doh!!!

I have been waiting to get my hands on a HD camera to film the live action element.

The graphics have been developed. And tracking with out stickers on the head. Using a two lights one red on right and blue on left and using the catchlight in each individual eye as a tracking marker. Then in layer setting the pan behind tool to a null object so if the eye moves left the icon moves in 3d space left. This would be for individual icons but when the whole head moves the whole interface moves.

I was even going to use the lighting technique from of your previous tutorials

Seems like you beat me to it, well I look forward to your results. That is meant in good spirit. I really like your work .

If you could include opening icons in the HUD in z space I have been trying to work out controllers but to no success.

Look forward to seeing this,

Happy Christmas

Josh M
December 19th, 2008 @ 12:40 pm
Can't wait for this tutorial. Loved Iron Man and all the effects and it will be cool to do some similar effects that were in the film. Thanks for all your hard work!
Pixelito Design
December 19th, 2008 @ 12:40 pm
OMG!!! Thats awesome! Hope its done soon. Got 2 Weeks off, perfect time for a new tutorial ;)
December 19th, 2008 @ 12:43 pm
December 19th, 2008 @ 1:09 pm
sweet cant wait/
Cityboy Studios
December 19th, 2008 @ 1:11 pm
If I can change my font size to 75 point I would. I have been looking for a well explained HUD for over a year now. I just wish and hope you added interaction between the actor and screen like they were adjusting the dials. That would be icing on the cake.
December 19th, 2008 @ 1:13 pm
thats pretty amazing.
you should pack more stuff in there like the original, so its really high tech!
December 19th, 2008 @ 1:28 pm
good one, but it's gonna be better if you shared your approach to FRINGE series intro :)
December 19th, 2008 @ 1:32 pm
You should see some of the classes over at fxphd.com. They did a whole quarter on UI displays last quarter and this quarter had a class that worked on creating a UI that was similar to Iorn Mans.
December 19th, 2008 @ 1:37 pm
Also I'd try and project his face on a 3D object and have the camera move along all 3 Axis's. That was it's a little more interesting.
December 19th, 2008 @ 2:05 pm
Dude...this....is...awesome! I really need this. Hope it's not in 3D max or anything...just in After Effekts...right?
December 19th, 2008 @ 2:06 pm
The method is pretty open ended, you can add reflections, additional elements, interactions, targeting etc. Just depends how much work you want to put into it. I for one am looking forward to a little free time this holiday, so I'll leave the fine details up to you :)
Matt Paull
December 19th, 2008 @ 2:28 pm
that would be tottaly awesome
December 19th, 2008 @ 2:51 pm
Saaweet dude! Some nice "bleeps" and "bloops" sound effects would make this an ever cooler shot!
December 19th, 2008 @ 2:58 pm
Hell Yeah! Awesome
December 19th, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
Sweet! That looks interesting. But you should call the sample video, SAM Ple video. I know it doesn´t make any sense but I love the joke behind it. :D

Okay don´t kill me, because of my terrible english. :)
I love your website! I hope you will never stop teaching us cool things like that ;)
December 19th, 2008 @ 3:20 pm
thousand thumbs up for u andrew.



anything is possible for u in after effect!haha.
December 19th, 2008 @ 3:26 pm
andrew will create roBoCob that will destroy our world..
December 19th, 2008 @ 3:28 pm
lol..sam in iron man..wawawhahwhahw..so funny..
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:01 pm
Man, I needed this 2 weeks ago.

Cool stuff I loved Ironman!

December 19th, 2008 @ 6:07 pm
Nice Andrew cant wait.....Make more science fiction tutorials :P
Luc D.
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:11 pm

We ask for super hero tutorials, and we get 'em. AK rocks, and Sam of course. Hi signed picture still sits on my desk.
December 19th, 2008 @ 6:46 pm
Looking forward to it, Andrew!
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:29 pm
Yes the heroes effects are amazing.Andrew please make some of them !!!!!!!Thanks and merry christmas
December 19th, 2008 @ 7:43 pm
Holy Shish kabob! It's SAM!!!
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:27 pm
I thought the SAME exact thing this morning while I was in the shower! I was like really really wanting you to do this tutorial! Maybe there was some telepathical thing going on this morning!

Anyways I am so excited for this tutorial! I can't wait for it! And I hope you make it look awesome!
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:36 pm
Very nice!
December 19th, 2008 @ 8:45 pm
wow..i love ur tuts andrew!!!!!
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:11 pm
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:12 pm
cant wait for this tutorial
Christopher Oliver
December 19th, 2008 @ 9:13 pm
I've been meaning to ask Andrew. Why the name Videocopilot? or then again it's probably that simple and it just flew over my head. lol. Love the website love the tutorial.
December 19th, 2008 @ 11:43 pm
i am always impressed by your timing...

when i am working on a project that needs glitchy stylistic vfx... you come out with twitch ... when i need some sound design elements ... designer sound ...

pro scores ...etc .. and etc. and the greatest thing is...

your products are affordable... in price ... but priceless in value!

you are THE most reputable resource a design student could ask for ...

thanks from Tim @ Expression College For Digital Art

December 20th, 2008 @ 12:07 am
I guess you are about to post it... I was also thinking of taking advantage of that technique ;)
December 20th, 2008 @ 2:50 am
Nice do Andrew!
I'm really interested by this tutorial! working a lot on visual effects like this one...
Can't wait...
Thx Andrew.

December 20th, 2008 @ 3:52 am
Eagerly waiting !!
December 20th, 2008 @ 5:37 am
Nice work Mister K.

If we track his eyes, Sam could probably roll his head as much as he wants. Now if we could only figure out how to make it so he could turn his head... Can Sam rotate his head 360 degrees?

Looking forward to it.

December 20th, 2008 @ 6:27 am
Looks like VIDEO GAME.
I love it
December 20th, 2008 @ 6:49 am
nice dude. Ironman turned out to be one of my favorite movies. This should be a fun one to play with =)
December 20th, 2008 @ 7:54 am
As always - wow. You the man!
December 20th, 2008 @ 8:19 am
give me that!!!!
Bader Ahmed
December 20th, 2008 @ 8:22 am
welcome back Sam

Nice Fx
December 20th, 2008 @ 9:27 am
boss................ Really great. But boss please working with thinking particle and dynamic video tutorial. Please.......... boss. I think You really know thinking particle 3.0, Great dynamic and world kind of realistic movie also work with post production thinking particle only and its special effect so dynamic so please make some tutorial with thinking particle this phyx too hard i think.
December 20th, 2008 @ 9:53 am
nice! i actually tried my luck doing a still image copying the Iron Man cockpit view, but it didn't turn out this nice... great job, are we to expect a tutorial soon? :-D
December 20th, 2008 @ 9:56 am
Sam Loya to president!
December 20th, 2008 @ 10:09 am
Sam is back!!! We havn`t seen anything with him for a long time but it seems like Sam is back (It sounds like a movie title, doesn` it......SAM IS BACK!!!!!!)
December 20th, 2008 @ 10:38 am
Yeah! Let´s do it!!!!
December 20th, 2008 @ 11:17 am
Sweet!! big fan of video copilot can't wait merry christmas
December 20th, 2008 @ 11:24 am
ohh my god i tried that like a month ago and mine looked crappy but its good to see you brought it up thats great ,funny how our i deas so close. i cant wait for it.
December 20th, 2008 @ 12:40 pm
OMG waiting for the tutorial! It should be very helpfull for my newest video!
Thanks you andrew for free teaching
December 20th, 2008 @ 3:26 pm
Great! I can't wait to see it!!
December 20th, 2008 @ 3:30 pm
This one's pretty sweet to:

December 20th, 2008 @ 5:56 pm
Hey, I love your videos! You have taught me so much and I don't know where I would be without your tutorials. Rest assured, I have always credited you in my movies when I used knowledge reaped from your great tutorials. I hope you will soon make a tutorial on force field effects; it has been something I have been wanting to do in a movie.
December 20th, 2008 @ 10:57 pm
awesome, I've been looking for a good way to do a HUD, and when you do it, it's always a good way! Your tutorials always have more valuable tips than I can shake a stick at, and I'm talking about a big freakin stick!
December 21st, 2008 @ 12:23 am
AND SAM IS BACK!! i havent seen him since the "THE BULLET" DVD :)
December 21st, 2008 @ 2:30 am
Can`t wait for this tutorial, i like those "real life" tutorials much more than the motion graphics title tutorials.
December 21st, 2008 @ 4:20 am
When can we expect your 3D text tutorial and or your quickmatte plug-in?
December 21st, 2008 @ 5:05 am
Cooooollllll... Nice work man...
December 21st, 2008 @ 10:13 am
This'll be perfect for a sci-fi comedy series I'm doing. I pray I can adapt it to make a Dead Space-style interface...
December 21st, 2008 @ 10:20 am
Woow I can hardl wait this tutorial. I's very cool.
December 21st, 2008 @ 3:24 pm
YYEESSS finaly haw ben waithing soo long for this one.
December 22nd, 2008 @ 1:12 am
Quick tip, once all the graphics have been done do a pre comp without the live action footage. Once completed do a track on a eye. Using a sphererize or similar shrink the composed hud to eyeball size, via a null put the hud over the eye lower the opacity or using a blend mode put it in. Mask and feather and voila a proper hud reflection on the eye. Repeat for the other eye and hey presto reflections in the eyes.
Pixelito Design
December 22nd, 2008 @ 1:20 am
man hope tut is coming soon!
Mikis 8eodorakis
December 22nd, 2008 @ 1:36 am
Man, you are different. You always post tutorials, that people can actually use in their work.
Thank you for being a useful teacher
December 22nd, 2008 @ 4:50 am
in an interview they said that everything was done in 2D. i think in nuke. so basicly if you have time you could do the same in AE.
December 22nd, 2008 @ 7:03 am
hey andrew.. does rendering out in quicktime in ae lead to loss of quality as compared to the raw footage..

and i do see loss of quality of video if i work on after effects. but thats not the case in final cut pro, or avid... Why is that?
December 22nd, 2008 @ 7:40 am
Hey Andrew, very good ideia...please check out my reel

December 23rd, 2008 @ 3:38 pm
Brilliant, This is going to look really good. Andrew? Why not put up an Xmas theme for the site tomorrow?
December 23rd, 2008 @ 4:23 pm
@Andrew Excellent work as always, I remember trying to do something like this a while back, after listening to the interview by fxguide. One method i tried to emulate was by pasting the HDU on the inside of a sphere, and rotating it, I tried it by using the ccsphere I think but I got stuck and it looked pretty weird. I would appreciate it if you would do something like that. :D
December 23rd, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

When is this coming out?
December 23rd, 2008 @ 7:40 pm
awesome cant wait, and have a merry christmas hope you get all the present you want
December 23rd, 2008 @ 10:18 pm
Excellent, looks very good
December 23rd, 2008 @ 10:39 pm
OMG that is mad cant wait for the tutorials
Eric Harrison
December 24th, 2008 @ 2:47 am
Aha... I was wondering when you were going to make a tutorial like this. I would actually like to see a tut on something like when he was 'designing' the silver armor on that holographic table. Maby a 3DMax tutorial?

I recall mailing you on this subject:

- - - -

/i/ by Eric Harrison
May 3rd, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

I’m back, and your back, and I’m sure youv’e seen IRON MAN!!!

So go ahead and develop some tuts on that cool 3D Holographic interface,
The tut can include advanced tracking skils and filter/material settings to create 3D hollographic meshes and combine them with sprites and such, /i/
Juan Carlos
December 24th, 2008 @ 1:24 pm
Man, ur the best!!!
I can´t wait to see this tut.
December 24th, 2008 @ 1:53 pm
Hi Master, I'am from senegal west africa and I'm very glad to be part of videocopilot student.
I learned lot in after effect since I bought your dvd (twist, evolution and riot gear)and I think you're the best in after effect world.
I told my friend youssou wade to buy those dvd for me.
I wish you long life.
God bless and guide you master.
Happy new year
December 24th, 2008 @ 9:22 pm
Eagerly waiting for this tutorial....Thank you.
December 25th, 2008 @ 10:09 am
Waiting for something like this since a long time. Thanks for coming back to 2D.
December 26th, 2008 @ 2:35 am
It looks awesome. Will you create a tutorial for that?
December 26th, 2008 @ 4:08 am
wow Andrew....this tutorial is so cool...if i make a 3d interior of the suit,a video with my head and project this sequence with the heads-up hud it would be just like iron man...wowww...please post it soon..but have a little vacation...and marry christmas...Andrew..thanx...actually i accidently browsed this website..i cant understand why there isnt any post or commercial in the big..vfx sites...this site is the coolest of them all...greetings from the rioting greece..!!!!!!!!!!!
December 27th, 2008 @ 11:15 am
How long til we get to see the tutorial!
OMG i loved Iron Man! This should be so awesome!
December 27th, 2008 @ 11:29 pm
Wow... That's very cool!
December 28th, 2008 @ 12:55 am
I swear this man never sleeps! you are very inspirational. Thanks for all the great products and tutorials.

Hawke Taylore
Taylore Studios
December 28th, 2008 @ 3:26 pm
hey Mr Kramer

That tutorial is mad and stuff, but i just saw "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and there are these spheres that come to earth, u would no wat i mean if u saw it, so im just asking can u make a tutorial on how to make those sphere, that is if u can, itll be really nice.

From Roy
December 28th, 2008 @ 4:42 pm
I can't wait for this tut sir! I have been looking for this very tutorial all over the net but no joy as of yet till you upload yours or someone beats ya to it :-) I was kinda hoping that you would have this ready and uploaded by now so i could escape the joys of xmas with the inlaws lol hope you'll have this uploaded asap.

also I have taken the liberty of finding some examples you may or may not wanna check out



..am i ega..lol

Merry Christmas to you an all the bloggers.....even tho it was a few days ago lol :-s
January 2nd, 2009 @ 3:12 am
Wow!! Sam is Back!.... cant wait for the Tut!
January 7th, 2009 @ 7:54 pm
Well, this is just what I need for my next movie. I would like to learn more about 3D animation. So if anyone knows any good site with cool video tutorials in 3Dmax let me know. And Andrew, good thing your surname isn`t Drew...
I`m member of a Trash association in Croatia, and we have Trash film festival every year. You could apply your movie ( the one with ninjas you were talking about in tutorials ). Reward is Golden Chainsaw and everlasting glory. You can visit us at www.trash.hr
In fact everybody is invited. The battle for the Golden Chainsaw continues...
January 16th, 2009 @ 11:31 am
When is this tutorial coming out????? Andrew help! LOL
Really waiting on this one!
January 22nd, 2009 @ 8:13 am
oh schweetness!
January 25th, 2009 @ 3:16 am
Andrew! Your Great!Thanks for these tutorials
January 25th, 2009 @ 8:34 am
I can't read all posts around here ... so if i repeat something in my words bellow, excuse me. I will give you one important tip for this tutorial,
HUD REFLECTION IN SAM EYES, seem to me you forgotten this small but very important detail.

Regards from Serbia!
January 25th, 2009 @ 1:56 pm
Looks like Aharon Rabinowitz did this tuts... Using Particle illusion and After effects...
January 26th, 2009 @ 2:44 pm
Wickey Woop Woop Yes, Goin to be good
January 26th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm
I like the depth of field work. Although, i've already done something similar that's a bit more complex. I created the assets in illustrator, and only used AE preset plugins to animate it.


check it out and let me know what you think.
January 26th, 2009 @ 5:51 pm
finally.. the long wait is over.
January 27th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm
March 13th, 2009 @ 3:11 pm
Not only Robocop, look at what happened to obadiah stane without his targeting system.
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