New Apple Watch Series 4 Faces Were Captured as Live Effects, Not Computer Rendered

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The Apple Watch Series 4 has multiple new watch faces for users to choose from, including Fire, Water, Liquid Metal, and Vapor faces that were custom-designed for Series 4 to interact with the edges of its larger display. Apple briefly showed off these faces during its September 12 keynote in Cupertino, but more information about the making of the watch faces has been shared today in a new behind-the-scenes video by Cool Hunting.

apple watch s4 lab

Left image via Cool Hunting

Alan Dye, vice president of user interface design at Apple, revealed that the visuals seen in each Fire, Water, Liquid Metal, and Vapor Apple Watch face were not rendered through a computer, but were shot using high resolution video capturing real fire, water, liquid metal, and vapor elements. The watch faces were captured in one of Apple's design labs, which can be seen in the video below.


Dye said that while the design team could have gone digital for the faces, they opted for the live effects recorded in a studio:

Talking to Alan Dye, Vice President of User Interface Design at Apple, about this particular project he shared that “it’s more of a story about the design team. We could have done this digitally, but we shot this all in a studio. It’s so indicative of how the design team works—bringing our best and varied talents together to create these faces.”

...When asked about how these face concepts were chosen Dye shared that “in terms of design in general, for every thing we do there’s probably 100 things we don’t do and that’s just part of the design process.”

The visual faces aren't the only new watch faces on Series 4. You'll also be able to choose from the Infograph face, which supports up to eight complications, as well as a redesigned Modular watch face. watchOS 5 also has a few new watch faces, including one for the mindfulness app Breathe.

Apple Watch Series 4 launches tomorrow, September 21, and ahead of its debut reviews for the smartwatch have already emerged. Most reviewers say that this generation is definitely worth an upgrade if you're on an older model Apple Watch, thanks to the new screen, haptic digital crown, improved health tracking, speed, and more.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

Takeo Avatar
31 months ago

"...for every thing we do there’s probably 100 things we don’t do and that’s just part of the design process.”

And this, ladies and gentlemen and everyone else, is why post-Jobs Apple is what it is. Instead of a driving vision, everything is design by committee.

Can you imagine the endless meetings that went on for a year to pick out the final designs?

“I'm as proud of what we don't do as I am of what we do.”

― Steve Jobs
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
linkmaster02 Avatar
31 months ago

"...for every thing we do there’s probably 100 things we don’t do and that’s just part of the design process.”



And this, ladies and gentlemen and everyone else, is why post-Jobs Apple is what it is. Instead of a driving vision, everything is design by committee.

Can you imagine the endless meetings that went on for a year to pick out the final designs?

One of the pillars of the user-centered design process is iteration, which means things will be changed, added, and discarded. I don't know where you're getting "design by committee" from that quote.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Justanotherfanboy Avatar
31 months ago

"...for every thing we do there’s probably 100 things we don’t do and that’s just part of the design process.”



And this, ladies and gentlemen and everyone else, is why post-Jobs Apple is what it is. Instead of a driving vision, everything is design by committee.

Can you imagine the endless meetings that went on for a year to pick out the final designs?

Not trying to pick a fight- but you couldn’t be more wrong!
This comment seems to almost EXACTLY mimic Steve’s famous “1,000 no’s” comment:
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/629613-people-think-focus-means-saying-yes-to-the-thing-you-ve
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
31 months ago

"...for every thing we do there’s probably 100 things we don’t do and that’s just part of the design process.”



And this, ladies and gentlemen and everyone else, is why post-Jobs Apple is what it is. Instead of a driving vision, everything is design by committee.

Can you imagine the endless meetings that went on for a year to pick out the final designs?

Pretty sure that's exactly what Steve Jobs' mentality was. It's difficult to do everything and it takes more discipline and vision to remove features rather than add them - else you'll be left with some bastardised product which does everything okay but excels in neither.

These post-Jobs comments are ridiculous, especially when they directly contradict what he said. It just makes you look like you don't know what you're talking about. I'm weary of reading them.

EDIT: beaten to the punch.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Takeo Avatar
31 months ago

Your language suggests to me that you attend many meetings. Not a criticism, just an observation.

Iteration doesn’t mean design by committee. Any designer, working solo or in a team, tries a ton of things before getting to something that works. That’s not design by committee. That’s just the design process. Design by committee is when you have a group non-designers (often managers) that know nothing about design all adding their useless opinions and expecting these opinions to be given equal weight. That’s not Apple.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stanman64 Avatar
31 months ago
This is seriously cool.

I’m loving these behind the scenes videos Apple is putting out. I could watch a whole documentary on how Apple shoots things.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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