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

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.

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.

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