Talking Tron with Digital Domain

Despite its criticisms, the unanimous consensus regarding TRON: Legacy is that it’s both visually and technically stunning. We had a chance to catch up with the crew that made it happen, Digital Domain. Not only were they the forces behind its production—alongside director Joe Kosinski, of course—they helped shaped the film far before a pixel was even rendered.

Giving us a fully detailed account of their creative and technical processes were Eric Barba, Visual Effects Supervisor; Ed Ulbrich, Digital Domain Commercials Division President and Executive Producer; and Darren Gilford, Production Designer.

Another major note is the integral involvement of some very familiar veterans of the motion design scene, including GMUNK and Jake Sargeant as Lead Animated Graphics Artists working with a team of David Lewandowski, Adam Swaab, Joseph Chan, Josh Nimoy and Karsten Schmidt.

Read the full interview here.

Also: Check out Digital Domain’s in-depth behind the scenes microsite.


About the author

Matt Lambert

NYC / London



the first thing in my head was “holy shit”


Tron Legacy is a real bad movie. The only reason why it still got halfway good boxoffice numbers is because of the franchise.

AND because of DigitalDomain’s great CG work.

Other than that Joseph Kosinski should remain being a commercial director. He’s got nothing to tell, other than pretty sleek pictures.


The original Tron wasn’t a large box office success, so it didn’t get those numbers because of it being a ‘franchise’. The original opened to $4M in the opening weekend in ’82.

Also, one of the main reasons the original had a cult following was because of the groundbreaking visuals, in which you forget to attribute it to.

Lastly, Kosinski didn’t write or produce the film. He directed it. And being that it was his first studio movie (not independent), through Disney of all places, I don’t see how he could have made many character or story changes.

Please don’t bash the wrong people. It’s pretty disrespectful.

I came into the movie expecting only great art direction and production design, and I came out with nothing short of being thrilled.

Greg Herman

Brilliant work, thanks for the great post and interview! What an absolutely massive and amazing project. Can’t wait for the Black Hole!


David Fincher’s first studio film was “Alien3”.

He’s gotten a little better since then.

Brian Gossett

Great posting and article Justin! Great read and insight into the process. Big ups also to GMUNK, Sargeant, and DLew who killed it on Tron as well. Proud of you guys.


Congratulations Adam Swaab, Joseph Chan and GMUNK, Keep up the great work guys! I hope you are doing well.
Carlos Florez


rockstars. great work, guys.


Cool environments. Vray FTW


Interesting Article:

“Legacy looks and feels almost exactly like the original, but channeled through a three year-old Audi commercial”:


It was weird to find that was written by Johnny Hardstaff.
He should be looking for ways to contribute to film design more than commenting about how his peers are doing it.


I really enjoyed watching Tron, but one thing I sorely missed from the original Tron, which was only used once in Tron Legacy (the mysterious phone call from Flynn’s) was the constant interaction from the computer world to the real world and vice versa.

This to me would have made the movie exponentially more interesting. I think it would have created more anticipation inside the computer world as the more critical events unfolded.

There was so much at stake in the real world, Sam’s ownership of the company, the evil board of directors, interweb based world being enslaved by a corporation, etc.

Those important visual /narrative elements vanished from the movie after act one until the very last scene.

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