Hollywood visual effects artist and designer Colie Wertz has worked on a number of blockbuster film franchises, including Star Wars, Transformers, Marvel, and Men in Black. Now, he’s recently lent his talents to designing MSI’s newest gaming laptop – and spoke exclusively to ChannelNews on how it came to be.
The limited-edition GE66 Raider Dragonshield features a design that looks like a panel from the side of a spaceship, complete with nuts and bolts and a striking render of the MSI logo that spills off to the side. According to Wertz, the idea was born from a discussion on design with MSI.
“I spoke in Taiwan at Computex and visited their design lab, and I talked to them about how I think of designing certain shapes when given something like the shape of a laptop. How do I look at it as something other than what it is?
“And so I started saying, hey, if this were the side of a spaceship, this is how I would go about attacking it… and they said hey, why don’t you design a laptop for us?”
In order to capture the spaceship feel, Wertz actually designed a ship that the laptop could have been a part of, and a model of this spaceship is bundled with purchases of the device.
“The spaceship design evolved quickly into, hey, what if this thing looked like it popped off or it was part of an area on the spaceship? Like, let’s say they land, and the pilot gets out, pops this thing off, can adjust settings on the spaceship while he’s away from it – it’s a part of the fuselage.
“So I went through a couple of iterations of spaceships and I pitched them to MSI and their design team went through. I think the first one they said looked too much like a freighter, and then the next one looked fast but it was too big. They said, we want this to feel like a fighter. I think the third iteration, I came up with this,” he said.
Wertz told ChannelNews he was amazed at how accommodating MSI had been for his design: where many companies tightly control their logo and branding, MSI allowed him free rein, even allowing the logo to spill off the side. This helped him arrive at the final product – which, seeing in the ChannelNews office for the first time, he hailed as equal to the prototype in its design.
“I hope I get to design for MSI again because they didn’t just meet me halfway – they said, ‘hey, let’s let you do what you want, and we want to make sure that you feel like your art is being represented on our laptop the best way that it can’.
“It felt unlike any design problem that I’ve ever had in the past because they wanted me to help run the show,” he said, adding that he would definitely want to design for MSI again.
In his trade as a visual designer, Wertz uses MSI machines extensively, and highly recommends them as fast and reliable devices.
“To all people out there thinking about buying a laptop, MSI makes a really stable machine that I can only say, as a VFX and design professional, is worth it.
“They’ve done a fantastic job at not just creating good internals, but they’re actually able to execute really high fidelity external parts and pieces now,” he said.
The limited-edition MSI GE66 Raider Dragonshield is available online through MSI, and will see 50 units go on sale through a special JB Hi-Fi Black Friday deal.