Star Wars is one of the most popular and beloved film franchises on this planet. The hybrid nature of its collateral imagery has taken millions of people’s hearts. Star Wars has redefined the concepts of VFX and animation time and again with every single film. The moment you think it cannot get better, it actually does. With the latest release last year Solo: A Star Wars Story– the franchise took some bold steps. Starring Emilia Clarke, the film has exceptional VFX for films. The animated characters and backdrops were commendable as well. Even students wanting to pursue VFX and animation courses got motivation and inspiration from these films.
Let’s take a look at some more amazing tricks used!
Initially, the visual effects artists decided to create Rio with puppet imagery or some other real life figure rather than keeping him all digitally induced. They were worried that augmented reality will take away from the 3D effect of the same. For human movements definitely, a person was used with the costume but that was not the case. The use of visual effects was on and off with this character. However, animated shots were highly incorporated throughout his presence to match the background score. The post production team claimed that they kept working until and unless perfection was achieved.
Space monster, Hybrid and other extra terrestrial features were largely based on the script of storyboard artists. The clever fooling of shots was so much fun to watch. Han Solo tricks the creature and he is sucked into the gravity well. Rather than giving the monsters general blinking eyes, they opted for the rolling eyes. Those made them look more real and original.
Industrial Light & Magic CCO and head VFX supervisor John Knoll was nominated for Oscar in visual effects category alongside VFX supervisor Mohen Leo, animation supervisor Hal Hickel, and visual effects supervisor Neil Corbould. This team of talented individuals along with their staff created the best films in the history of sci-fi.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story delved into more creative depths of this arena. It dared to explore with greater artificial images. Animation scenes were also placed parallel to the machines and fictional creatures. Not a lot of people know this but the movies were shot largely with industrial lighting and green screens. Therefore, the animators had to work around the on-going editing of visual effects. Other than single handed props and human figurations– the team had their own creativity and direction from directors to rely upon.
Other than getting nominated for two Academy Awards, directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One has grossed over $1 billion worldwide. It had semi exploratory areas of new discoveries. Despite having legacies of previous work not a lot of references was taken into the making of this film. Knoll took up everything from scratch as much as he could to avoid any kind of creativeness deficiency. Well, the love for Felicity Jones and the big box office numbers spoke volumes for the long living legacy that was created.
Solo released in 2018; the companies which took upon the post production were Exceptional Minds & Lola Visual Effects, Industrial Light & Magic, Raynault, Hybride Technologies, Virtous, Tippett, and Yannix. While ILM took over 1200 artists to complete over 1900 shots, Hybride worked on 413.
With Solo, the director wanted to give a more unilateral story perspective to the audience. They have seen the other films and gotten to know the characters, but to know their background and story and their legacy into Star Wars creates a more emotional tangent with the audiences. Therefore, the animation was personally overlooked by the director throughout the editing was done. The creative team at ILM stated that Ron Howard wouldn’t have to go through shot reviews because he was present when the editing was getting done.
You do not have to be a stop motion geek to point out that these films are all filled with practical animatronics scenes. Other than Godzilla and King Kong; no other franchise has pulled through so many different kinds of films with absolute perfection in this category. The space battle scenes were another form of imprint which no one has ever gotten over. I also believe that the legacy lives with the amalgamation of conventional and contemporary methodologies. For many space battle sequences, the usual storyboard to animation approach was given. And for many, it was a pure digital artifact. With more films to come in this franchise, we cannot wait to find out all the other magical things which will befall.
It goes without saying that the immaculate and flawless perfection attained by this team in terms of VFX will live on for centuries to come.
The force will be with you, ALWAYS.
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