Latest in Entertainment

Image credit:

Watch how VFX artists crafted 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Thousands of elements go into a shot that lasts seconds.
Share
Tweet
Share
Disney/ILM

Sponsored Links

ILM has unveiled the official "sizzle reel," for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, showing how it did major visual effects for the movie. If this sounds familiar, an apparently unauthorized making-of video made the rounds early this year, but was quickly pulled. The franchise is the gold standard for VFX, though, so fans can once again get a look behind the curtain, seeing how shots were created at houses in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London.

The dramatic reel goes in chronological order and includes scenes from the desert planet Jakku, the TIE fighter Star Destroyer escape and the light saber battle on the Starkiller Base. Shots often start with just an actor in a studio, and are fleshed in by dropping in layer after layer. Oftentimes, ILM marries practical shots (real desert and forest backgrounds) with digital models. In other cases, however, it's all created inside a computer.

The Starkiller trench attack scene, for instance, starts with crude 3D model. Thousands of intricately detailed layers literally fly into the scene (complete with whooshing sounds effects), and are lit and shaded. To complete the realism, ILM artists composite in smoke, lights and weapon fire. In the end the impressive final result, which took God knows how many man-hours, passes across the screen in just seconds.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The Morning After: FDA clears five-minute lab-in-a-box COVID-19 test

The Morning After: FDA clears five-minute lab-in-a-box COVID-19 test

View
'Modern Warfare 2' remaster reportedly goes on sale tomorrow

'Modern Warfare 2' remaster reportedly goes on sale tomorrow

View
'Star Trek: Voyager' gets an unofficial 4K remaster thanks to AI

'Star Trek: Voyager' gets an unofficial 4K remaster thanks to AI

View
Planet Computers' Astro Slide is a smartphone and PDA in one

Planet Computers' Astro Slide is a smartphone and PDA in one

View
China, Huawei propose internet protocol with a built-in killswitch

China, Huawei propose internet protocol with a built-in killswitch

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr