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The Visual Effects of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

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The Visual Effects of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

October 28th, 6:30PM - Viewconference 2016, Turin (Italy). Roger Guyett shows us a long series of deleted scenes, test, preview, etc. related to sequences from the last Star Wars movie, the Awakening of the Force, for which he was the Visual Effects Supervisor for ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) .

Roger tells us that the movie counts over 2200 shots with some type of vfx. The collection of references was a very long work, especially they focused their attention to understand what should be the right shots and the right light.

This led them to the desert of the United Arab Emirates, during the summer ar the 50° C… it was very tiring, one of the worst things that he has done throughout his career, but it was still a very useful experience for him and for all his team to understand what were the changes in light throughout the day, the change in color of the sky and the sand.

Of course, the search in vehicle and techlogies reproduction was very thorough and exhausting, Rob focuses on two particular:

  • the reconstruction of the Millennium Falcon: they knew they had to make a true copy of the original one, because there are thousands of fans around the world that made this ship in real or modeled in a 3d software, and know each particular in every detail. For this reason, they had to go in the old archives of Lucasfilm and study the original plans;

  • Another technological element on which Roger Guyett focused his talk is the mothership within which the Millennium Falcon being chased by another ship on the planet Jakku. Here they had to carry out a meticulous reconstruction of the interior of the ship, so everything was utterly believable and truthful, thus creating the engine bays, engine rooms, etc.. An impressive hard work to create a sci-fi and technologies realistic.

From my point of view, the most interesting things has been the short videos showing the creation sequences of 3d models, compositing, and assembly of the final frames, starting from live footages with real actor in areas with lots of green screens. Really very interesting examples, I have taken a couple with my smartphone, just to give you the idea of what I’m talking about; below, however, you will find some additional videos I found online very similar to what is shown to us in the course of this interesting talk.

Unfortunately, the time available for Roger Guyett has already passed and it’s time to close his talk, the last one in this Viewconference 2016, also this year very interesting for its contents and the ideas that were originated by talks of the many expert that spoke in its stage.

Spoiler Warning: at the end of the talk, there’s a question from the attendants: "But Han Solo really die?" ... Roger almost bleaching this question ... but and at the end gives us no answer nor a word, no eyebrow movements that could we suggest something. It would be a great news for all Star Wars fans to know something more about this Saga, but… we have to wait new episodes at cinema, probably in next years.

This was my last article about this Viewconference 2016… see you at the next Viewconference 2017!

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The Filmmaker's Guide to Visual Effects: The Art and Techniques of VFX for Directors, Producers, Editors and Cinematographers
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The Complete Guide to Photorealism for Visual Effects, Visualization and Games: For Visual Effects, Visualization and Games
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Visual Effects for Film and Television
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