Saturday, 12 March 2016

Force Awakens Industry Talk vfx / art department collaborations

The talk was held at Warner Brothers in Soho, London and was organised by Talking Point.

It featured Scott Pritchard (2D Sequence Supervisor) & Sonia Contrereras (Lead Layout Artist) from Industrial Light and Magic, London who took us through the process of one specific shot, the entrance build up to Maz's Castle.  Interestingly the entire shot was not pre viz'd, they estimated it took approximately 1300 man hours to complete the post production, possibly a good case for pre viz! Scott and Sonia's primary goal was to create a fully digital version of the set and match moving to recreate the camera angles and natural distortions in the software which was one of the more challenging tasks.

The full sequence was actually 3 shots seamlessly stitched together to create the characters entering and walking through the courtyard then into the bar / keep. The set was physical up to 1st floor height then green screened, the teams 1st task was to recreate the set digitally which was a mix of modelling from schematics and scan data from the physical set.

The elaborate flags in the scene were an after thought along with the sculpture of the character 'Maz'. A great deal of time was put into creating a linear story to the flags to represent different parts of the wider Star Wars universe, regarding the statue we were shown many variations in pose and costume that were explored before settling on the final.

It was interesting to find out that ILM breaks down the work loads across the different studio locations based on the shot priorities and the actual physical set locations, it must me a massive logistical headache at the start of the production process!

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