If you haven’t seen ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ yet you must be living in a remote location or in the witness protection program. Star Wars films since the beginning have used practical effects for a large portion of the effects but also used visual effects to tie it all together. Lucas was a pioneer in using both to create worlds unseen at that time. The Force Awakens did much the same.
The gang at Nerdist.com pulled together some great ‘before and after’ examples of this process at work. There are some spoilers if you have not seen the film but seriously, go see the film already!
A VFX breakdown reel for The Force Awakens has dropped online. It should go without saying, but don’t watch the video if you haven’t seen the film yet because it gives away all sorts of spoilers. However, if you know the material, you’ll probably be interested to see how a variety of effects were handled—everything from the firing of Starkiller Base’s weapon, to the destruction of Maz Kanata’s palace, the modeling of ships like the X-wings, to BB-8 techniques, and so much more. The star here is the VFX, but the video shows off the practical aspects of the film, too.
The VFX reel of course includes the work done on the completely digital characters of Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke. Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis performed using motion capture technology, and it’s interesting to see the way their features were mapped.
Which effect in The Force Awakens do you think was the coolest? Let me know in the comments.