How to create your own Star Wars movie

Continued...

At the end of the post production process new tools were released, like iPisoft Desktop Motion Capture. I used this to create animations, with the help of Kinect for the scene where Darius is fighting troopers.

For specific animations, such as clones being killed and falling on the ground, we used dynamic simulations.

Checking how mental ray shaders react to environment HDRI

When it comes to texturing, there was no DDO or Substance Designer at the time I created all these grungy and damaged armours, everything was manually painted.

My eyes stopped working for a week once I reached the 14th variation of each armour element, so I thought that was enough.

The different passes of a typical clone trooper shot: beauty, environment and light effects

Regarding the rendering process, here again things evolved through time. At the very beginning I had no experience in global illumination, final gathering or even displacement.

That's why the CGI in the original teasers looked so old. A more advanced render engine was definitely the way to go, consequently I moved to mental ray to get renders as photo realistic as possible.

Nightmare scene, on set: rainy scenes were shot on cloudy days and at dusk

The compositing stage wasn't really complicated. The easiest shots to assemble were where Darius is fighting the troopers, it's so chaotic I was able to fill the frames with many digital elements such as dust, ground explosions and dying troopers. With so many CG elements I sometimes didn't have to remove trackers from the set.

Nightmare scene, post processed: this helped for the blend in the compositing process

There was only one truly 'impossible shot' to create. The camera had to make a handled pan movement, as the viewer watches clones looking for a character in a forest scene. There were so many bushy trees and clones wandering everywhere it make for a complex show.

So, I shot a panoramic on set then in post-production I masked out vegetation to cover the clones, and added out of focus bushes in front of the camera in 3D space. Finally, I added a CG camera that moved from left to right, with an added subtle handshake animation.

I hope you enjoy the finished short and may have helped you feel that sometimes you can manage the impossible. You can see the making of video below:

Words: Nicolas Brunet

Nicolas Brunet is a self-taught 3D and VFX artist who has previously created CG commercials and shorts, and is now focusing on becoming a director.

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