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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Limited edition Star Wars art book
From a galaxy far, far away comes The Art of Film: Star Wars special.
In volume one of this new series we showcase a stunning selection of artwork inspired by the Star Wars movies – from 1977 to the present day.
From posters to portraits, and comics to illustrations, this lavish 180-page book showcases a selection of the world's best Star Wars art, both from official and fan artists. Presented in full colour on premium stock, it's also available with a hardback cover and gold foil detailing for the ultimate collector.