Movies have figured out how to put some pretty impressive things on the screen. While making the impossible real is what the medium is designed to do, it doesn't mean that seeing the magic in action is any less impressive. The folks at Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects studio that George Lucas created, have released a new video offering a peek behind the curtain of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you'd like to see how they made the galaxy far, far away come to life, check it out.
At this point, you know that when you're looking at a Star Wars movie, you're seeing a lot of digital effects. but they've become so good that's difficult to tell much of the time just how much what you're looking at isn't really there. While early digital effects were such that it was fairly obvious what was built in a computer and what wasn't, so much is done in post-production now that often only the actors on screen are the things that are actually physical.
Not every effect created is done in a computer, however. Rey's land speeder was an actual vehicle, though the wheels were obviously removed digitally. While we know that Star Wars: The Force Awakens did build an actual, full-size Millennium Falcon, not every shot of the Falcon was quite as real. It is, after all, difficult to move an object that large between sets.
What is really amazing, however, is how much work apparently went into the creation of some of the smallest effects. One shot from the video gives an example of just how much work went into designing the Star Destroyer which had crashed on Jakku. An image that was put in the background of a single shot, and probably took weeks to complete. Certainly, it shows a dedication to the craft.
We have to wonder what the actors felt like watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In their own way, they were seeing it for the first time along with the rest of us, because what they saw on set was not what ended up on screen.
ILM is one of the great special effects companies that has ever existed, and this little video shows just a few of the reasons why. We're looking forward to seeing them top themselves with the next entries in the Star Wars universe, like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as _Episode VIII. _