Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III

Near the beginning of this module we watched 'Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III' which took you through the whole process of how ILM went about creating just one minute of footage in Star Wars Episode III. Scene 158 consisted of 26 shots, 1185 frames, around 910 artists and about 70441 hours. Throughout the whole time watching this documentary it really opens your eyes to how much time and effort goes into creating a shot like this. There were so many different departments involved and you tend to overlook a lot of them. When you think of a VFX shot you think, compositors, modellers, animators, VFX artists etc; yet in actual fact the sets and props need building, always a huge amount of equipment for filming needs setting up amongst other things. For part of the scene they actually built a set and used this to create physical effects. For the lava in particular, they found that by creating the effect physically produced more of a realistic feel and look. It proves that not everything needs to be digitally recreated, sometimes it's better without technology. With the footage they got from their lava, they composited this within the rest of the digital scene.

In this documentary they showed their use of pre-viz. Pre-viz is a huge thing within the industry now, it helps everyone visualise what is going to happen throughout the film. Previously it was all storyboarded, but now there are dedicated people who work within the pre-viz department who create 3d assets and plan out the shots and actions of the characters in a 3d space. With this you get a better idea of the spacing of the scene and how much area you have to work with. I can see this being really useful for animators especially as it gives them more of a solid grounding with where about the characters are moving. After doing this module you can really see why there needs to be so many people on the team and can appreciate how much time and effort actually goes into just one minute of footage.

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