Movies, TV & Music
The Art of Film

The Art of Film

The VFX Masters

Celebrate award-winning VFX with this collection of exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features with the world’s best art teams.From the ground-breaking CGI characters of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the small screen wonder of Game of Thrones, discover how the visual effects of your favourite films are created.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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in this issue

1 min.
the art of film volume four

There are few bigger films to make an impact on VFX in recent years than Rogue One A Star Wars Story. We break down exactly what Industrial Light & Magic did to bring Star Wars back. From ferocious space fights to cinematography and ground-breaking CGI characters, we examine all the magic of the movie. In these pages you will also discover how the world’s leading VFX studios create cinema’s best visual effects; from giants in A Monster Calls to the tiniest creatures in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we have the biggest effects from the best films covered. ian.dean@futurenet.com…

8 min.
rogue one: a star wars story

Intriguing to a lot of us was this idea of doing films that are in the Star Wars universe but could be self-contained, standalone stories Rogue One: A Star Wars Story marks the start of a series of movies that explore the origins and backstories of various historical events and characters in the cinematic universe conceived by George Lucas. “As far as I know I’m credited as executive producer, story by, and visual effects supervisor on the movie,” says ILM’s chief creative officer and VFX supervisor John Knoll, who took part in discussions about story, design, costumes and casting for the project based on his idea. “It began informally in the company after the new slate of Star Wars films was announced. There were Episodes VII, VIII and IX, which continue the…

6 min.
rogue one: creating and destroying jedha

Creating new worlds is a hallmark of the Star Wars franchise, and Rogue One expands upon this with a frigid desert moon that is home of the Jedi religion and of the kyber crystal which powers the lightsaber. “ILM London was primarily involved with Jedha, which is inspired by the Middle East and North Africa,” states Mohen Leo, Visual Effects Supervisor at ILM London. “Quite a bit of the look development was Marrakesh and Jerusalem. We were trying to convey the feeling of an ancient place. Then a lot of the photography of the landscape was done in Jordan around Wadi Rum. It’s a fantastic alien place that has these flat deserts with these steep rocks sticking out of it, with bright reds and yellows in the sand. It formed the…

5 min.
rogue one: the space battle

Above Scarif, Alliance warships attempt to destroy a Shield Gate while fighting against forces of the Galactic Empire. “The Space Battle was huge,” states ILM Animation Supervisor Hal Hickel. “Third acts which are complicated like that have a lot of moving parts. When editorial was shifting sequences around and making adjustments with the Space Battle beats, we had to be flexible and ready to respond to the changes. When you’re cutting between Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor in the data vault, the rebels on the beach, Orson Krennic in the Imperial facility and the Space Battle, what those beats are, the story points they are telling, and how they are moving the narrative forward can be altered a lot depending on how you are moving all of these puzzle pieces…

6 min.
rogue one: iconic vehicles

As part of an effort to emulate the original trilogy miniature spaceships that were constructed from plastic model kits for Formula One cars, artillery pieces, rockets and tanks, each model part was digitalised. “It was a smart move by ILM CCO and visual effects supervisor John Knoll and digital model supervisor Russell Paul because it makes the CG ships feel like the original ones from Episodes IV, V and VI,” states ILM animation supervisor Hal Hickel. “I was obsessed with a Blockade Runner as a kid when Star Wars first came out, so to have one in Maya on my desktop that I could move around and animate myself was exciting.” “To have the AT-ACT – which are essentially the Walkers you see in The Empire Strikes Back – in our film…

5 min.
rogue one: visualising star wars

Rogue One, directed by Gareth Edwards, marks a shift from the Skywalker family saga, which has served as the cornerstone of the Star Wars franchise. It also carries on the tradition of Industrial Light & Magic pushing the boundaries of visual effects as a technological and storytelling art form. “We knew that this show was going to be backloaded anyway because of the edit schedule, and that we wouldn’t have officially locked sequences until the summer,” states ILM CCO and visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who successfully pitched the idea of doing a stand alone movie about the Alliance stealing the plans for the Death Star from the Galactic Empire. “Then as the sequences came in, they were bigger than what we were originally anticipating in terms of shot count. It only…