Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
I joined Rise of Skywalker during pre-production and worked with a small team of artists exploring the visual development of some key sequences. This involved using reference material shot on location scouts and taking inspiration from early artwork to create 3D concepts that would later inform the look and execution of environments in the movie.
Once visual development was complete I joined the live action production team in Jordan to lead a VFX environment unit, where we surveyed the deserts of Wadi Rum using LiDAR scanners, photogrammetry from the ground and by drone and by shooting thousands of reference images alongside main unit. This material allowed the environment team back at ILM to faithfully recreate and augment live action elements shot in Jordan to create the desert planet Pasaana.
Once into post production, I lead the VFX environment work on the show, implementing overall methodology and workflows and supervising a team of artists at ILM's San Francisco studio as well as working closely with supervisors and leads at the other studio sites to ensure successful execution of the various environments seen in the movie. In addition I also worked directly on sequence set up and shots, working with the SF team on the Exegol battle sequence as well as completing environments for several shots in the Kijimi destruction and light skipping sequences.
For the lightspeed skipping sequence several one off environments were needed. I created this mirrored city environment which was inspired by early Ralph McQuarrie concepts and given a new look by production designer James Clyne.
The planet Kijimi is destroyed from space. For this shot I created the 3D environment and matte painted background which was then handed to FX for massive destruction!
The third act battle takes place in the skies above Exegol. A large scale environment was created and art directed for specific story points in the sequence. For example the lighting and sky begins to change to a more optimistic tone as the resistance fleet arrives.
For the young Luke and Leia training sequence the live action set was heavily augmented to look like a dense, atmospheric jungle planet.
Though not from the movie as such, this Rise of Skywalker tie in was created for the Walmart "Famous Visitors" Superbowl commercial. It was fun to go back to some of the material shot in Jordan and create this desert planet scene. The commercial went on to win an award at the 2021 VES Awards for "Outstanding VFX in a Commercial."