Thursday, December 20, 2007


We have over 6300 frames of lightsaber rotoscoping to complete. The process is arduous but rewarding. We are following the tutorial by Ryan Wieber. It creates the most realistic movie quality saber effects. After Effects is used in this process. After the footage is imported (each frame is a targa file), a mask must be placed over each saber in each frame. A seven second sequence is 210 frames. This takes a long time to complete. The background saber must be roto'd first followed by the foreground saber. The image shows you how the sabers will appear in the film release. This scene was filmed 360 feet underground in the MINOS detector hall at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

On a side note, our latest padawan Alexandra Crawford was born on December 4th.

Friday, October 5, 2007


We are using Lightwave 3D v9.2 for CGI animation. Files are saved in the ILM EXR format. The tutorial from the Battlestar Galactica Visual Effects Consultant Kelly "Kat" Myers is used when setting up scenes and rendering. A Key light specular pass and a Fill light diffuse pass, utilizing the 28 spinning lights cluster, are rendered and saved to several EXR buffers. Adobe After Effects CS3 is used to composite the various layers together. One 7 second shot right now is taking 1 hour and 2 minuted per frame for the specular pass.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

360 ft under ground

On September 9th we filmed part of the Mallick-Vader duel. The filming took place in the MINOS tunnel and experimental hall, which is 360 ft under ground. The non-Fermilab employees received Mine training from Mike Andrews so that they were qualified to enter the area. Thanks Mike.

We had 2 cameras for the shoot. Nathan Stein operated Camera A and Chip Edstrom was the Camera B operator. Chip filmed the fire fight between Jared and the 'troopers. Mark Van Slyke and Ed Silva played the scout trooper and sand trooper.

Ted O'Sullivan (Vader) and Max Monningh (Jedi Mallick) worked rigorously on perfecting the duel. Our fight choreographer, Bruce Worthel, did an excellent job with instructing the actors.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

First outdoor shoot

April 22 will be our first outdoor shoot at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Our location at the lab is indicated on the map with a red arrow.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What is Star Wars:Forgotten Realm?

Star Wars:Forgotten Realm is a set 7 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. The Emperor has mandated the expansion of the Empire. The Rebellion is in it's infancy. Rebel spy Yari'el Loor has secured the plans to an Imperial invasion of an area of the galaxy known as the Proteus Cluster. She hires Jared Dunkin, a xeno-archaeologist, to deliver her to her contact on the planet Berrata Prime. The Empire forces the them to crash on an uncharted planet located in a nebula. A Jedi, Web Mallick, and detachment of clone troopers, stranded on the planet for 10 years, witness the crash and rescue Jared and Yari'el from Imperial troops. Once the Emperor learns of this, he sends Vader and the 501st to deal with the Jedi.

Forgotten Realm is a 2 hour fan film that will air on FVTV in January of 2009. The cast and crew are very talented. We have a prop builder, two Productions Assistants, Director's Assistant, set designer, and costumer.
The lead role of Yari'el Loor is played by Laura L. Crawford. Jim Kirkhoff plays archaeologist Jared Dunkin. Maxwell Monningh has taken on the role of Jedi Master Web Mallick. The young Princess Leia is played by Victoria L. Crawford.

The 501st Legion has been instrumental is making this a reality. Darth Vader is played by Ted O'Sullivan. Numerous stormtroopers, TIE pilots, and officers have already been filmed.

The script was written in 2005 and production began on January 2006. Production continues through 2007 and all of 2008 will be devoted to CG creation, rendering, compositing, and editing. Release is slated for January 2009.

This film production is not associated with Lucasfilm, LTD.