John Knoll On ‘Rogue One’s Visual Effects: Part 2

The February edition of American Cinematographer magazine is crammed full of Rogue One content and is on newsstands now, with the expanded digital edition including even more Rogue One content, available from the ASC site.

However the magazine was bursting with so much content that they have published further information from the interviews on their website.

One of the exclusives was a Q & A with Doug Chiang, which can be found here (Part One), and here (Part Two).

They also conducted an extensive interview with the man behind the concept, and ILM’s senior visual-effects supervisor, John Knoll.  Part One can be found here, where Knoll discussed the creation of the digital humans: Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia.

In part two, he discussed the movie’s CG vehicle models.  Here is an excerpt:

Were there instances when your CG models for any of the ships that appeared in A New Hope had to deviate from their original physical counterparts?

Knoll: The Star Destroyer is a good example of that. Story-wise, this takes place right before Episode IV, so I felt like the Star Destroyer we see should look like it’s the exact same design as the one seen at the beginning of Episode IV. There was a 3-foot motion-control model that was built for A New Hope, but as beautiful as that model was, it was insufficiently detailed to hold up to what ILM needed it to do on The Empire Strikes Back, so they built an 8-foot-long model for Empire that had lots more detail and internal lighting. That original 3-foot Star Destroyer model from A New Hope had no internal lighting. This is going back to, ‘Do you match what you remember or how it actually was?’ It wasn’t even a question to me that our Star Destroyer should have all of those lights, but those were not characteristics of the 3-foot model. Generally we copied the 3-footer for details like the superstructure on the top of the bridge, but then we copied the internal lighting plan from the 8-footer. And then the upper surface of the 3-footer was relatively undetailed because there were no shots that saw it closely, so we took a lot of the high-detail upper surface from the 8-footer. So it’s this amalgam of the two models, but the goal was to try to make it look like you remember it from A New Hope.

To read the whole of the second part of his interview, take the source link below.

SOURCEAmerican Cinematographer
Brian Cameron
Brian is an obsessive collector of Star Wars books, comics, and magazines. With a collection extending into the tens of thousands, he is obsessed by variants, and the more obscure a publication the better! Brian was the Literature Editor for Jedi News, and was also host of the podcast Take Cover on the Jedi News Network until August 2017. Brian stepped down from Jedi News in August 2017 for personal reasons. At the end of October 2017 he was part of the team that launched Fantha Tracks.