Han Solo and General Leia Character Poster

“I love you!” …”I know”

A new set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens promotional posters have just landed to tie-in with the individual character Poe Dameron and BB-8 posters, and the Han Solo and General Leia character poster is really exceptional.

Kylo Ren and Finn also get their own character posters.

And not forgetting what we all believe will be a major character in the film Rey played by Daisy Ridley.

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The Force Awakens Creature Shop

The man behind them Star Wars: The Force Awaken Creature Shop is the London-based special effects supremo Neal Scanlon, he’s chief of creature and droid effects for the movie.

Above we see him posing with lots of familiar faces from the film, including Rey’s head…what’s that all about?

The BBC’s Brenda Emmanus joined him at Pinewood Studios, where all six films were produced, to discover what it takes to bring these much-loved creatures to life… watch the video here

Extract from his interview with Wired Magazine

Under Scanlan’s direction, the creature workshop at Pinewood Studios built more than 100 characters for The Force Awakens, a combination of old favourites and all-new species and droids. “There are maybe 4 or 5 completely prosthetic characters. There are combinations of prosthetics and mechanic animatronic elements,” he explains. “Then you get into the physical characters — they could be as simple as somebody in costume with an animatronic head, to creatures that demanded there be 5 or 6 people inside.”

The focus on practical effects was one of Abrams’ founding ideas for the film. “The whole feeling of this was that we wanted to go back and find the DNA of the original films, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and what have you,” says Scanlan. “Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, those kind of people defined a look, and it was really important from my perspective more than anybody’s to try to identify what makes a Star Wars character a Star Wars character.” Scanlan visited the LucasFilm archive to consult the designs from the original trilogy, “to get a real sense of how those original characters and puppets were made.”

The Force Awakens’ larger creatures — such as the Luggabeast already seen in pre-release stills — were inspired by techniques used in stage productions such as War Horse. “The first time I met JJ, he mentioned he’d seen War Horse and loved the idea you could bring character to life in that way,” says Scanlan. “And we said ‘well, if they can do War Horse, we can do much better than that — it’s movies, come on!”

Each creature starts out as a clay maquette, which prosthetics designers then 3-D scan. That way, engineers can simultaneously design and build the internal animatronics, and fabricate pieces using techniques like 3-D printing – a leap from the manual methods used on the original trilogy. Even characters that will end up being rendered in CGI started out in Scanlan’s workshop. “Maz [Kanata, performed by Lupita Nyong’o], for example, is a character who is completely digital. We designed her with JJ, we then sculpted and created her as a full-size real world entity, worked out how she would move, all in the real world. Then we pass that all over to digital.”

The creature shop’s creations could then be retouched digitally by visual effects artists at Industrial Light & Magic. “For instance, BB-8 was puppetteered in a few sequences,” says Scanlan. “That would never have been possible without some very clever opticals in the past. Now we can rely on digital to clean those parts away from the scene.”

“There are some things were we might say: it would be great to go in and tweak that in digital, because of the material we’re using, or we want to push the expressive range of something further than the material can allow.” They could also make CGI additions, like adding a more alien-looking eye.

The ultimate aim, he says, is not to make The Force Awakens’ practical characters look like CGI — but the opposite. “One of the things that JJ was very keen to do, and we all were keen to do, was to make the CG feel like the animatronic,” says Scanlan. “We wanted to say: OK, what are the qualities of a practical puppet, that we need to be able to put into a digital character? Great effort has been made to making those characters feel part of the real world, and to draw those textures, reflections, etc, in a way that maybe past characters haven’t.”

The combination of CGI and practical effects, he says, leads to something even greater: the endless possibilities of CGI with the tactile realness of Lucas’ used universe. “I think that the partnership will bring some really interesting new fields to CG,” he says. Although he was retired, he’s not planning to hang up his brush any time soon, and the workshop is already at work on Episode VIII and beyond. “What JJ has begun, hopefully, is the beginning of some quite exciting stuff.”

A Family Star Wars

Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher’s daughter is in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – with Princess Leia’s Hairdo!

People Magazine have just released the first look at Billie Lourd’s character in The Force Awakens. Billie Lourd has said she’s not playing Princess Leia’s daughter in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, even though she’s the real-life daughter of Carrie Fisher, but as these first look images of  her top-secret character reveals, she has at least inherited Leia’s hairdo, also we see the first images of PZ4CO, nicknamed “Peazy,” a protocol droid for the Resistance.

Lourd revealed in People magazine she had an obsession with the original movie when she was growing up.  “I made [my mom] watch it at least once a week – and on special occasions I would make her get in a lightsaber fight with me, Let’s just say the more trained Jedi usually won.”

Billie is a costars on the Fox TV show Scream Queens, and says her mom’s portrayal of Leia has long been an inspiration for her.

“When I saw the [original] movie for the first time, I noticed my mom was not only equally as confident and strong as the men, she was one of the most confident characters in the entire film,” Lourd says. “It made me realize women are just as powerful as men and that we can truly do anything they can – if not more!”

…A proud daughter, and I bet her Mum is also!!

‘NEW’ Force Awakens Promo Images

Some interesting images Star Wars: The Force Awakens images have surfaced which give us new look at the cast of characters, including Rey, Poe, BB-8, Chewbacca, Leia and Han Solo, as well as an epic new shot of General Hux, Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma on the bridge of the Finalizer Star Destroyer.

BB-8 and Rey witnessing the First Order arriving for the Battle of Takodana.

Rey with what looks like a Rebel X-Wing Pilot’s helmet at her side next to a downed AT-AT Walker from the Battle of Jakku.

General Hux, Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma on the bridge of the Finalizer Star Destroyer.

Also released is this new BB-8 Poster to sit alongside the recently released Poe Dameron Poster.

Darkness Awakens

Sweet dark lord of sith!…this is so amazing, Creativedash, a product design and development studio in San Francisco have used Doug Chiang‘s original concept art of Kylo Ren from the front cover of the Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens; a book which will allow you to step inside Lucasfilm‘s art departments and see the creation of fantastical worlds, unforgettable characters, and unimaginable creatures from the new film. It looks like Creativedash have a similar creative department as well, who have recreated the cover in this stunning animated Gif using Adobe After Effects and PhotoShop, just look at the subtle effect of the snow hitting the lightsaber… incredible!

Darkness Awakens Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens Animated Front Cover
Darkness Awakens : Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens Animated Front Cover concept by Creativedash

 

The Force Awakens. #gif #starwars #disney #design #motion

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