Star Wars TFA vids show how Maz Kanata, CG shots were made

Since time immemorial ... OK maybe not that too long ago, films, especially science fiction, have been the seed bed of the latest in CG technology. Year after year, we are treated to movies that push the limits of computer generated images, pushing the boundaries of our own perceptions and minds. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is, of course, no different and although not as revolutionary as some titles would claim to be, it has its fair share of CGI shots that are vying for a slot in awards night. Two breakdown edit videos give a glimpse of the craftsmanship behind those shots, especially in bringing the mysterious Maz Kanata to life.

2,100. That's how many shots in The Force Awakens made judicious use of CG. Although already large in number, putting that into the perspective of the films total of 2,500 shots only makes it even more unbelievable and astounding. Last time, we saw how many of those CG shots actually made use of old-school real-world props to add a sense of reality. Now we get to see how computers were used to deliver the rest of that "generated" reality.

Moving characters are some of the hardest things to pull off in CG, especially when they need to have a resemblance to moving characters most familiar to us, a.k.a. humans. James Cameron's Avatar brought a lot of focus on the art of facial animation. In Star Wars: TFA, that focus comes via Maz Kanata. Although perhaps not as sophisticated as Cameron's rig, ILM was able to get the job done and did it well. Legend has it that Andy Serkis, now perhaps known to be a veteran in such matters and who also gives life to Supreme Leader Snoke, gave Lupita Nyong'o some sage advice on how to do the same for good ol' Maz. Skip to the 02:50 mark in the video below to see Maz in the flesh. So to speak.

Wondering who Maz Kanata is in the grand scheme of the Universe and the Force? Why not take a peek at our (mostly spoiler free) summary of this character, who is small only in size.

Another and substantially longer video comes from FXGuide, interviewing Industrial Light and Magic's CG wizards over the complicated shots in the TFA movie. Again, Maz Kanata becomes the center of attention starting at 14:30.

VIA: The Verge