You might have noticed, but we love us some Mandalorian here at The Mary Sue. And while we’re excited to coo over our Baby Yoda dolls as we wait for season two to drop in the fall, we’re extremely excited to take a look behind the scenes with Industrial Light and Magic in a fantastic new video. Seriously guys, this technology is like something out off … well, not Star Trek.
“Game engine real-time render” and “video wall technology” combined on the set of The Mandalorian to essential create … a holodeck. Sort of.
The geniuses at ILM and Epic Games created a space they call the Volume where they could project and constantly render digital environments. This is more complex than just a projection, or a green screen, which is why it’s so cool. It’s a set that can be filmed like a real location and where the light can be used and manipulated. They didn’t have to add these backgrounds after the fact because they shot the action there. That’s so cool!
This is honestly a revolutionary way of filmmaking because it’s basically combining production and post-production into the same shots. Gone are the days of the Star Wars prequels where the background environments were a step up from a nice screensaver. Remember ABC’s Once Upon a Time and their endless digital sets and the poor actors who always looked so green-tinged and out of place within them. This is literally a galaxy far, far away from all of that.
Watching the video and seeing which sets were digital and the amazing depth and detail they have are just mindblowing. Most of the spaces that they created for the show were so realistic that I would never have guessed they were digital. The integration of game technology here is extra awesome because the rendering allowed the filmmakers to literally move a mountain in real-time if they wanted to.
This is really why genre and shows like this are so great: so many creatives from so many fields, from games to photography, to effects, to lighting and set, all coming together to make something so amazing and new. This innovation isn’t just cool for The Mandalorian and Star Wars, it’s a brave new (and awesome) world for everyone that makes and loves television and movies.
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