Cinefex was really cool and sent us an exclusive glimpse of their new Star Wars: The Force Awakens issue. In this excerpt from Joe Fordham’s Cinefex article on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett discusses the production’s approach to lightsabers:
For scenes of Kylo Ren’s shuttle landing, the production built the ship’s ramp as a partial set piece. ILM integrated the digital ship and interactive firelight. Kylo Ren then ignites a tri-blade lightsaber that crackles with raw energy. The saber’s unique look and interactive light posed a lighting issue. “On Episode III, we cheated on-set lighting to create lightsaber interactions,” commented Roger Guyett. “The trouble was, the interactive light was never emanating from the saber. This time, we discussed with cinematographer Dan Mindel how we could more effectively create interactive lightsaber effects. We did tests using LED lights, and the prop department built features into props that allowed us to change the value of light depending on how quickly the blades were moving. We could remotely control their color temperature, and when lightsabers clashed, they even flashed.”
You might remember a while ago we ran a scoop detailing a little about how those sabers seemed to work.
More from Cinefex:
“Star Wars” fans won’t want to miss the upcoming issue of Cinefex, the bimonthly film magazine that covers visual effects like no other. Due out in mid-February, Cinefex 145 features a breathtaking cover shot of the “Millennium Falcon,” along with a 30-page story on the making of the film based on in-depth interviews with director J.J. Abrams and the key effects artists who helped bring his unique vision to the screen. The article is accompanied by 39 behind-the-scenes photos and frame clips, many of them exclusive to Cinefex.
Other stories in this issue include Alejandro González Iñárritu’s spectacular, Academy Award-nominated “The Revenant,” along with extensive coverage on “Spectre” and “The Finest Hours” – and a VFX Q&A on the sci-fi hit “Ex Machina.”
Thanks to Cinefex for the exclusive look at issue 145!