New-and-Improved Master Animatic

As you know, we've been gradually improving our CG models to provide photorealistic backgrounds for our live actors. However, for the most part, I have NOT updated our master animatic with the new material.

Believe it or not, our master animatic was last rendered on 7-8-10! That means we've had almost 2 years of improvements that weren't reflected in the master animatic.

Although I obviously can't post the updated animatic here (it's too big), here are a few before-and-after comparisons so you can get an idea of the improvements.

Scene C115b (Ryke Thale leaving the Jedi Temple after planting bombs in the databank):

Scene C115c (Close-up of Ryke Thale as he suspects something may be wrong):

Scene C115d (Moments before Ryke Thale's reaction to seeing droidekas behind the blast door):

Now imagine about half of the animatic looking as new-and-improved as the sample screenshots, above, and you'll get an idea of how much better the new master animatic looks. The entire movie has a different feel now -- much more like a realistic and immersive. It's pretty sweet!



Improved Med Center Exterior

If you recall from the 11/13/11 blog post, we recently changed the model for the med center exterior. As a result, I had to update some of the animatic scenes after Yane leaves Bibble's Bar.

Here are 2 before-and-after comparisons showing the old med center exterior and the new-and-improved med center exterior:

This is just a VERY rough draft. I didn't even bother to add Stormtrooper stand-ins in the new model. I'll definitely clean this up before the final version!

Aside from looking more Star Wars-like, I also think the new version is less cluttered. The Imperial shuttle is more prominent and it looks more imposing, rather than being dwarfed by the med center building.

Here's another scene showing a close-up:

Again, this is just a rough draft. I'll definitely fix the texture maps, etc. before the final version.



Improved Bibble's Bar Exterior

I realized that our CG model for the exterior of Bibble's Bar needed to be re-done. Even though it was kitbashed from Star Wars models (the Mustafar control room and a Mos Eisley building), it looked incongruent.

Here are before-and-after comparisons of the old model and the new model:

In the "before" picture (above, left), you can tell I basically took a piece of the Mustafar Control Room and stuck it on the front of a Mos Eisley building.

Here's a picture of the CG model for the Mustafar Control Room -- you can see the part I kitbashed for the old Bibble's Bar exterior in the back (those monitors with the yellow displays are the monitors with the red and blank displays in the old Bibble's Bar model):

Here's another before-and-after comparison from a different angle:

In the "before" picture (above, left), all you really see the Mustafar Control Room geometry.
In the "after" picture (above, right), you can see how the background looks a lot more Mos Eisley/Tatooine-like.

Here's the same "after" picture, but side-by-side against a reference photo from "Attack of the Clones" to compare the look and texture of the building:

I'll probably eventually replace that "garage door" with something better in the future, since we don't see any of that "garage door" stuff in the "Star Wars" movies. However, I just added it for now as a cheat since I didn't feel like figuring out what to put in that space (right now it's a big cut-out, like a garage).

Here's the last before-and-after comparison:

Bibble' Bar (right foreground) looks a lot more congruent with the building in the background in the "after" picture than in the "before" picture.

By the way, the building in the background is a photograph of an actual building in Tunisia (where they filmed the Mos Eisley scenes) -- it's not a CG model. You can see the seam between the picture and the CG model in the "before" picture (look at the sand -- it's one color/texture in the background photograph (behind the land speeder) and it's a different color/texture in the foreground). Here's that same background photograph all by itself:

Also, you may recall that our goal is to make our CG sets so photorealistic that they look like someone walked onto a real-life set and snapped a photo. We're getting closer with this model:

The 1st picture (above, left) shows the model rendered without the Yane stand-in and with "good" (i.e. ray-traced) shadows. You can see an example of the "good" shadows if you look at the top of the "garage door" and also if you look at the shadows cast by the moisture vaporator and nuna.

The 2nd picture (above, right) is the same picture (with the Yane stand-in and "quick" shadows) seen above -- I just re-pasted it here so that you can see them side-by-side for easier comparison.

We're getting there, slowly but surely...