Star Wars: Behind The Scenes: Book V: Creating The Clone Wars

The series is coming to its end; this is the second-to-last book.


5. Digital Models

After designers create the framework and blueprints for characters, vehicles, environments, and props, modelers build virtual 3-D constructs. Unlike practical models that require glue and special materials so they won't break, computer-generated models never fall apart.

Digital rigging specialists create skeletons, layers of muscle and skin, and clothes to create "virtual puppets" for animators.

1. 3-D Story

Working from a script, the 3-D story team uses approximated assets--digital puppets, sets, and props--to create a story reel, a digital animatic to help directors and editors visualize the entire episode.

2. Layout

After the 3-D story reel is approved, the layout team builds the actual 3-D scene files that will be used for each shot. The scene files allow the production team to determine needs for image quality and anticipate technical hurdles.

3. Animation

After the layout file is finished, animators are assigned to bring each scene to life. Rigged assets are imported into each scene so the animators can create the performances necessary to communicate the story.

4. Wireframe

Following animation, the technical team begins lighting and creating the final, high-resolution assets for each shot. Wireframe models enable technicians to determine how characters are illuminated.

5. Final Shot

The camera work, modeling, rigging, and texture work of each asset, as well as all the lighting and effects work, are brought together in the final creation.

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