Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Star Wars creature creation

Thala-Siren concepts from The Last Jedi. Rian had picked up on a long droopy nosed form I’d sketched on page 2 but rather than reclining on her side like an elephant seal or walrus, wanted her sat more upright with the heavy, relaxed posture of a guy slobbing in a La-Z-Boy with a beer. You can see the first iteration of this on page 3, though here its more polar bear like with four feet and shaggy fur. What was really cool was that the Thala-Siren, or seacow as we called it then, was a completely practical effect shot on location. The initial problem was that rocks were extremely craggy and it would have been impossible to just bring this creature in and find a spot where we could sit her leaning against a rock as in the illustration. So we had the rocks LIDAR scanned and using the data chipped out a large polystyrene replica of the surface. We then sculpted the seacow on this so her underside was a perfect negative fit to the positive surface and gave the impression that her bum was sitting within an unseen depression in the rocks. The second problem was access was pretty hard and carrying a 3m tall animatronic creature down to the shore would be impossible so the solution was to helicopter her into place. Neat! Inside were two puppeteers - Tom Wilton and Derek Arnold @tomanddereksdrivein (previously ‘seen’ together as the Luggabeast in TFA and Tomder Bargwill, the stable master in TLJs Canto Bight). Access was via flipping the head back like a submarine hatch with the seam hidden in a neck crease. We had some extra heads peeping behind the rocks operated as hand puppets. #starwars #thelastjedi #starwarsthelastjedi #conceptart #conceptdesign #thalasiren #seacow #greenmilk #creaturedesign #artofstarwars
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