While Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins its slow descent down from atop the box office charts, the Disney marketing machine is far from finished. Now, with multiple Oscar nominations under its belt, the film is vying for Academy Award wins, which brings us to today’s fascinating behind-the-scenes video. This particular look offers a peek inside what went into bringing the entirely digital character of Maz Kanata to life, played by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o via performance-capture.
We’ve heard that the character of Maz was one of the last to be finalized, and that some of her scenes were reshot after the structure of the film was rejiggered in post-production, but you’d never know it from watching this behind-the-scenes video. Instead, we get a really interesting look at how Nyong’o’s performance on set was then fed through the ILM technicians/magicians to bring the character to life, and how much of Nyong’o’s facial performance made it into actualizing the fully digital character.
While I’d argue Kanata’s design and animation is one of the weaker aspects of The Force Awakens as a whole, there’s no denying the process involved to bring her to life is an impressive one, and this video also touches on a few other visual effects specifics regarding the film. For instance, we get a look at the creation of fully digital characters that appeared as X-Wing pilots, and we learn that the head of Simon Pegg’s character Unkar Plutt was fully digital. Movie magic, folks!
So take a look at the video below, courtesy of Wired (via The Playlist):