YellowDog at the VFX Festival 2018

09.02.2018 Home >Blog >YellowDog at the VFX Festival 2018

Put down the notepad, just watch Star Wars

YellowDog had a great time at the VFX Festival in London this week.
Though it’s impossible to review everything with justice here, Jack at YellowDog shares his ‘Big Take Away’.

I wanted my final take away from the VFX Festival in London to be from the final session: ILM London’s breakdown and insights into ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’

London was the creative hub for a Star Wars film for the first time on Last Jedi.

This was a ‘Making Of…’ too good to miss.

My notes would usually be sprawling, extensive details of VFX tools and technique jargon cumbersomely scribbled over reams of A4.

I took my seat with an agenda: to leave the cinema hall and share my knowledge of the tools ILM London used: where did they model with Houdini, where did they revert to Maya, how did ILM blend mocap with puppetry with CG with green screen and so on.

ILM split their Star Wars breakdown talk into three areas. Much of which you can check out in this Art of VFX post:

  1. Vehicles
  2. Animals
  3. Character, or more specifically, The Supreme leader Snoke.


The pick of the 1850 VFX shots that Mike Mulholland, VFX supervisor, and Steve Aplin, director of animation for ILM London, went through over the course of the hour was interesting and inspiring.

But, interesting and inspiring is kind of what you’d expect from the makers of one of the most visually brilliant films of modern times.

What has stayed with me, and what will for several days, was the “Star Wars sizzle reel”: a plethora of Star Wars awesomeness all smashed together and blown up to explosive music played on the big screen.  I can still feel the bass of that reel thumping in my chest now.

At YellowDog, our render technology is interested in the detail but our people damn love films and VFX and animation. Rarely do we, like so many in the media and entertainment industry, take the time to just sit back and enjoy VFX in its rightful home: the cinema.

So my festival highlight is, perhaps unsurprisingly, watching top notch VFX.

You’ll need to go to an ILM or a Blue Zoo or a Territory or a Milk VFX session yourself if you want to get stuck into ‘making of’ knowledge and secrets and fill a notepad full of tips, tricks, and tools.

And whilst you’re waiting for that opportunity, just relax and remember that you’re a fan and that’s probably what brought you to VFX in the first place.

So be a fan; put your notepad in your rucksack like I did for once – you’ll see more.

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