The special effects creators for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will give a talk about their visual effects methods at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in late February.
The GDC, which draws about 27,000 game developers each year, might seem like a strange place for filmmakers to give a talk. But there’s a lot of kinship in digital entertainment, and filmmakers often lead the way for video game developers in terms of cinematic tools.
The session will include Industrial Light & Magic’s visual effects supervisor John Knoll (Academy Award winner for his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), alongside ILMxLAB’s digital production supervisor Roger Cordes and Lucasfilm ADG’s principal engineer and architect Naty Hoffman.
The trio will discuss how they used a groundbreaking method to render visual effects and even an entire character in real time for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The team will discuss the challenges, lessons learned, and benefits of an entirely new method of creating digital effects for one of the most popular movies of 2016.
Of course, one of the big subjects for discussion will be the creation of a computer-generated human (spoiler alert) Grand Moff Tarkin, the evil Imperial leader of the Death Star in the original movie. Peter Cushing, the actor who played Tarkin, died in appear in 1994. But the Rogue One filmmakers created a CGI version of Cushing to insert his character into the movie.