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When it comes to television series, you can’t always expect topnotch CGI given that there’s only so much money allocated in the budget. With Jon Favreau’s upcoming Star Wars series The Mandalorian though, they decided to partner up with Epic Games (Fortnite) to help with the CG of the series. As it turns out, this could actually revolutionize the way special effects are developed for television.
Talking to the Directors Guild of America, Favreau goes on to describe his approach:
“Since I wrote most of [The Mandalorian], I wrote it to fit within our volume, and in trying to keep the scale of it like the first Star Wars film, which was a relatively low-budget affair, even though the effects were spectacular.”
With Epic Games’ tech, Favreau said they were able to render CG in real-time, meaning that they could already visualize what some of the final visuals will look like as they shoot the show. Favreau continues:
“What’s helpful now is that game engines that are built for gaming and drive VR are getting to the point where there’s enough code in there to emulate all of these analog aesthetics that you would see when you were really moving a light around. So to some extent, we had it on Lion King—that was Unity on The Mandalorian, the stage set you visited me on—we ended up using an Epic game engine with these new Nvidia video cards for gaming. There’s enough processing power to get all of these lighting effects so that you’re actually seeing [it] in camera. You wouldn’t have to explain to a DP, you could actually havehim see it, so when I move the light, it reacts like they do in the real world. “
As of now, we still have no idea what to expect when it comes to The Mandalorian, but seeing that Favreau has done amazing strides with CGI with films like The Jungle Book and the upcoming Lion King, a lot of high hopes are being set for The Mandalorian.
Personally, I’m just hoping that Lucasfilm doesn’t cancel their plans for anthology films. I mean, sure Solo didn’t do too well in the box office, but can you blame it? It came after Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, and Disney didn’t want to market the film so all the focus could be on Thanos.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian has no official release date yet, but it’s expected to launch alongside Disney’s streaming service which comes out in November.