Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ catches up with the fabled master Jedi in a story that begins 10 years after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
The Third Floor’s visualization team worked with the makers of the show to help facilitate blocking and planning of shots within each episode across several phases of filmmaking. Visualization work included creation of previs that the team could explore for camera and lighting, with some scenes blocked in real time in game engine.
“After receiving a kickoff from Director Deborah Chow, our team would create previs for challenging action, cinematography and story beats,” explained Visualization Supervisor Shawn Hull. “We collaborated extensively with her, Cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung, VFX Supervisor Patrick Tubach and other vendors to create visualizations that met the needs for the LED Volume, a particular stage build or a certain location.”
Action beats in a diversity of settings – from the cityscapes of Daiyu to Fortress Inquisitorius on the water moon of Nur, were illustrated in previs or postvis created with the filmmakers.
Ideas for composition and lighting for establishing and beauty shots in story locations like Tatooine (seen above) were also depicted.
Following principal photography, The Third Floor worked with the creatives and editorial to visualize CG animation and effects within filmed plates across several dozen sequences. The postvis process helped to bring together storytelling visuals and creative choices before shots moved into editing and final visual effects production.
“Postvis as well as previs-in-post for all-digital shots provides a way to tell and visualize the story throughout the post-filming phase,” said Visualization Supervisor Andrew Honacker. “Postvis can show digital animation, characters, set extensions, looks and stunts right there with the material that has been filmed. You can alter plates to gauge how the shot would look, say, with wider framing or with a 3D move, all of which helps with decision-making and the continued shaping of shots, especially when the shots are technically complex.”
The show sees Obi-Wan facing foes in multiple places on several different planets – at checkpoints, on rooftops, in an underwater prison and from hideouts underground, providing plenty of variety for the ‘vis team’s work. Shots also would include everything from CG droids, vehicles and digi-doubles to force-ghosts, hologram and hyperspace effects to represent in previs or postvis and through use of The Third Floor’s Cyclops AR simulcam app from set.
Plate (above) and postvis (below) for the scene when Third Sister chases Obi-Wan across the rooftops. The set extension, along with gun blasts, explosions and smoke, were illustrated with plate photography in the postvis comps.
The Episode 6 scene when Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, fight across a bleak terrain was a memorable challenge and focus for both previs and postvis. Visualization Supervisor Caitlin Inzinna notes: “Working with plates from editorial, we helped to portray the story of key shots by compositing large set extensions and CG rocks suspended in air to convey scale and intensity of action in these story beats. We also worked with the team to enact their ideas for the wide and grand framing of this iconic battle.”
Plate (above) and postvis (below) from Episode 5, as Darth Vader force-pulls a spaceship that’s trying to take off from a hangar.
Master and apprentice meet again in Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, seen in previs (above) and postvis (below) as action for the scenes was planned by the show team.