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Joel Aron and Keith Kellogg Discuss the Process of Creating ‘Star Wars Rebels’ at Santa Clara Library Comic Con

Ezra Bridger from Star Wars Rebels (Photo: Lucasfilm)

While many had their eyes on New York Comic Con this past weekend, there was another comic convention at the Santa Clara Library in California that gave Star Wars fans a closer look and a better understanding of how Star Wars Rebels is made and a sneak peek at the upcoming season.

The panel featured Joel Aron (Director of Cinematography) and Keith Kellogg (Animation Supervisor), and the two talked about the making of Star Wars Rebels from storyboarding to FX work.

Here’s a brief summary of what they mentioned during the panel:

  • The visits to the Lucasfilm Archive at the start of the series and looking at Ralph McQuarrie art.
  • Developing a story team in order to put a story together.
  • Creating a storyboard.
  • Figuring out what lenses to use (Joel did a lot of research and analyzing to determine the original lenses used in A New Hope).
  • Design and asset creation, specifically creating character sheets that will eventually be translated into a 3D model.
  • Maquettes are built and Joel uses these for lighting references.
  • Toward the middle of the 16-week process, the professional actors come in to do voice recording. They are also video recorded and this footage is used to help the animators.
  • Keith Kellogg ends up having to go through several 100 shots to revise any mistakes. He also acts out 1/3 of the episode for the animators, in case they didn’t correctly get an expression or gesture.
  • Creating models and skeletons as well as rig and animation.
  • Lighting and visual effects take place soon after, and Joe uses lighting based on classic art, such Rembrandt (The Rembrandt Triangle) and Vermeer.
  • The research that went into learning about the original lightsaber and recreating that for the show.
  • Early lighting and grain tests come into play during the final stages as well as lighting concepts, which we tend to find in the StarWars.com episode guides.
  • Some of the last steps include FX work, and for the white wolf that we’ll see in season four, they used Princess Mononoke as a reference.

As a fan of animated shows, I’m always fascinated by what goes into making an episode. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of work that’s involved and the amount of time that it takes to create just one episode. From what I’ve seen, fans tend to take it for granted and easily pass judgment and criticism on something they don’t fully understand. It’s great to be reminded of the arduous process because it makes you appreciate the details, and even if you’ve watched the episodes several times, there’s always something new that your eye didn’t catch the first time.

Watch the panel in its entirety down below, and many thanks to Steven Alvarez and the Santa Clara Library for capturing the panel and making it available on YouTube.

Thank you for visiting The Wookiee Gunner! You can also find us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Tumblr. Send us news, tips, and inquiries here or visit our Contact page. If you’re a fan artist looking to showcase your Star Wars fan art, check out our Star Wars Fan Artist Spotlight. Finally, if you’re looking to add a few Star Wars podcasts to your playlist, check out Rebels ChatGalactic FashionHangin’ with Team Kanan, and Star Scavengers.

About JM (1000 Articles)
Content creator of The Wookiee Gunner. Podcasts: @RebelsChat, @GalacticFashion, @Team_Kanan, and @StarScavengers. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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