Death Star

Incredibly detailed animation shows just how hard it is to build the Death Star

Contributed by
Dec 19, 2017

The Death Star is a massive, planet-sized space station weapon. Star Wars has featured at least two Death Stars (so far). For a civilization that existed a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, they had to have been incredibly technologically advanced (and rich as hell).

Two brothers, Benjamin and Isaac Botkin, decided to explore how the Death Star may have been built in this beautiful animation. Isaac came up with the idea while watching Rogue One. He enjoyed the Death Star construction scenes, but wanted more. Using Lightwave 3D, Isaac created this animation. From his blog:

I came up with a very simple method of revealing geometry with Lightwave’s instancing tool, and since there was a lot of procedural animation, I was seeing a lot of interesting shapes appear that I hadn’t planned, and several layers of complexity that I didn’t need to create by hand.

Almost every shot in this animation is just a different camera angle from a single scene that plays out over 1500 frames. Originally, I had planned to create this animation as a single shot, but as I moved the camera around my master scene I kept finding interesting things to show from all kinds of different angles.

There is very little compositing work. In fact, most shots only have a bit of bloom applied the luma channel and a tiny bit of a lens effect in the corners. Rogue One is a beautiful film, but I wanted this animation to be a bit more reminiscent of the simpler lighting and optical prints from A New Hope.

Benjamin was responsible for the score. According to the video's YouTube page, Benjamin wanted to "come up with an original melody, but keep it very much within the style and flavor of John William's iconic Star Wars scores." He used all virtual instruments for the composition.

What do you think? Does this seem like a realistic way to build a Death Star?

(Via io9)