Credit by Lucasfilm | Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Meet the Singapore Team who Worked on the Rise of Skywalker
FUN FACTS Singapore

Meet the Singapore Team who Worked on the Rise of Skywalker

Remember that pivotal fight scene in the movie where Rey and Kylo Ren duke it out with their lightsabers on top of a downed ship? Well, the digital effects of that scene were created right in Singapore at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the effects and animation studio that’s a division of the Lucasfilm production company.


If you let out an audible gasp during that action-packed fight scene on the Death Star wreckage like we did, you have layout artist Irfan Sherif to thank for that.

With 10 years of work experience at ILM, Irfan was one of the artists responsible for tracking the clashing lightsabers – which were just “hilts with sticks” when the actors were filming the scene – up until Rey gets Kylo Ren real good.

A scene from Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. Image: Lucasfilm
A scene from Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. Image: Lucasfilm

Tracking involves placing a point or multiple points on a real world object so the layout artist can map it to a digital sequence for other artists to place visual effects in the scene. The other departments then came in to map the digital plasma blades on the lightsabers.

A layout artist’s job is done when viewers believe that actors Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley were actually filming on a wreckage anchored in an ocean with 12-storey high waves.

Together with texture and look development lead Elvin Siew and the 280-strong staff at ILM, our little red dot contributed vastly to the galaxy far, far away.

Texture and look development lead, Elvin Siew. Image: Lucasfilm
Texture and look development lead, Elvin Siew. Image: Lucasfilm

Siew not only oversaw the gripping Kef Bir scene, he was involved in the creation of the Sith star destroyer fleet, as well as the climactic battle between the fleet and the rag-tag rebels ships.

The Singapore team also worked on the interior and exterior shots of the Death Star wreckage, the ice-tunnel chase between the Millennium Falcon and TIE fighters, the hangar scene where Kylo reveals Rey’s lineage, and those horse-like alien creatures called orbaks.

“So, quite a big contribution over the past year,” said Siew.

The work started in October 2018, beginning with the Sith star destroyers. If you thought the massive ships looked familiar, Siew explained that it was because they were based on the ones from the original trilogy and Rogue One.

Layout artist Irfan Sherif. Image: Lucasfilm
Layout artist Irfan Sherif. Image: Lucasfilm


Having already worked on several blockbuster films such as Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Aladdin and Ready Player One, do these ILM veterans still stick around at the cinema for the end credits?

“I definitely do stay to watch the end credits,” said Siew. “The goosebumps come when you see everybody’s name on screen – not just mine because it’s not a one-person job. I wouldn’t be able to make what I’d made, no matter how good I am. It’s the team that is with me. Basically, everyone who’s worked on it is a fan and had wanted to put their best foot forward to bring the last chapter to life.”

Source : This is part of the article originally published in Channel News Asia 


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