“Lava, Lava, Everywhere” by Geiger, Rebours, Sprout and Helms

  • ©Willi Geiger, Philippe Rebours, Kevin Sprout, and John Helms




    Lava, Lava, Everywhere



    One of the key sequences in Star Wars: Episode 3 takes place on Mustafar, a planet entirely covered with lava. The lava is not merely a backdrop, but is integral to the plot, takes part in the action and is closely integrated with other visual elements. The sequence makes use of every technique in the book, from miniature photography to footage of a real volcano that fortuitously (at least for us) erupted during principal photography. Computer graphics was used in al- most a hundred shots to enhance these elements and many of the effects were so specific, huge or fantastic that computer graphics had to be used extensively or completely. This spurred the development of many new techniques for both simulation and rendering.

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