The Mandalorian - Season 1

(2019)

The Disney+ streaming service was launched at the end of 2019. Along with their animated family movies (including the whole Pixar roster), the catalogue includes National Geographic's documentaries, as well as movies and series from both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise. 

One of the Disney+ crown jewels was indisputably The Mandalorian, the space Western Star Wars fans had been waiting for. When Lucasfilm contacted Hybride to collaborate on the series' VFX, the studio was definitely onboard. It was in fact the next logical step, after creating impressing VFX for The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Rogue One (2016) and Solo (2018).

Hybride's contribution on The Mandalorian was mostly focused on two key elements: bringing the IG-11 bounty hunter droid to 'life' and creating full CG environments for Nevarro City and the Lava Flats, a huge environment made out of flat lava rocks that stretch out endlessly.

The meanest robot in town

In our story, IG-11 is a relentless bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to get his mark. With his double jointed shoulders and elbows, hydraulic arms and legs, and his ability to rotate his head and torso 360 degrees, IG-11 has the ability to quickly transform into a ruthless killing machine.

To help match the live action puppet of IG more accurately, Hybride sent a detailed CG version of IG to be 3D printed. These 3D prints were then used to create the live version of the puppet used on set.

IG-11 THE MEANEST ROBOT IN TOWN
IG-11 THE MEANEST ROBOT IN TOWN

At the beginning of IG-11's design phase, Animation Director Hal Hickle, presented the Hybride team with the unique opportunity of creating an original character that hadn't been seen in the Star Wars universe before.

 

The original brief was to have IG-11 appear to be made out of old and heavy car parts. His joints needed to be animated as if they were loosely fitted together in order to give him a nonthreatening appearance.

IG-11 THE MEANEST ROBOT IN TOWN
IG-11 THE MEANEST ROBOT IN TOWN

IG-11 also has no specific facial features except for a pair of crude binoculars that generally imply the direction of where he might be looking. Given these constraints, Hybride's animation team needed to convey what IG was thinking, through his stilted actions alone. Together, these character elements created a unique opportunity to explore the different facets of this seemingly unemotional robot. IG-11 is a simple yet nuanced character that the team thoroughly enjoyed playing a part in bringing him to the screen.

 

Nevarro

The Nevarro environment is located in a dusty volcanic wasteland with its Main City built around the remains of past lava eruptions. The CG landscape, filled with a large variety of lava rocks and volcanic ground structures, was built based on ultra hires photogrammetry scans taken from locations in Hawaii, and Iceland.

NEVARRO
NEVARRO


The large-scale data set was then processed and stored in a model library. The scan was then cleaned up in order to remove light and shadows, and all of the maps were colour balanced so the rock pieces would match one another. The ground's surface was created from multiple high-resolution textures and different reflection attributes to imitate the look of lava. The textured layers were then mixed to obtain a natural ground behavior that takes into consideration sand and rock elevations and reflections.

The resulting library was made accessible to Hybride's artists in order to create the different types of surrounding topographies. Based on set pictures and Lidar scans, they created a massive library of city elements such as building facades, ground assets, street props and towers, which were used to assemble a dozen scenes. 

Overall, 250 assets were painted based on the provided artwork and the colour scheme was set to blend perfectly into the set. Afterwards, an overall weathering pass was performed in order to unify the city's aging infrastructure.
 

NEVARRO
NEVARRO

The workflow was designed to control multiple asset resolutions, with infinite points of view. Using the approved artwork as a guideline, several sub-locations of the city were digitally generated starting from the streets, all the way up to the Courtyard set extension. This approach made it easier to generate additional shots for large sequences made up of various sub locations without compromising the end result in a fast-paced TV series production such as The Mandolorian.

Credits

The Mandalorian (2019-)

Season 1 (8 episodes)


Released on November 12, 2019, on Disney+, produced by Lucasfilm
 

Executive Producer: Jon Favreau

Directors: Rick Famuyiwa, Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas-Howard and Taika Waititi

Overall Visual Effects Supervisor (Lucasfilm): Richard Bluff

 Animation Supervisor: Hal Hickel


VFX Workload: 451 shots 

Cumulative Duration: 20.5 minutes

Project Timeframe: 15 months (August 2018 to October 2019)

VFX Description: Design, tracking, layout, lighting, texture, modelling, animation, compositing.

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LAYOUT / TRACKING

Steve Pelchat, (lead layout/tracking)

Alain Lacroix

Benoît Morin

Samuel Loriault-Goulet

Stéphane Maillet

Yassine Triki

TEXTURE & LIGHTING

Christophe Damiano, (Lead Textures & Lighting)

Maryse Bouchard, (Lead Textures & Lighting)

Yanick Gaudreau, (Lead Textures & Lighting)

Alexandre Tessier

Antoine Goncalves

Christian Ménard

David Dambremont

Doréa Fontaine

Gabrielle Marchand

Karine Tuffeli-Rail

Léane Morin

Marie-Claude Aubry

Mathieu Beaudoin

Myriam Ricard-Lalonde

Nicolas Scuntaro

Quentin Luna

Robert Buca

Samuel Jacques

Steve Fraser

Steven Quinones-Colon

Valérie Villeneuve

FX ANIMATORS

Danny Levesque, (Lead FX Animator)

Dang Vy Nguyen

Francis Beauregard

Jérémie Chagnon

Kishen PJ

Louis Desrochers

Luigi Duranti

Richard Clément Tam

Stéphane Arsenault

TECHNICAL DIRECTORS

Patrick Piché, (Lead Technical Director)

Bruno-Pierre Jobin

Jimmy Caron

Mathieu Leclaire

Michel Bergeron

MODELERS

Marco Tremblay, (Environment Supervisor)

David Roberge

Mathieu Lalonde

Matthew Smith

Miguel Berube Ouellet

Philippe Vachon

Robert De La Cruz

ANIMATORS

Alexandre Alin

Eduardo Azcue

Jordan Benning

Josef Sy

Mary Yang

William Campbell

PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF PRODUCTION

Pierre Raymond

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Michel Murdock

PRODUCTION VICE PRESIDENT

Thierry Delattre

HEAD OF PRODUCTION MONTREAL STUDIO

Mathieu Boucher

VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISORS

François Lambert

Joseph Kasparian

COMPUTER GRAPHICS SUPERVISORS

Christopher Ahrens

Emmanuel Pelletier

Philippe Théroux

COMPOSITING SUPERVISORS

Michel Barrière

Olivier Beaulieu

Simon Marinof

VISUAL EFFECT PRODUCERS

Louise Bertrand

Richard Martin

Sébastien Racine

Yanick Wilisky

ANIMATION SUPERVISOR

Kenneth Steel

VISUAL EFFECT COORDINATORS

Audrey Deschênes

Caitlin Howell

Catherine Lecavalier

Joanie Croteau

Karina Mariano

Leo-Partick Houde

Marc St-Gelais

Yann Nicolas

RESSOURCE COORDINATOR

Sylvain Rioux

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Jason Bohbot

Karim Besbes

Luc Desmarais

Mélanie Cotton

Olivier Painchaud

Stephan Gervais

COMMUNICATIONS

Sylvie Talbot

Anne Tremblay

ADMINISTRATION

Caroline Bélisle

Isabelle Desrochers

Marie Nakhlé

DIGITAL COMPOSITORS

Olivier Gravel, (Lead Digital Compositor)

Matthieu Chatelier, (Lead Digital Compositor)

Pierre Blain

Alice Pépujol

Belly Mingmuong

Christopher Payne

Daniel Cregan

Éloi Brunelle

Elsa Lemire

François Leduc

Gabriel Couture-Bojanowski

Jeffrey Jin

Jennifer Harlow

Jocelyn Maher

Julie Therrien

Justin Hébert

Katy Savoie

Marc-Olivier Simoneau

Mathieu Boudreau

Maxime Besner

Maxime Ferland

Maxime Lemieux

Patrick Tassé

Samuel Lepage-Bédard

Véronique Guay

Véronique Tremblay

Vincent Mak

Xavier Larocque

VFX EDITORS

Guillaume St-Aubin

Sébastien Rioux

PAINT & ROTO

Juliette Compignie, (Lead Paint & Roto )

Mélissa Laframboise Maillé, (Lead Paint & Roto )

Anne Fortin

Cédric Pépin

Charles-Étienne D'Amours

Christophe Trudel

Dominique Richer

Érika Normandin

James Daniel Haines

Jeff Blouin

Marie-Eve St-Amour

Sylvain Régnié

Yannick Bissonnette

MOTION GRAPHICS

Edouard Buttiero

CHARACTER RIGGING

Mark Masson, (Lead Character Rigging)

Daniel Bros

John Mark Gibbons

Stephane Jean-Mary

I/O TECHNICIANS

Jonathan Perth

Jordan Picotte

Samuel Cardinal