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ILM VFX supervisor Richard Bluff recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and discussed the creation of Baby Yoda – or should we correctly say, The Child – explaining the switch between on set animatronic and CGI creation as well as the utilizations of StageCraft.

Character work ranged from the rhino-like CG Mudhorn to the breakout star, the wide-eyed Child, which started out as a planned reference puppet to give actors an eyeline on set. But in the end, a puppet built by Legacy Effects was used for most of the final shots. “We had two versions,” Bluff relates. “One was animatronic and required up to five puppeteers if we had to move the eyes, head and arms.” The other was a “stuffy” that could be held in the background when it was out of focus.

Additionally, a fully CG version of the character was created at ILM for “the rare occasion that we needed CG for the performance. It had to match the puppet exactly.

“We were all taken aback by how well he was received,” Bluff says of Baby Yoda, adding that the cast and crew were enamored of The Child even before the series debuted.

Another way the team captured the “handmade” look and feel of the original Star Wars saga was the use of miniature spaceships, shot with a new motion-control rig developed by ILM VFX supervisor and chief creative officer John Knoll. “We felt it would give us the charm of the original movie.”

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Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book I: Chaos Rising) (Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Zahn, Timothy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 09/01/2020 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)