New video reveals incredible special effects used to create Jedha and Scarif in Rogue One

Turns out there was more CGI than you thought...

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Although recent Star Wars films have favoured practical effects over an overdose of Phantom Menace-style green screens, there was only so much Rogue One could shoot with models.

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When it came to the destruction of Jedha and depicting the battle on the Scarif beaches, director Gareth Edwards had to rely on VFX specialists Industrial Light and Magic. And they did a fantastic job.

As the video below shows, animators assembled the two planets with incredible detail, with several layers of renders creating believable environments.

Yet perhaps what’s the most fascinating is the tiny components that added so much to each scene: the subtle smog over Jedha, the background lightning in its destruction. Plus, there’s a great look at the line where physical set met VFX in the battle of Scarif.

So, why has this been released months after the film hit cinemas? The Oscars. ILMVisualFX have released this video as part of their campaign to claim the award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, where it’s up against Kubo and the Two Strings, Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange and The Jungle Book.

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We’ll see who wins on February 26th.