Legacy of the Mandalorian: elevating fan films to the next level with virtual production
When Jetstreak Ink started working on their ambitious fan film, Legacy of the Mandalorian, it brought ARwall in very early in the process. Having mobilized the entire Star Wars fandom on a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jetstreak Ink wanted to take the last installment of its trilogy to the next level in terms of production quality. Securing access to the same tools and technology used for The Mandalorian was a game changer for Jetstreak Ink, which benefited from true interactive lighting within different virtual environments, thanks to the support and tech provided by ARwall.
The ability to go to certain places and use these sets has just been nothing but amazing. It helps with the writing process and the creative process to be able to go to your producer or writer and be like, “Can you do this? Can we go there?” and it just being readily available to you.
– Timothy Ryan Lahr, Director, Legacy of the Mandalorian
A newly released behind-the-scenes film provides a closer look into how ARwall’s technology has been used in-camera to create new custom scenes and environments, some of which include dynamic backgrounds emitting real interactive lighting, all captured in-camera.
The Virtual Production tools and skills behind Legacy of the Mandalorian
ARwall equipped its virtual production supervisor and virtual production technician with the ARFX Pro plugin, an on-set solution that consolidates all virtual production settings from Unreal Engine’s Unreal Editor software into one place, without the need for coding or programming.
With Legacy of the Mandalorian filmed on a 20 x 11.5ft, 1.5mm Pitch LED backdrop, ARwall took the opportunity to test some of the new features and capabilities of the ARFX Pro plugin for better color management, on-set workflows, and tracking stability; to great success. As a result, ARwall expanded the menu of the ARFX Pro plugin, offering more detailed options in Unreal Engine’s Play mode and eliminating any need to go back and forth with tiny adjustments or changes, saving valuable time.
Where green screens might have resulted in color spills or less functionality in-camera, ARwall’s backdrops offered a higher degree of custom color management on set beyond simply helping the actors to easily realize the story’s world around them.
Key facts from the process
- Getting the Immersive virtual set and lighting experience that Jetstreak Ink needed within an environment was only possible thanks to ARwall’s ARFX Pro plugin for Unreal Engine, the ARFX Pro Server System, and the virtual stage at Soapbox Films. Together, the filmmakers got all the results of a “Mandalorian-sized” stage at a micro-budget suitable for a fan film.
- The crew wanted their actors to transport through lightspeed or walk out onto a Venator-class Star Destroyer’s observation deck and for stormtroopers to march through its corridors. The flexibility and ease of switching between these rehearsed and prevised angles quickly with an in-engine menu was only possible with ARFX’s proprietary software and patented XR Sync calibration, designed for quick and powerful on-set control without sacrificing any time in a fragile indie schedule like this one.
- Having readily available locations in mind, long before shooting, helps with the writing and creative process, making it far easier to visualize a given scene. Each angle, camera position and movement was previsualized before any placement of actors, lights, or props.
ARwall’s cutting-edge XR technology not only helped to visualize Legacy of the Mandalorian during the early creative development process but also afforded a true interactive lighting experience within a physical space. Fan films are rarely afforded the kind of capabilities that the Jetstreak Ink team had on set but with ARwall, they proved that this technology has the capacity to be used on any production, no matter the scale.
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