Miniature Spacecraft in The Mandalorian Star Wars TV Show

DanielB

Sr Member
So here's something unexpected. The Mandalorian, the new Star Wars TV show, is using miniature VFX for space craft. That's pretty much unheard of since 1997.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE miniature spacecraft.

BUT, in the practicality of TV production, it doesn't seem to make sense to me. That ship would be easily created and rendered in CGI and look just as good or better. CG spacecraft can easily rival or surpass miniatures.

Here is a video featurette on how they did it...

https://youtu.be/GrlTosbjylA?t=2859
 

vectorzero

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
New motion control rigs, old school multi pass photography, digital composition. The best of all worlds! This is clearly a labour of love. John Favreau has gone up in my estimations. Even further!
 

DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's how it should be done: a mix of real physical model and CGI!
About a decade ago I talked to Peter Lamont, the production designer of the Bond movies after Ken Adam. For TWINE they did exactly the same, since it was faster than cgi. Id4 did a lot of the fx the traditional way and can you tell? Mixes media ia imo the best.
 

swgeek

Sr Member
I'm gonna have to argue with "CG spacecraft can easily rival or surpass miniatures". I couldn't disagree more.
Also, there has been a few miniature spaceships used since 1997 in both TV and movies.
As far as cheaper, it totally depends on the needs of the scene and what the ship is required to do.
From what I understand (aka what I've read online) about the miniature ships used in The Mandalorian it looks like a few guys did it in their spare time, not even sure if they got paid extra for it. There's nothing that I've read that says all space craft are going to be practical (I wish!). From what I've seen only one ship has been built practically.
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
...There's nothing that I've read that says all space craft are going to be practical (I wish!). From what I've seen only one ship has been built practically.
Yeah, it was mentioned in the panel that it started out just as an experiment, and then morphed into just completing a few shots with it. It was also mentioned that other ships in the show would be CGI.

SB
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
CGI is not the be-all-end-all. It is just another tool in the box. Sometimes it's better, or cheaper and sometimes practical models are.
Each tool has its advantages and disadvantages.
 
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