An incredibly rare and original piece of ILM Rotoscope artwork, used in the production of the third epic Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi.
Rotoscoping is a traditional visual effects technique (now achieved with CGI) where an animator traces over a projected film image by hand, frame by frame, to modify the image. In the case of the Star Wars films, rotoscope animation was used to give the lightsaber blades their glow, and to animate laser blasts.
In this frame, Luke Skywalker is bracing to slice the front off a Biker Scout’s Speeder Bike on Endor. The drawing has the hand-written note “x38” in the bottom right corner, indicating it is the 38th frame in the sequence. The rotoscope has been drawn on specifically created animation art paper, which has been hole punched with absolute precision to hold each page tightly in place and prevent any movement whatsoever.
This rotoscope pencil drawing is an intermediary stage between the raw film and the final rotoscope artwork (which would be a simple beam of light on a transparent animation cell). The ILM animator would project the film of Hamill holding the lightsaber prop (with a wooden blade) onto animation paper at an animation stand. They would trace the image of Luke frame by frame, so that they had an exact reference for where the lightsaber is in every shot, and therefore where the blade element needed to be painted in. From these pencil drawings, the final rotoscope animation art would be generated, and it would then be composited in an optical printer.
The sheet comes presented in a custom-made display with laser cut mount board, featuring the movie title and a still of this exact moment in the movie. The simple frame measures 73cm x 72cm (28.75” x 28.5”).
Materials: Wood, Acrylic, Paper, Card, Ferrous Metals.
Item size - 27.95" x 27.95" x 0.98" (70.99cm x 70.99cm x 2.49cm)
This item comes with a Prop Store Certificate of Authenticity.