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Star Wars Still Life

Star Wars Still Life

Charbel Saade
by CharbelSaade on 24 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

As a Star Wars fan, and a digital artist, I thought of combining my expertise with my passions to create this piece: Star Wars Still Life. This is my entry for The Rookies 2023, with the whole process from Idea to Render, hope you enjoy the journey!

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Ideas & References

My idea was to analyze a photo's composition and lighting conditions, and apply that to make a photorealistic render of a unique theme I wanted to work on, and in that case it was Star Wars.

The photo I chose was taken by Kevin Best, from his Still Life Photography collection, in which, in his turn, takes old paintings as a reference, and exactly replicates them in photography.

First things first, I had to gather some references, blueprints and ideas on what could I possibly replace the original assets of the painting with. After some research, I decided what assets I wanted to work on, so I placed everything I gathered in front me, so I get a clear idea on where I am headed to.

Blocking out & Modeling

Then came time to get things concrete; I built a simple blockout to see if the chosen assets will fit the composition, and then started modeling. 

The most challenging asset was BB8, because it has a lot of tiny details, so I decided to implement these details in textures, bump and displacement maps, because it will make things easier, so I painted the displacements manually in painter, and it turned out great!

But, since I really wanted to add some lego stuff in there, because I'm a lego nerd, I had to find a way to build and add the lego assets I wanted to make in the scene, more details on that later...

Here are some phases of blocking out and modeling.


For the lego parts, I chose to make Grogu and the Millenium Falcon.

I didn't if there was a way to build lego digitally, so I looked it up, and came across Studio/BrickLink, a free software in which you have all the ever created lego pieces, and where the only limit is your imagination.

But the challenge was how am I gonna build that Lego Grogu, I went on the official Lego website, hoping to find the building instructions of a specific lego set, and luckily I found it!

Turns out building lego digitally is as fun as doing it physically.


I textured the assets using Substance Painter, it was really fun.

Since my aim was the photorealism, I looked more into details, research how specific materials scratch, get dirt, rust... and most important, react to light.

Light, Camera, Action

Matching the light setup was a bit challenging, so I had to experiment with different types of lights, intesities, color temperatures, until I get a light setup that closely matches the reference.

Then for the camera, I used FSpy to get the exact camera focal length, and position in 3D space, so I can recreate the framing and composition.

Action, well, more like Render!

Final Render

After all the long and challening parkour, here is the result. Enjoy!


And of course, the breakdown is always the cherry on top!

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