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The massive monster fight relied on a whole lot of modern filmmaking tools. The sequence contains many digitized shots, and characters. A lot of it was also filmed with a green screen outdoors in Los Angeles. The CGI elements were seamlessly combined with live-action plates filmed around the world. Every shot has something “real” in it to ground it, though. And you’d be hard-pressed to differentiate which parts are live footage and real actors and which parts are not.
Favreau says making a sequence of this magnitude is the result of heavy pre-production work that includes all departments from the beginning of the process. But what might surprise viewers is the importance of sand on making the scene come together. A lot of the sand in this desert scene was rendered by Industrial Light & Magic, which also created the krayt dragon. Favreau says that kind of realistic digital sand wasn’t possible even a couple of years ago. Watching the episode, though, it didn’t even occur to us the sand wasn’t real.
Even Anakin Skywalker might find rendered sand most impressive.