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Crafting Immersive Worlds Hand-in-Hand with a Stellar Team
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Crafting Immersive Worlds Hand-in-Hand with a Stellar Team

The Mandalorian's 3rd season not only marked a significant milestone for the series but also represented the culmination of our 5th collaboration with Lucasfilm. Drawing from our extensive experience on past projects such as Ahsoka, The Mandalorian Seasons 1 and 2, Obi-Wan, and Boba Fett, our virtual art department (VAD) played a pivotal role in shaping the visual landscape of this beloved franchise. Through innovative approaches and seamless collaboration with the core creative team, we embarked on a journey to craft immersive worlds that captivate audiences worldwide.

Virtual Art Department (Top) Compared to Final Shot

Key Highlights:

  1. Resourceful Approach: Leveraging assets from previous ventures enabled us to enrich the visual narrative of The Mandalorian's third season, showcasing a diverse range of environments and settings.
  2. Embracing VR: By adopting virtual reality techniques such as scouts and pre-lights, we facilitated effective communication and coordination with production units, ensuring a streamlined workflow throughout the production process.
  3. Tool Evolution: Constantly evolving our tools and methodologies allowed us to onboard new team members seamlessly and manage multiple projects simultaneously, without compromising on quality or efficiency.

Key Creatives in Virtual Scouts:

Our virtual scouts were attended by key creatives including creator Jon Favreau, director Dave Filoni, DPs David Klein and Dean Cundey, production designers Andrew Jones and Doug Chiang, VFX Supervisor Richard Bluff, and more. Their invaluable insights and feedback guided our creative decisions and ensured alignment with the overarching vision of the series.

We’ve learned a lot by being on this project for all 3 seasons and we’d like to share 5 key takeaways that help us streamline our process:

  • Prioritize communication: Make sure you keep the conversation flowing between all team members, including key creatives, art department, VFX, visualization team and your VAD. Establish clear channels and regular check-ins to collaborate efficiently and keep everyone in the loop. On Lucasfilm projects we used a program called Mattermost, which is a locally hosted Slack alternative accessible through the VPN. This way we could have all forms of imagery and video, both WIP and Final, for everyone to view and comment in a secure way.
  • Value organization: It's not fun, we hear ya! And in the heat of creating environments the last thing on the team’s mind is setting up proper naming conventions and folder structures. However, regular organizing throughout the project will help the team handle the complexity of pulling up previous layouts, passing off renders to other departments, and turning over the sets to the ICVFX vendors. Even with the use of tools to import assets properly or create Levels in the correct folder structure, setting aside an hour a week to keep structures in order goes a long way, especially with how many unique sets or lighting scenarios the team is dealing with, which could be in the hundreds!
  • Stay adaptable: Be prepared to face evolving requirements, technical challenges, and tight deadlines. The VAD Design team is meant to be nimble, to be flexible and proficient in problem-solving. The aim is to have many reviews and keep it simple, so that virtual stage walks, virtual prelights, and virtual location scouts can be as successful as they can be.
  • Embrace new workflows: A process or workflow that was established at the beginning of a project may be obsolete 4 months later. Encourage your team to seek out new software tools and keep up to date with the latest techniques. The aim is always to be faster and more efficient while maintaining or increasing quality, and though new workflows can be a disruption, make sure to take time to review.
  • Cultivate curiosity: In the ever-evolving landscape of virtual art departments and visualization, inspire your team members to engage in continuous learning, professional development, and knowledge-sharing. This positive approach will help foster a culture of growth, nurture leaders in the team, and expand the team’s capabilities. With our VADs we started using the internal title ‘Set Owner’ which essentially means they are responsible for that set and the tasks associated with it.


75+ Real-Time Sets: Direction & Design

345+ Virtual Scouts With Director & Key Creatives

19 Virtual Apt Department Team Members

7 Months Of Set Design


  • VAD Supervisor - Matan Abel  
  • Lead Network Systems Developer - Joey Wittmann 
  • VAD Manager - Alissa Steinert 
  • VAD Consultant - Safari Sosebee 
  • VAD Lead - Kyle Sarvas   
  • VAD Artist - Brian Bellamy  
  • VAD Artist - Colleen Craige
  • VAD Artist - Dallas Drapeau 
  • VAD Artist - David Martinez
  • VAD Artist - Nate Propp 
  • VAD Artist - Tyler Reed 
  • VAD Artist - Gio Shull  
  • VAD Artist - Erick Villarreal 
  • VAD Lighting Lead - Steven Hensley
  • VAD Lighter - Christy Page  
  • Tech Artist - Bryan Mentock 
  • Tech Artist - Skye Terran Stevenson 
  • Photogrammetry Lead - Fabio Marzo
  • Photogrammetry Artist - Stephen Haddock-Weiler 
  • Photogrammetry Artist - Madi Lenhart 
  • Photogrammetry Artist - Larry Robey
  • VAD Associate Producer - Leysan Khabibullina

Congratulations to the entire production team on the incredible third installment of The Mandalorian