This First Order ship, whose full name is Siege Dreadnought Fulminatrix, is nearly three times larger than a Star Destroyer, which is not a small ship itself. Named after a World War I battleship that was so impressive the name became generic, the Star Wars Dreadnought has 24 cannons and two orbital bombardment guns atop its flat surface and dropping down from the bottom.
Lucasfilm Design Supervisor and ILM Senior Art Director Kevin Jenkins designed the spear-tip shaped, 25,162.8-foot armored gunship. Artists at ILM London modeled and textured the ginormous asset.
“We had one level of large panels, one of medium, and then smaller panels that we set dressed using our [digital] model kits,” says Mike Mulholland, visual effects supervisor at ILM London. “We also cut the ship into parts: the bridge section, the nose cone, the belly-button target area, the central zipper. We put together these individual assets using our hierarchical pipeline because we couldn’t load the entire model.”
The pipeline was designed to work within ILM’s digital model shop group where artists modeled and textured the ship.
“The modelers were able to run shot-level dressing, as well,” Mulholland says. “When the camera is close to the surface, they would add extra detail on a shot-by-shot basis.”