Walk us through the steps involved in recreating this scene.
This is a standard wide shot with digital retouching. I guess the real scene was also green-screened with CGI landscape. Practical shots are ideal but there isn’t a location nearby that proximate that desolate barren landscape. Plus in the movie, the salt floor is white. The closest I got was sand. I took my daughter to the local beach and we scooped up some sand. Then I just layered it based on images/video I searched on the internet. I used a cheap light box and played around with artificial light as well as outdoor light. I ended up with outdoor, natural lighting.
Then the rest was retouching on the iPad Pro using Affinity Photo. My main tool for retouching is the iPad and I’ve commented in the past how liberating it is for me to do retouching anywhere. When the kids go to swim lesson or when I am on my commute to work. That is where I do the lightsaber FX, motion blur, and compositing using the iPad pen.
he challenge is always to get the color grading to give it a cinematic look. Then you have the compositing with depth-of-field. If the background sky is too sharp and the floor is blurred, it can look odd.