May the 4th be with you!

May 4th, 2022

Categories: Animation, Multimedia, Video / Film

Still of the Death Star
Still of the Death Star


Professor and EVL interim director and director of research, Andrew Johnson participated with Matt Bubabla and Judy Pielach on their radio show WLS-AM 890 to discuss UIC’s involvement on the first “Star Wars” movie. In 1976, California artist Larry Cuba was hired by George Lucas to produce the special effects for the film’ s ’Trench Scene’. Exploring possibilities for the scene, Cuba sought out the expertise of experimental computer graphics artists Tom DeFanti and Dan Sandin, co-directors of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory of the University of Illinois Circle Campus, as it was named at the time. Cuba proceeded to use EVL computer graphics technology to digitize the ’Death Star’, which was later converted to film for the movie. Presently, the computer technology used to produce the scene is still functioning and archived by long-time EVL collaborator Steve Heminover.