For the Star Wars homage, the biggest challenge Nate faced was recreating the famous Deathstar Explosion. A great debate raged as to whether the explosion should echo that of the original film’s release, or include the “ring” seen in the re-edited versions George Lucas so admires. In the end, the new effects won out and it was decided the inclusion of the ring made the scene decidedly ‘Lucas;’ a poetic way to have his flagship company go out.
The explosion was created by combining film footage of a gas explosion, footage of a sparkler burning down and using shape layers and effects in After Effects to create the ring. Here’s a video showing the compositing breakdown: