Saving Yoda

Saving Yoda


Help a veteran Star Wars creature builder
and a crew of practical FX enthusiasts recreate the world’s favorite alien.

always liked this shot of our SavingYoda puppet

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Vor zwei Jahren war Nick Maley in Nürnberg und hat von seiner Vision berichtet, ein einzigartiges interaktives Museum aufzubauen, FXpo. Nun gibt es erstmals die Möglichkeit, einen Eindruck von FXpo zu bekommen. In Zusammenarbeit mit den Studenten des Studienganges Media Engineering der Technischen Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm, entsteht eine Mini-FXpo. Die Besucher steuern selbst die Ausstellungsobjekte. Doch es sind keine gewöhnlichen Exponate, sondern es handelt sich um Hologramme. Künstler und Special Effect Artists, die an bekannten Hollywood-Produktionen wie Star-Wars mitwirkten, erzählen ihre Geschichte. Sie sind als Besucher mittendrin - nicht nur dabei. ACHTUNG - Sonntag ist die Ausstellung geschlossen. English: Two years ago, Nick Maley came to Nuremberg and told us about his vision of building an unique, interactive museum - FXpo. Today, you can gain an impression for the first time. In cooperation with Media Engineering students of TH Nuremberg “Georg Simon Ohm“, a “Mini FXpo“ is being put together. Visitors will be able to take control of the extraordinary holographic exhibits themselves. Special Effect Artists and other contributors to popular Hollywood productions such as Star Wars are telling their stories. This puts you, the visitor, right in the middle of everything instead of being a mere spectator.

4 weeks ago

Mini-FXpo

July 23, 2016, 10:00am

Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm, Bahnhofstraße 90, 90402 Nürnberg, Deutschland

Vor zwei Jahren war Nick Maley in Nürnberg und hat von seiner Vision berichtet, ein einzigartiges interaktives Museum aufzubauen, FXpo. Nun gibt es erstmals die Möglichkeit, einen Eindruck von FXpo zu bekommen. In Zusammenarbeit mit den Studenten des Studienganges Media Engineering der Technischen Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm, entsteht eine Mini-FXpo. Die Besucher steuern selbst die Ausstellungsobjekte. Doch es sind keine gewöhnlichen Exponate, sondern es handelt sich um Hologramme. Künstler und Special Effect Artists, die an bekannten Hollywood-Produktionen wie Star-Wars mitwirkten, erzählen ihre Geschichte. Sie sind als Besucher mittendrin - nicht nur dabei. ACHTUNG - Sonntag ist die Ausstellung geschlossen. English: Two years ago, Nick Maley came to Nuremberg and told us about his vision of building an unique, interactive museum - FXpo. Today, you can gain an impression for the first time. In cooperation with Media Engineering students of TH Nuremberg “Georg Simon Ohm“, a “Mini FXpo“ is being put together. Visitors will be able to take control of the extraordinary holographic exhibits themselves. Special Effect Artists and other contributors to popular Hollywood productions such as Star Wars are telling their stories. This puts you, the visitor, right in the middle of everything instead of being a mere spectator.

Ryan David, Star Wars Fans and 10 others like this

Star Wars FansThanks big star wars fan here3 weeks ago

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Since finishing the first (prototype) SavingYoda puppet, I have acquired part of one of the original molds and other items that I believe will allow me to get an even closer likeness. So, being the perfectionist that I am, we are now preparing to go through the arduous process once again to make a second phase puppet.

Unfortunately that means starting again at the beginning. So please continue your support.

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4 weeks ago

Star Wars Fans, James Anderson and 23 others like this

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Rich ReoThat is amazing Nick!4 weeks ago

Jeff RodriquezAmazing work Nick! So glad you are doing this.1   ·  4 weeks ago

Brian MeldayMay The Force Be With You.1   ·  4 weeks ago

Jerimiah HartmannNick you're awesome thank'sfor saving an Icon1   ·  4 weeks ago

Thomas MazacAmazing Thank you for restoring the original so people may see how he was in the film :)1   ·  4 weeks ago

Clemens GuettersbergerStefanie2   ·  4 weeks ago

Tom TiernanLooks awesome.2   ·  4 weeks ago

Raylene Burnelis MathewsGreat job! I can't wait to see the finished Yoda!1   ·  4 weeks ago

Chris NolanChalie Parker1   ·  3 weeks ago

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Here you can see our SavingYoda puppet on display at "miniFXpo" last month. Note the hologram (between Yoda and the viewers) of former Lucasfilm insiders telling untold stories of Yoda's creation in 1978.

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4 months ago

Star Wars Memes, Jörg Steegmüller and 3 others like this

Star Wars Fanswho else gets this2 weeks ago

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FXpo

Saving Yoda shared FXpo's video.

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Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein "lebendiger" Yoda wird und das ganz ohne digitale Animation.

4 months ago

Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein

Björn Mandt, Star Wars Memes and 12 others like this

Daniel KoppertLeben ich werde hmmm1   ·  4 months ago

Star Wars FansIMO posts about jedi are fantastic who agrees?2 weeks ago

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Saving Yoda updated their cover photo.

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4 months ago

Anatael Pérez Hernández, Stefan Iseringhausen and 23 others like this

Raylene Burnelis MathewsNice photo2   ·  4 months ago

Paul CockleyHi Nick Maley hope alls well4 months ago

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FXpo

A clip of the new Yoda puppet at our "miniFXpo" in Nuremberg last week...

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Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein "lebendiger" Yoda wird und das ganz ohne digitale Animation.

4 months ago

Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein

Faz Wb, Frank Hallam and 23 others like this

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About


WHY

  • Because loyal SW fans, everywhere, keep asking for a return to a practical FX, and Disney should have available a rebuilt Yoda puppet for any new movies that take place before Yoda’s death.
  • Because members of the team that built the original Yoda are the best people to recreate a duplicate.
  • Because fans feel that the digital yoda has lost the fun and charm and realism of the original puppet.
  • Because Frank Oz and his associate puppeteers did it better.
  • Because Disney probably won’t risk making another puppet after the unpopular version in A PHANTOM MENACE. But if one is ready built, and proven, they are much more likely to return to a practical Yoda.
  • Because nobody has ever explained how the original Yoda (and other classic SW characters) were constructed, and we want to tell those stories at SW conventions around the world, using virtual holograms of the SW personalities that created those characters, and raising money for charitable foundations.

But most of all…

Because we all want to see a Yoda movie!!!


WHO

  • Nick Maley, known internationally as “that Yoda Guy” because of his contribution to the creation of four original Yodas made for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is supervising this project to ensure that every detail of the original close-up puppets is adhered to.

  • A crew of professional sculptors, creature effects artists, and cosplay enthusiasts have volunteered their skills and facilities to create this duplicate of the original puppet Yoda.
  • If enough funds can be raised, Nick will ask other surviving members of the original Yoda crew to duplicate the elements of Yoda that they originally created.

and finally…

YOU! Because it’s your contribution that will make this happen.


WHAT

We want to create…

  • A duplicate animatronic close-up puppet constructed exactly as the original puppet was built, available for future SW movies.
  • An animatronic Yoda for display at conventions where donations raise funds for charitable foundations.
  • A virtual holographic exhibit of Star Wars veteran creature builders, discussing their part in the creation of the original Yoda, for display at conventions around the world, where donations raise funds for charitable foundations.
  • A radio controlled Yoda that duplicates the one in Luke’s backpack.
  • A display of the parts of the original Yoda puppets, demonstrating the manner in which they were created, for display at conventions where donations raise funds for charitable foundations.

WHERE

  • The modeling, casting, fabrication and animatronics required for Yoda’s construction are being shared, internationally, amongst workshops in England, Germany and the Caribbean.
  • If the new puppet is used to film a new SW movie, it will probably be filmed in England.
  • If donations allow, the elements, molds and puppet will be available to be displayed at Star Wars related conventions around the world.

HOW

This project is intricate, precise and expensive. It can only be achieved through the kind support of members of the original Yoda crew and the efforts of talented volunteers. Materials and expenses will be paid for with donations made by fans and enthusiasts… like you. Without those, our efforts will be in vane. So, PLEASE SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE. Make a small donation and get a commemorative perk documenting YOUR part in SAVING YODA.

Yoda FAQ

Q. Yoda is dead? Why build a duplicate?
A. Disney have announced at least two new “Anthology” movies that take place before Episode IV (when Yoda is alive) and more are likely to follow.

Q. Can you build a Yoda for me?
A. Sorry, No. That would be a copyright infringement. We can only build a puppet and offer it for use to the copyright holder or use it to raise money for non-profit causes, or use it for legitimate autobiographical purposes. We can not sell any Yoda that we make without a relevant license.

Q. Doesn’t your Yoda look younger than Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back?
A. There are two reasons for that…
(i) We are designing the new Yoda puppet to be available to Lucasfilm for future SW Anthology movies. Nobody knows what the storyline of those movies might be or when they might take place. So we deliberately minimized Yoda’s aging so that, if necessary, The puppet can be artworked to look 200-400 years younger.
(ii) Our photos are of a clay sculpture with no artwork. The original Yoda skins looked younger before artworking too. Nick Maley is a fine artist who’s artwork has hung in museums and galleries internationally, having toured the world with UNESCO. If he can paint an old face on a blank white canvas, he can certainly accentuate the modeling in our new sculpt to make it look much older. Our aim with this sculpt was to provide maximum possible variations to suit whatever story Lucasfilm might envisage.

Contributors

Work in Progress

  • Creating the first "plunger"

Creating the first "plunger"

The first stage of preparing for the Saving Yoda sculpt was to simulate the arm of the puppeteer and to create a “plunger” that is used in both the sculpting and moulding process. smaller text NOTE: Subscribers to perks G and H (see donations) have access to over 2000 photos of the sculpt and moulding procedure alone and thousands more of the full construction as the process progresses.

12 Photos

  • Fitting eyes

Clay press

A talented friend had already done a Yoda sculpt for a previous project. After moulding, he kindly donated the remnants of his sculpt to the FXpo project. A clay press (positive) was made from a damaged mould.

11 Photos

  • Fitting hand

Fitting eyes

Simulated eyes, in the specified size, set to the correct distance apart, were mounted into the clay squeeze. This fixed point of reference served as a set proportion against which the rest of the sculpt could be measured. These are NOT the final eyes that will be used in the puppet. But aid the sculpting process.

8 Photos

  • Resizing

Fitting hand

The clay squeeze was dissected to to fit the arm plunger into the mouth. The mouth is set a little open to allow the final mould to touch down on the plunger.

8 Photos

  • Fitting ears

Resizing

Having pieced the sculpt around the plunger so that the hand fitted exactly behind the lips, the sculpt was measured to ensure it fitted proportions taken from relics of the original. Then the gaps were filled and the pieces were blended together.

11 Photos

  • Adjusting the nose

Fitting ears

Ears had been moulded separately from a previous version. Silicon casts were made and fitted to the sculpt (i) to aid the resculpt visualization (ii) to ensure the join to the ears would be perfected.

8 Photos

  • Sculpt complete

Adjusting the nose

Because the volume of the head had been reduced, the nose appeared to protrude to prominently. The length, width and overall shape were left unaltered. But the nose was removed, some of the volume reduced, and then it was replaced and blended into the face.

9 Photos

  • Detailing

Detailing

Having completed adjustments to the overall form, the surface of the face was detailed, over the course of several days and severel nights, with wrinkles and texture using photos of the original Yoda as reference. In this case, not knowing what age Yoda might be in future anthology movies, he was sculpted a littly younger than in The Empire Strikes Back, knowing that he could be aged with color if necessary.

46 Photos

  • Fitting hand

Sculpt complete

20 Photos

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