Destroying a planet is not an easy task unless you’ve got a Death Star, but if you are talking about destroying a planet in a movie. It’s up to the visual effects team at Industrial Light and Magic to destroy entire worlds, building cities and mountains up inside their computers, before blowing everything up with huge badass lasers.
ILM’s latest video shows how it did exactly this for Scarif and Jedha, two of the planets featured in Rogue One. The visual effects studio’s techniques are shown in layers, starting with a mesh that builds the basic shape of a CGI scene, before structures, textures, and effects like water are added on top. After all that ILM unleashes hellfire, adding explosions and debris as they blow their creation to bits using Star Wars’ superweapon.