Building the Star Wars Rancor Costume, Part 1

At this year’s Comic-Con, we unveiled The Rancor Project: a huge foam-fabricated costume built by effects artist Frank Ippolito. The project was inspired by a test suit made by LucasFilm for Return of the Jedi, which never made it to the film. To show you how the Rancor was created, we visit Frank’s workshop and walk through the design process, starting with a maquette sculpture and patterning by foam fabricator Ben Bayouth. Using these techniques, you can build your own creature costume! (Thanks to for sponsoring this project!)

Shot and edited by Norman Chan

Comments (21)

21 thoughts on “Building the Star Wars Rancor Costume, Part 1

  1. Videos like this are what make me happy to pay for the Tested premium membership. Awesome glimpses into whole industries I know nothing about. Interesting skills being explained and practiced.

  2. I am wondering. Is 1/8 scale standard for the effects industry? I’d have thought it would be 1/6 because that’s a common size for scale action figures.

  3. Great work, as always. But regarding the visibility and mobility of this suit, would it not be a lot easier to move around in it if you threw out the goggles, and mounted two small screens in the head, hook one up to the nose cam, and mount a downward facing cam in the Rancor’s chin? that way you can see in front of you and also watch your feet.

    I’ve spent some time in mascot suits and your feet are always a problem, even if you have a handler telling you where you should put your feet when encountering stairs and what not, it’s always a pain trying to figure out what they are actually trying to tell you, making you look like an idiot when trying to navigate a simple curb.

  4. Very cool to see how the patterning was handled. I also wasn’t aware Adam Beane sold those armatures! Definitely looks like it will be a fantastic addition for maquette sculpting.

  5. It’s so great to see how this got made. Can’t wait to see more of the foam fabrication. Also I’d like to learn more about Cx5, is Adam Beane showing up in later in the series?

  6. The 1/8 human figure, can it be used for pure poses for illustrations? or is it sculpt-able for the purposes of clay medium and a one time use?

  7. Sculpt-able. Check out Adam Beans site: Cx5 is a clay that is hard when cool and gets soft when warmed. I doubt it’s useful for an illustrator. That said, I bet it could work since it holds it’s pose once it cools. Check out a few of his Google hangouts on YouTube.

  8. I can’t stop staring at Zoidberg up there on the shelf. He looks so glorious with that luxurious mane.

  9. Bummer! Last time I wait to watch one of these. What if I want to watch “spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.” youtube??

  10. It was all a deceptive scam???
    I’m crushed. I guess Frank didn’t really make a Rancor costume. It must have been a real Rancor faked to look like a costume.

  11. the video is back! thanks for being patient, guys, while i was on vacation. part 2 goes up this weekend!

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