We know it has been a long time coming but we finally managed to get our hands on some insider info into the HBO series Game of Thrones. The second season has been just as intense and enthralling as the first and with the production for the third season renewed just two days after the second series aired, we hope to see a lot more of Westeros soon!
Our friends, Pixomondo, were the primary VFX vendor for the second series and had a huge task set upon them to create multiple aspects for the 10 episode long, award-winning fantasy show.
Rainer Gombos took the lead as the show’s VFX supervisor with the help of visual effects supervisor Juri Stanossek, using 9 out of Pixomondo’s 12 worldwide studios to create some stunning CG.
With 150 shooting days under their belt they started work on many of the key aspects of this series, the main one being Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. With the dragon’s introduction at the end of the first series there has been considerable growth and change to their appearance.
The main differences between the original dragons and the second series dragons are that the dragons have matured. The Burbank office and Dan Katcher, the company’s renowned creature specialist, modified the dragon’s designs and delivered the animation to the dragons to bring the new designs to life.
Rainer Gombos explained that during the first season the dragons were new-born so had a fragility and delicacy about them. For the second series the dragons have matured, they needed to be fierce and menacing. By manipulating the spikes to make them more prominent this effect was created.
In addition to this there was a heavy amount of work to do on other aspects of the show. Additional creature work was required on the Stark’s Direwolves, fluid set extensions were needed along with crowd replication, matte painting, compositing, 3D work and obviously the spectacular battle sequence and fluid simulation in episode 9, at the battle of Blackwater.
Two outsider vendors, Baked FX and Entity FX were also involved in the making, working on 250 shots handling paint fixes, clean-up, and snow and rain augmentation. Some of the episodes included up to 140 VFX shots and took 4 months to deliver… and we are eternally grateful. The work was magnificent! After a rollercoaster of emotions we are sad to say goodbye to the second series of Game of Thrones but cannot wait for season three. We are looking forward to seeing what the new season brings so let the countdown begin.
In the meantime to fill the void in your TV schedule take a look at Grimm, another fantasy TV show that also includes some Pixomondo magic. The cop drama with a fantasy twist is based on the Grimm fairy tales, including some pretty awesome VFX. It airs on Monday nights at 9pm on Watch. Let us know what you think… happy viewing!