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Game of Thrones – VFX breakdown

Published on July 30, 2014, by in VFX.

Television production is experiencing a flurry of excitement nowadays. There’s a new kid on the block in the neighborhood of TV shows. It has combined creativity and imagination to weave a permanent web in the hearts of millions of viewers. With 19 Emmy nominations in 2014, Game of Thrones (GoT), now in its fourth season, has emerged as a leader in prime time networks across the globe. Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series, elaborate mythological characters and breathtaking plot sequences constantly grasp the attention of the viewers. But the reason for GoT’s popularity lies in its command over the visual and special effects aspect of the show. In this post, we present the complete VFX breakdown of all the seasons of GoT.

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Video description: Game of Thrones Season 1 official trailer

Season 1

The mainstay of the popularity of GoT is that the studio keeps the VFX team in a constant state of improvisation. The result is that the effects improve, not just from one season to another, but in each episode. BlueBolt, a London-based VFX studio, was responsible for the creation of the first season’s sprawling fantasy, completing around 300 shots with photo-real, computer generated environments and dragons.

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Video description: VFX breakdown of Season 1

 Season 2

Pixomondo, an international VFX company, worked on GoT Season 2, under the guidance of VFX supervisors, Rainer Gombos and Juri Stanossek. The ambitious project was led by the company’s Stuttgart facility. Nine of Pixomondo’s twelve facilities contributed to the project. In addition to Pixomondo, Gombos enlisted two outside vendors, Baked FX and Entity FX, to work on about 250 shots.

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Video description: VFX breakdown of Season 2

 Season 3

In season three, visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer and visual effects producer Steve Kullback collaborated with Pixomondo to preside over the special effects behind the environments and creatures in the magical world GoT. Daenerys’ three dragons were growing up, and they had to look their age. Here’s how they managed to do so:

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Video description: VFX breakdown of Season 3

Season 4

GoT returned in its fourth season with visual effects houses like Mackevision to conjure backdrops and entire landscapes using skill, physics, and niftily applied design software.

This quality of video demo is not hard to achieve—it abounds in The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Great Gatsby, even The Wolf of Wall Street—but this one from Mackevision shows that seamless CGI is no longer just for big Hollywood productions.

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Video description: VFX breakdown of Season 4

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