Game of Thrones - VFX making of reel (non Blender)

non Blender, still fun to watch:

That was really cool. Since they seem to manipulate practically every shot anyway, I wonder why they seldom show the direwolves or dragons. Even if just as background elements.

Because that would be gimmicky. They want the dragons and the direwolves to be something special.

In the books they’re major characters though. In the TV show they’re so infrequent that I had to remind my friends last season who Ghost even was during the fight on the wall. :confused:

How much of the show is actually modeled in 3D software and how much of it is the compositing of photographic plates (looks like a lot of layering going on here)?

Whatever the case, it seems to work for them, especially since HBO probably doesn’t have the insane budgets that the big Hollywood studios can afford. There are actually a number of shows on both cable and broadcast right now that can be considered fantasy epics and it would make sense they would use these sort of methods whenever possible.

Yeah, you do have a point there.

Just sort of depends on the shot. Hollywood will use matte paintings too if it gets the job done.

Game of Thrones uses 3D elements for a variety of creatures: direwolves, dragons, wights, white walkers, giants, and then several events are pretty CG-heavy. I don’t think budget constraints are necessarily just the CG though. It also has a large cast of characters (and they have even cut and merged characters from the book), and in certain cases the set design is probably pretty expensive.

Don’t get me wrong though, in spite of wanting more direwolves and dragons, I feel HBO generally has done a pretty good job with it. When they first announced it, I didn’t have much hope for it given the book’s complexity, but I’ve enjoyed the show quite a bit.

Based on what I’ve read, I would’ve actually preferred they were heavier on the creatures and less on the ultra-violence and sexualized content, you pretty much have to be a sadist if the goal is to build up as many characters as possible only to tear them down (in possibly horrific ways) later.

I like creature stuff in general, that’s why I found the Pacific Rim movies and the second Hobbit installment such a treat, the universe here seems to have so many creature types which, based on reading, seem very underutilized.

May I point out the disclaimer that I don’t actually watch the show, but the US media in general tends to bang a lot of hype into the show as a must watch whenever a new season starts and ends.

Have you read the books then? If not, it doesn’t really make sense to wish there were more creatures and less violence/sex in a story you don’t even follow. There aren’t as many creature elements because it’s simply not that kind of story. Yeah, there are dragons and zombies and magical super-wolves, but those aren’t really what the story is about, they’re just elements that happen to be there. It’s not a fantastic tale of good vs evil, it’s just a story about humanity. It’s supposed to be a more realistic take on high fantasy, about what would happen if you shoved ordinary masses of humanity into that world. Many of the deaths are meant to reinforce the point that there are no good and bad guys, there are just people. You see a character you cheer for cut down, and think “this is horrible!”. But the more you think back on it, you start to realize they made some very poor decisions that got them to that point. It’s not like they were an angel descended from heaven who was smashed by the evil orcs. They angered the wrong people, they stuck their neck out needlessly, they risked things for love they shouldn’t have, etc.

A Song of Ice and Fire is really a fantastic series, I’d encourage anyone to either read the books, watch the show, or both. They are both fantastic in their own way.

I understand the concept of flawed leaders which can give an extra dimension, but it seems by the way you wrote that they make poor decisions to the point where you eventually decide that everyone you cheered for is not likable at all?

Same with the idea of humanity having no redeemable qualities, good being a misnomer at best and evil prevails (which is the impression I got from what you wrote), advocating that the idea of trusting another person is dumb at best and at worst strongly advocating the idea of anarchy and every man to himself. It’s the type of thing that leads some people to believe that humanity needs to voluntarily become extinct because we are a blight on the world (which apparently may not have changed at all in a fantasy setting). Why not have all the fantasy creatures wipe all the humans off the face of the Earth, perhaps then the series could end with that world as a better place?

However, there’s already a lot of people out there who live in a perpetual state of cynicism, pessimism, distrust, and anger. Apologies if this became a bit philosophical for this thread, but that show being completely accurate would imply that much of the innovation that improved our quality of life shouldn’t even exist. That’s my take on things anyway, not interested at all on drawing this out.

Not so much they were unlikeable, but maybe what happened to them was a natural consequence of their decisions. About “evil prevails”, that’s not so much the point either. A big over-arching theme of the story is that “good” and “evil” are too black and white of descriptions to be applied to real people. Everyone is flawed, some people are just nastier than others. I realize I’m probably doing a poor job summing this up, it’s a pretty complicated and unique story. That’s a big part of how it has become so popular. It feels like a very fresh take on fantasy.

Also, on a tangent, the series very well might end with humanity being killed off by the ice creatures (the “others” or “white walkers”). The story isn’t finished. There’s at least 2 books still to be written, and 1.5 or so of the already published ones haven’t been adapted by the show yet on top of that. It’s totally plausible that no one survives, there have been hints dropped that could be seen that way. :wink:

I agree. I don’t miss the direwolves at all. I do agree that they appeared more in the books though.

As to the amount of 3D elements, there are several interesting breakdowns on the web. It also seems to depend strongly of the fx house that does the shot.
The shots of Pyke for instance are matte paintings, as is mentioned in a talk a guy the the german fx house that did many shots in the second season. The
reason for this being that there wasn’t a lot of parallax in the shot and digital matte painting is supercheap compared to 3D ofcourse.

The point of the books is that magic and the associated creatures are considered a thing of the past, ish. The last dragon have died about half a generation ago and most other magical creatures are a things of old wives tales. The direwolves are not even that magical, they could just be big, loyal wolves.
During the story, we find out that all these tales are in fact quite literally true. This is why it is an excellent choice to not show the creatures to much, certainly
in the first seasons. The same holds for the books.

And as to the violence and the sexualized content: to each his own. This is not a fairytale, it is not a creature story. It is a story about powerful people playing disgustingly backstabbing political games. The comparison with Pacific Rim is a bad one, a comparison with House of Cards is in fact closer to the mark.

The HBO version is the best show on TV in my opinion. I didn’t want to spoil the show, so I haven’t read the books… yet. George R. R. Martin himself is one of the executive producers, so even if the TV show deviates from the books, all the changes have his stamp of approval.

If I’m not mistaken, the show has an annual $60M budget, which puts makes it one of the most expensive-to-produce television shows ever. Very well done FX and the actors and story are all top-notch. I just wish there were more than 10 episodes per season.

The viewer’s eyes by now are entirely used to the presence of 3D effects, although sometimes there are very silly omissions. The sailing ship, for instance, has a small obligatory “wake” but doesn’t displace the water.

There are people with different degrees of moral fortitude in the story. There just aren’t characters that are the “Rightful King” who take power as the prophecies foretold and everyone prospers and lives happily ever after.

A real leader is going to have people that either agree and disagree with their various actions, and neither side is necessarily right or wrong. So even a King with the most noble intentions can wind up creating enemies by simply screwing up tax policy or whatever. Then maybe in trying to resolve those quarrels, more enemies are created elsewhere.

So most characters wind up a shade of gray. They might betray someone, but not because they’re bad-guys and that is what bad-guys do, but because from their point of view they think it will benefit them. Depending on the consequences, it may or may not work in their favor. So often while reading, you’ll change your opinion completely and wind up liking characters that have done horrific things, and vice-versa. It just depends on whose lens you’re looking through.

It’s hard to say if you’d like it. The inspiration for the books is medieval history. Life is gritty, harsh, and unfair. Violence, money, marriage, and sex are currency people use to get what they want. At the same time it has a lot of fantasy stuff sprinkled in there.

That is some beautiful work. Really well done. They need Blender though. :eyebrowlift: ha ha

Another VFX reel from this season.

I think they (VFX vendors) have so much background work, its almost impossible to fit more creature work in because of the time/money constraints.

I have to disagree with this assessment. From an author’s perspective GOTs characters exhibit a highly developed and extremely idealized sense of honor while at the same time a disproportionally underwhelming sense of moral fiber. To put more simply, the very same characters that exhibit highly sociopathic and murderous tendencies also have extremely strong (if not superhuman) devotion to kings, countries, oaths, families and whatever cause that they choose to follow. This is very disproportional and does not accurately reflect the human condition if you know much about sociology.