Game of Thrones is one of the most popular television shows of the modern age; Sky have even reported that it is their most watched series with over 5 million viewers. The incredible driving force that is Game of Thrones is fuelled by incredible drama, storytelling, characters, music and visuals, many of which are created using the incredible CGI tool V-Ray, and yes, that does include the dragons!
CGI In A Fantasy World
For those of you who don’t know, Game of Thrones in an epic fantasy drama adapted from the novel series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ written by George R. R. Martin; the name of the first book ‘A Game of Thrones’ was ultimately used for the show’s title. The series was an incredibly ambitious project to undertake. The vast scale is mesmerising when you sit down and consider just how many important characters and plots there are, that’s even before we look at world’s setting!
The majority of the show is set in Westeros, an incredibly large continent that takes influence from medieval Britain and Europe in ways of style and culture, and, to the east, there is also Essos, another large continent taking similar influences from the rest of the world. The Game of Thrones title sequence is famous for showing us this world, to help draw us into it as viewers. The now iconic title sequence itself has won awards, and recently the company responsible for creating the intro, Elastic, recreated the intro in Facebook’s 360° video feature so you can explore the world as you listen to the incredible music, all of which was rendered using stunning V-Ray, helping the video garner 14 million views!
The cities and settings of Westeros are gorgeous examples of how CG can be used to enhance a setting. Using real world locations from across the Earth, including Ireland, Iceland and Croatia, the CG teams used these spots to bring the astonishing fantasy locations to life.
One of the most famous of these spots is King’s Landing, the capital city of Westeros. The company Mackevision
were responsible for much of this and here you can see just how beautifully rendered CG can create such breathtaking settings, as well as other gorgeous spots.
Creatures Of The World
Another element of Game of Thrones’ incredible success has come in the use of CG for all things animals and creatures. The most notorious of which are the epic fire breathing monstrosities hatched by Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name… titles, titles. The three dragons of Daenerys are arguably some the most iconic pieces of Game of Thrones imagery; starting from humble roots as kitten-sized hatchlings, to their current state of colossal 80-foot behemoths, capable of some major destruction. Not bad for five years of growth.
Since dragons (sadly) don’t exist in real life, they have been a constant source of CG for the Game of Thrones teams to play with. Pixomondo are the effects team behind the dragons appearance on the show since season two began in 2012.
Interestingly, the team originally used chickens to help model the creatures, even buying one from the shop to help study the movements of the bones and muscles.
As the series went on, the inspiration began to come from other animals such as iguanas, horned lizards and komodo dragons, to really help develop a grounded, realistic interpretation of these extraordinary beasts, which would ultimately be rendered in V-Ray, for what have become phenomenal and iconic designs.
Dragons, Dire Wolves, Giants, Walls, a colossal bronze and stone Titan, an army of Undead and explosions of Wildfire are one thing, but what about real creatures? Horses are the most commonly used ‘real world’ animal used in fantasy worlds, and Game of Thrones is no different. In the latest season, the penultimate episode featured one of the most ambitious and ultimately amazing scenes in the shows, and television’s, history. ‘The Battle of the Bastards’ was a masterpiece of a battle scene, winning 6 of its 7 Emmy nominations, as well as several other awards; the episode was immense and the
incredible battle was littered with outstanding CG work.
Taking inspiration from the accounts of real life medieval battles, the show had a lot of ideas on how to utilise this clash. However, even with hundreds of extras, eighty horses, and perfectly implemented stunts, it would be impossible to create the sort of battle the writers and director had in mind without CGI. This is where V-Ray shines; the amount of work, depth and time spent to create this extraordinary battle must have been immense. I highly recommend checking out Chaos Group’s article about the episode, and especially watching the video at the bottom. This is V-Ray CG at its finest.
Helping With Your Rendering Needs
V-Ray technology is incredible, but rending it on the scale of a show like Game of Thrones takes an incredibly long amount of time; this is when a render farm can be a life saver. Here at RenderNow, we are constantly adding to our farm to create unbelievable rendering speeds at the best of prices, in fact we are incredibly proud to say that we are the UK’s most affordable render farm!
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