DIGITAL UP Magazine NO. 1 - Page 73

Digital Up Magazine
Rodeo FX is a team of 300 accomplished visual effects professionals who create magic and show their creative expertise, commitment and meticulous work on every project. They completed nearly 200 visual shots for Season 5 of Game of Thrones, one of the most popular TV series on HBO. After winning an Emmy Award for the 4th season, they have, once again, been nominated for season 5. This VFX studio uses animation, digital matte painting, and crowd simulation to create key sequences from scratch. Breathtaking ones are the destruction of the Harpy statue of Meereen temple, the Smoking Sea of Valyria, and the ancient city of Volantis.
In one scene of the Meereen Destruction, artists added elements to make the fully CG scene look more alive and complex. The studio used matte paintings for the background. They merged live action shots with effects, bringing them together. Using experience from their previous work on Unbroken, they were able to create the realistic feel of sand flying using particle elements made in their Montreal studio.
Almost all of the Old Valyria environment is digital matte paintings, projected on simple geometry
created by Rodeo FX in its L.A. and Montreal studios. Everything started with the live plates, one boat on the river with some trees and part of the aqueduct. Artists added trees, changed the sky and water extensions in CG. Added mist enhancement coming off of the river create the spooky feel. The biggest challenge, yet successfully solved, was the progression through the shots as the boat travels toward the aqueduct.
The city of Volantis was a new environment on the show in Season 5. Rodeo FX team developed the whole city completely in CG, including the crowds. As a live plate they used a Roman bridge in Córdoba Spain as a stand-in. Modeling everything in the scenes, including gutters, roof tiles and windows, they created the buildings and market on the bridge, as well as the background matte painting. For crowd simulation, the team used new software which creates realistic-looking results and made this scene come alive.
The Game of Thrones, produced by HBO, featuring stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Maisie Williams, became one of the most popular series ever on HBO. Rodeo FX recently opened their L.A. office and is bringing an experienced team on board close to Hollywood. Our expectations are high!
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