VFX Break Down of 'Game of Thrones' Final Season

The final season (eighth season) of "Game of Thrones" ended on May 19th, which accompanied many people for eight years, but did not wait for a convincing ending. The Night’s King hurried off the line, the mother of dragon(Daenerys) was blackened... According to the news of the Global Daily official, many netizens expressed their disappointment with the final article, and millions of fans around the world rushed to retake the ending. Netizens said that "there is no original, the scene is completely out of control." "The play of power" "I want to send the blade to the scriptwriter", and the screenwriter David Benioff shut down his personal Facebook account.
I heard that many people did not plan to see after the fourth episode, but the visual effects of Game of Thrones are obvious to all, and it does not affect us behind the scenes. In the final season, the visual effects team also spent a lot of thoughts during the production. The net flyer set budget is $15 Million. The render farm Fox Renderfarm was excerpts the classic picture of the final season, and shares the story behind the scenes in the following.
Winterfell
I still remember the little boy who appeared in the trailer, looking at the mighty army of Daenerys. This scenes was also done by visual effects.

The part of the Night’s King burning totem, originally thought to be the visual effect, did not expect to ask the stunt actor to take the real shot instead of the little boy, the visual effects team made a fire mask for this, let him be engulfed by the flame for nearly 10s, watching it is real  dangerous.

The most impressive thing in this episode is that Jon Snow tamed another dragon of Daenerys, Leiga, these pictures are by the visual effects team in the sports base the action of the dragon is matched in the green shed, and the camera rotates around to complete the shooting.

The icefalls that Jon Snow and Daenerys dated were also real, but they were transplanted for the sake of more beautiful pictures.

A Long Night
The approach of the Death Corps made everyone in the Winterfell nervous, this episode is "black", but it is still very bright from the scene.
This episode has been filmed for 11 weeks in the snow night, all the staffs starting work at 6 pm every day until 5-6 am on the next day.

This episode of physical special effects props is more, you can see from the picture the death army on the floor, including many flames, smoke, snow and ice effects.

The mask of the stunt actor is also a prosthetic model designed in advance, and the makeup looks very realistic.

This section of Lena and the Giant was completed by the visual effects team through miniature models, actors' real shots and visual effects. This shot was taken many times and finally presented in front of the camera.

The ice dragon is made very fine. In order to make the dragon flame and the dragon look more harmonious, the props are also used to simulate the dragon's movement.

The shot that the Night’s King was killed in one second, to better for the production. The shed and the real scene were filmed.

The Last of the Starks

After the war, everyone in the Winterfell gathered together and bid farewell to the friends who died on the battlefield. The bodies of the soldiers were piled up and then ignited by the unity.

Cremation is a difficult task. How to control these fires without harming the actors is very elegant in design.

After the real shot, it also made a visual extension through visual effects.

Euron’s shooting at the sea with the "scorpion" was also completed in the green shed.

At the same time, Daenerys’s ship was destroyed and the actors were once again in a completely digital scene to show how the ships were destroyed, where people are standing, walking or talking on the ship. Finished on board.

The Bells
The toughest set of shots in this episode is that the gates of the King’s Landing are destroyed by Drogon's dragon flame, covering eight cameras. In order to express the complexity of the destruction of the walls, these lenses need to show different perspectives of the explosion. At the beginning of the design of these buildings, the film crew also designed damage.

In this episode, six stunt performers were actually lit in multiple layers of protective clothing and masks. After the filming, someone took a total of 22 fire extinguishers to fight the fire.

As can be seen from the model produced for King's Landing, there is a large tower on one side of it, which is also the location of the story below.

Cersei and Jaimes were in their end in the King’s Landing’s cellar.

Nine major families, seven kingdoms, hundreds of people trapped in them, are firmly bound by the network of destiny, and there is a destination.
Here, the cloud rendering service Fox Renderfarm just summarizes the classic clips from the videos released by HBO. And also thank the Game of Thrones for companionship over this years. 

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A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(2)
A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(2)
You must have learned about What is compositing, Six basic skills of compositors, Standards for cinema-level film compositing requirements from The Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1). Now, your TPN_Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, will still lead you deep into the career of VFX Compositor. Part 4 Workflow specification of compositors Because the workflow of each company is different, and even the operations of everyone in the same company will be various, it is difficult to have a unified workflow. I am here to share the basic process of a compositor making a shot from beginning to end. The first step is whether to perform color conversion after the material comes in? How to deal with the conversion? It is usually set by the compositing director. The second step is to create a variable speed and camera redefinition repo, which is specifically compared with the editing sample, and we make the same settings as theirs. If there is a green screen, and then there are tracking points on the green screen, the tracking points need to be erased. If there is no green screen and need to add something, it needs to do keying and Roto. And sometimes it even needs to quickly do some 30%, 50%, or 80% keying to prepare for the back. The third step is to do the creation of 2D elements or increase the environment, characters, props and other elements output by the 3D department. According to the six basic skills mentioned above, making the first version, and then the director and client will give feedback after checking. Then compositors modify the project according to the feedback. After completing the detailed processing and final inspection afterward,if there is no problem, it will be converted back to customer needs and the delivery documents are sent to the customer. The technical inspection above refers to verifying according to the standards of the cinema-level movies mentioned before. Part 5 The five stages of the compositor's career I roughly divide the career of a compositor into 5 stages, including junior compositor, senior compositor, compositing team leader, compositing supervisor, compositing director. The work done by compositors is more art-oriented. And in the process of accumulating technical capabilities, they will continue to improve their artistic capabilities without worrying about losing their jobs. For junior compositor, it is not easy to define by seniority. It’s more about ideas and how it realizes? It is recommended that those newcomers could explore the six basic skills, learn online, and practice at work. When it comes to the senior level, more work is focusing on judgment on whether it is possible to independently complete a shot and where to do compositing. The senior compositing should be able to find these problems and have the team leader or supervisor to communicate. The next stage is the compositing team leader. Some people will be confused that what is the difference between leader and supervisor? Like Base, there are many employees, and each project may have 5 to more than a dozen compositors, and even more, there will be team leaders and deputy team leaders. For small studios, the team leader may be the supervisor. The team leader serves the supervisor, the director and artists. At the same time, it needs to has a good sense of teamwork and serve the project well in the management of small teams. At the supervisor level, the responsibilities are more about the management of the artists, finding more suitable artists for the department to become senior artists or project leaders. At the same time, we must continue to add new skills training for the team; of course, there are staff who are inappropriate, the supervisor should find out the reason and see if they can continue to grow together. If so, how to continue, etc. The fifth step is to become the compositing director. At this stage, The focus will put more on the process of the project, etc.. The director will develop corresponding plans for different projects, including pre-stage, post-stage, setting and feedback of the 2D process effect, as well as auxiliary visual aids in departmental projects. Many people will ask if it is possible to change directly from team leader to director? If you are a team leader, you can actually do the job of a supervisor. If not, I personally feel that there is a missing piece. Because the head of the compositing is basically in the group, but the director of the compositing needs to deal with the leaders of other departments. What is the difference between these 5 positions in the actual process of doing the scenes? For example, both junior compositors and senior compositors can make a good shot, but the number of feedbacks received, versions, completion time, details, ideas are all different. However, as a team leader, it needs to consider whether the entire plan is feasible and whether the entire color is unified. It’s also important to communicate well with each artist or do an effect test. After becoming a supervisor, it is necessary to consider whether the whole scheme is efficient? If as a director, it needs to be connected with the customer, decide whether to use 3D or 2D, control the quality of the project, and consider whether the cost is feasible. In short, the more you go up, the wider the scope of management and the greater the responsibility.
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2020-07-10
A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1)
A Guide to the Career Growth of VFX Compositors(1)
As the leading cloud rendering services provider in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm has an outstanding team with over 20 years’ experience in the CG industry. Team members are from Disney, Lucasfilm, Dreamworks, Sony, etc. With professional services and industry-leading innovations, they serve leading VFX companies and animation studios from over 50 countries and regions, including two Oscar winners. In this artichle, we will share a guide to the career growth of VFX Compositors from Zhiyong Zhang, Compositing Technical Director in Base FX(Base Media is the leading visual effects and animation studio in Asia). Part 1 Introduction What is compositing? There are many different explanations about compositing on the Internet. Since it's difficult to explain, I would analyze compositing from some shots. Like the scene in "Monster Hunt", the foreground is made with a 3D model, and the background is made with a combination of the original paintings and pictures. That is to do some MP, color adjustments, elements setting and real shot adding. Finally, all the pictures are going to be integrated, which is a compositing process. The professional value of composting Compositing is the last part of the visual effects in the later period. You need to blend and match three-dimensional things with the real shot through compositing techniques and methods. Through techniques and methods, add some 2D or 2.5D elements to make the picture more interesting. Compositing is making the projects that the entire visual effects team makes. Hence, compositors are responsible for the entire team, striving to adjust the project to the final optimal effect. This is the professional value of compositing. The artistic charm of composting For me, every adjustment on color, virtual focus, interactive light and others will make the scene more realistic or better-looking. Every step of the operation will improve the scene, bringing the compositors hope and happiness. It is awesome to do better in the time allowed and finally show something beautiful. This is the artistic charm of composting. Part 2 Six basic skills of compositors The first basic skill is erasing. Many scenes have tracking points when shooting on the green screen, or there are some things that can’t be removed from the scene. We need to do erasing, which is very basic but important. The second skill is rotoing and chroma key. The chroma key is to keying the green screen. There is also a key called no green screen keying, which is the rotoing. The third skill is to match colors. Adding an element to the real shot to change the color of the material is actually matching the material, not creation. The fourth skill is to match the virtual focus or depth of field. The material itself will actually have virtual focus, so the compositor needs to also be good at photography, otherwise, it may become a bottleneck for the compositor. The ideas of the director and the main photographer will be presented in the scenes. We use compositing to re-express what they want to express in CG. We are doing matching rather than recreating. The fifth skill is tracking. Most compositors do 2D trackings, such as billboards or on-screen patches. And sometimes they also do 3d tracking. The last one is the matching noise. For some demanding projects, it is necessary to switch between red, green, and blue screen, or even zoom in to the local area for comparison. It also depends on the broadcast platform. Generally, if it is broadcasting on a TV platform, the noise is not easy to see the noise. If in the cinema, as long as the brightness of the cinema is large enough, the noise of some scenes can be easily seen. The noise matching can make the picture more realistic. Part 3 Standards for cinema-level film compositing requirements The standards here are not officially stipulated standards but are just some common standards that I personally summarize based on experience. I divided the cinema standards for film compositing into two types: technical requirements and artistic requirements. Technical Requirements First of all, it depends on whether the color of the original material is changed. If you are not careful or have moved other parts of the screen including the color of the material for other reasons, it may cause customer dissatisfaction. Secondly, whether the maximum and minimum values of the screen are consistent with the material or not. Of course, the maximum and minimum values are not for a certain scene, but for all the materials of a project. Thirdly, whether the metadata is correct or not. If the editing requires metadata to be accurately restored, it needs to be correctly restored to the material. Generally, at the beginning of the project, it needs to agree with the previous DI or editing on how to set back. Fourthly, whether the shifting is stuck will also be a technical requirement. The shifting should be discussed with the editor. If the editing does not require any shifting, even if it seems to be stuck, it may be a fast switch of the front and rear scenes. This is one kind of editing methods. if you do something to make it smoother, re-reverting to the clip may cause problems. The last is whether there is any obvious flaw in the picture. The so-called flaw is whether there is a black border on the edge of the picture and whether the edge of the real shot is stretched. Artistic requirements The artistic requirements will be significantly different from the previous technical requirements. We will check whether the details of the keying edges are enough to maintain the authenticity of the picture. In the normal budget, the details of the edges can be kept authentic. If the edges look fake, it may make the whole picture fall short. Whether the bright and dark parts of the screen is matching with the material within the acceptable range? The dark and bright parts here refer more to brightening everything in the viewing facility, to see if the added thing is the same color as the real shot and whether the degree of the color cast is the same. Without considering the budget, as a compositor, the only requirement is to do something better, so try to match it. Then, whether the compositing elements, the virtual focus of the background and the depth of field match the real shot. The depth of field of the real shot sometimes will be very shallow, sometimes it will be very deep. Generally, there will be a range, this range is taken by the lens and the camera. We can add an element in it, and change the depth accordingly. In addition, we must also consider whether the simulation of the lens effect meets the real shooting standard. With a normal lens, the virtual focus is 1:1, and with an anamorphic lens, the virtual focus is vertical, similar to 2:1 circular virtual focus. While doing compositing, it needs to pay special attention to matching. The next thing to consider is whether the addition of smoke, flame and other atmospheres is truly fused. The light and shadow, the virtual focus and the sharpness are matched with the whole, and the things that really melt into it are realistic. The last thing is to consider the interactive effects, the corresponding interaction between the real shot material and the CG elements. When we do the compositing, in addition to shadows, there are some light interactions, we should consider whether to add them. In the process of compositing, we need to give ourselves the opportunity to exercise and do more fine, otherwise, we can't make progress. In fact, the audience is very smart now, watching a lot of blockbuster movies. Therefore, we should try our best to be realistic in the time cost of cinema-level movies. If the audience feels satisfied in the cinema, it will be successful.
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2020-07-03
First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects,But, Where Is Its VFX? (2)
First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects,But, Where Is Its VFX? (2)
Undertaking ‘First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects, But, Where Is Its VFX? (1)’, many people may wonder why the wonderful travel outside the earth is so realistic. First Man DFX supervisor Tristan Myles said in an interview that director Damien is trying to balance the visual effects of each shot to avoid the appearance of a particular lens, or let the audience find it to be a CG lens at a glance. In order to let the audience immersively feel the width of the moon, landing on the moon, the surface effect seen at the moment of opening the hatch, all shot from top to bottom. The lunar area was shot in a quarry on the outskirts of Atlanta, especially like the "moon" surface. There are all kinds of rocks around, as well as craters. After shooting, you can remove some dust through the digital effects link, which will be more like the environment of the moon. CG production team has a major mission The CG team produced a model of the aircraft for the film. For some wide-angle lenses, the team needed to design 3D assets that fill the lens content; the medium and close-up lenses used miniature models and full-size models. The post-effects team also needs to fill the lens with some CG content. One of the most important assets is the Genie target aircraft, which is orbiting the earth along the orbit and docking with the ATV. At the shooting scene, there is a model of the mating vertebral body. This model can't be controlled by the device. Only the manual position can be used to match the shooting needs. After the team gets the footage, it is projected onto the CG model to restore the real effect as much as possible. Many people will ask what the moon is made according to? Good question. In fact, NASA has a lunar orbit survey orbiter in reality. It can be simply understood as an aircraft that orbits a sphere along an orbit. It is used to detect and scan the surface of the moon and collect data. The special effects production team was fortunate enough to get these detailed data, based on which the real effect of the lunar surface was produced. Three little stories to understand before watching The film's story comes from James Hanson's non-fiction book, The First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong, which was first published in 2005. It is Armstrong's only official biography. This book tells the story of Armstrong's participation in the space program and shares the details of his personal life. The scriptwriter Josh Singer spent four years researching the script, and spent several months talking to former astronauts and NASA stakeholders, as well as communicating and understanding with Armstrong's family. Singer believes that "objectively and truthfully presenting facts is a huge responsibility." Ryan Gosling is the director's first choice. Although the two had worked together before, the first time they met was for First Man, far ahead of La La Land. In the director's mind, Ryan Gosling is the only actor who can do this role. Finally, let's take a look at some of the footage. This year's Oscar has no host, and it is also a peculiar way of organizing. The awarding process has also been simplified. Although it is not possible to win an award for each selected work, it can be nominated and is also recognized, congratulations to all the winner in the 91st Oscar Academy Awards.
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2019-03-01
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