Production

Video: How the dragons were created

Pixomondo has released a video via Wired giving a detailed look into how the CGI dragons were created for season 3 of Game of Thrones.

The Wired article also has a few additional details and quotes from Pixomondo animator Sven Martin:

While filming, Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, initially used puppet stand-ins called “stuffies” and even a tennis ball on stick to help create a sense of physical interaction. Martin says that they wanted her relationship with Drogon to seem almost maternal; “when she’s stroking him, he should be a little bit like a cat.” When strangers, approach, however, Drogon can turn quickly from housecat to monster, baring his teeth in a way that reminded Martin “a bit of the Alien Queen, which even for me was very threatening.

Winter Is Coming: Don’t mess with Dany, y’all. She’s got tennis balls on a stick and she’s not afraid to use them! Seriously though, this is a cool vid. It’s impressive to see just how much time and effort was put into getting the dragons just right. All that hard work paid off, as the dragons were nothing short of feature-film quality.

23 Comments

  • Thanks a bunch.
    I already know that from now on, everytime Dany cuddles one of her dragons, I will see a tennis ball on a stick instead.

  • Arthur,

    I guess they will keep growing slowly but unless Danny will get a surprising time-jump, there’s no reason for them to grow overnight.

  • Arthur,
    i really hope they get bigger. remember that they should be fully grown in the next season to carry dany and stuff

    by the way, any information on how many budget moneys were spent specifically on the dragons?

    Roey Wullman, what about that surprising time-jump when every actor on the show grows about 1 year older after the events one would think happened 1 week ago?

  • Roey Wullman,

    I know, but unlike the books D&D have to show some passage of time between each season to explain the young ones growing right?

    They couldn’t in season 1 to 2 because they had to show how Dany got out of being stranded in that desert…

    Maybe season 4 will have an elapse of time.

    I’m just during to know that’s all…

  • Loki,

    I really hope they get bigger too. Big enough to see them fly down and attack and kill/eat a goat…

    Because if they do that this season then we can look forward to one of the last Dany storyline scenes being Drogon flying down and attacking and eating a child…

    *shivers*

  • Huzzah! That clip was awesome. Even though I know they’re CGI, those dragons were amazing last season…especially outside Yunkai. Dany’s little liver treats…:-)

  • Arthur: Loki, I really hope they get bigger too. Big enough to see them fly down and attack and kill/eat a goat…Because if they do that this season then we can look forward to one of the last Dany storyline scenes being Drogon flying down and attacking and eating a child… *shivers*

    Ssssshhhh! A little bird once told me that if the dragons continue to be fed proportionately, they’ll never stop growing. Furthermore, I believe the early Targaryens had one or two dragons that the Red Keep couldn’t even accomodate.

    Yeah, like a previous poster implied, as we have seen with the actors growing up between seasons, we’ll probably have to suspend our disbelief and accept that the dragons will grow during the off-season as well. :-) (fingers-crossed)

  • And about the budget…

    I’ve always thought the dragon CGI budget should be thought of as a separate expense. I hope there is a way D&D could explain to HBO executives that the coming seasons, in order for them to accurately follow the books and give us visuals that aren’t laughable, the CGI budget will need to be increased.

    Why can’t D&D come up with merchandise ideas, like have some cool Dragon dolls, figures, t-shirts and all sorts of other stuff and announce to the fans that half of the proceeds spent when you buy this merchandise will go to CGI affects for season 5…

    Nothing wrong with a little fundraising right?

    I know all of us would bust out our credits cards and buy some stuff and wouldn’t it feel cool knowing some of your money may have went into one of your dream scenes? Like Dany’s pit stare down with Drogon?

    Come on D&D, start something like this up.

    Think outside the box. People want to see amazing CGI and people would love to help. I think selling specific merchandise and letting it be known that half the profit of the sale of that merchandise will go towards the CGI budget would be a really unprecedented way to both give you more money to give us better CGI and it would also make the fans feel like they were part of the show.

    D&D, get with HBO and make this happen. I don’t know shit about Hollywood but I can’t think of a reason why you couldn’t make something like this work…

    Rant over.

  • Scudder, i think she’s talking about season 3 there

    Arthur,
    rhaegal and viserion both need more love. i think the scene im mostly looking forward to in season 5 is roasting the frog, if you know what i mean.

  • Arthur: And about the budget…I’ve always thought the dragon CGI budget should be thought of as a separate expense. I hope there is a way D&D could explain to HBO executives that the coming seasons, in order for them to accurately follow the books and give us visuals that aren’t laughable, the CGI budget will need to be increased…….D&D, get with HBO and make this happen. I don’t know shit about Hollywood but I can’t think of a reason why you couldn’t make something like this work…Rant over.

    Perfectly acceptable rant.
    This is HBO’s baby. They determine the budget and reap the fiscal rewards. Can you imagine if Bezos or Ellison dropped a few extra $100 mil on a show like GoT? It could be great OR it could get overproduced…with too many fingers in the stew (and profits).

    Also, you have to consider the extra time that would be necessary to go to the next level. CGI is costly but it also takes time to get right. I think D&D have a good balance going (except for an eagle attack and some direwolf action…but that’s just me) but I agree it will get harder as more magic, more battles, more chaos and more dragon shots are required.

  • Arthur:
    And about the budget…

    I’ve always thought the dragon CGI budget should be thought of as a separate expense.

    And that everyone would get a billion dollars from the government so we could all live easy lives.