Season two VFX details arise from Dragon Days panel

The Dragon Days Fantastikfestival was held in Stuttgart earlier this month and one of the panels headlining the event was a Game of Thrones panel. The panel not only included Thrones actor Tom Wlaschiha (above), but visual effects supervisor Juri Stanossek of Pixomondo. One of our readers, Anna, was there and sent us some of the details shared by Stanossek.

Production time: 22 weeks (two weeks per episode!)
CGI shots: about 300 (second most shots (80): dragons)

Episode 1: 16 (shots)
Episode 2: 8
Episode 3: 14
Episode 4: 9
Episode 5: 22
Episode 6: 12
Episode 7: 2
Episode 8: 34
Episode 9: 110
Episode 10: 78

  • Pixomondo said it was very difficult to come up with the design of the shadow creature since they had absolutely no idea what it should look like. HBO suggested it be somehow “smokey” and kinda like ink droplets. Pixomondo started their research and found some inspiration in the Dementors from the Harry Potter movies and in a mummy from some mummy movie (I didn’t recognize the movie).
  • However, the first draft they sent to HBO the shadow baby still looked somehow robotic/metallic and the only response they got was “no, we don’t want it to look like a predator!” HBO also insisted that the shadow creature in Renly’s death scene should have a humanly face.
  • Apparently, crocodiles were used as some models for the look of the dragon skin/scales. They also visited museums to study the anatomy of birds (and they did some research with a dead chicken).
  • Pixomondo added that the dragon scenes in Game of Thrones were rather unusual since in Hollywood productions these kind of CGI scenes are usually much shorter (the first dragon scene in episode one had 800 frames).
  • HBO also suggested for the House of the Undying scene that the three dragons should spit fire in three different colours but Pixomondo feared it would look cheesy and would end up looking like a rainbow.

Lastly, Werner Fuchs (German agent and friend of GRRM) confirmed that GRRM told David and Dan what was going to happen in the next two books in case that he shouldn’t be able to finish the books.

You can see more pictures from the panel (including more shots of Wlaschiha) at the Dragon Days website.

Winter Is Coming: Some interesting details here. Impressive the amount of quality work that Pixomondo was able to pull off given the time frame. I haven’t heard anything on whether or not they will be back for season three, but I have to imagine that they will be. Thanks to Anna for the report!

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