Inside Westeros: the VFX of Game of Thrones

Written by Mark Ramshaw

Image EngineWinter is coming...and rather fast

More Songs of Fire And Ice: As shooting gets under way on season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Image Engine offers an insight into its frequently blood-soaked effects work for the most recently aired series.

It's not all IBC, y'know.

No stranger to photoreal fantasy and digital gore - its key credits include sci-fi actioneer District 9 and the remake of The Thing - Image Engine is the latest visual effects studio to hitch a ride on the Game of Thrones wagon. Set extensions for Castle Black, White Walkers, giants, crowd scenes and beheadings aplenty were all in a day’s work for the studio, which recently bolstered its profile via a merger with Cinesite.

Whether by accident, design or due to HBO’s budgetary demands, a number of esteemed studios have contributed to the show since its debut. With just one vendor - Mackevision - returning for season five, overall vfx supervisor Joe Bauer this time called upon Image Engine, Spain’s El Ranchito, and the resurrected Rhythm & Hues to breathe life into Westeros and the lands beyond.

The latter two unveiled their behind-the-scenes videos a little while back - Rhythm & Hues showing how it took over the reins for the series’ pivotal dragon sequences, and El Ranchito pulling apart the spectacular Hardhome White Walker battle sequence. Image Engine’s showcase is viewable below, but be warned that it contains lots of spoilers, lots of blood and - like the show itself - is only suitable for older viewers with fairly strong constitutions.

Tags: Post & VFX

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