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Deluxe’s Iloura Creates Crescendo VFX for Game of Thrones “Battle of the Bastards”


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Deluxe Entertainment Services Group (Deluxe) announces that its Australian animation and visual effects studio Iloura delivered significant work for the recent “Battle of the Bastards” episode of HBO’s tentpole series Game of Thrones. Working on the epic battle sequence for the Season 6, Episode 9 crescendo, Iloura’s team of visual artists used a mix of visual effects and hand-crafted animation techniques to realize the vision for the bloody showdown. See a behind-the-scenes video here.

Iloura’s work was led by VFX Supervisor Glenn Melenhorst on the pivotal sequences that bring to a head the heated feud that had been brewing between hero Jon Snow and his army of Wildlings, and the Boltons, led by Snow’s nemesis Ramsay Bolton.

The battle sequence required many photorealistic horse and rider collisions, 3,000-strong armies, a mix of close-ups featuring live-action and computer generated (CG) humans and animals, massive crowd simulations, as well as hundreds of assets – CG armoury, weapons, flags, saddlery, body parts, and environmental assets such as blood, mud, smoke, fire and mist. With Games of Thrones’ huge fan base, its exceptional production values and the scrutiny that is placed on the VFX across the series, it was essential that Iloura’s work met the high bar for quality.

To address the animation challenges, Iloura’s artists researched and reviewed video references of horse behaviour in scenarios such as steeple chases, jousting, racing and associated accidents to garner an accurate representation to achieve the shots. Overall, the animation work consisted of motion capture, rotomation and key frame for horses as well as soldiers, building into a library of custom interactions and motion behaviours that could be used for both close-up shots as well as crowd shots.

Each army comprised smaller factions with custom armour, weapons, flags, banners, saddles, bridles etc. Further, every asset needed a clean, pre-battle version as well as a muddy version, a bloodied version and a very-muddy-very-bloody variant.

“Battle of the Bastards is shocking in its audacity,” said HBO’s VFX Producer for Game of Thrones Steve Kullback. More shocking still that we pulled it off and so much credit for that goes to Iloura. We are up close and personal in this battle with CG horses and collisions right in front of the lens and we constantly needed to review Iloura’s shots side by side with the photography because it was hard to remember and even harder to see the difference between what was shot and what was added. Amazing.”

Source : PRNewswire


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