Rodeo FX breaks down their Emmy Award winning work on season 4

Rodeo FX has released a visual effects breakdown of their work on Game of Thrones season 4.

The visual effects company based out of Montreal was awarded with a Creative Arts Emmy recently for their contribution to the series, as one of the main vendors to work on season 4. Rodeo FX created a total of 150 shots for the season over the span of six months with the help of over 100 artists, project managers, and technicians.

This new breakdown shows off some of the truly amazing work that earned them a trophy, and acts as another friendly reminder that much of what we see on screen is completely computer generated.

Game of Thrones, Season 4 – VFX breakdown from Rodeo FX on Vimeo.

Rodeo FX was given the task of creating the sprawling city of Meereen, and expanding the Unsullied army that stood at its gates. They also did much of the effects work north of the Wall, creating the White Walker’s zombie-horse, delivering us direwolves, and bringing in Stannis Baratheon’s cavalry.

Of their work on season 4, Rodeo’s VFX Supervisor Matthew Rouleau says, “There was such a contagious desire to perform and deliver beyond-stunning visual effects! The artists really put all their talent and their heart into the work; this is why we now have this amazing statuette decorating our office!”

For more details about their work on Game of Thrones, visit Rodeo FX’s website!


  1. I believe that bit with Dany and Missandei together on the balcony is a glimpse of a deleted scene.

  2. Excellent! A big thank you and congratulations to all the hardworking people overthere, who labour soo hard so that the rest of us might enjoy “Game Of Thrones” in all its beauty and glory!

    Amazing work!

  3. One of the shots of Meereen is also new. I don’t think they showed the entire army outside from that angle before.

  4. Greenjones:
    I believe that bit with Dany and Missandei together on the balcony is a glimpse of a deleted scene.

    I thought the same… it’s a shame it got deleted, that sky looked stunning!!!

  5. New intel on GoT: a Franciscan monastery located near Pridvorje not too far from Dubrovnik is being scouted and considered as a location for future seasons. Apparently, there is some big tree (oak?) in front of the monastery, which adds appeal to the location.

    Any thoughts on what this could be? Is there anyone who can provide more info about the monastery and the surroundings? I have found some info and 2 pictures in the middle of the page:
    There is a clearly identifiable tree over there and the interior courtyard looks nice!

    I know I know I know…

  6. That was very cool. I’d love tho to see how the giants and mastedons were done. I take it that was another company?

  7. It’s interesting to see that some one went to the trouble to find really beautiful backgrounds for shots that were going to get (very good) cgi put on top of them.

  8. Drogon should’ve been on top of the Great Pyramid along with the Targaryen banner. 🙂

    Wonderful panoramic backgrounds though.

  9. I’m always amazed to see these videos. Although the shot with Arya and the Hound wasn’t that convincing imo.

  10. I’ll never gonna understand how is it that they use real dogs / wolves to portrait the direwolves, and they look so fake on screen (specially when they walk). The dragons and mammoths are 100 % cgi and they look completely real, like if they were actually on the set. Then you go to the scene where Ghost returns to Castle Black from Craster Keep’s, and he looks completely fake (all blurry and clumsy when he walks), and this video shows that they actually use a real dog.

  11. Tomás,

    That’s a wolf, not a dog. They take a trained wolf and make them do what they have to do with a greenscreen behind them. Then they put them into the scene, bigger than they actually are. That’s why they look fake. The Mammoths were purely CGI; the model itself was fine (though obvious CGI if you know anything about these things), but the fact is they had more say about the lighting and the inclusion of the model into the scene. The blurred edges of the wolves are a side-effect of how they add them in; and their walk-pattern looks “clumsy” because the perspective is not quite there —after all, they are not actually walking on the floor we are seeing.

  12. Tomás,

    Because fur is harder to animate in CGI,but i don’t personally think they look fake especially considering there have been movies with larger budgets, The Hobbit for example where the wolves look worse than this, i think it’s fine for what it is .

  13. Greenjones,

    Definitely. So we know there’s that, the Jon “it’s like I woke up and then the world fell apart” scene that was in the trailers but cut from the premiere (presumably), and the Tyrion and Pod scene in his cell which was missing some dialogue from the trailers.

    But didn’t the BluRay press release say there are only 2 deleted scenes this time? Maybe they are holding some off for some reason

  14. Oh yeah, and this is amazing work. Seriously, I never thought the show will do so much back in season 1. It’s almost movie quality.

  15. jentario,

    I don’t think they include every deleted scene on the DVDs. Some of them I doubt we’ll ever see, like some of Dontos’s material in s2 that they pared down.

  16. Tomás,

    To create a good looking wolf model is much harder than a dragon model because of fur. On top of that, you’d have to animate their movements. So it would cost a LOT more to CGI the dragons, so unless you want them to disappear for most of the season like the dragons this is our best bet. And I actually think it looks great most of the time- especially in Oathbreaker (they did a really good job with the wolves there IMO).

  17. K26dp:

    Raventree Hall?

    Could very well be, but I doubt they would bring the Blackwoods and the Brackens in the show, although I hope so… I was thinking (and hoping) this would somehow relate to

    Bran’s visions & flashbacks through the tree (i.e. the events surrounding the Tower of Joy and Jon Snow parentage)

    …I have no info on this, just speculating…

  18. There’s also the deleted scene/shortened scene of Jon & Sam in the library where Sam asks Jon about “Your Wilding” aka Ygritte

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