The dragons from Game of Thrones rarely appear on screen, but when they do, they leave quite an impression. Vulture recently posted a video (above) that shows the long, involved process of bringing the detailed beasts to life.
According to the video, it takes 10 people as long as six months to create a single scene featuring a dragon. The visual effects team, Pixomondo, starts with the insides and works its way out so that the bones and muscles affect how the flesh and scales move. To give the fictional beasts lifelike features, the animators study the movements of real animals and use that data to inform how the dragons turn, stand, and walk.
Over the course of the series, the Pixomondo team has had to make adjustments to the dragons' design and their behavior. "We referenced a lot of footage from bats, birds or eagles for the various requested flight actions," Pixomondo VFX Supervisor Sven Martin said in an interview during season 3. "They had to fly fast, hover, glide majestically or dive into water from some height." With season 6 underway, the dragons have gotten bigger and more detailed, which means it requires more time and work to make them appear real on screen.
The next time Drogon, Rhaegal, or Viserion show up in an episode, they will be a bit more impressive now that you've seen a glimpse of what it took to put them there.
Banner image via GameofThrones on YouTube