Montreal-based Rodeo FX won its second consecutive VES Award for its work on season 5 of Game of Thrones. The award, in the category outstanding created environment in an episode, recognizes the studio’s creation of the city of Volantis. Rodeo FX won a VES Award in 2015 for visual effects on Birdman.
The Rodeo FX artists who created the Volantis environment are Dominic Piché, lead modeler, Christine Leclerc, lead texture artist, Patrice Poissant, CG artist, and Thomas Montminy-Brodeur, digital compositor.
“We are very proud that our work has been rewarded with this prestigious award,” said Matthew Rouleau, VFX supervisor who led the Rodeo FX team. “Game of Thrones gives us an opportunity to shine and it’s gratifying to have our VFX contribution recognized by our peers.”
The city of Volantis was created completely in CG, replete with a crowded market atop a majestic bridge and surrounded by large buildings humming with activity. Working from a live plate using a Roman bridge in Córdoba, Spain as a stand-in, the Rodeo FX team created the buildings and market on the bridge, as well as the background matte painting. The artists modeled everything in the scenes, including gutters, roof tiles and windows.
In addition to Volantis, Rodeo FX relied on its proficiency in animation, crowd simulation and digital matte painting to build other key sequences, including the destruction of the Harpy statue and the eerie Smoking Sea of Valyria as part of the over 200 visual effects it delivered for the show. Rodeo FX worked closely throughout the season with Joe Bauer, VFX supervisor, and Steve Kullback, VFX producer on Game of Thrones. Bauer and Kullback were part of the team that saw Game of Thrones win another VES Award, in the outstanding visual effects in a photoreal episode category, for a fourth year in a row.
In addition to its two VES Awards, Rodeo FX has won two Emmys for its VFX artistry on Game of Thrones.