The Rings of Power’s VFX team worked on around 70% of everything filmed in season 1 and touched up over 9000 individual shots.

Amazon Prime’s popular fantasy series Rings of Power featured some outstanding visual effects, with the supervisors recently confirming that around 70% of everything filmed needed visual enhancements.

The Númenorian armada pictured sailing back to their homeland
The Rings of Power/New Line/Amazon Studios/Prime Video YouTube channel

Rings of Power VFX supervisors reveal shows CGI-magnitude

Rings of Power season 1 cost the streaming giant around $462 million to produce and with the entire five-season series expected to exceed $1 billion in production costs, a large portion of that money will be going towards enhancing the VFX.

In a recent interview with GoldDerby, VFX supervisors for The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Jason Smith and Ron Ames sat down to discuss the sheer amount of elbow grease that went into creating Amazon Prime Video’s hit series.

Ames estimates that the VFX team touched up around 70% of everything that was filmed in season 1; that includes minor enhancements to single scenes, as well as the wider CGI spectacle shots.

“We both had a view of visual effects as a tool, not that is on its own or by itself, it’s part of the filmmaking process and cannot be relegated to something we do at the end.”

In total, the filmmakers shared how they handled over 9,000 individual shots from the series’ first season and in order to make sure that they met quality standards, even projected certain scenes onto an IMAX screen, “This is theatrical quality, just eight hours of it.”

Over 20 different VFX studios and 1500 artists supported Rings of Power season 1.

“It’s so fantastic to see the hard work that everybody around the world put in. I don’t know if most people realize that on a show with this much visual effects, we had hundreds of artists spread all over the globe. In every corner of the globe, we have people and each one of those people has their work represented and recognized, it’s really satisfying because it was a passion project.”

Thankfully, the work that the VFX team put into Rings of Power season 1 was also recognized by fellow artists and producers, with a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects.

How did fans react to the VFX in Rings of Power season 1?

Whilst fellow VFX artists and critics have been full of praise for the visuals seen in Rings of Power season 1, that wasn’t always the case with the global fan community.

Following the split in the community regarding the visuals in the reveal trailer, the main gripe that fans had with the CGI for Rings of Power concerned the Warg, which certainly had one of the more ‘unique’ designs.

As noted by StarteFacts, “For some people, Warg looked like an unsuccessful attempt to animate a dog toy into a terrifying beast, and others simply wished they could unsee it. A lot of fans immediately deemed it “the worst CGI of the year” – even though the year is far from being over.”

In response, one Twitter user redefined what the VFX Warg should look like by noting that several thousand years of forced evolution occurred between Rings of Power (set in the Second Age of Middle Earth) and Peter Jackson’s famed trilogy (set in the Third Age of Middle Earth).

“So how many people don’t realize that—in addition to that the warg is intentionally designed as an ugly mix of a wolf and a hyena, and done so with incredible precision—there are approximately 3000 years of evolution to be had between Rings of Power and the Fellowship trilogy?”

In truth, Rings of Power featured some incredible VFX across the board and one bad scene does not take away from the achievements that Ames and Smith cultivated with such an enormous VFX team.

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