Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power title sequence relied on practical effects rather than CGI.
In the age of infographics, Prime Video The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power chose to do a practical title sequence.
The images feature misty landscapes, molten liquid snaking through the paths and water covering them as a voiceover recalls the story of the Guardians of the Three Rings. Given speculation about the massive budget for power rings, it wouldn’t have been surprising to learn that it was done using the best CGI, but choosing not to was a calculated decision. “I always try to find an organic – or analog – solution instead of the knee-jerk reaction of using computer graphics,” says special effects consultant Douglas Trumbull. IGN. “The reason is this: every time I try this, I get a delicious result that is, in some ways, unexpected. There are magical things that happen in nature – gravity, fluids, lighting – that you can’t really design using computer graphics.”
All is not as it seems in the title sequence. The hills and valleys are actually sustainably sourced redwood and the water is molten metal. The idea behind using molten metal was to give it a “humming” effect because there are things in nature, like fluid dynamics, that are difficult to reproduce digitally and because the process rendering can take days. However, it wasn’t just the materials used in front of the camera that made the difference.
The production used the Phantom Flex 4K camera to pull off this magical hands-on achievement, and director Klaus Obermeyer says it was the only camera capable of shooting at a high enough frame rate. “We wanted to capture something that wasn’t visible to the human eye,” he said. “Molten metal and its characteristics are rendered exceptionally fascinating when you shoot in ultra-slow motion, allowing you to see the swelling, cooling, rippling and energy of molten metal in a way you never could. could ever feel with normal human perception.”
The synopsis for power rings describes an epic tale set thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien The Hobbit and the the Lord of the Rings. In this era, great villains threaten to cover the world in darkness, and heroes new and old will be tested as kingdoms rise and fall. Some of the confirmed lands include the Misty Mountains, the elven capital of Lindon, and the island kingdom of Númenor. Amazon has already committed to multiple seasons of the series, which was announced in 2017.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres Friday, September 2 on Prime Video.
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