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'Game of Thrones' clip reel illustrates how the show uses CGI like video games

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Polygon's Culture section deals with the intersection of gaming, its audience and pop culture as a whole. This is where we'll put non-gaming stories we think are worth talking about.

HBO's Game of Thrones is filmed in exotic locales the world over, such as Croatia, Malta and Morocco. But as a fantasy show, it requires plenty of computer-generated imagery on top of what's captured in-camera to sell George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire universe.

This behind-the-scenes clip reel from Mackevision, one of the visual effects studios that works on Game of Thrones, offers a closer look at the transition from camera to finished product. By now, we're all familiar with the use of CGI in live-action films and TV shows. But it's perhaps more interesting to see how Game of Thrones takes advantage of the technology for subtle effects — filling out a crowd, adding foliage — just as often as for large-scale changes to the environment — a gate at the Eyrie, the Titan of Braavos. (The video consists entirely of footage from the fourth season of Game of Thrones, but it doesn't contain any spoilers per se.)