While the reaction to David Lowery’s The Green Knight has run the gamut here at The Film Stage, we can all agree on one thing: its use of visual effects is amongst the most impressive of the year, successfully selling this fantastical Arthurian world with a budget that certainly wasn’t on the levels of its superhero-sized summer competition. Thanks to Weta, Outpost, and Maere Studios (run by Nicholas Ashe Bateman, director of this year’s The Wanting Mare), we now have a glimpse behind the process thanks to a pair of visual effects breakdowns. From sky replacements to rendering giants to CGI foxes to adding a great deal of scope, it’s fascinating to see how Lowery and team brought their vision to life.

“The medieval town and the fox were difficult, but known, visual effects problems,” notes Weta VFX supervisor Eric Saindon at Animation Magazine. “The time-lapses and the more arthouse shots were more complicated. Our saving grace was that Dave gave us the freedom to come up with ideas and bounce things back and forth with him and the rest of the creative team. The giants are a good example. Dev was shot on location, then plates of the giants in full makeup were shot on greenscreen at various angles and speeds. We took all the different elements, moved them around and generated a landscape that helped tell the story.”

Watch the breakdowns below, and listen to our in-depth discussion of the film.

The Green Knight is now on home video and digital.

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