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The Sheer Enormity of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Unprecedented VFX

Prime Video’s epic, $500 million fantasy series delivers its first-class ticket to middle earth with more 10,000 visual effects shots delivered by 20+ VFX studios and tech vendors.

It’s time to pause and soak in the enormity of Jeff Bezos’ pet project, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and the sheer enormity of the visual effects work that went into creating one of the most expensive television series ever made. According to Variety “Over 20 visual effects studios (see the list below) and 1,500 visual effects artists across the globe,” delivered an unprecedented “10,000 VFX shots to revive middle-earth.”

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s famed tomes, and set in the “Second Age” of middle earth, thousands of years before “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” the new Prime Video series leads fans through the Elven realms of Lindon and Eregion, the Dwarven realm of Khazadûm, the Southlands, the Northnmost Wastes, and Sundering Seas, and the kingdom of Númenór.

Taking fans on this first-class grand tour of middle earth and bringing it to life in a Tolkien-esque manner that honors the author’s brilliant vision is not a project for the faint of heart or those on a shoestring budget. But, as they say, you get what you pay for, and in viewing the released episodes, this $500 million investment in expansive visuals seems to have yielded great returns.

The series tapped some of the top names in VFX: Wētā FX led the way with Oscar-nominee Jason Smith and award-winning Tim Capper serving as senior visual effects supervisor, and visual effects supervisor, respectively. But, of course, Wētā FX did not fly solo, so kudos to the other extraordinary VFX companies and their talent.

VFX studios and tech companies credited for their contributions include Amazon Studios; ARRI; Atomic Arts; Autodesk; Blackmagic Design; Cantina Creative; Cause and FX; Company 3; DNEG; Dolby; Industrial Light & Magic; Method Studios; Moxion; Ncam; Outpost VFX; Plains of Yonder; Rebel Fleet; Rising Sun Pictures; Rodeo Visual Effects Company; and The Third Floor.

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.