Once HBO made the decision that House of the Dragon would be the next extension of the GOT universe, we dove headfirst into the launch campaign. First things first was determining how to bring the news of the prequel’s 2022 air date to the public.
The announcement had to be :15 seconds, beautifully designed, and ramp up excitement around the show’s focus-the House Targaryen-without using any footage from the show. Dragon iconography is a key element of the Targaryen family and the concept of unveiling the House sigil in a burst of flames was the perfect way to introduce the next chapter of the GOT franchise.
We needed to elevate the Targeryan sigil to give it a renewed focus for House of the Dragon, but wanted to stay true to the original 2D Targaryen sigil. We also wanted to bring in some of the iconic style of the Game of Thrones dragons. Researching and drawing inspiration from the historic GoT dragons, the design team utilized several different metals and firelight images to execute the rendering.
We began by modeling the Targaryen sigil- tweaking the style slightly in regards to the legs, teeth and a few other elements to subtly elevate the design.
Lead designer Conner O’Brien led the process, managing the end-to-end 3D work. “To create the sigil model I used Zbrush so we would have no limitations in getting the exact look and feel we were going for,” O’Brien said. “For the rendering I used Octane in C4D. Octane just had that level of realism we really wanted.”
From there we ignited the golden sigil using dragon fire created in Houdini.
The :15 second spot was unveiled by HBO on several platforms simultaneously to a hugely positive response from the Game of Thrones fandom. This was particularly exciting for us and the team at HBO because there is far more pressure to launch a series tied to a cultural icon than your standard promotion. Once the reviews were in, we focused in on the deliverables still to come and kicked our internal standards up even higher to align with the public’s newly formed expectations.
We took the elements from the sigil tease and built out a toolkit for the team at HBO. Fire elements, title cards, interstitials, the sigil itself and more were included in that package enabling HBO to apply those effects wherever they were needed.
HBO utilized this toolkit in combination with footage from the show to create the official House of the Dragon teaser, giving fans an even more in depth peek at the series to come. Original BGSTR design can be seen throughout the trailer, and the back :15 seconds are entirely BGSTR created- the logo, the date, the HBO button - all were rendered, textured and animated by our team, including the fire in Houdini.
Thank you to the BGSTR team for their incredible work and collaboration.