Purdue senior gives 'Games of Thrones' a Boilermaker tribute

April 11, 2014  

Sam Evenson

Sam Evenson, a senior in computer graphic technology and intern in the video area of the Office of Marketing and Media, has created a Purdue takeoff of the title sequence for the television series "Game of Thrones." 
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A video project has allowed Purdue senior Sam Evenson to combine two of his favorite things: Purdue and the television series "Game of Thrones."

Evenson, a senior in computer graphic technology and intern in the video area of the Office of Marketing and Media, has created a Purdue takeoff of the title sequence for "Game of Thrones," a fantasy drama TV series based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series.

Almost 10 months in the making, the video takes viewers on a soaring trip above the West Lafayette campus, zooming in on landmarks such as the Purdue Bell Tower and Ross-Ade Stadium while facts about the Purdue pop up on the screen -- all in the style of "Games of Thrones." Evenson's video can be viewed here, and the original title sequence is here.  

Evenson's video has more than 21,000 views as of April 4, and he's received positive feedback.

"I thought it would be awesome to see the campus in 'Game of Thrones' style," Evenson says. "It's something that people can get fired up about. A lot of the comments I read about the video were along the lines of 'That's amazing!' or 'I just got ridiculously excited about Purdue, and I graduated years ago.'"

Below, Evenson talks more about his project.

How did you come up with the concept?

I'm a big "Game of Thrones" fan and really appreciate the work that Elastic Studio did on the original title sequence. I thought it would be cool to take a campus as epic as Purdue's and present it in the same way they did with George R. R. Martin's Westeros. [The series is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos.]

Why did you want to make this video?

I thought it would be cool to do, which is generally all the reason I need to try to make something. But more than that, it's kind of a way for me to remember my roommate Ben Lutz, a former MET [mechanical engineering technology] graduate from Purdue. He's sadly no longer with us, and it's been a rough couple of months without him around the apartment. "Game of Thrones" is something we always connected over, and I'd like to think he's in a better place now, watching this and enjoying it as much as we used to enjoy geeking out together.

What were the basic steps and technology involved?

For those unfamiliar with 3-D software, it's basically the same as practical effects with digital tools. Thinking of it like building a physical miniature set, I sketched out the map and basic buildings first, referencing campus and the original "Game of Thrones" intro. Then I modeled all the buildings and reusable little pieces like gears  -- many of them are duplicates with slight deviations. From there it was putting things into place, texturing them, lighting the scene, setting up cameras, and animating it shot by shot.

Rendering it out took a long time, and I had to hook up my friend's server in my apartment for some extra horsepower to get the whole thing out in about three weeks. Then it was just putting on the finishing touches like color correction and those fancy light beams. The software I used was Cinema 4D, Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro.

What other video work have you done?

I've done video spots for Purdue, local TV and classes. I interned in Los Angeles last summer, where I got to do some visual effects (VFX) for an indie film and HBO's "True Blood." I'm currently doing effects for a sci-fi short film with a group of VFX artists in Hollywood remotely. I've also used my phone to take video of my dogs doing funny things.

When do you graduate, and what would you like to do after graduation?

I graduate this May and hope to jump right into the visual effects industry. I'll probably hit up Los Angeles or Vancouver if I can get work there, but I'm also looking at some studios in Louisiana. I'll work wherever I can get a foot in the door. Until I find a job though, I'll probably freelance locally.

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