The Last of Us season 1 finale: Was the giraffe real?

The Last of Us season 1There are so many interesting stories that we could dive into here about The Last of Us season 1 finale, but this one is a personal favorite. Was the giraffe that you saw in the Joel / Ellie scene real?

We do think it is so easy to assume that the animal was a CGI creation, mostly because that’s what we expected for a show that had to use so many other computer-generated elements throughout the season. However, as it turns out, the giraffe you saw in the finale was 100% real — even if almost nothing else was.

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Following the finale airing HBO released a documentary all about the making of the show, and in that Matt Palmer explained that in the end, it was important for he and the team to actually get a real animal — courtesy of the local Calgary Zoo:

“What I quickly learned after doing the research on the game was just how critically important this [particular] moment is to the whole story of the game … Yes, you can create a giraffe in visual effects, but it’s just not the same.”

So how did they do this? It was a lengthy process of using the zoo’s enclosure, fitting it with the proper blue screen material, and then taking their time to ensure that the giraffe felt comfortable. The environment you saw Joel, Ellie, and the giraffe in was largely computer-generated, but the giraffe itself was not. Given how explosive some parts of the finale were, this ironically was one of the most ambitious things the entire team did.

In the end, the big takeaway from this is just how much the entire The Last of Us team care about the source material, and wanted to make sure that this moment was replicated no matter what.

Related What can we say right now when it comes to potential The Last of Us season 2 premiere dates?

What was your favorite overall moment when it comes to The Last of Us season 1 finale?

Be sure to share right now in the comments! Once you do just that, come back for some additional updates. (Photo: HBO.)

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