Is the giraffe in ‘The Last of Us’ real or CGI?

After the first season of The Last of Usthe audience focused their conversations on different topics. Mainly, the fidelity of the episode with the last moments of the game. Perhaps the scene that caused the most joy to the fans of the franchise is when Ellie climbs several floors in a building to get to visualize a giraffe which is outside. Moments later, both she and Joel feed the beautiful animal.

In an age where a good number of productions rely on computer-generated graphics, many thought that the giraffe in The Lasft of Us was also created by means of CGI. However, they were very wrong.

Those responsible for The Last of Ushours after releasing the last episode of the first season, they shared some behind the scenes photos. In some of them you can see Pedro Pascal (Joel) and Bella Ramsey (Ellie) recording that sequence next to the giraffe that was in the middle of a set with blue screen (bluescreen).

Giraffe from The Last of Us

That is to say, practically all the scenery that makes up this sequence of The Last of Us was generated with CGI, except for the characters and the giraffe. Thus, any doubts about the subject are resolved.

While it is true that modern day visual technologies achieve amazing results, having the real animal inside the film set is second to none. It also demonstrates that HBO spared no resources with The Last of Us; even less so when it comes to recreating one of the most remembered and beloved scenes of the video game.

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John Paino, production designer for The Last of Usacknowledged Variety that his intention was to create a giraffe with CGI.. The problem was that they did not have enough time. Faced with this situation, they joined forces with the Calgary Zoo (Canada). They built a film set inside the zoo so that they would not have to take the giraffe out of its home. Then, for more than a month, they got her used to living with strangers so that she would be comfortable with the protagonists.

This moment with the giraffe, although brief, is the best evidence that Joel and Ellie developed a strong relationshipone as close as that of a father with his daughter. While she is somewhat worried about the separation that will come once they find the Fireflies, Joel even tries to convince her to take an alternate path and forget about the goal that led them to that place.

However, Ellie decides to go ahead with the original plan because, of course, they had already suffered enough to turn back. Unfortunately, the only way Bella Ramsey’s character could be useful to the Fireflies was to die.

Joel, who had already made it clear that he would protect her to the end, does everything to prevent it. The hope of finding a cure fades, but Ellie is kept alive by Joel’s -violent- intervention.

The Last of Us is the premiere of the year and you can only watch it on HBO Max.