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We saw Smaug last year in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and he was marvelous then. We spoke to Debevec earlier this year about the artistry and difficulty of getting Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion capture performance to work on a quadrapedal, winged lizard. So we have to give Hobbit and Colbert teams credit for pulling off this spectacular (and, presumably, expensive) stunt on a daily comedy show with a live audience.

This stub is part of our “Best Of 2014” special effects package. You can check out the creativity and tech that went into other amazing films from this year here.

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