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Shooting for the Cosmos

posted on March 10th, 2014

I was so excited about the premiere of ‘Cosmos’ with Neil deGrasse Tyson that I decided to create a very short video in it’s honor. I decided to use low poly 3D design, something else that has been inspiring me lately. The combination of simple aesthetics with grand ideas. I love the texture and, when done well, tangible quality that low poly can add.

lowpoly_mountains

I’ve been slowly writing a short film set in space (obviously!) and could see how this style could translate well for that medium. Of course, I’m only dipping my toe in the water of low poly 3D design but see myself using this style a lot with certain video projects. Including a video intro for a web series I’m working on.

lowpoly_sword

With that said, please enjoy this 30 second short video:

Okay, now back to ‘Cosmos’! Did you watch it? I was very impressed with the visuals. There was a combination of 2D, 3D, live action as well as studio shoots for episode one. I particularly enjoyed the transitions between them all. There was some great attention to detail and it really helped progress the narrative. A bit overkill? Perhaps. But it worked.

One of the most interesting shots in the episode was Neil deGrasse Tyson at the ocean. He puts his hand in the water and tells us how this is just life cooking. As he walks away one of the first creatures, a completely realistic cg imagined creature that is, steps foot on land leaves the ocean. The beginning of life as we know it had just transpired and we were instantly transported. Oh sure, his “spaceship of imagination” was cool too.

But perhaps the best part of ‘Cosmos’ was understanding Neil deGrasse Tyson’s journey. A friend of mine had recommended his podcast, StarTalk, and I had recently devoured many episodes. In one particular episode Tyson divulged his first encounter with Carl Sagan and how he had carved out a Saturday many years ago in order to make time for the young, future astronomer. In closing the first episode, Tyson shows us that journal which documented the meeting and the book that Sagan had signed for him. It was clear that this was not just an amazing adventure of the cosmic unknown, but a personal journey of dreams come true and a devotion to his science.

That dedication is something I can surely understand. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series.

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