Having worked on Seasons 5, 6 and 7 Little Shadow heads to outer space once more with Season 8 of How The Universe Works. The award-winning series uncovers the mysteries of the cosmos, from the creation of planets to what’s beyond the outer reaches of the known universe, it leaves no star unturned in its journey to bring answers to science’s greatest questions.

As always, How The Universe Works combines expert opinion with extraordinary computer-generated imagery, from NASA’s revolutionary Juno probe’s daring mission to unlocking Jupiter’s secrets, to examining the possibility of a manned mission to Mars, Season 8 takes this investigation to the next level across ten, 1-hour episodes, and a 2-hour special on asteroids.

“How The Universe Works continues to explore the amazing research being done by the world’s top scientists. The season premiere examines the very real threat that asteroids represent and what is being done to combat their devastating effects.”

Wyatt Channell | Executive Producer, The Discovery Channel

Season 8 presented some unique challenges for the team, visiting planet surfaces, heading to the far reaches of space and trying to visualise theorised phenomenon, as well as the addition of 2hr special to the series. This episode, all about an asteroid heading to Earth, required the destruction of the city of New York. This was created with a fully digital environment using shot reference material to compose the shots. This was then broken apart in Houdini along with the creation of debris dust and smoke FX.

Creating the cinematic sequences of the building of a planet required some incredibly heavy particle and volume simulations, which needed to clearly tell the story, whilst remaining as accurate as possible. These were created in a mixture of Houdini and Maya.

Many of the planetary sequences on Mars used bespoke footage that was multi layered to create the desired landscapes. Digital props, actors and volume simulations were then used to finish the shots.

“Working with the team at Little Shadow team from storyboard to production has been a pleasure.”

Stephen Marsh | Executive Producer, Pioneer Productions