The reboot of Cosmos, the popular science program originally hosted by Carl Sagan, has resurrected the show's uncanny ability to inspire knowlege and the love of space. While undoubtedly much of its success is due to Neil DeGrasse Tyson's signature swagger (he might be the only astrophysicist capable of carrying Sagan's heavy mantle), the stellar team behind the show's immersive VFX provide an informative backdrop that is—dare we say it—out of this world.
While it's true that we're all made of stardust, it took the artists at BUF visual effects house quite a lot of time to recreate it. Animating that stardust, from vast, sweeping galaxies to microscopic molecules for a total of 270 shots spanning 12 of Cosmos' 13 episodes, the animators' work "essentially concentrated on the challenge of space/universe representation: rides and travels into space, representation of events or physical phenomenons [sic], in the past or in the future of the universe, such as black hole, nebula, dark matter, comet collisions, universe expansion... and many others," according to BUF's production notes.
The company also was responsible for many shots of Cosmos' Ship of the Imagination, meaning BUF got to spend tons of time with Tyson in front of a green screen. Even beside vast nebulas and imaginary alien planets, the sci-lebrity's bristling mustache must have been a star in its own right.
Watch the behind-the-scenes footage above for a glimpse into the process of creating the (VFX) universe, and below, check out some of our favorite VFX moments from Cosmos:
Check out BUF's website to journey deep into their stellar VFX portfolio.