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This Is How An Artist Built A 3D Futurama

Go behind the scenes of the viral 3D Futurama remix, including the reveal that the 3D face of MomCorp was modeled after Meryl Streep.

by Beckett Mufson
12 August 2014, 4:20pm

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The 3D animated Futurama remix that took over the Internet—not unlike Bender's robot revolution—last month was a short and sweet taste of what we wished was a full-length project. Even though it only lasts 30 seconds, the clips speaks to a wide, vibrant universe full of potential stories featuring Fry, Bender, and the rest of the Planet Express crew. Artist Alexey Zakharov has now revealed the extensive detail that went into making the 3D version of a fan-favorite 2D cartoon in a behind-the-scenes VFX breakdown called MAKING OF "Futurama 3d (test shot)."

The video breaks apart each layer, object, and shot from the video short, revealing the city's growth from simplistic cartoony buildings to a sprawling, near-tangible metropolis. Zakharov includes the reference images from the show used to recreate New New York as accurately as possible, connecting the dots between familiar landmarks—such as The Tube Transit System—and their 3D-rendered counterparts.

These explanations are divided into five distinct sections: The City; Advertising; Hovercars; The Shuttle; and Compositing, and there are even a few gems revealed in the documentation process. For example, Zakharov used a picture of Meryl Streep for the Mom advertisement floating above the city. We can't help but wonder if Streep's a fan of the cult classic.

The behind-the-scenes is an outline of an impressive virtual endeavor, and it's no accident that the video pleased both casual watchers and hardcore fans. However, if this is the intensive labor it takes just to make a 30-second clip passable—note that there aren't even any robots or 3D replicas of main character—the odds of Zakharov making his own Futurama are slim at best. 

Check out Zakharov's full portfolio for more snapshots of his creative process.


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Behind The Scenes
3D animation
Alexey Zakharov
futurama 3D
futurama remix