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Point.360 West Animates Emmy Nominated ALIEN EARTHS

Unique Planets Created Alternate Universe for National Geographic Channel (August 20, 2010)
DMN Newswire--2010-8-20--

Point.360 West Animation Director, Jason Hearne, has been nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Animated Program for National Geographic Channel's Alien Earths, created by director/producer Dana Berry of Skyworks Digital.  Jason Hearne, in conjunction with animation director Dave Jerrard of Radical 3D, worked with Berry creating stunning animated effects of supernovas and exploding planets adrift in the universe. This nomination puts National Geographic Channel up against heavy hitters in the animation field such as The Simpsons and South Park. 

Skyworks Digital first began work with Point 360.West on a documentary for the Hubble Space Telescope in 2007 where the association blossomed into a full vendor relationship that culminated in the creation of Alien Earths. "The concept of creating unstable planets for national broadcast was exciting and provocative", recalls Hearne.  "How often do animators get to create other worlds, and then blow them up with neutron stars?"

The idea behind the show was to stretch our imagination and ponder the existence of other planets in the universe that were similar to our own, such as planets with iron rain and hot ice, with diamonds everywhere, and endless oceans of gas. Planets with abnormal orbital patterns and planets with no pattern at all that drift alone in the Milky Way. Planets so strange we never could have predicted them before. Planets so bizarre that they could have identical habitable environments and support life.

Edited with a mixture of interviews from astronomers and geologists, the show primarily centers on strong visuals of planets with their seemingly uninhabitable surfaces and conditions. In usual National Geographic Channel's style, the footage is realistic and ominous, yet beautiful and exalting.  For example through the use of CGI, Alien Earths helps us imagine a planet that gets thrust out of its solar system and caught by another.

The pseudo reality form of the show did not allow for much wiggle room. To maintain the National Geographic standard of excellence, the images required almost photographic quality and could not be too outrageous.  With the right tools and team, the expected product could be delivered.  Skyworks worked with Point.360 West and Radical 3D to produce the newly nominated footage.  The software used was Autodesk's Maya, Maxon's Cinema 4D, and Adobe After Effects for additional compositing.  With advances in this software and the teams' knowledgeable execution, the expectations of National Geographic Channel were exceeded.

Be sure to watch the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards Ceremony on NBC, 8-11 PM ET August 29. 2010. The Emmy Nominees for Alien Earths: Dana Berry, Dave Jerrard, Jason Hearne and writer, Steve Reich.


Point.360 (PTSX) is a multifaceted post production solution with multiple facilities to handle all aspects of film and television. For more information please visit:


ABOUT Skyworks Digital:

Skyworks Digital is a privately held company that specializes in the creation of computer generated animation of space.  Skyworks works closely with NASA.

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Related Keywords:alien earths, emmy, animation, maya, national geographic channel, autodesk,point360,jason hearne,Maxon’s Cinema 4D


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