The Bronze Age saw the rise of urban societies, vast trading empires, and military might. How did this come about and why did it end? Experience the rise and fall of the greatest cultures of the Bronze Age, a three-part series developed and produced for CuriosityStream. This TV series production was rewarded with a nomination for the 59th Emmy Awards for Graphics Arts at the Capital Emmys, thanks to the amazing animations and VFX package that brought ancient art and cities to life.

Director: Ricardo Andrade
Producer: Elizabeth Andrade
CG Supervisor: Samar Shool
Lead Animator: Andy Hencken
Animator: Henry Bernstein
Editor: Rico Andrade

DYNAMIZED PERIOD ART​

Since the only remains of this time are ruins or preserved art pieces – Pixeldust had to get creative. The studio opted to use actual paintings, engravings, and relics from this time as primary elements in the graphics and animations for this show. Among these, animated maps outlining trade routes across the globe during the era, and animated versions of still art, such as that which could be found on a vase or on a temple wall.

BRINGING ANCIENT CITIES BACK TO LIFE

Pixeldust digitally reconstructed the ancient cities of Thebes, Mycenae, Karnak and Uruk. This massive undertaking was executed through careful use of historic illustrations and ancient city layouts. The team paid close attention to the proper use of architectural materials used in that era, as well as prop finishes. The artists engineered an intuitive system of populating cities with varying sized houses, people and animals. The wider shots, though challenging, were brought to life by the team’s detail-oriented approach. 

Massive 3D extensions were created to resemble environments of that time period that served as a seamless backdrop to the temple scenes. The photoreal look of the animations was achieved by deploying the Solid Angle Arnold renderer inside of Maya. A final compositing pass through Nuke was the icing on the cake! 

Through these mediums, Pixeldust was able to authentically portray the culture, architecture, and major events of the Bronze Age. In this way, this TV series production went the extra mile so that viewers were immersed in communities that have stopped existing many years ago.

3D animation of a mesopotamian city
3D animation of a burning city
3D animation of an Egyptian port
Motion Graphics of an Egytpian Temple
3D animation of liquid, oceans, and boats
3D animation of a fly-over of Thebes

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