To promote an epic series that shines a light on the known universe, The History Channel has, once again, turned to the image-makers at ZONA Design, Inc. For The Universe, which premiered May 29, 2007, ZONA created episodic high definition programming and promotion packages including an open, bumpers, beds, close, and transitions.
From the planets to the stars and out to the edge of the unknown, history and science collide in this ambitious exploration of the universe and its mysteries. It's been just 50 years since man first ventured into outer space and the heavens are slowly yielding their secrets. Robotic rovers give us eyes on the red rock of Mars; NASA probes slam into comets at hyper speed; and deep-space telescopes capture violent images of the birth of stars and their collapse into black holes. All have significantly changed the way we see ourselves. No longer the "center of the Universe," we now know we are just a small spec and wonder if there is anywhere else out there that can support life. Using cutting-edge computer graphics, this series brings the universe down to earth to show what life would be like on other planets, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres. Episodes examine how discoveries were made and profile the scientists and explorers who dared to venture into the uncharted territory of the universe.
"We wanted to create a conveyance that travels into the Universe, secures data, and brings it back to The History Channel's viewers. We were challenged by the need to simulate motion and depth where there was none - to create 3D space in 2D. My team and I referenced artists renderings of things that don't necessarily exist, and concepts not yet proven, to simulate many of the moments," explained Zoa Martinez, Creative Director/Designer of ZONA Design, the full service design agency. "We used organic materials to create whatever we needed. For example, for the gaseous fireball, 'the data', captured in a cube, I photographed a Brillo pad. For the nebulous shape, we broke up imagery in layers so our virtual camera moves through it and we experience travel through space, " she added.
"Zona's task was kind of like the Big Bang in reverse - they had to condense the entire universe into 20 seconds! An impossible task, but they did it beautifully," stated The History Channel Creative Director Timothy Nolan. "I would very much like to experience travel through space with Zoa Martinez - as well as through time," added Producer Douglas Stone."
The ZONA Design team, led by Creative Director/Designer Zoa Martinez, included Executive Producer Dennis Fluet, Designer Mark Lee and Sr. Composite Artist Andre Sam. ZONA utilized Adobe After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop in the execution of this project.
Representing The History Channel were Creative Director Timothy Nolan, Programming Executive Beth Dietrich and Producer Douglas Stone.
Mixer Frank Cabanach of Sound Hound (New York, NY) engineered the final audio mix.
ZONA Design, founded in 1999, is an award winning multi-disciplined design agency creating results driven work that is bold and direct for all points of contact with the consumer in the general, Hispanic, and youth markets. The company's portfolio includes high profile projects for Disney/ESPN Networks, AOL Time Warner Networks, 5Boro Skateboards, Discovery Communications, Encore Media Group, Rainbow Media Holdings, Chrysler, Dodge, and the various A&E Television Networks.