Although the focus was always on the dialogue and characters, Futurama never shied away from employing a dash of visual pizzazz to drive home just how alien, bizarre, and wonderful its vision of the 30th century could be. The opening sequences to the four direct-to-DVD movies, especially, show the animators cutting loose with a wide range of visual styles. With the exception of a few effects shots, though, the show stuck largely to 2-D animation.

Animator Alex Zakharov decided to see what the world of tomorrow might look like in 3-D, instead, creating a small portion of the show’s opening credits sequence in 3-D rendering programs like Adobe After Effects.

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The result is visually impressive, even if the whole thing does look a little too clean to really be New New York (and setting the video to sweeping, inspirational movie trailer music does it no favors). Still, seeing the Planet Express ship in all its banged up, scruffy green glory provides a little heartwarming grit to counterbalance all the shininess.

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You can see more photos from the project, including a detailed look at the ship, on Zakharov’s Behance page. [via Kotaku]