Title sequence for the MTV series ‘The Shannara Chronicles‘ – based on the best-selling fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. The sequence tells the back story of how the world came together starting with the destruction of our human civilisation which then leads to the appearance of the elves, dwarves and gnomes on the earth. The final shot shows the leaves falling off the Elcrys tree – a prophecy that war is soon to come.

How it was made:

We pitched the idea that all the elements in the sequence would be emitting smoke and ash, partly as a metaphor to show the destruction of the civilisations but also as a device for to show that time is passing and that this is a bit of a back story.

To make this happen we did lots of tests using Turbulence FD and in some situations combining it with X-Particles to get an effect we were pleased with. After we had a storyboard signed off we modelled the various elements in Cinema 4D, then did a render-pass of the actual 3D models and a render pass of the smoke/ash, then comped it together in After Effects.


Direction and compositing: Paul McDonnell
3D animation and simulations: Ben Hanbury
Music by Ruelle
Created by Huge Designs for MTV


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