Here’s How Apple Brought Foundation’s Worlds and Cultures to Life

Here’s How Apple Brought Foundation’s Worlds and Cultures to Life
Image: Apple TV+

Though Apple TV+’s long awaited sci-fi series Foundation is perhaps not entirely the adaptation it should be, there’s still an impressive level of work on display. From various planets and starships to different cultures, it can be easy to get caught up in the majesty of everything going on in the story of the Galactic Empire’s eventual, chaotic end. Ahead of this week’s season finale, a new behind the scenes video goes into how the show created these worlds the show has bounced between.

Foundation is a massive sci-fi saga, and while that naturally requires a lot of visual effects, there’s also a surprising amount of miniature models that were used during the filming process. According to supervisor Ian Hunter, the crew would start by digitally modelling the concept art before 3D printing the model. From there, the minis would be shot with LED screens and motion capture to make things look as real as possible.

In terms of the look and feel of different worlds, costume designer Bart said that nothing was really off the table for inspiration. Because the aim was to keep the sci-fi “realistic,” it was easy to pull from desert and Inuit societies to nail down the look of what characters would wear. As an example, designer Kurt pointed out that because Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) hails from the water planet of Synnax, characters would wear ponchos and raincoats. “When you’ve got these different characters all coming from different worlds, it’s easier to look at those characters and think about where they’re coming from.”

And then there’s the languages. Like Game of Thrones which this definitely wants to be, according to producer David Kob, the show has different languages and classes. That’s where language creator Fionualla Murphy came in, and she wanted to make sure no one planet or culture sounded the same. The Anacreon, for example, are a warrior culture, so they had to be “blunt, hardheaded, and come out with it.” Meanwhile, the Thespis language is more “laid back,” which gives their language more quality and perhaps a bit more regal.

Foundation is now available now on Apple TV+, with the season finale airing on Friday, November 19.