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First Outside In Footage Released, Featuring Mosaics/Images by several UMSF members
stephenv2
post Aug 26 2010, 02:59 AM
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Several members here (Ugordon, Juramike, IanR, Malmer) have donated images and mosaics to my art IMAX film "Outside In" that features a fly-through of Saturn system built only from Cassini images (no 3D, no CGI). Their generosity, talent and many hours of hard work are deeply appreciated.

This is fly-through of this image - Saturn Equinox. Only a little brightness and contrast has been made to balance the moons with Saturn's body. Do note that several thousand layers of many Cassini photographs were animated to make the fly-through work without any 3D CGI. The saturation is off due to lack of Flash Player ICM support.

This is still a work-in-progress and it's an art film, not a science film, but as new image data comes down I will tweak this shot for improved accuracy.

Outside In clip on Vimeo


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Hungry4info
post Aug 26 2010, 03:29 AM
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This is remarkable!

I'm not sure I understand quite what was done here though. It's mentioned that there are no models, but the camera is shown moving through the rings and what-not.

Also, the first link does not work for me. Says no "No results from query."


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ElkGroveDan
post Aug 26 2010, 03:31 AM
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Wow. I'm speechless.


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stephenv2
post Aug 26 2010, 03:42 AM
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QUOTE (Hungry4info @ Aug 25 2010, 10:29 PM) *
I'm not sure I understand quite what was done here though. It's mentioned that there are no models, but the camera is shown moving through the rings and what-not.


Thanks for the kind words.

Fixed the first link - sorry, dropped a character. It's difficult to explain exactly how it was done since it's a recipe of a number of photographic animation techniques that I've refined over the years. It relies on on the power of the optical illusion of creating 3D dimensions when you only have two. Basically, this could be done without a computer but would require a huge space, motion controlled camera, lots of scissors, lights and multiple prints of every Cassini image and mosaic ever done. Then arrange all seamlessly to look like a single image, then hooked up via pulleys to maintain the illusion of 3D as the camera moves.

The problem with doing this in 3D CGI (beyond my purist view that using Cassini images is more emotionally resonant) is that not enough data exists to do this at 5.6k (17 times the rez of HD) and from a lighting/texturing standpoint, the science of the rings, clouds etc. means that it's a hopeless task even if you had tens of millions of dollars to accurately model a fly-through.

Even in the recent Star Trek film, the Saturn shot was short, very 2D and limited. Necessity has been the mother of invention for me. My dream is still to finish this film for IMAX because let me tell you, see images like this on a 8 story screen is mind-altering experience.




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sgendreau
post Aug 26 2010, 05:26 AM
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Holy smokes. That is stunning.
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monty python
post Aug 26 2010, 07:05 AM
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That made me cry. Wow.
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Juramike
post Aug 26 2010, 04:32 PM
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I was able to attend a test showing of an earlier version of some of the shots on an IMAX screen in downtown Raleigh.

At full resolution and on a big screen, it was truly spectacular...

(We're talking "seeing 2001 Odyssey at the Cinemax screen in downtown Seattle for the first time" spectacular...)


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Some higher resolution images available at my photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31678681@N07/
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stephenv2
post Aug 26 2010, 06:17 PM
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I'm very touched and inspired by your responses. You never know exactly if what you are trying to create is going to connect with others.

I can give you some geek info to give some insight on how much better this will look in IMAX. The clip you are seeing online is 1/27th of the size of what you see theaters and only 8-bit color. Each frame of this clip (and the whole film) is 5600 X 4200 pixels. All the processing is done in 32-bit floating point. Even though Cassini data is 8-bit and/or 16-bit, this allows "natural light" processing which obeys the laws of physics and is key to be able to do this only using real images, not CGI or models.

The result is each frame runs about 900 MB (yes, nearly 1 Gig) per frame at 24 frames per second. With lossless compression, frame averages take about 400 MB to store. But when you project an film like this on a 8-story screen, it really matters how much resolution.

The final film will incorporate 90% of the unmanned space flight imagery from all history. The Saturn fly-through is the climax of the film, but everything from all the visible light Hubble image to New Horizons makes an appearance.


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eoincampbell
post Aug 26 2010, 06:48 PM
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Spectacular!
When do you expect it to be released? ( Thankfully, not End Of Mission smile.gif )


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stephenv2
post Aug 26 2010, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE (eoincampbell @ Aug 26 2010, 01:48 PM) *
Spectacular!
When do you expect it to be released? )


I'm still shooting for end of next year but the delays in Adobe releasing software and the struggle to get full-funding may still delay it. I have many thousand of hours of animation and seeking funding to work full-time on it.

But during the delay (and finishing it up right now) I worked on a low-budget horror film (yes, the opposite end of the spectrum) that will help provide a good chunk of the funding.


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DrShank
post Aug 26 2010, 07:00 PM
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very cool. what is the ultimate fate of this project?
let me know if i can help!

paul


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stephenv2
post Aug 26 2010, 07:08 PM
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QUOTE (DrShank @ Aug 26 2010, 02:00 PM) *
very cool. what is the ultimate fate of this project?
let me know if i can help!

paul


There is much info on the site and blog on how to help. The test footage that Juramike was referring to was screened at the international IMAX expo last year and 30% of theaters are very interested in screening the film when complete. (that's a much higher number than I hoped for). They want to see reel footage and I hope to screen this clip at this years expo.

There is very little native IMAX content created each year (only a few films - average is around 8 films a year) and theaters really want space related films as many of them are planetariums. Of course this film is not classic educational film, but at the same time the goal is to get people who would never watch a "science" or "educational film" in and get them to see this amazing imagery. For many people, they have never seen this stuff before.


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ups
post Aug 27 2010, 12:14 AM
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That is absolutely incredible - thank-you.


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DFinfrock
post Aug 27 2010, 01:42 AM
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Truly amazing work. I can't wait to see the finished product. So I just made a donation to the project.
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stephenv2
post Aug 27 2010, 04:59 AM
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QUOTE (DFinfrock @ Aug 26 2010, 08:42 PM) *
Truly amazing work. I can't wait to see the finished product. So I just made a donation to the project.


Thanks so much - deeply appreciated.


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