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A Tribute to Opportunity and her Epic Journey, Flying Over Endeavour Crater
JayB
post Aug 28 2011, 03:19 PM
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I'm guessing you don't spend a lot of time watching television in your spare time smile.gif

Fantastic work
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neo56
post Aug 28 2011, 03:39 PM
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Absolutely amazing ! The HiRISE team will certainly be interested by the programming you did !
Let's hope you will succeed in solving the "color" issue !


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djellison
post Aug 28 2011, 04:45 PM
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I know just how hard that was to do.... it's breathtaking. Congrats!
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nprev
post Aug 28 2011, 05:12 PM
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Absolutely wondrous, Nirgal; thank you so much for sharing it with us!!!


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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MahFL
post Aug 28 2011, 05:30 PM
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Stupendous.
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machi
post Aug 28 2011, 08:36 PM
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It's gorgeous work!


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Guest_Oersted_*
post Aug 28 2011, 10:46 PM
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Guests






Thanks for your comprehensive explanations Nirgal!

QUOTE (Nirgal @ Aug 28 2011, 12:34 PM) *
In addition to that I tend to use settings of my simulated camera and darkroom that result in contrast enhancement


I think that this particular facet of your post-processing should be toned down a little bit. I love the low-sun angle and the vertiginous lens work, but I think the very punchy contrasts are probably a bit overdone.

A small "artistic" suggestion: when you come down from up high with your camera you could maybe fly through a few of those wispy high clouds we have seen in MER images. Would be a good effect to complement your lower ground-hugging fog layers and atmosphere opacity.

Can't wait to see more of your amazing work!
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antoniseb
post Aug 28 2011, 10:56 PM
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Very nice. What software tools did you use to make it?
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PFK
post Aug 28 2011, 11:12 PM
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Good grief, that's astonishing and inspirational - great stuff!
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Bjorn Jonsson
post Aug 29 2011, 12:24 AM
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Wow, this is stunning, very near the top of my list of impressive stuff I've seen here.

The DEM is extremely detailed and realistic and in addition, the shading algorithm seems to result in something that looks very realistic.

The lack of software and/or hardware that can handle *lots* of triangles is a familiar problem.
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Zeke4ther
post Aug 29 2011, 05:44 AM
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Beautiful....and breathtaking. Can't wait for the colour.


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Robert S
post Aug 29 2011, 08:31 AM
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I'm inpressed and amazed!

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!

Thank you!
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Leither
post Aug 29 2011, 04:48 PM
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Großartig!!

Truly awesome......words fail me. The sheer beauty....

Has to be one the best planetary animations I've ever seen. Fantastic work!

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Nirgal
post Aug 29 2011, 09:29 PM
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Thanks again for all the overwhelming feedback and comments that is greatly appreciated and very encouraging to continue with this work smile.gif

In the following I will try to answer some technical questions that came up:

QUOTE (antoniseb @ Aug 29 2011, 12:56 AM) *
What software tools did you use to make it?


The main processing chain ( 3D model generation and rendering/raytracing ) is all self-written C/C++ software.
(though with a rather ugly and spartanic command-line user-interface but specially tuned to manage 3D models
consisting of a dozen billion polygons, which I found none of the existing programs could handle :-/

For the pre-processing and preparation of the raw data (map-projection) I use the great ISIS3 package (freely available from USGS).

Nothing special for post-processing: Photoshop for still images and the usual video encoders (ffmpeg) for turning the rendered image
sequences into movies.


QUOTE
Do you use a flat plane or a sphere (to represent Mars curvature) as the base?


just a flat base with a simple trick to simulate a curved horizon on-the-fly within the raytracer by
subtracting a curvature-correction-value (based on the distance to the observer) from the current height
above the flat base, while advancing the viewing ray away from the observer through the geometry's
bounding volume hierarchy.

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Nirgal
post Aug 29 2011, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (Oersted @ Aug 29 2011, 12:46 AM) *
... I love the low-sun angle and the vertiginous lens work, but I think the very punchy contrasts are probably a bit overdone.


Yes, this is a good point. Part of the problem (apart from my not always resisting the temptation of turning the knobs too much wink.gif lies in the general difficulty of preparing images to look equally good on different output devices (google "gamma-correction" ) Incidently, I just now found out that the video does look quite different (too crisp and too contrasty indeed) on monitors other than the good old "warm & soft" analog CRT display that I normally use.
Another problem is video compression: After uploading to youtube, I found that the encoding/compression caused further contrast and gamma correction to the point that many subtle details in shadowed areas got lost.

As for the cloud layers: yes this is something quite high on my TODO-list. But here, too, one should be careful not to overdo it: I once saw an animation involving artifical Mars clouds that looked very unnatural (way too "earth-like"). It will be a challenge to simulate the very faint and subtle appearance of the clouds as I imagine them to look like on Mars in reality.
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