Stunning three-dimentional video offers a trip down onto the surface of Red Planet
While humans have long dreamed of going to Mars, a real flight to the planet is still far away. However, a new 3D video provides an opportunity for space enthusiasts to take a tour of Mars and to visualize what it would be like to fly over the Red Planet.
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The video, titled “A Fictive Flight above Real Mars,” is based on thousands of images of Mars taken by HiRise camera over the course of 12 years. All those images were stitched together to create a spectacular video that makes people feel as if they are flying over Mars and looking down on its surface, all without leaving their couches.
The video is created by a Finnish filmmaker named Jan Fröjdman and it took him around three months to convert HiRise imagery into a dynamic three dimensional video. Fröjdman not just combined tens of thousands of images but also touched them up to give an accurate sense of how Mars would look if we approached from above.
The original images were black and white, so he had to add false colors to enhance their appearance and to make the features prominent. To create the 3-D effect, he resized the images with reference points.
“Some geographic features take more work than others to render. Flat regions require a few hundred reference points, while topographically complex ones—like Mars’ Inca City—can take thousands.” Wired explains the process.
The video begins with a close approach towards Mars moon Phobos and then takes us through the various features of the planet including craters, uneven terrain, pits and fractures.
HiRise camera is mounted on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and provides detailed view of the swaths of Mars’ surface, allowing researchers to study its structure in a more comprehensive manner than ever before.