Filmmaker joins thousands of NASA images from Mars—the result? A breathtaking video

Using thousands of images from NASA, over 33,000 reference points, a Finish filmmaker has created a stunning four-minute video of what it’s like to fly above Mars. The Filmmaker even created a 3D effect as he stitched the images together along his reference points and rendered them as frames in a video.


In the distant past—millions of years ago—the red planet was covered with massive oceans, Earth-like Ice-sheets, lakes and rivers and even volcanoes that covered the surface of our neighboring planet.

Suddenly, when Mars was stripped of its Earth-like atmosphere, the planet that was once very similar to Earth, turned into a desolate, arid environment filled with incredible bumps, scratches, mountains and ancient volcanoes that tell the incredible story of the planet’s geological history.

To gather all the possible information about Mars, several space agencies have sent spacecraft and rovers to Mars. NASA for example has its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter circling the red planet and studying it since 2006. The MRO has captured countless images of the red planet which have allowed us to find out more about Mars and its ancient past.

However, we have never really had the opportunity to watch a stunning video from Mars, and many of us have wondered what it’s like to fly above the red planet.

Now, a Finnish filmmaker has created a mind-boggling 4-minute, 32-seconds video entirely composed from NASA images of Mars.

Jan Fröjdman decided to transform images from HiRISE, a camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and create a striking video with the use of around more than 33,000 reference points—and did so without the help of AI software. Pure talent right?

Image Credit: HiRISE / NASA

As explained by wired, Fröjdman identified distinctive features in each of the anaglyphs—craters, canyons, mountains–and matched them between image pairs. To create the panning 3-D effect, he stitched the images together along his reference points and rendered them as frames in a video.

Speaking to Wired, Fröjdman said that: “It was a very slow process.”

In order to appreciate the Martian landscape like never before—to get that feeling as if you were really flying above the planet—you need a sense of dimension and movement. This is precisely what the Finish filmmaker achieved when he transformed the HiRISE images into dynamic three-dimensional, overhead perspectives of the Red Planet.

Image Credit: HiRISE / NASA

Fröjdman created a magical video which he literally had to assemble like a giant ‘alien’ puzzle.

However, even though there is a software that could have helped Fröjdman achieve his goal, the self-described space enthusiast hand-selected more than 33,000 reference points to complete this stunning video. If you wonder how long it took to complete? Fröjdman spent around three months to complete the stunning video.

“There are so many great scenes on Mars. The more work I do, the more I learn that this planet is amazing.”


HiRISE | PDS Release: October 2016 Images
A Stunning Video of Mars That Took Three Months to Stitch Together¿by Hand | WIRED

Featured image credit: NASA

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