Curiosity’s Mars Descent in HD
Someone took all the pictures of the Mar’s descent and made a video of Curiosity’s descent to Mars.
For those wanting to know how I made this:
I manually added thousands of motion-tracking and adjustment points.
I had to go the laborious manual route because the frame-rate is too low causing the footage to jerk around too quickly for automated motion tracking to handle it.
It should definitely be noted that by its very nature interpolation creates inaccuracies. The original was 4fps, so converting to 30fps at the same speed means that you’re essentially inventing 87% of the footage.
On top of that I also had to use pan and scan techniques in order to convert it to the 1080p format but still track the interesting features.
The first few seconds were the hardest part. Accomplishing smooth movement in that section actually involved separating the heat shield from the background layer and rendering them as two independently moving layers.
I say all of this because people should understand that although I took great pains to make this accurate, you should still watch the original footage if you want a true accuracy.
(Plus, white-balancing images of a planet that we’ve never been to is quite a task :)
I used the rather meaningless phrase “ultra HD” to try and describe the fact that I actually rendered the video at enterprise-quality 1080p, 50,000 kbps (instead of the usual ~1000kbps). This meant it took the entire night to render and the filesize was hundreds of times bigger.
You probably won’t notice the difference unless you play the video at 1080p - but I think it was worth it.
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