50,000 photos of Mars in one stunning video

The Finnish director created a three-dimensional dynamic panorama of the Martian surface, manually painting and gluing 50,000 photographs into a single video sequence.

If one day you find yourself in a spaceship orbiting Mars, then do not count on a good view. The atmosphere of the planet is rich in dust, which will hide all the beauty of the Martian landscapes from you. “The best way to see the surface of a planet is to take a digital image and refine it on your computer,” says planetary geologist Alfred McWen, principal investigator for NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment.

Over the past 12 years, the powerful HiRISE camera has captured 50,000 breathtaking stereo images of the Martian landscape from the planet’s orbit, resulting in anaglyphs that anyone can view in 3D with special glasses. Extremely detailed stereograms depict the surface of the planet in amazing detail, but 3D glasses are not always convenient, and still images can convey very little information about such a different topography of Mars.

To fully appreciate the Martian landscape, you need volume and movement. In this video, Finnish filmmaker Jan Freudman transformed photographs into dynamic, three-dimensional footage showing a bird’s eye view of the Red Planet without any glasses. The job was not easy: first, the director colored each photo (the original camera shoots in grayscale), then stitched all the photos based on the anchor points, which took a very long time.

Drawing objects in 3D requires special attention: if flat objects require hundreds of anchor points to be marked, then thousands of volumetric images are spent. The wizard never found a suitable software, so he manually (!) Marked more than 33,000 points in three months of continuous work. Later, however, it turned out that the programs do exist, but even they are not able to compare with the hardworking director in terms of the quality of the final work.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x