No CGI. No 3D models. No visual effects whatsoever. In Saturn’s Rings is a movie made from images. Over one million flat 2D images, to be more specific. Images obtained over the course of over 25 space missions, all fused together to create a feature length documentary film to be shown on the biggest screens of them all: giant screens, fulldome screens, and of course, IMAX screens.
But In Saturn’s Rings isn’t just a collection of images shown with pretty music and some informative narration. Filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren spent many years working on a way to bring the photos to life without any digital manipulation, eventually discovering a way to fuse together these 1,000,000+ images, sometimes using hundreds or even thousands of images for one single frame of video. Pretty incredible stuff.
Now comes a first teaser trailer for the film showing off what lots and lots of images combined together to create a video can look like. The amount of work put into this one little teaser must be astonishing. Check out the trailer for In Saturn’s Rings below now, as well as more details about the project.
Here’s a more detailed description of the film, complete with links where you can learn even more and follow the movie.
First official teaser for “In Saturn’s Rings”, a giant screen space film for IMAX®, giant screen and fulldome theaters distributed by BIG & Digital, coming spring 2014.
To watch in 4K, choose “original” under quality settings (you need a fast computer and a 4K monitor to view it full rez).
The film is 100% created using only flat 2D photographs (often hundreds or thousands per frame) stitched together for massive hundred megapixel+ resolutions that are scaled and zoomed using techniques developed by the filmmaker, based on Ken Burns and 2.5D photo animation processes.
A computer is actually not even required to do this – it could all be done exactly using photoanimation techniques from 100 years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoanimation).
No 3D models, texture mapping, 3D CGI, camera projection, cloning or painting or any other VFX techniques are used – every pixel is what was captured in the photograph. The photographs are processed as minimally as possible – much less than your average Instagram photo.