Over the past 12 years, NASA’s impressive HiRISE camera (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) has photographed hundreds of targeted swaths of Mars’ surface in unprecedented detail. The camera operates in visible wavelengths, the same as human eyes, but with a telescopic lens that produces images at never before seen resolutions. These images provide unprecedented views of layered materials, gullies, channels, and other science targets. They also hold information about the topography of the planet’s surface, which allows 3D studies.
This brought an idea to the mind of Finnish photographer Jan Fröjdman. Why not take some of the imagery and process them into panning video clips? This would create the feeling that you are flying above mars, looking down, watching interesting locations on the planet. Little did he knew it would take him 3 months of intense labor to execute his idea. But Fröjdman went through with it, and his final creation, “A Fictive flight above real Mars”, is stunning. It really does feel like you are actually flying above the planet.
“It has really been time-consuming making these panning clips. In my 3D-process I have manually hand-picked reference points on the anaglyph image pairs. For this film I have chosen more than 33.000 reference points!”
Fröjdman does note that the colors in the film are fake, because the anaglyph images are grayscale based. So Fröjdman had to color grade the clips, but “I have tried to be moderate doing this. The light regions in the clips are yellowish and the dark regions bluish. The clips from the polar regions (the last clips in the film) have a white-blue tone. There are a lot of opinions and studies of what the natural colors on Mars might be.”